Why should I care about AP courses and AP exams and SAT Subject Tests?

Good question. Not all schools require these subject-based tests or AP exams and who wants to sit down for an extra exam? Well, think about this a bit more before you make your final registration decisions for next year.  The most important part of your college applications is how your academic transcript presents your case.  You want to get the best grades you can — of course. But don’t forget that the rigor of your courses is important as well.  Taking honors and AP courses (if your high school offers these) is a great way of showing colleges that you are a serious student and that you want to challenge yourself by taking courses that require you to work hard. AP Courses and AP Exams: Not only do high scores on these exams offer students college credit for only the cost of the exam (3-6 credits for under $100 — credit offered varies by college), but also having these courses on your transcript shows you have selected some of the most challenging courses offered at your high school. Think of  AP courses as boot camp for college because the Admissions Officers at your first choice school will do the same. Additionally, some schools have changed their admissions policies regarding standardized testing.  Test-flexible policies allow applicants to submit these AP exam scores in place of SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions application . Schools with this policy include: University of Rochester test flexible policy New York University standardized testing policy Brandeis University SAT Subject tests: These are less well known than AP exams.  Plan to take subject tests in May or June of the year you are taking that subject.  These exams are 60 minutes each and you can take up to three in one session.  While not all schools require these exams your scores will be included on your SAT report to schools.  This is a good way to shine in a particular subject.  For more information click here:  SAT Subject tests. Remember high school is a great time to explore your academic interests and see what you love and where you excel. While you don’t need to take honors, AP, or SAT subject tests in all academic areas, find what you enjoy and try at least one to three more rigorous courses every...
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Are two tests better then one? Plan to take the ACT and the SAT

February. Have you taken the SAT or ACT? These two tests are different and some students like one more than the other. Additionally, some students scores are higher on the one than the other. So try both! While you should check the testing requirements of schools you are interested in–very few schools do not accept scores from either test. Additionally, schools want your best scores so send the scores that show you in the best light. Remember neither test is viewed as the better one to take or a more rigorous option. Take the test that is the better fit for you and remember you will not know which is the better one for you unless you try...
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Get to the Root of your Financial Aid Package

Financial aid packages are confusing. The line items can look innocuous but you need to look more closely at the underlying roots to learn the long term implications. Loans have varying (and variable) interest rates, work-study funds are not credited to your bill, and sometimes (but not always) there is a difference between academic scholarships and grant–to name a few of the complexities.


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Visiting schools over break?

Don’t be locked out because you call late.  Tours and informational sessions fill up early during high school breaks. Call now to reserve your space–you can always cancel if your plans change.   Photo credit: Locked Out or In by jkirkhart35, on...
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