ACT Prep

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 can positively do for other people and be thankful for what others do for you.

Common App has certainly taken this into consideration when creating a new essay prompt.

“Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?”

They retired the seldom used option about solving a problem.

Here’s what Common App President & CEO Jenny Rickard has to say, “Particularly at this challenging time, we can help students think about something positive and heartfelt in their lives,” she explains. “And we can do it explicitly.”

Below is the full set of essay prompts for 2021-2022.

 

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

If you have “extra” time in the summer or on the weekends, take a look at the essay prompts and start thinking of your response. Once you’ve thought about it, quickly jot your thoughts down. From there, take a few more minutes to mindfully construct a paragraph. Once it’s time to sit down and write your essay, you will already have a good portion of the essay already written. After that, it’s only a matter of fine tuning before you have a beautifully written essay.

If you need help crafting a well written essay, our college experts are here to help. Learn more about college essay writing here

 

ACT Standard Course – What You Can Expect

Our Standard ACT Preparation Course is taught by the most qualified instructors of any company in the region and focused on a smaller, more cohesive group. Get Smarter Prep students consistently find results through our tried and true curriculum. This course includes 20 hours of instruction, 3 practice tests, and Office Hours with an instructor, leading right up to the actual test date. We will provide all of the materials necessary.

Standard Prep Course

Classes are capped at 8 students, but in general, we like to hold a class with 4-6 students to make sure we have more of a small classroom feel. That way our students have more access to their tutor and feel more comfortable asking questions as well as speaking up in class. All the students in the class are scoring within the same ACT range of 17-23 (the 33rd-69th percentiles) and will be learning at the same pace. 

Schedule

Each week the students will be meeting at the same location (either our Mission or Leawood location) at the same time. Schedules are posted on our website and both students and their parents will get an email confirming their schedule.

For each course, there will be 20 hours of instruction split up by ten, 2-hour sessions. Students will also be given three practice tests. Starting with a Pretest to establish a baseline score, a Midterm to determine how far they’ve come with five sessions under their belt, and a Final to see what the students needs to focus on with one session remaining before the official ACT.  The Pretest, Midterm, and Final are all proctored at one of our locations on Saturday mornings.

Materials for the class, which are all provided by Get Smarter Prep, consist of the ACT book and the ACT student manual which contain the students’ homework. Students can plan on average, 1 ½ to 2 hours of homework per session. Tutors will expect all homework to be complete by the student by the next study session.

Office Hours

Office Hours are always available to our students. We offer Office Hours at our Leawood location every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30pm as well as our Mission location every Saturday from 11am-12:30pm. Office Hours are a FREE opportunity for currently enrolled students to ask additional questions, catch-up in sections where they need extra help, work through assigned homework, focus on the timing component, and/or work through additional test questions. 

How Many Points Can A Student Expect to Increase?

Our Standard Course is a perfect fit for those students who are scoring similarly within each section of the ACT. Students who have a six-point difference between their sub scores are a better fit for Private Tutoring as they need more specific help in one area over the other.

On average, students can expect to see a 2-4 point increase in their ACT score within a 10-week window! Keep in mind, students who are present, finish their homework on time, come to Office Hours, and have a good attitude generally score higher than those who don’t.

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 was shocked. Now that there are more details coming out and those same parents facing additional charges, the scandal has become quite the headline.

Charges and Outcomes

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, along with nine other parents, now face additional bribery charges.  Conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy fraud are two charges these families are already facing.  

Some parents are already in prison, including actress Felicity Huffman, who after pleading guilty, received 14 days in a low-security prison for paying $15,000 to increase her daughter’s SAT score by 400 points.

Some parents apparently paid as little as $200,000 and upwards of $6.5 million to have their students admitted to various colleges and universities throughout the United States. A few of those colleges include USC, Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown, and Stanford among others.

Honesty is the best policy

Was it worth it? Of course not. You know what is worth it? Hard work and dedication for starters. There are things in life that will not be handed to you. You simply have to work for it. Getting a good ACT or SAT score is one of those things.

That’s why here at Get Smarter Prep, we offer eight different levels of tutoring to help students study for the ACT. We offer two different ACT courses, Semi-Private Tutoring as well as Private Tutoring with three varying levels of tutors for both Semi-Private and Private Tutoring. Each student is different, that’s why we like to customize tutoring sessions to fit the student.

Our goal with each student is for them to get the score they need for the school they want by them working diligently towards that said score. We help students reach their goals through strategies and knowledge gained from each session with their tutor, completed homework, and attending Office Hours to ask additional questions.

To find out more about the college admissions scandal, listen to our podcast, Simply Smarter, where Premier-Level Tutor, Caleb Pierce and Marketing Director, Jill Purcell unpack the details of the scheme that rocked prestigious colleges and universities across the United States.