Archive for the ‘SAT and ACT tutoring Michigan’ Category

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.

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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.

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.

 

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.

Optiminds Can Prepare You for SAT Testing

January 9, 2014

If you are a high school student, you will inevitably hear about SAT tests at some point. 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.

The SAT is the nation’s most widely used college admission test, and the first step toward higher education for students of all backgrounds. It gives both you and colleges a sense of how you’ll be able to apply the thinking, writing and study skills required for college course work. More than just a test, the SAT also provides the opportunity for you to connect to scholarship opportunities, place out of certain college courses and learn more about your academic strengths.

The SAT doesn’t test logic or abstract reasoning but rather tests what you already know—the reading, writing and math skills that you learn in school and that are critical for success in college and beyond.

More specifically:

  • The critical reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions
  • The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage
  • The mathematics section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability

The SAT is taken by more than two million students every year and is accepted by virtually all colleges and universities. It is offered seven times each year in the U.S.—in January, March, May, June, October, November and December. Upcoming dates are: Jan 25, March 8, May 3 and June 7.

At least half of all students take the SAT twice — in the spring as a junior and in the fall as a senior. Most students improve their score the second time they take the SAT.

Optiminds can help you prepare for the SAT. Call our office at (248) 496-0150 to find out more about our SAT Preparation sessions. 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.

Give the Gift of an Optiminds Program

December 9, 2013

Optimindsnotag3With the holidays just around the corner, most of us are wracking our brains to come up with gift ideas for our loved ones. Speaking of brains, you might want to consider gifting your child, spouse or parent with some brain training sessions at Optiminds.

Optiminds is a professional brain training and tutoring service headed by Jane Stewart, PhD. A brain development expert, Dr. Stewart has spent over 40 years helping people of all ages improve their cognitive and learning skills as a means to achieving their goals and success in life.

Optiminds offers something for everyone on your list—adolescents and teens, college students, adults and senior citizens. We will customize a course for sharpening specific cognitive skills, from memory and math and reading improvement to ACT and SAT test preparation. You’ll find brain fitness classes for baby boomers, programs geared to helping students qualify for college scholarships, and even a Cognitive Summer Camp. We also offer  life strategy programs, programs to facilitate home schooling and parent coaching, not to mention ADHD assessment and tutoring and working with Alzheimer’s patients.

Optiminds classes are held at our facility at 29688 Telegraph Rd. in Southfield. For more information on how we can customize a program for that special someone on your gift list, call us at (248) 496-0150 or email Dr. Stewart at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Optiminds Offers Coaching to Prepare for College Athletic Scholarship Programs

April 5, 2013

NCAA1If you are a high school athlete and you think you are good enough for a college scholarship offer, your grades will just as important as your athletic abilities. College coaches want to recruit well-rounded athletes who excel on and off the playing field.

If you want to play in a NCAA Division I or II school, you must have a 2.0 GPA (or better) in your core courses. The higher your GPA, the better. College coaches want to recruit athletes who will be successful in the college classroom.

Your scores on the standardized tests (SAT and/or ACT) are also important. Standardized test scores, taken in conjunction with your high school grades, are used to predict your academic success in college.

Optiminds coaching sessions can help you ensure that your grades are in top shape. One of our main areas of focus is on helping students qualify for college scholarships, and that includes NCAA scholarships. Our programs are designed to follow NCAA eligibility rules and NCAA Clearinghouse guidelines.

Here are some suggestions if an NCAA scholarship is on your agenda:

  • Consider taking one or more advanced placement courses if you high school offers them. This shows your dedication to taking a challenging high school curriculum.
  • Doing volunteer work and participating in extracurricular activities other than your sport shows that you’re responsible enough to handle the pressures of school and your sport, while still taking part in other activities.
  • Consider taking the SAT in your sophomore year. This gives you time to see which areas you need to improve on so you can get a good score later. Without good grades, some schools will not even consider you for an athletic scholarship.

You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at: www.eligibilitycenter.org.

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’ customized tutoring programs 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.

Prepare for SAT and ACT Testing in 2013

January 15, 2013

If you are a high school student, there are six letters that are probably on your mind at any given time—SAT and ACT. These standardized tests are an important piece of the puzzle, along with high school grades and other factors, in helping colleges decide which applicants will do well if they are admitted. Many colleges use test scores to award “merit aid” scholarships, which is financial aid not based on need.

The ACT and SAT are different tests that measure similar but distinct constructs. The ACT Test is a curriculum- and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students’ academic readiness for college. Test scores reflect what students have learned throughout high school and provide colleges and universities with excellent information for recruiting, advising, placement, and retention.

The SAT and accompanying SAT Subject Tests are a suite of tools designed to assess your academic readiness for college. The SAT was designed as an aptitude test—it tests your reasoning and verbal abilities, not what you’ve learned in school. It lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. Many colleges use the SAT Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection.

With competition to get into a good college so great today, many families turn to tutors to help boost grades and SAT and ACT scores. If your teen is preparing to take the SAT or ACT this year, Optiminds can help them prepare, identify types of problems they will encounter, and equip them with essential test-taking skills.

When it comes to tutoring services in metro Detroit, 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’ customized tutoring programs 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 www.optimindsct.com.


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