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Parents: Take the SAT Challenge!
I keep a box of tissues on the table where I instruct because
As an SAT tutor and college application consultant, I’m listening
high school juniors and seniors who are so overwhelmed
under the pressure of college that they start crying. Not just girls. Not
just Ivy League aspirants.
High school students are always convinced by their parents
can’t understand them. This time the students are right.
Parents don’t understand because college admissions
the process is much more competitive than it was then
most parents applied to college.
These are the ten things I want to tell parents:
1. I am convinced that parents must walk a mile
student moccasins to gain recognition
to reverse the stress and tension students are under
Home. When parents take an SAT practice test, they feel
some of the same anxiety, cringe about their results and
discover that the test is difficult. Instead of piling on 25 lbs
SAT study books on the desk, parents can sympathize
with students about outstanding issues. Parents and students
can become allies rather than adversaries
college admissions process.
2. Hire SAT prep tutors who focus on the applicable
academic material, not just gimmicks. By increasing a
the student’s academic preparation for the test in addition
teaching them tricks will increase their confidence in the test
and in the classroom; teaching only the tricks he does
students are more insecure because they rely on tricks
not to actual knowledge.
3. Let the tutors keep the parents informed about everything
session so that the parent monitors progress with the tutor
rather than pestering the student for information.
4. Have the student attempt the ACT. All higher education institutions accept it and
some students do better on it than on the SAT.
5. Make learning fun. For example, students
memorize vocabulary using Vocabulary Cartoons
by Sam Burchers et al. Also, let the student do it
crosswords and other word puzzles in SAT Vocabulary
Express, a fun word puzzle book that boosts the SAT
grades. I co-wrote it with nationally known Michael Ashley
puzzle for our students to learn to play with words,
an important skill for the new SAT.
6. Emphasize getting good grades rather than a good SAT
grades. Honors Bds are better than regular ones
7. Hire an independent college counselor who works
brainstorm with your family to create a realistic college list
essay topics, set deadlines for the student and check
all college applications. High School College Counselors
are overworked and do not have time to walk with their families
through the process.
8. Realize that the schools parents attended may not be
within reach of your child. High school number
the number of students planning to enter college has increased
dramatically; a student may be well qualified a
to a particular college and still may not get in.
9. Look for colleges where the student thrives
academically and socially. Choosing universities accordingly
their name recognition and prestige value is a formula that
increases stress, not reduces it. Everyone else wants to
to go to these schools as well, making it even more difficult to get them
in; they may not be the best place for the student.
Loren Pope’s book “Colleges That Change Lives” is good
a place to start.
10. Support your child through a difficult process. leave
prodding, nagging and yelling at the tutors and the college
advisor. An independent college counselor says
the student to work harder so that the parent doesn’t have to. Why
ruin a student’s final year at home?
Parents can make decisions to make senior year not like this
full of anxiety that family members will start avoiding everyone
other. And I hate it when my students cry.
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