PrepWell Podcast - Ep. #80 | SAT plan-of-attack for sophomores

prepwell podcast Apr 13, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I make the strong case that every sophomore should dedicate 4-6 weeks this summer studying for the SAT or ACT. Learn the reasons why and how to map out a plan of attack.
 
0:02:40 Why study for SAT this summer
 
0:05:44 Why it may not make sense
 
0:06:55 Will you be smarter in the Spring?
 
0:07:40 Plenty of time to recover
 
0:08:22 Early SAT score to coaches
 
0:08:55 Early is always better than late
 
0:09:28 You get an early signal
 
0:10:22 Get bulk of studying done
 
0:10:49 Superscoring
 
0:12:00 Step 1: Take practice SAT and ACT
 
0:13:20 Step 2: Do you want to invest?
 
0:13:45 Step 3: Map out a plan
 
0:14:15 Step 4: Register for exams 
 
0:14:30 Step 5: De-conflict
 
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 79 | The absurdity of admit rates and what to do about it

prepwell podcast Apr 10, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I walk through the reasons why some of the most selective schools are only admitting 3-4% of the applicants. Once we establish the reasons why, we then tackle the tougher question of - what can you do about it?
 
0:02:00 Why admit rates so low?
 
0:02:18 College Rankings
 
0:02:54 Artificial number of applicants
 
0:03:55 Definition of applicant
 
0:04:22 QuestBridge
 
0:05:10 Common App
 
0:06:00 Growing population
 
0:06:22 Growing interest in college
 
0:06:49 Standardized test prep
 
0:07:22 Remote learning
 
0:08:10 Test optional
 
0:10:30 Step #1: Audit
 
0:13:00 Supernovas
 
0:16:38 Very highly qualified student
 
0:19:20 Qualified students
 
0:16:38 Very highly qualified student
 
0:19:40 Recruited athletes
 
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 77 | How to secure leadership positions in high school

prepwell podcast Mar 26, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I discuss why this year's admissions results will be the toughest in years. How you should prepare for the results and what to do next.
 
0:01:13 Why colleges love leaders
 
0:03:00 7 Common leadership roles
 
0:04:40 How to secure leadership roles
 
0:11:52 Inside the mind of an admissions officer
 
0:14:15 Two strategies for leadership positions
 
0:16:30 Final advice
 
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Podcast Host: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs:...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 76 | Brace for Impact

prepwell podcast Mar 20, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I discuss why this year's admissions results will be the toughest in years. How you should prepare for the results and what to do next.
 
0:01:13 Why will admissions be so competitive this year?
 
0:04:49 What will happen to yields?
 
0:05:35 The long waitlist
 
0:05:52 What if you're admitted?
 
0:06:45 What if you're denied?
 
0:07:15 What if you're wait-listed?
 
0:08:05 What do you do if you're wait-listed?
 
0:09:10 No such thing as a ranked waitlist
 
0:11:00 Pre-admissions results Pledge
 
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 75 | GPA RIP

prepwell podcast Mar 12, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I reveal why GPA has become an irrelevant number in today's college admissions process.

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:07 The Big 3
 
0:01:45 Why has GPA lost its stature?
 
0:03:23 Not a new trend
 
0:04:20 How colleges assess GPA
 
0:05:15 What to do
 
0:06:10 Do grades still matter?
 
0:06:30 Case Study
 
0:10:05 Summary
 
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Podcast Host: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 74 | Should I apply Early Decision?

prepwell podcast Mar 06, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I reveal the pros and cons of applying "Early Decision" to college. This high-stakes decision should not be taken lightly. Colleges benefit from ED programs, but do students?

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:20 Timelines and terminology
 
0:02:00 Early admissions deadlines
 
0:02:40 Early Decision or "ED"
 
0:04:00 Restricted Early Action or "REA"
 
0:04:48 Early Action or "EA"
 
0:05:40 Regular Decision or "RD"
 
0:06:10 Why higher admit rate for ED?
 
0:06:40 Why colleges benefit from ED
 
0:11:20 What kind of students apply ED?
 
0:14:44 Private schools use ED to their advantage
 
0:16:10 Should I apply ED?
 
0:17:20 Not all ED applicants get admitted
 
0:18:20 Your child should apply ED if...
 
0:21:40 Do not apply ED if...
 
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 72 | PLEASE take the SAT or ACT

prepwell podcast Feb 20, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I try to convince motivated (but wavering) students to take the SAT or ACT - despite the deluge of messages telling them otherwise.  The fact that most colleges are still "test-optional" has given many students a false notion that it doesn't matter if they take the test or not anymore. For students who want to be competitive, this is not the case.  Please listen to this episode if you are on the fence.

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:02:45 The straw that broke the camel's back
 
0:04:30 Why the overnight change?
 
0:06:40 No, "test-optional" is not a good thing for you!
 
0:07:00 Why is this the best time to take the SAT?
 
0:08:39 Reason #1: More time to study
 
0:09:09 Reason #2: Test preparation is a skill
 
0:10:19 Reason #3: Don't believe the colleges
 
0:11:30 Big pile versus small pile
 
0:12:00 Reason #4: Competition is even greater now
 
0:13:10 Who benefits from...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 71 The ascendancy of AP classes and exams

prepwell podcast Feb 11, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I discuss the ascendancy of AP classes and exams, and how to capitalize on their momentum. As more and more objective measures of student academic achievement get canceled, others are surging. Find out why AP classes and exams may be the last place to show your academic chops.

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:17 The growing challenge for college admissions
 
0:01:53 Bye, bye SAT/ACT requirements
 
0:02:30 SAT Subject Tests, gone
 
0:02:55 No more SAT "essay"
 
0:03:32 GPA now meaningless
 
0:05:52 Ascendancy of APs
 
0:07:35 AP exams are more important now
 
0:07:57 APs exams more important during pandemic
 
0:08:30 How is admissions dealing with this?
 
0:09:00 Not a good idea to skip AP exams anymore
 
0:09:25 Re-think your AP study strategies
 
0:09:42 Take all AP Exams?
 
0:10:12 Don't take May/June SAT/ACTs
 
0:11:32 How does this affect class selection?
...
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 70 | Top 10 Most Important Admissions Factors

prepwell podcast Feb 06, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, I walk through a new and updated Top 10 List of important factors that impact college admissions. This is not your standard list. For example, GPA and rigor of courses fall to #8 on the list. 

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:03:17 Drivers vs. passengers
 
0:05:00 Recruited athletes
 
0:10:05 SAT/ACT score
 
0:12:40 National or international renown
 
0:13:36 A coherent brand
 
0:14:50 Demonstrated interest
 
0:19:00 Ability to pay
 
0:20:29 GPA & rigor of classes
 
0:23:00 Extracurricular activities
 
0:25:10 Letters of recommendation
 
0:26:02 Interviews
 
0:27:02 Honorable mention
 
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PrepWell Podcast - Ep. 68 | Bye, bye SAT Subject Tests

prepwell podcast Jan 24, 2021

Show Notes:

SAT Subject Tests and the "essay" section of SAT have both been canceled - indefinitely. Find out what this means for students. Who are the winners and losers?

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:01:30 SAT Subject Tests canceled
 
0:02:00 The good news
 
0:03:07 History of SAT Subject Tests
 
0:05:36 Who is harmed?
 
0:08:40 Who may benefit?
 
0:10:20 But then again...
 
0:11:15 Using tests to demonstrate interest
 
0:12:50 AP Exams more important now
 
0:14:34 Activities more important now
 
0:15:15 More emphasis on SAT/ACT
 
0:15:30 Summary
 
0:16:45 No more SAT Essay
 
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