Archive for the ‘college prep testing’ Category

Optiminds Can Help with the NCAA Eligibility Process

April 16, 2015

NCAA2If your son or daughter is planning to play sports at a Division I or Division II college, they will need to register with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Eligibility Center.

Optiminds can help you begin the process through our Athletic College Prep Counseling Division, headed by Aaron Fields. A former Division I baseball player, Aaron is responsible for the NCAA Eligibility Center portion of Optiminds’ College Counseling Division.

The NCAA Eligibility Center, formerly known as the NCAA Clearinghouse, is the body that determines a student-athlete’s eligibility to play a sport at the NCAA level—based on factors including academic record, SAT or ACT scores and amateur status.

Through parent/student workshops and individualized sessions, Aaron can assist you with the recruiting process, course planning and meeting NCAA and NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) eligibility requirements.

Playing college sports can be a major opportunity for a student, with benefits ranging from completion of a college degree to access to scholarships, travel and experiences that prepare a student for life in the real world.

Did you know, for example, that student-athletes as a group have a higher graduation rate than their peers in the general student body; and that NCAA schools have awarded more than $17 billion in athletics scholarships in the past 10 years?

Help your student take advantage of the NCAA experience. Call Aaron at (313) 590-4788, or email him at afields@optimindsct.com to get more information about Optiminds’ athletic college prep counseling program. Be sure to visit our website at: optimindsct.com.

Michigan Chooses the SAT Over the ACT

February 9, 2015

The State of Michigan recently announced that the SAT will be replacing the ACT as the State’s high school assessment test beginning in Spring 2016.

While the ACT has been the more popular of the two exams, most colleges and universities accept scores from both exams. The SAT is administered by The College Board and is respected and used around the country.

SATstudent1The SAT is being redesigned to align with the Common Core State Standards newly adopted by the State. Common Core is a set of expectations of what students should know to be college ready. This is one of the reasons for the State’s decision. In addition, the bid from the SAT was $15.4 million less than the ACT’s bid.

Students can get a taste of the new SAT by taking the PSAT beginning in October 2015. Students must take the PSAT if they want to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship. Because the PSAT has been redesigned to align with the new SAT, it will provide a crucial practice for the actual SAT.

Students will be able to take the redesigned SAT for free as part of the state high school exam. The cost to take the PSAT is $14.

A Joint Evaluation Committee consisting of a high school principal, a local school superintendent, a testing and assessment consultant and a vice president at a community college made the recommendation to choose the SAT. The final decision was made by the State Administrative Board made up of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer and state superintendent, or their representatives.

If you are looking for help in preparing for the SAT, be sure to give Optiminds a call at at (248) 496-0150. Our proven test prep instruction and skills can help you get the grades you deserve in both the SAT and ACT, as well as other placement tests. Learn more by visiting our website at: optimindsct.com.

Start the New Year with a Gift of Cognitive Training

December 23, 2014

Optigift2Do you have a family member who is struggling at school or who could use a little help sharpening their memory skills? Why not gift them an Optiminds cognitive training program to give them a little boost in the new year?

At Optiminds, you’ll find individualized tutoring and brain training programs tailored to people of all ages—from children to high school and college students to baby boomers. We can customize a program to address specific issues ranging from ADHD and Alzheimer’s to math, memory, reading and home schooling.

Optiminds also offers ACT and SAT testing assistance. And we’ve recently added College Counseling and Athletic College Prep counseling to our offerings.
You might also want to give the gift of summer camp with our Optiminds Cognitive Camp, designed to help students keep their brains in shape over the summer.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages in the metro Detroit area. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Educated Guessing and the ACT and SAT

November 9, 2014

takingACT1If your child will be taking the ACT or SAT, they will of course want to be as well-prepared as possible to answers as many questions correctly as they can.

But there are always those instances where you don’t know the correct answer for certain. Rather than wasting time trying to figure out an answer, your student needs to know that on both the ACT and the SAT it is more advantageous to make an “educated guess” than to leave a question unanswered.

On the ACT, there is no penalty for wrong answers on the ACT. If you answer a question wrong, it does not subtract from your overall score; you simply don’t get credit for the question.

On the SAT, you lose ¼ of a point of raw score for wrong answers, and earn one full point for each right answer.

Educated, or strategic, guessing means choosing the best possible answer based on all the information available. It’s the best way to find the right answer when you’re really not sure which choice is right.

Here are some tips for educated, or strategic, guessing:

  • To formulate an educated guess, you must have good information. So read test questions carefully.
  • Rule out the obvious bad choices.
  • Pay attention to details. Look for a tip-off within a test question.
  • Look for patterns. Use your experience in similar situations to predict the outcome of another.
  • Consider the simplest, most obvious solution as the best. Don’t overanalyze or consider information that isn’t relevant to the matter.
  • Use common knowledge and what you know. Practical wisdom goes a long way in making an educated guess.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Optiminds Offers ACT Test Timer Watches

October 9, 2014

TestTimerWhen it comes to taking the ACTs, your student can use all the help he or she can get.

Optiminds has been helping students prepare for ACTs and SATs, and now we are offering a product that helps test takers manage one of the most difficult and stressful issues about taking these tests—the timing.

The ACT Pacing Watch by Testing Timers is a digital watch and timer with preset times and specific markers for the English, math, reading, science, and writing test sections of the ACT college admissions and placement test.

The timer displays both total time used and total time remaining for each specific section, and has blinking markers that move around the periphery of the timer face to provide a graphical representation of where the student should be in that section.

All you have to do is pick a section and start the timer. The watch shows the total time for each section, and a countdown with the time remaining. There is a readout that shows how far along in the test you are with a small blinking light so you can tell if you are behind or ahead.

Students can use the watch to practice for their ACTs and SATs as well as when they are taking the actual tests.
The ACT Pacing Watch complies with ACT and the College Board (the company that distributes the SATs) test room requirements for noise-free and vibration-free watches and timers, with no computing functionality.

Get your ACT timer and watch to help your student prepare for the ACT test. Call the Optiminds office at (248) 496-0150 for more information.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Redesigned SAT Takes Effect in 2016

April 9, 2014

SAT3In 2013, 1.7 million took the SAT, a globally recognized college admission test first introduced by the College Board in 1926. SAT initially stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, later changed to Scholastic Assessment Test.

The SAT is intended to let students show colleges what they know and how well they can apply that knowledge. It tests a knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.

Just recently, the College Board announced a fundamental “rethinking of the SAT” to make it more useful by reinforcing the skills and evidence-based thinking that students should be learning in high school. The new version will go into effect in Spring 2016.

Among the key changes are the following:

  •  The penalty for guessing, in which points are deducted for incorrect answers, will be eliminated
  • The test will not ask students to define obscure words (such as “depreciatory” and “membranous”), relying instead on vocabulary more commonly used in college courses (“synthesis” and “empirical,” for example)
  • Math questions will focus more narrowly on linear equations, functions and proportional thinking
  • The essay portion, required since 2005, will be optional and scored separately
  • Scoring will revert to the old 1,600-point scale (from 2,400); 800 is the top score on math; 800 is the top score on reading and writing

 Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. Be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

 

Why You Should Consider College Prep Counseling

March 16, 2014

collegeprep3Not only is getting a college education today costly, the admissions process can be both complex and competitive. With a ratio of counselor to student as high as 500 to 1 in many high schools, school counselors are often unable to offer the one-on-one counseling their students deserve.

These are just a few reasons why more parents are seeking the help of qualified independent college prep counselors. And now, through our new College Counseling Division, Optiminds offers individualized college prep counseling.

Optiminds’ College Prep Counseling can help families:

  • navigate the process and maximize the college opportunity
  • ensure they are making the best college choice
  • turn a stressful process into a successful and enjoyable experience
  • avoid costly mistakes by finding the college that is the best fit
  • meet any specific requirements in terms of academics, athletics and special learning needs

Our college prep counselors have extensive experience working with high school and college students. They are knowledgeable about the latest trends in higher education and can offer a wide array of professional resources to our clients. In addition, they are in touch with evolving admissions requirements and understand what college admissions personnel at specific colleges are looking for in candidates.

College prep counseling can be an excellent addition to high school counseling, providing additional insight and assistance with the college admissions process. For more information, contact Holly Markiecki-Bennetts at 313-478-3319.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. Be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com; and “like” us on Facebook.

Optiminds Adds Two New Counselors

February 16, 2014

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds is pleased to introduce our two newest counselors, who will be handling the new areas of focus we are offering in our College Counseling Division.

Aaron Fields is heading up the Athletic College Prep counseling area and will be responsible for the NCAA Clearinghouse portion of our college counseling division. He will be working to help athletes meet NCAA standards in order to continue with their playing careers. A former Division 1 baseball player, Aaron played professional baseball for a couple of years after graduating from college.

Aaron is dedicated to using his experience and training to help young athletes be prepared for college and the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements.

For more information about Optiminds’ athletic college prep counseling program, please call Aaron at (313) 590-4788, or email him at: afields@optimindsct.com.

Holly Markiecki-Bennetts is heading up the College Prep counseling area. She has spent the past 20 years working with high school and college students, and enjoys serving as a guide for students and their families in finding the right post-high school options.  Holly holds two Masters degrees—one in Higher Education Administration and one in School Counseling.

To find out more about Optiminds’ college prep counseling, please call Holly at (313) 478-3319 or email her at:  hbennetts@optimindsct.com.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Optiminds Announces New Focus Areas in 2014

February 9, 2014

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds is pleased to be introducing two new areas of focus in our College Counseling Division beginning January 2014. The new focus areas are: College Prep and Athletic College Prep. We will be offering Parent/Student Workshops in both areas.

The College Prep Counseling Workshops will include:

  • How to find the right colleges
  • Essay writing
  • Resume writing
  • Applications
  • Organizational tools
  • Individual Sessions

For more information, call Holly Bennetts at (313) 478-3319, or email Holly at: hbennetts@optimindsct.com.

The Athletic College Prep Counseling Workshops will cover:

  • Athletics—High school and beyond
  • The recruiting process
  • NCAA eligibility (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
  • NAIA eligibility (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)
  • Course planning
  • Individual Sessions

For more information, call Aaron Fields at (313) 590-4788 or email Aaron at: afields@optimindsct.com.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Get ACT Test Preparation at Optiminds

January 16, 2014

ACTtest1The ACT is a national college admissions examination that is used as a college admissions and placement test and measures the skills and knowledge needed for first-year college success. Additionally, the ACT includes a career exploration component that stimulates students’ thinking about future plans and relates personal characteristics to career options.

What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?

The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. (See our January 9, 2014 post.) The ACT has up to 5 components—English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and an optional Writing Test. (You take the ACT Writing Test only if required by the college(s) you’re applying to.) The SAT has 3 components—Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test.

The SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, they take off for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing.

The ACT has an Interest Inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.

Upcoming ACT testing dates for 2014 are: February 8, April 12 and June 14. Optiminds’ ACT Testing Help and ACT Prep Classes are forming now.  Call our office at (248) 496-0150 for more information.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds by visiting our website at: optimindsct.com.


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