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What is CLEP?

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP), is a program administered by the College Board that allows students to save time and money by earning college credit for knowledge they already have from work experience, AP classes or independent study. Upon passing a CLEP exam, students can earn college credit at more than 2,900 institutions. This program is open to anyone, including high school students, adult learners, active military service members, veterans and current college students.  What is CLEP? Although it…

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11 Online Courses for High School Students

It's never too early to start preparing for college. The college admissions process can be overwhelming, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Here are a few college prep courses we recommend for high school students looking to get a head start on their college journey. » Looking for other online courses? Check out our resource page Online college prep courses for high school students One way to mitigate the stress of college in high school is to start…

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The Best Time to Report Your SAT Scores

I decided to tackle this topic after I received a call from the worried parent of one of my students. Her son (named Zach for our purposes) had just taken the SAT for the first time and was in a near panic. After I experienced that sinking feeling any tutor of the " I am in this biz to make a difference" mindset is familiar with, mom told me the real problem. When Zach registered for the SAT, he did…

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AP classes Pros and Cons

Enrolling in Advancement Placement--AP classes--is one way that some high school students prepare for the rigors of college, boost their high school resume and earn college credit at a low cost. These courses are more demanding in terms of time commitment for assignments and understanding concepts, which can be a pro, con or both! Are AP classes right for you? Below are some of the pros and cons that My College Planning Team would like you to consider. Use these…

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The Essay: The ACT Now Has Its ACT Together!

The ACT folks really created a mess when they "revamped" the essay portion of the exam. Fortunately for college-bound students everywhere, the situation appears to be (mostly) resolved. A LITTLE HISTORY The trouble began in September of 2015. Several changes to the essay were rolled out: a changed grading rubric that incorporated four scoring "domains", a switch from the twelve-point grading scale to a thirty-six range, and significantly more complex writing prompt. In this short space, it is nigh impossible…

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Should I Choose the SAT or the ACT?

Prior to January of 2016, in my role as head of the My College Planning Team tutoring division,  I rarely had to field the SAT vs. ACT question from prospective students or their parents. With the sudden switch by the state of Illinois in favor of the SAT, this has changed. Why the Change? In deciding which test to take, it's important to first understand why Illinois has now jettisoned offering free ACT tests to public high schoolers. Simply stated, it…

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Sorry…You Need to Take the ACT Writing Test!

"But I thought the writing test was optional!" Yes, indeed it is--for you. however, the ACT writing test is not optional to approximately twenty percent of colleges and universities. Imagine, if you will, this scenario: It is September of your senior year of high school. You worked hard to score well on the ACT--perhaps taking it two or three times--and in your hopeful preparations to apply to several schools, you discover that one of the schools you want to apply to requires applicants to complete the essay portion…

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Take Another Swing: Retake the ACT!

The score you--or your college-bound kiddo--received on your ACT should rarely determine whether or not the exam is retaken. Unless the composite is well above 30 ( in which case the law of diminishing returns usually kicks in) any score from pretty darn terrific to pretty darn terrible warrants another giving it another go. Most Students Increase Scores It's quite simple, really. Because you control which schools receive which scores, there is absolutely no downside to retaking the test once,…

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Easy Does It: Simple Tips for the ACT Test Taker

If taking the ACT test is in your future, I feel for you--I really do. It is long and challenging and almost everybody who takes it collapses in relief once its over. But besides my sympathy, I have a number of helpful tips that can really take the edge off so that this monster of a test is actually bearable if not downright enjoyable. (Well--I had to try...). It should go without saying that starting your preparation at least three months before the exam…

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The ACT : Raising Scores Opens Doors

When it comes to college planning, there is a reason why ACT prep tutors are key adjuncts to both admissions  counselors and financial advisors.   It is no secret  that competitive to high standardized test scores pave the way for your student applicant to be taken seriously at an increased number of schools. What you may not be aware of, however, is that preferred scores are not a matter of speculation: most institutions of higher learning publicize these golden numbers for the benefit…

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