It was over two month's ago when I sat down with my 10-year old son to discuss the academic tasks he was assigned over the summer by his 5th grade teacher:
At the time, nothing about these tasks seemed particularly difficult, especially with the "whole summer" to do it.
Preparer or Crammer?
He and I discussed two options:
"Chip away method" - this involved spreading the workload over the entire summer. We did the math, and it came out to roughly 2 pages of reading per day and 1 vocab word and 1 math problem every other day. This amounted to about 8 minutes of concentrated work per day. No big.
"Cram-it-all-in method" - this involved skipping the daily 8-minutes of work in exchange for a 3-week cram session at the end of the summer when all the work had to be completed at once.
We prepared a spreadsheet that mapped out 10 weeks of daily tasks. He could...
As the estimates for quarantining seem to get longer by the day, what can your junior PrepWeller do to thrive at home?
They may not appreciate it, but this downtime gives them unprecedented opportunities to get ahead in the college admissions process.
My guess is that they've been slammed with schoolwork since September and have found it difficult to keep up with all their PrepWell videos and Journaling.
Well, kiss that excuse goodbye.
With weeks and weeks of downtime ahead of them, a meticulous review of every PrepWell video is a must.
Here's how they should be thinking about the next few weeks and months:
As we all know by now, your child's SAT or ACT score is a key factor in determining what colleges to focus on. If they have a 4.0+ GPA, but no legitimate SAT or ACT score yet, it will be difficult to determine where they stand on the college admissions continuum. Lots of students have 4.0+ GPAs.
Until they secure a solid SAT or ACT score, they are in...
How do I ask for a Letter of Recommendation?
I received this question from a highly motivated 9th grade PrepWell Academy student. It's a bit early for 9th graders to worry about this - and I couldn't be more proud! This is proof positive that our message is getting through. It is never too early to prepare well.
How important are letters of recommendation?
If you plan to apply to selective or highly selective schools, they are very important. After a few hours of staring at GPAs and standardized test scores, they all start to blend together - especially for application readers at highly selective schools where everyone posts impressive scores. Letters of recommendation can help you stand out from the crowd. In fact, qualitative inputs like this can serve as tie-breakers in many cases.
When are they needed?
Letters are not normally due until the beginning of senior year, but in no way, shape, or form should you wait that long to begin this process.
Whom do schools want to see letters...
Getting into college is becoming more and more competitive - and expensive. Here are five reasons that suggest why competition has increased so dramatically:
1. More international students
International students are applying to U.S. colleges and universities in record numbers. These students are often the best and brightest from around the world and many are willing (and able) to pay full-freight for a U.S. education. Imagine how enticing these candidates are for colleges. They deliver an admissions trifecta: (1) geographic diversity, (2) high-performing students, (3) paying customers.
2. Common Application
Back in the day, high school students thought long and hard about where to apply to college. Each college had its own application, unique essay questions, quirky formatting instructions, and different submission deadlines. Adding one additional school to the target list might add weeks or months of extra work. Students proceeded with caution. With today's Common Application,...