Requesting ACT Accommodations

If you’re a student prepping for the ACT and need accommodations for the test, make sure you prepare well in advance since ACT has changed the way accommodations are submitted. In the past, students have submitted a request through ACT.  However, to request accommodations now, students need to work with

Building a High School Resume

A high school resume is not just a document; it’s a reflection of your journey, experiences, and potential. Building a strong high school resume can open doors to college admissions, scholarships, and future opportunities. In this blog, we’ll explore the essential steps to create a compelling high school resume that

The Struggles of a Shrinking ACT Score

The Struggles of a Shrinking Average ACT Score: Adverse Effects on College-Bound Students and how Test Prep Can Help. The landscape of college admissions has recently seen a significant shift, with the average ACT score plummeting to 19.5. This change has brought about unforeseen challenges for students preparing to embark

Planning Ahead

In a prior blog, we wrote about what we at GSP consider the Top 10 Test Prep Traps that students and parents can fall into. The first item on that list was “taking the test too early” – before the end of sophomore year. But, understandably, as many parents (and

ACT Score Percentiles

The ACT is one of the most popular standardized tests in the country, and its scores are used by colleges and universities to determine whether you are eligible for admission. Once you receive your scores, you may be wondering how you compared to everyone else who took the ACT.  ACT

Preparation is the Key to Success

Preparation is the Key to Success Whether you’re taking your ACT, SAT, AP tests or your History final, when it comes to education and testing, preparation is the key to success.  Here are some ways to be prepared for any class or test: 1)      Get organized. Have a dedicated binder

Short-falls of Test Optional Policy

Short-falls of Test Optional Policy – Data Driven Approaches Benefit All Students The newly popularized test optional policy seems super enticing to the average high schooler. No more testing anxiety, or stress over getting the highest score possible, or countless hours devoted to studying and taking practice tests. But despite

Summer College Prep

Summer College Prep! For many students summer means swimming pools, barbecues, camping trips, and general relaxation. For the class of 2024, however, summer is the ideal time to write essays and complete college applications. Imagine, if you will, going back to high school in August. It’s your senior year. You’re

Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Affirmative action in college admissions has been a topic of debate and discussion for many years. With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina cases, affirmative action in college admissions has been decided. In this blog post,

My College Application Process

My college application process was pretty chaotic- I ended up applying to 19 schools. I thought applying everywhere I was even remotely considering would give me the best spread of options when it came time to make a decision. Instead, I found myself spread way too thin, and I ended

College Scholarship Search

Where and when should students apply for scholarships? Generally, students should begin applying for scholarships in the summer between their junior and senior year. Starting the process in the summer gives students the ability to organize their thoughts, research which scholarships they qualify for and start thinking about who to

Between Sophomore and Junior Year

The summer between sophomore and junior year is an important time for high school students to focus on their academic and personal growth. Here are some things that students should consider focusing on during this time: Preparing for Standardized Tests: Students should consider using the summer to prepare for standardized

2023-24 SAT Test Dates

CollegeBoard (Creator of the SAT) has rolled out the anticipated 2023-24 SAT Test Dates. Registration deadlines, deadline for changes, regular cancellation, and late registration have not yet been announced. However, now is a great time to start thinking about which test dates may be a good fit for you. Take

ACT Test Dates for 2023-2024

Planning for the ACT is the key to success, which is why it’s important to know which test date is right for you. Test dates for 2023-2024 were released by last week along with the regular registration deadline, late registration deadline + late fees, and the photo upload and

Advice for the Upcoming Digital SAT

The SAT is currently in the process of transitioning from its current format to a new digital version. Here are some key facts about the timeline of the change and how it might impact your (or your student’s) prep process.  For more information about the difference between the two tests,

How Different Is the New Digital SAT?

How Different Is the New Digital SAT? The SAT is currently in the process of transitioning from its current format to a new digital version. Here are some key facts about the difference between the two tests. For more information about the timeline of the change and how it might

What is ACT Prep?

What is ACT Prep? ACT prep refers to the process of preparing for the ACT exam, which is a standardized test used by many colleges and universities in the United States to evaluate a student’s readiness for higher education. ACT stands for American College Testing, and the exam consists of

Bright Flight Program for Missouri Students

The Bright Flight Program is a great way for Missouri students to get a head start on their college education. It’s a scholarship program that can help students pay for school, and it’s available at all levels: community colleges and four-year universities alike. Bright Flight is based on your ACT

Are ACT Prep Classes Worth It?

Are ACT Prep Classes Worth It? The answer is: it depends on your goals. This course is designed for students who enjoy a small classroom setting (between 3-6 students) and feel comfortable learning with a other students scoring in a similar ACT range, specifically between a 19-26 composite score. With that taken

Planning for the Week Leading Up to the Test

The week leading up to the ACT can be very stressful. Here are some tips for focusing on the most important things to help ensure your success! Sleep. I know, you’ve got a thousand things to do and it’s Simply. Not. Possible. But here’s the truth: there are an immutable

Early Decision or Regular Decision?

Early decision or regular decision? What is the difference, and which one is right for me? You’re not alone if you aren’t quite sure which one is going to be a good fit for you. Let’s break it down. Is Early Decision For You? Early decision deadlines vary slightly, with

How to Ask for Recommendations

It’s that time! Time to start thinking about and asking for recommendations. Many colleges require two recommendations; some even require three! Additionally, while a college may not require a recommendation for admission, it may require one for scholarships. A recent article on the College Admission Book website gives three key

The Infamous 30 ACT Composite Score

Everyone wants the infamous 30 ACT composite score. Why does every student desire a 30 on their ACT?  Just to say they have a 30? What does a 30 composite score actually get you?  More scholarships? Entry into a highly selective school? The ability to say you scored a 30? 

SAT Releases Test Dates ’22-’23

If you have your mind set on taking the SAT, CollegeBoard has released all the 2022-2023 test dates available to students. Registration is open for all students for the 2022 SAT dates and will be open for spring 2023 dates in the fall. Take a look at the test dates

College Entrance Exams: How colleges know what you scored

If I were to ask 10 different families about the submission process of their student’s ACT or SAT results, I would almost certainly get an equal number of different answers.  How do you know what will be seen by admission professionals and what won’t!?  My philosophy, always assume the college(s)

ACT and SAT Myths

Periodically we hear ACT and SAT myths circulating around the Kansas City area, some related to us by parents, others related to us by our students. We’ve collected a few of them here – some to roast, some to verify as truth, but mostly to inform about disinformation. We hope

Demonstrated Financial Need

There are hundreds of phrases surrounding college applications and financial aid, but one in particular has been circulating recently which is, Demonstrated Financial Need. Cost of Attendance (COA) minus (-) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals (=) Demonstrated Financial Need. The term, “demonstrated financial need” is basically the difference between the

ACT Releases Test Dates for 2022-2023

If you like planning ahead as much as we do, then you are in luck since ACT just released test dates for the 2022-2023 calendar year. See below. There are a couple of test dates left for this calendar year including April 2nd, June 11th and July 16th. Next up

Setting A Goal

It’s one of the main questions we ask every single one of our students before we start any kind of ACT prep. What’s your goal? Why do you want that goal? Is it because you’re trying to get into a certain college or are you trying to obtain a scholarship?

ACT Testing Accommodations

At Get Smarter Prep, we understand some students may have testing accommodations to be used on the ACT. Our tutors are happy to allow those accommodations with proof of official ACT accommodations, IEP documentation or 504 plan.  We will honor those accommodations on the ACT Practice Test, Midterm, and Final

More Changes to the SAT

CollegeBoard made the announcement that they will make the transition to the digital SAT at international test centers in March of 2023 and at U.S. schools and test centers in spring of 2024. What stays the same and what will change? The digital SAT will continue to measure the knowledge

Get Smarter Prep Under New Ownership

We would like to inform our students and families about the transfer of ownership of Get Smarter Prep. We have been eagerly waiting to inform all of you that Wally Ventures, LLC. has sold the property of Get Smarter Prep to Caleb and Molly Pierce. There will be few changes

Get Smarter Prep Partners with Tamara Day

Get Smarter Prep today announced a new partnership with Tamara Day. This partnership will help local students and parents meet and exceed their goals for college by learning proper techniques and methods to study better, retain knowledge, and prepare for their future. “We are thrilled to work with the Day

When to START preparing for the ACT

When should I start preparing for the ACT? That’s a great question and it’s different for everyone for a multitude of reasons, but for this blog’s sake, we are going to generalize when students should start the process. There are a number of ACT test dates throughout the year, and

ACT Prep

It’s that time of the year again. School is starting, students are getting back into the swing of things, the weather is starting to cool down (okay maybe yet not in the Kansas City metro) and students are starting to think about the next step towards college. To be honest,

Scholarship Winners

One of our favorite ways to give back to the Kansas City area is offering local students the chance to succeed no matter what school they attend or where they come from. In fact, it’s so important to us that we partnered with another local organization that does the same

Common App Essay Update

If there is one thing the pandemic has taught nearly everyone, it’s that there is room in your life to focus on other people. Be outward focused. Get groceries for your elderly neighbor. Self-isolate if you’re feeling sick. Be nice and say kind things to others. Reflect on what you

Choosing the ACT, SAT or Both

Choosing the ACT, SAT or Both This debate may be familiar to many of you. ACT? SAT? Both? Some students and families enter junior year with a perfectly clear answer to those questions, but the reasons behind those decisions may be less clear. Do any of these sound familiar? He’ll

PSAT Prep?

PSAT Prep?  This is the time of year that parents come back from vacation to the reality of standardized tests.  Many have just received their child’s PSAT scores.  Here’s one Rockhurst parent’s email to us: “My son, a junior, just got his PSAT scores and is pretty heartbroken about his

ACT Releases National Test Dates for 2021-2022

If you’re thinking about taking the ACT this fall or really planning ahead and looking at next spring, preparing for the test just got easier for you. just released their National Test Dates for the rest of 2021 and onto 2022. Keep in mind, students will have a registration

Get Smarter Prep Celebrates 15 Years

Get Smarter Prep Celebrates 15 Years Our 15th anniversary officially kicked off in March, and after all these years of helping students get the score they need for the school they want, things are only looking brighter at Get Smarter Prep. As we celebrate this milestone, we have sincere appreciation

Closing the Chapter on 2020

As we near the end of 2020 (finally), I’ve been thinking back on what this year has taught me. If not taught me, then reinforced what I already knew, but needed to work on. I’m sure this list will look different for everyone, but if I had to guess, there

Get Smarter Prep Partners with The Future Of Us

Get Smarter Prep is pleased to announce a partnership with The Future of Us, a local non-profit that provides character-based scholarships to high school students from underfunded and under-acknowledged communities.   Starting in 2021, Get Smarter Prep will provide up to seven scholarships to well-deserving students for either one of


This year has been rough for a thousand reasons! Let’s think about last January, which seems like a million years ago at this point. Students went back to school after Winter Break, some were already prepping for the February ACT, other students were active in sports and living their best

Fall 2020 ACT National Test Schedule

As of June 23rd, ACT has added three new national test dates to the Fall 2020 schedule, creating a total of eight dates available for fall testing. Never before have students had this much availability to take an ACT in a three month period.  ACT sited the changes to “help

ACT Section Retesting Revision

The ACT has announced that the previously-planned September launch of Section Retesting has been postponed. According to ACT, this “will enable us to increase testing capacity for those who need to take the full ACT test.” Due to the cancellation of the April ACT, and many test centers being unable

What’s Next for Students?

With so many things happening this year, you might be left saying, “What’s Next for Students”? 2020 has been the year of change for so many reasons, but many high school Sophomores and Juniors are wondering what are they supposed to do now? Do they take the ACT? If so,

February 25th ACT for Kansas Juniors

There are quite a few ACT dates to choose from throughout the year including the new February 25th test date for Kansas Juniors.  This is actually the second year Kansas has offered a free ACT to all public-school Juniors. Last year, the test date was postponed from the end of

Partnership with Team Cura

Partnership with Team CuraSM Get Smarter Prep is excited to announce a new partnership with Overland Park-based, Team CuraSM. Team CuraSM is a digital education provider specializing in personal brand development for high school athletes that show potential to play at the next level. As a member of their Skills

College Admissions Scandal – Update

It’s been a hot topic since this spring when the story first hit the press, but what’s the latest information in the College Admissions Scandal and what does this mean for parents? When the story first broke about famous actors and uber rich parents buying their way into colleges, everyone

We Are Hiring

If you’ve ever had an inkling to teach others, now is the time to get on board. Get Smarter Prep is hiring tutors. We are always looking for great tutors, but we are starting teacher training the beginning of November. If you want flexible hours with great pay, apply online

A Road Map to Success

High school can be confusing for many reasons, but at Get Smarter Prep, we want the road to success to be clear. That’s why we’ve created a Road Map to Success to help students put their best foot forward and easily navigate the college preparation process. From Middle School to

Should I Take the Writing Portion?

Should I take the Writing portion of the ACT? In short, the answer is yes. The idea of adding another 40 minutes to an already lengthy test isn’t ideal, but we have a few reasons why you should always take the Writing portion of the ACT. Let’s go over what

When is the best time to take the ACT?

When is the best time to take the ACT?   When is the best time to take the ACT? That depends. What do you have going on? The answer is going to be different for everyone. However, we are going to break down every ACT test date to see which

Adversity Score

The College Board is rolling out an adversity score calculating each students’ level of adversity based on a scale from 1 to 100. They named it the Environmental Context Dashboard.  The ECD is designed to provide admissions officers with information about where a student comes from, but is it an

ACT Specific Watches

At Get Smarter Prep, we’ve received a few questions lately about watches designed specifically for use on the ACT and other standardized tests. At first glance, these devices might seem useful. They’re intended to help you track how many minutes you have left in a section and which question or

Running Out of Time

It’s a common occurrence when taking the ACT. If you’re like most students, you struggle to finish different sections of the ACT or maybe even struggle to finish every section! You’re not alone.  There are a lot of questions and this is a timed test, so time management is key

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions Everybody has them, but how long do they keep them? New Year’s Resolutions are pretty standard for most people. Everyone who makes them is bound and determined to keep their resolutions for the entirety of the year. However, if you ask those same people how their resolutions

Does a High ACT Score = Freshman Year Success?

Standardized testing, such as the ACT, is a major factor in the college planning process. Most colleges require either an ACT or SAT before considering admission to their schools. Does a higher ACT score mean you’ll have more success your first year in college?   A higher ACT score may

Practice Test FAQ’s

Families often ask whether it’s OK to use a different test as a baseline – something besides the free practice test that we offer. The answer to that question is long and complicated, but the short version is that we offer free practice tests because we think they’re incredibly useful

Your Guide to Creating a Test Plan

Preparing for your future is intimidating and most students have no clue how to start the college planning process. At Get Smarter Prep, we want to help you prepare for college with an easy, step-by-step guide to help navigate students through the process. We want to make this as simple

Choosing the Right College for You

With so many different choices, the decision of where to spend the next phase of your life can be a little overwhelming. Create a list of criteria and rank them by importance; use this to guide your search and narrow down the school that is right for you. Don’t know

Making A Great Persuasive Essay

Nerves abound as the teacher walks through the room.  Every student waiting anxiously, stirring in their seats as names are called out one by one. Finally, your name is called; stiffening as your paper lands on your desk, you gasp. One glance at all the red ink and your heart

Which College Majors Have the Best ROI?

Whether or not you choose to go to college and earn a 4 or 5-year degree is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. There is, however, a smarter way to look at the college debt you will accrue and how to graduate college with a

ACT Extended Time Changes

For the last few years, ACT’s National Extended Time policy has been full of changes. Beginning in 2016, the ACT began providing students with an open, self-paced 5-hour block to complete their test (or a 6-hour block with the optional Writing). In the 2017-2018 school year, ACT moved to separate

Why We Offer Free Practice Tests

At Get Smarter Prep we offer a FREE SAT or ACT Practice Test almost every Saturday. This isn’t new. We’ve always offered free practice tests. Establishing a baseline score for the ACT and SAT is the best place to start in the process of preparing for an official ACT. Unlike

One Point Improvement?

  “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” – Warren Buffet Most high school students taking the ACT test have a certain goal in mind for their composite score. Of course, each student has different variables for their specific situation such as, automatic college admittance, scholarships, reach schools, etc. 

Planning for College in the Summer

Most students look forward to summer simply because there’s no homework, no tests to study for, and it’s sunny and nice out! Whatever your reason is to love summer, there may be a gently nagging in the back of your mind that you have a ton left to do to

Is Private Tutoring Right for You?

How do you know if private tutoring is right for you? What about classes or tutoring with a group of friends?  There are a few items we need to look at before deciding which type of tutoring is a perfect fit for you. Private Tutoring One-on-One Tutoring is perfect for

Scholarship Winner Jumps 7 points on the ACT

“This win is Bella’s future,” said Dawn Heckert, mother of our scholarship winner, Annabelle Heckert. Dawn has won her fair share of giveaways and raffles throughout the years. When she found out the essay piece she wrote for Get Smarter Prep’s scholarship contest was in fact what we selected, she

To The Class of 2020

Your Sophomore Year is most likely going to be awesome!  You may start to think about college in the aspect that it’s not too far away and you have to start to prepare soon, but nothing really has to be done right now…right?!?  Actually, now is the perfect time to

Realistic Expectations

When you think about the ACT, what do you imagine? Do you picture a calm setting, pencil in hand, calculator charged, and the feel of confidence rushing over you? Or, do you picture standing in line, calculator out of batteries, rumbling stomach, and the weariness of an impending test? Both

College Abroad? Does It Make Sense for You?

Many of us have dreamt about attending college abroad at one point or another. The food, the sights, the experiences.  But is it a reality? If it is a reality, how much does it cost compared to a degree here in the states?  In the United States, a “moderate” college

Top 5 reasons to take the December ACT Test

Many high school students debate which ACT test date is the “right” test date for them. And although there may be not be a “right or wrong” answer, Get Smarter Prep has a five strong reasons why we like the December ACT better than others. Reason #1: We do this

Attending College in Europe

Attending College in Europe

Dealing with Stress While in College

Source: Blog

Last Minute Tips for AP Exams

Spring semester is rushing by, and AP exams are just around the corner. How prepared do you feel? While there isn’t a ton of time remaining, here are some tips for earning your best score! First, make sure you’re familiar with the structure of each test. Some teachers spend more

The GRE, GMAT, and LSAT – Which Test to Take?

In the past, deciding which exam to take in preparation for graduate level education was relatively straightforward: the GMAT for business school, the LSAT for law school, and the GRE for almost everything else. However, more recently, more business schools have begun to accept the GRE in addition to the

How to Plan a College Visit

Source: Blog

Debunking Common Testing Myths – Part 1/3

We’ve all been exposed to a variety of folklore at one point or another. Whether we were exploring the Scottish roots of the Loch Ness Monster, sitting around a campfire telling stories about how Big Foot uses logs for toothpicks, or dreading the day we lost a tooth and we

ACT, SAT, or Both? Deciding which Path is Best

This debate may be familiar to many of you. ACT? SAT? Both? Some students and families enter junior year with a perfectly clear answer to those questions, but the reasons behind those decisions may be less clear. Do any of these sound familiar? He’ll take the ACT, of course. He

A Resolution to Read More

A Resolution to Read More Reading skills are critical to success on standardized tests. While that is hardly the most important or convincing reason to read more, it’s one that is particularly interesting to us at Get Smarter Prep. According to the American Library Association, students who read for fun

Making the Most of Winter Break

Finally, winter break has arrived! There is time to breathe, to sleep, and to think. Also to study, spend time with friends and family, travel… a Winter Break To-Do List can become rather unwieldy, especially if you don’t have a clear plan. But managed carefully, winter break can provide the

You Received Your PSAT Scores. Now What?

The PSAT occupies a strange in-between place in the world of standardized testing. In terms of admissions, the PSAT doesn’t “count.” Colleges will only ask for your ACT or SAT scores. For most students (where most equals 97%) the PSAT doesn’t do much anything at all. It’s just practice. It

The Hazards of Anecdotal Advice

Preparing for the ACT or SAT can seem daunting. Often, people instinctively turn to friends or online articles for advice. While some guidance from these sources is helpful, it’s important to examine the limitations of students who could be referencing an outdated version of the test, whose only knowledge of

4 Steps to Begin Your Scholarship Search

College is a huge investment. While the benefits of higher education are undeniable, another truth is just as evident. College is expensive. Given this reality, scholarships can be a college student’s best friend; after all, it’s money you don’t have to pay back! When it comes to college scholarship applications,

An Opportunity You Haven’t Considered: Studying in the UK

The arrival of Fall means football, cool weather, and pumpkin spice lattes.  It also means it is time for seniors to start applying to colleges, and for juniors to realize that they will need to know where they want to apply.  For many people, that will mean taking I-70 west

Test-Optional Schools: Just how optional are those test scores?

Since the spring of 2015, 44 colleges have made the decision to drop the requirement of college admission test scores from their application process. According to FairTest, this brings the total number of test-optional colleges and universities to over 850. Unfortunately, it seems this growing trend in higher education holds

ACT Explains their Essay Scores

ACT has released a document hoping to clear up the misconceptions, titled “ACT Research Explains New ACT Test Writing Scores and Their Relationship to Other Test Scores.” I don’t want to ruin this delightful saga for you, but you should know going on: there is no relationship. Beyond that, ACT

Colleges and New SAT Scores

If you’ve given much attention to the new SAT/ACT concordance put out by College Board, you may have noticed that the old and new SAT scores don’t really line up the way you might expect. Scores are back on a 1600 scale instead of 2400, but that may not be

ACT & New SAT Compared

Section breakdown of the ACT & New SAT Compared (including breaks): ACT Revised SAT English – 75 questions, 45 minutes Reading – 52 questions, 65 minutes Math – 60 questions, 60 minutes Break – 10 minutes Break – 10 minutes Writing and Language – 44 questions, 35 minutes Reading –

The ‘Perfect’ College Essay

You’ve probably heard or read about Delaware high school senior Brittany Stinson’s much-lauded Costco-themed college admissions essay. Stinson was admitted to Yale, Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Stanford, among other schools. That impressive list of acceptances and her unique and clever essay have combined to form some tantalizing headlines: This

ACT Essay Score Issues

Have you noticed a discrepancy between your ACT multiple-choice scores and your Writing score? You’re not alone. Since the new essay debuted in September, students have been frustrated and alarmed by low essay scores. The concordance between the old and new essay scores equates an old 8/12 with a new

PSAT Results

PSAT results are finally released, about a month after they were initially expected. While some students are still having difficulty accessing their scores, those who have been able to get in have been confronted with scores that look quite different from previous PSATs. Total PSAT scores are between 320 and

Tips for Second Semester of Junior Year

Second semester of junior year is a stressful time for most students. In fact, it might be the most stressful semester of high school. I don’t want to add too many things to your likely-unending to-do list, but here are a few important things to consider including in the whirlwind

ACT Scores Released

December ACT Scores (for most students) have been released! Whether your scores are higher than expected or lower than you’d hoped, we have some tips for coming up with your next steps. Don’t freak out. If you prepared for the December ACT and didn’t get the score you were expecting,

Dealing with Deferrals

If you submitted any Early Decision or Early Action applications this fall, you have probably received the college’s response: yes, no, or “maybe.” Deferrals are very common, and at many schools they outweigh both the “yes” and “no” groups. (That is, when a school even has a “no” pile for

Winter Break Time Management

Winter break is fast approaching, and you’ve probably got serious plans. Maybe you’ve got ACT prep to do or college applications to (finally) complete or volunteer work or rehearsals or practice or family projects…it’s all doable, right? Until suddenly you’ve got two days left until class begins and it feels

College Interview Tips

College Interview Tips Most students will not be required to complete an interview as part of their college application process. However, many schools offer interviews, some going so far as to “strongly encourage” applicants to complete one – online, on campus, or in person with an alumni representative. Some scholarships

Social Media in Admissions

Will that post come back to haunt you? According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, “Certain violations on social media have the potential to completely end an applicant’s case for admission.” Depending on where you apply, the chances that your online presence will be scrutinized vary significantly. Some schools just don’t have

Guessing on Standardized Tests – LotD-R

Guessing on Standardized Tests – Letter of the Day Strategy Many tutors use various strategies when it comes to guessing on the ACT – one of the most common strategies is the Letter of the Day Strategy. With this approach, if a student comes across a question that they don’t

Tips for Surviving College Essays

Tips for Surviving College Essays Brace yourselves, kids! The Common Application went live on August 1. Of course, you already knew that. You’ve been chomping at the bit to get a peek at this year’s supplements for your top choice schools. Right? Right. Of course, the Common App prompts have

Changes to the SAT

College Board has released four practice versions of the new, redesigned SAT. The revised test will be rolled out beginning with the 2015 PSAT this fall; the new SAT will begin in March of 2016. More information will continue to become available as we move closer to those dates (for

Tips for a Successful School Year, Part II

Tips for a successful school year Summer vacation has come and gone, and whether you’ve spent the last three months watching Netflix in your bedroom or volunteering in Haiti, now is the time to focus on setting goals for the upcoming school year. Regardless of where you’re at in your

Tips for a Successful School Year, Part I

Tips for a Successful School Year Summer vacation has come and gone, and whether you’ve spent the last three months watching Netflix in your bedroom or volunteering in Haiti, now is the time to focus on setting goals for the upcoming school year. Regardless of where you’re at in your

Facts about Rolling Admissions

If a college or university lists a “rolling” admissions deadline, they process applications as they receive them, instead of waiting until a fixed deadline and processing them all at once. Applying to a school with rolling admissions can provide a host of potential benefits, but many students may not look

Gap Year – Thoughts on Taking a Year Off

If I’d told my parents that I wanted to spend a year doing some other stuff before starting college, they would have freaked out. American culture is go, go, go, succeed, succeed, succeed – taking a break is seen as a sign of weakness. Americans have less vacation time than

CLEP Tests

CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. CLEP is a group of tests offered by College Board (maker of the SAT, as well as those delightful AP tests you’re so looking forward to). One of the major differences between AP tests and CLEP tests are that CLEP tests are often

Overcoming Testing Anxiety

It’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous before a test. Actually, a small amount of stress can be beneficial to you, as it drives you to prepare well and can help you maintain your focus. But for some students, the stress associated with testing becomes overwhelming and hinders their

Top 10 Test Prep Traps Part III

Top 10 Test Prep Traps Part III  At GSP, we understand that the amount of information floating around in the world about how to prepare to take your test(s), which test(s) to prepare for, etc., can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, some of it is also terrible advice! Here are some of

Top 10 Test Prep Traps, Part II

Top 10 Test Prep Traps Part II At GSP, we understand that the amount of information floating around in the world about how to prepare to take your test(s), which test(s) to prepare for, etc., can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, some of it is also terrible advice! Here are some of

Top 10 Test Prep Traps Part I

Top 10 Test Prep Traps – Part 1 of 3 At GSP, we understand that the amount of information floating around in the world about how to prepare to take your test(s), which test(s) to prepare for, etc., can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, some of it is also terrible advice! Here

Rankings vs. Fit, Part IV

Rankings vs. Fit Part IV In this series, Audrey dissects a recent debate over the merits of Ivy League Universities which has opened up a much broader and more important conversation – one about choosing colleges and the importance of looking beyond selectivity and rankings when choosing a school. This

Why I Work at Get Smarter Prep

Why I Work at Get Smarter Prep When I came to Get Smarter Prep (GSP) three years ago, I was a few months out of grad school. I had luckily landed a position as an adjunct professor at a local community college, but “adjunct” is a fancy word for “part-time.”

Rankings vs. Fit Part III

Rankings vs. Fit Part III In this series, Audrey dissects a recent debate over the merits of Ivy League Universities which has opened up a much broader and more important conversation – one about choosing colleges and the importance of looking beyond selectivity and rankings when choosing a school. This

Rankings vs. Fit Part II

Rankings vs. Fit Part II In this series, Audrey dissects a recent debate over the merits of Ivy League Universities which has opened up a much broader and more important conversation – one about choosing colleges and the importance of looking beyond selectivity and rankings when choosing a school. This

Rankings vs. Fit Part I

Rankings vs. Fit Part I In this series, Audrey dissects a recent debate over the merits of Ivy League Universities which has opened up a much broader and more important conversation – one about choosing colleges and the importance of looking beyond selectivity and rankings when choosing a school. This

Baylor University

Name: Baylor University College: College of Arts and Sciences Major: University Scholars Program 1. What first drew you to Baylor University? What first drew me to Baylor was that they offered me a full tuition scholarship, otherwise I never would have visited campus.  However, I’m glad I did because Baylor

Fun Facts about Audrey Hazzard

1) I’ve visited 42 states and 23 U.S. National Parks. I love road trips! 2) I love to write, and I try to participate in National Novel Writing Month every year. My first year, after finishing a (very) rough draft during the month of November, I printed it out and

Randolph College

Name: Audrey Hazzard College: Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) Major: Economics/International Studies   1. What first drew you to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College? My mom attended RMWC, and I grew up hearing stories of her adventures and the traditions unique to the school (Ring Week, Stomps, Pumpkin Parade). While I considered a

Extracurricular Activities and College Application

Extracurricular Activities and College Application It is general knowledge that college admissions officers first look at test scores, grades, and the rigor of courses students take in high school. However, what are also important in the admissions process are a student’s extracurricular activities. Students are a representative of the college

Classes or Private Tutoring?

Not only do we help students decide whether they should take the ACT or SAT, we also help them decide the best tutoring option for them. Should a student be in a private tutorial or a class? After the question about which test to take, which is by far the most

A Short History of Get Smarter Prep

With a strong reputation among our local schools and having helped thousands of families in the greater Kansas City area achieve the scores they needed for the schools they wanted, one might think Get Smarter has been around for ages.  This month we put another academic year behind us and

Six Reading Tips for Online

Some time ago an article suggested that yes, indeed, the Internet had not just changed the way we read, but the way we remember.  As someone who never saw anything wrong with the “old ways” of reading, I hope to offer some correctives to unfortunate trends in our society, to

Un-learning Our Learning Process

One of the trickiest parts of working with the ACT and SAT is not only helping students improve, but also helping their families deconstruct their preconceptions about the exams.  These exams have become ubiquitous with college admissions – yet all too often, we are not approaching them in the most

Make the Most of Your High School Summers: 4.5 Tips

We are in that magical final month of the school year.  APs start next week, Finals not long after.  And then, some rest.  Or not.  Summer is something so many families and students get wrong and we want to help our readers get it right.  Here are 4.5 guidelines to

What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

The International Baccalaureate program has its advocates and its critics.  Some see it as a “more global” version of the Advanced Placement (AP) program.  Some see it as “too global,” thereby undermining a unique American flavor to education in this country.  Beyond these considerations, of course, is the actual IB

ACT vs. SAT – Is one more accepted?

ACT vs. SAT – Is one more accepted? For many years, I had to assure parents that the school their child was considering actually did accept the ACT.  The parents were working from experience bias. The ACT was almost unknown when they attended college and many colleges didn’t even require

Fun Facts about Boomer Jenkins

1.  I was a very accomplished handbell (weird musical instrument that Lutherans play in church mostly) player in high school and was offered a scholarship to play in the best collegiate choir. 2.  I had a tremendous hairstyle through high school and part of college.  It is immortalized on my

The Willingness-Strategy-Increase Correlate

The Willingness-Strategy-Increase Correlate – It happens quite frequently – parents ask me how students can improve their test scores.  Well, from my observations of thousands of students, there tends to be an integral combination of student effort and the mastery of the methods, as well as the structure, of the

Get Smarter Prep Teacher Training

No one who has ever made test prep a big part of his/her life “went to college” for it.  There is no “test prep” major.  Test prep is the art and science of understanding a test inside and out and being able to successfully communicate those ins and outs to

Benefits of Test Prep

You’ve spent countless years in school studying for tests and exams, writing papers, and doing group projects. You may be with aplomb that your grades can secure you that spot in your dream university and that you have just enough extracurricular activities on your resume, however there still is that

Fun Facts about Caleb Pierce

Fun Facts about Caleb Pierce 1. In fifth grade, I was the lead in A Christmas Carol.  Apparently, as a ten year old, I made a pretty good old man! 2. I have been on two “Baseball Trips” with my brothers and dad.  Including those trips – I’ve been to

Why Studying Abroad Will Change Your Life

A major part of the college experience which is so often thought of as “optional” was a big part of how I actually picked my university. From a very early age I knew that study abroad would be an unparalleled opportunity to live and breathe in another culture, without missing

Picking a Major

I recently had a conversation with one of my students about picking her major.  She had gotten into her first choice school based, in large part, upon her test score, but was now trying to pick her field of study. “I want to study psychology, but everyone tells me I

Is Grad School now “expected”?

Is Grad School now “expected”? While almost all of our seniors have long since turned in their applications to college, there are some of our former students who are now college seniors who are looking at their final semester. They are about to enter the workforce…or are they? We’ve all

Which School is Right for You: Two Big Factors

Which School Is Right For You? You’ve studied and you’ve prepared, but what comes next? Determining what colleges to apply to and attend is difficult as there are so many factors to consider. Which school is right for you?  At Get Smarter Prep, we aim to help you achieve your

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Name: Caleb Pierce College: MidAmerica Nazarene University Major: Chemistry 1. What first drew you to MidAmerica Nazarene University? I was focused on smaller schools with solid results in helping students get into Medical School (obviously my plans changed). As a serious added bonus, I was recruited for both football and baseball

GSP and UMKC Partner

GSP and UMKC Partner As a recent alumnus of the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law and a current employee of Get Smarter Prep, I was thrilled to learn that the two were finally going to partner up for an LSAT class. To me, it seemed a

Finals in College

Finals in College Unlike in most high schools, finals in college are spread out across a week’s time, with each class getting assigned a particular day and time. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have two finals on one day, but it does mean that you’ll have significantly more time

Springtime for Sophomores

Seniors have heard back from their schools and are finalizing their college choice in preparation for the May 1 deadline. Juniors are taking the ACT or SAT, SAT subject tests, and AP exams. Those two grades have clearly defined paths to college, but what about Sophomores? While spring of sophomore

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