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Suniti's Advice Corner

Before & After: Preparing for the ACT

Posted by TestRocker Team on Wed, Jan 04, 2017


While preparing for the SAT and ACT tests sometimes it can feel like you are all alone, but in reality you are in good company. Thousands of other students are going through the same tough but important process as they prepare for the SAT and ACT exams. Thousands of students are just as nervous, excited, and overwhelmed as you – so don’t worry, you’re normal!

As with all challenges it helps to talk to people going through the same experiences. We recently talked with high school student Julia Ryan about her experience preparing for the ACT and SAT tests and how TestRocker helped her do her best. Julia talks about her experience before she took her final ACT test, and about using TestRocker and improving her ACT score.



What were your score improvements?

“TestRocker boosted my ACT score by 4 points, which was incredible! I've never had that big of a score leap in any other standardized tests, so I was definitely super excited about that.”

What were your favorite features of TestRocker?

“I loved the specificity. I loved being able to go through the math section and being like "oh yeah I totally don't remember how to do that part of geometry at all." It made my previous scores make more sense because I could see exactly what I was missing, and then I could dive right into that and sharpen my weakest points.”

How do you feel TestRocker helped you improve your score?

“TestRocker goes right to the core of where you need work and how much work you need, so that helped me improve my score. Instead of just practicing for overall standardized tests, I could see exactly how much work I needed to do in each area in order to get the score I want!”
Julia Ryan on TR ACT.jpg

Julia using TestRocker's ACT Program

Why would you recommend TestRocker to friends?

“TestRocker is unique in comparison to the other ACT and SAT test prep because it targets exactly where you need help. It's completely specific to you, so that's why I recommend it. It's engaging and it keeps you on track in order to test as best you possibly can! I loved it.”

Check out TestRocker for yourself!
Take a free diagnostic test to instantly receive your customized study plan:

Sign up for our free trial

Tags: For Students, sat, act

Is the New SAT easier?

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Tue, Nov 01, 2016

HELLO.pngCutting to the chase, the answer is – it depends on the innate propensity of the student! The test has now been administered three times. TestRocker has had thousands of students prepare and sit for the New SAT as well as for the ACT. 

I have done an analysis of the questions and structure of both the ACT and the New SAT to help my students figure out which test is better suited to their strengths. Here is a summary of some of my findings:

Math Section:

I will say that the Math section of the New SAT is easier for students adept in English because the questions are less convoluted than those in the old SAT. Even in the No-calculator section, a section many students are nervous about, there is a dominance of straightforward algebra questions. Students have seen such questions before in their schoolwork. I would say in terms of content and time pressure, the ACT Math section is harder than that of the New SAT.

Let’s revisit the statement I made about the Math section being easier for students adept in English. The New SAT has added a language burden into the Math Section with the inclusion of text heavy questions. These questions mimic real life situations. Such as, questions about credit cards and interest payments. Students who come from countries or sections of societies where English is a weakness, the Math section can pose a reading and comprehension problem. Students might spend too much time trying to comprehend the question and setting up their equations before getting around to solving them. Thus, it would be hard for them to complete the Math Section in the allotted time.

Another set of students that could find the text heavy math section more burdensome is students with certain learning disabilities. Remember, if you have a learning disability, you are eligible for extra time. You must avail of this facility. The most common type of accommodation granted to a student is 50% extended testing time. Learn more about how secure testing accommodations here.

Reading Section:

The Reading section in the New SAT is easier than before in terms of the level of the text in most passages. However, the passages that relate to US foundation and history documents can have tough language. I would also say the Reading Section is easier than the ACT in terms of time pressure. Whether you’re taking the SAT or the ACT, Speed Reading Strategies are crucial to master. We have taught such strategies thoroughly on TestRocker.

What about vocabulary? Surprisingly, College Board insists that we are not required to learn obscure words anymore (by the way, many students don’t know what ‘obscure’ means). I can tell you that students still need to learn vocabulary because the mature level of some of texts included in the reading section requires the understanding of many obscure words.  Reading and comprehending the text becomes a challenge when students stumble on words they don’t know. Lifting their vocabulary skills will help students to not only read better, but also to write and communicate better.

Writing Section:

The New SAT grammar section is now identical to the ACT grammar section. Both test for knowledge of grammar, punctuation, structure of the passage, and rhetorical skills. The time pressure in the ACT is high in comparison: 75 questions in 45 minutes in the ACT versus 44 questions in 35 minutes.

The essay in the NEW SAT is an analytical essay and is harder to master than the more straightforward argument essay in the ACT. The prompt for the New SAT essay is a mature essay written by a renowned author. Students need to analyze the essay in term of the author’s use of rhetorical skills, and the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s argument. Students cannot give their own opinions. Whereas, the ACT essay is an extension of what it used to be. It is an argument essay where students need to address three given perspectives, and add their own analysis and opinions. So, the ACT has more latitude, while the New SAT essay binds the student into pure analysis of the essay prompt presented.

The above findings can serve as guidelines to help you choose between the New SAT and the ACT. To get an accurate idea of which is the test best suited for you, I would advise you to take TestRocker’s two-minute propensity quiz here.

Good luck!
Your Tutor,

Note: New SAT refers to the SAT test the College Board has been administering since March 2016.

Tags: For Students, sat, act, New SAT

8 to Great! Tips for Passing Your High School Spanish Course

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Wed, Sep 28, 2016

There are endless studies and research proving that studying a foreign e6275a9f41ad8b6f554c84d048be2572.jpglanguage in school is extremely beneficial for reasons beyond just having a strong High School transcript. In fact, the College Board reported that students who complete 4 years of studying a foreign language performed better on the SAT (100 points or higher) than those who did not*! If you are currently in a High School Spanish course, here are some great tips from our friends at Language Bird .

  1. Use N.E.T. time to study

There is a helpful concept, coined by the renowned success coach Tony Robbins, called N.E.T. time. This stands for “No extra time, time.” N.E.T. time is the time taken doing mundane tasks that require little or no mental focus. Examples are exercise, commuting to/from school, going to the bathroom, walking the dog, walking from class to class at school, taking a lunch break, shopping, cooking, etc. These activities add up to HUNDREDS of hours of your life every year. Take advantage of the N.E.T. time in your life and study your class notes simultaneously.

  1. Study your notes out loud.

Science shows by actually saying (Spanish) sentences and words out loud, additional pathways are physically created in your brain that will help you to remember the information!

  1. Use a good accent

Americans are notorious for egregious Spanish accents. This does not have to be you though! You must apply some strategies that will help you to clean it up quickly.

There are many sounds in Spanish that are easy for English speakers to create, but that are simply often ignored. For some reason, students are embarrassed to speak with a more native sounding accent. Perhaps it’s because it feels awkward since it’s different and our peers are all speaking with American accents. Whatever the case, with Spanish sounds that are already easy for you to create, embrace them! If anything, you should be embarrassed when not speaking properly. This will instantly improve your accent dramatically. Here are some examples:

Teléfono - Many students will ignore the accent mark and speak with the accent over the “o.” This has nothing to do with difficulty in saying it correctly. It’s just lazy. Don’t let this be you! Speak as the accents are written and your speech will be more beautiful.

Gracias – Many students will default to the American “r” sound and harsh “a” sound as in “Apple.” Don’t do this! Listen to your instructor and copy them. The “a” sound is more like “ah” and you don’t need to learn to roll your “r” for this words – it’s just one touch of the tongue.

  1. Sit near the good students or solo

Your friends are already the good students? Fantastic! Sit by them. During group conversation exercises their skills will help to push you.

If your friends are not necessarily the top students in the class, of course you will enjoy sitting with them, but we also know that it’s simply a massive distraction. Instead, choose to sit with some other people or at least solo!

  1. Do your homework

This is simple. Just do the work. Homework often counts for a large percentage of your grade and doing the work, even if it’s not all correct, can nearly guarantee you’ll pass the class.

  1. Be brave in class

Make it your mission to raise your hand at least once every class. The instructor will love you! Afraid other students will judge you? Who cares! Let them.

  1. Just ask

Don’t be afraid of asking your teacher questions during and/or after class. Many teachers love it when students are engaged and interested in learning their subject matter and feel honored and excited that you asked. Don’t be shy!

  1. Talk to your counselor

Now is a great time to learn how to advocate for yourself! In college, it will be all up to you, so practice now! This means you need to find help for yourself when you need it before the situation is beyond repair! If you feel like you are falling behind and you don’t know what else you can do, talk to your school counselor or another adult you trust on campus. They can provide suggestions or resources available to you that you may not know about.

Additionally, you can always call LanguageBird if you need!

They are happy to provide you with Spanish courses online with their instructors. You will receive high school credit accepted by colleges all over the U.S. and approved by the University of California and NCAA. 



*based on research shown in The Benefits of Second Language Study

Tags: For Students, For Parents

The Basics of Building Your College List

Posted by Will Geiger on Mon, Jun 20, 2016

Ahh, the college list. This is an essential part of the admissions process that causes much stress for students and parents. At the start of the college search, the list seems impossible to build because there are SO many colleges. How are you supposed to whittle the list down to less than TEN schools? What if you don’t get in anywhere? No need to stress; the process of building a college list can actually be quite manageable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your list of colleges:

college_checklist.jpgBalance: College counselors talk about the idea of “balance” a lot when thinking about the college list. This means that you should have schools on your list that fit into the “reach,” “target,” and “likely” category so you are spreading out risk. What exactly constitutes a reach, target, or likely?

Reaches: These are schools where your grades and test scores are below the average at those scores for admitted students. Note that some schools are reach schools for everyone (such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and other super selective schools). For example, no matter who you are, a college list of just Cornell, Brown, Harvard, and Stanford would not be an appropriate list (even if you are the class valedictorian and have a perfect ACT).

Targets: Schools where you fit squarely into the “average” of grades and test scores for an admitted student.

Likelies: “Likely” schools are those that you have a pretty darn good chance of being admitted. While these schools may not be your absolute first choice, it is necessary to apply to a few. I am a big fan of applying to a likely school or two Early Action (which is not binding), so you can go into your December school break with an acceptance or two in hand.

Apply to schools that you can actually see yourself at:

This is an important thing to keep in mind. There are so many students who apply to schools that they have no intention of attending.  Unfortunately, I have too many conversations like this:

Me: “Why do you want to apply to Stanford/UCLA/USC/etc.? Didn’t you say you wanted to stay on the East Coast?”

Student: “Well, I do, but Stanford/UCLA/USC/etc. sounds cool, and I want to see if I can get in”

Me: “But you have no intention of ever going?”

Student: “Nope”

[I proceed to pull my hair out at this point]

Before you start an application, ask yourself: “could I ever see myself attending this place?” If the answer is “no,” or if you are applying just to see if you can get in, then you should NOT apply to that school.


College affordability is something on the minds of so many students and families nowadays. Affordability is absolutely something to keep in mind when building your list- what good is a college acceptance if you can’t afford it? This is why it is important for families to have an open conversation about financial expectations for college. The Net Price Calculator is a great tool (that is on the financial website of every college) that will give you an estimate of what a need-based financial aid package will look like for your family at a particular college.

If you know that you will need significant need-based financial aid, it is a good move to focus on schools that meet 100% of demonstrated need.

If you will need financial aid (but may not qualify for need-based financial aid), it will be critical to focus on schools that offer merit scholarships. Your in-state public school is another great option if you are in this situation.

About the Author

Will Geiger is the founder of PrepHound, an online platform that guides students through the college admissions process with 1:1 coaching. He is a former admissions officer at Kenyon College and has also worked as a college counselor at a private high school.

More blogs you might be interested in:

6 Things to Consinder When Shortlisting US Colleges as an International Student

5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Test Prep Method

For Parents: How to Support Your Child Through the Test Prep Process

Tags: For Students, For Parents

Should You Take the ACT Again?

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Mon, May 23, 2016

How many times have you walked out of an exam or test and thought "I would do so much better if I could take that test again..." ? The ACT is a test where you can do exactly that. Standardized testing shouldn't be a never ending process. However, unless you scored a 36 on your first ACT attempt, we recommend that you should take it at least once more. 

57% of students who take the ACT more than once get higher scores (source: ACT, Inc). goodbetterbest.jpgWhile you can take the ACT up to 12 times (please don't do that), we suggest you take it 2 or 3 times to get the best possible score. You can then decide which ACT attempt is reported to colleges/universities. No university will penalize you for retaking the ACT - the higher your score, the better it is. 

Do you have the ACT score that will get you into your top choice school and earn you scholarship money? Though it may not seem like a lot, a 1 to 2 point increase in your score can lead to an acceptance letter or a scholarship offer. (TestRocker's average ACT score improvement is 4 points and 78% of our students received scholarship offers in 2016!)
The good news about retaking the ACT:

You don't have to study as much as you did the first time! This time, your preparation should be more targeted because your score report identifies your weaknesses. Or, you can take a Free Diagnostic Test and instantly view your areas of improvement. Score improvements don’t come from repeatedly taking full-length tests; they come from targeting the weaknesses and solidifying your concepts. 

You already know what to expect! The next time you take the ACT, you will feel less anxious and more confident because you know what to expect. This increased confidence will also aid in increasing your score. You know what went well for you, and more importantly, what didn't. There is time to fix the areas where you struggled. 
Speak to our Experts for Free: Receive an in-depth score analysis of your last ACT score report and a plan on how to improve your ACT score:
I Want to Speak to an Expert!


Tags: For Students, For Parents, For Counselors

What You Need to Know About the PreACT

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

Its official: With the roll out of the Redesigned SAT and the new PreACT, 2016 isPreACT.jpg
undoubtedly the year of standardized testing. We all know about the PSAT (the SAT’s little brother); in 2016, we will get to meet ACT’s little sibling: the PreACT. Here are some questions answered about the new test:

What is the PreACT?

The PreACT is a new assessment that will provide college and career readiness information to students at younger ages, similar to the PSAT. The test will mimic the official ACT in terms of scoring, skills tested & content. 

  • It is going to consist of questions from old official ACT tests.
  • It will be scored on the same scale (1-36), but it won’t contain the writing section, since it is optional on the official test.

Who will take the PreACT? When is the PreACT?

The test is going to be available to students in the 10th grade through schools and districts who choose to offer the test beginning the Fall of 2016.

Why is the PreACT important?

Test Readiness Indicator – The test is important because it will give you a good indication of what kind of score you’re starting out with. Moreover, it will serve as a wake up call to show you the rigor of the test in realistic testing conditions. You will get a first hand experience with proctors, timed sections, test breaks and all of the other factors that go into your test day experience.

College Opportunities & Scholarship Access – According to ACT, Inc. students who register for the PreACT will be able to opt in, for free, to Educational Opportunity Service (EOS). The service has the ability to make your data available to 1500+ colleges and scholarship/financial aid groups. The same opt-in option is available when you take the official ACT.

How long is the PreACT?

The test will be less than 1 hour and 55 minutes long (it contains fewer questions than the official ACT).

Should I prepare for the PreACT?

YES! Even the official PreACT test makers say you should be prepared. Why? It is a simple answer: think of a test you took unprepared vs. one you took prepared. Which did you feel better about? Going in to a test prepared leads to better performance and reduced anxiety. However, you don’t need to prepare for the PreACT endlessly. It is important to prepare in a targeted manner; find your conceptual weaknesses, learn and work through them and finally test yourself in a timed condition. 

Overwhelmed? Don't be. Take it step-by-step. To understand your strengths and weaknesses, take this free diagnostic test. You will instantly be able to view your customized study plan so that you can prepare smarter and more effectively. 

Start My Free Diagnostic Test 

Tags: For Students, For Parents, For Counselors

How to Secure Testing Accommodations for the ACT or SAT

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Tue, Feb 09, 2016

SAT/ACT accomodation

If your student has a disability, it is imperative that you look into testing accommodations for him/her. However, before you apply for an accommodation, familiarize yourself with the types of accommodations available and the timing of your request.

Who Qualifies for SAT/ACT Accommodation?

Today, more students, than in any previous years, are being granted accommodations because they have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. However, being diagnosed is just the first step. To qualify for an accommodation, a person must present formal evidence of a disability provided by an authorized assessment.

For students in public school, families can work with the school disability coordinator or a school psychologist to get psychological testing, assess the results and enact interventions that are defined in either the 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Parents of students in private schools may seek self-governing evaluations from licensed neuropsychologists because private schools are not obliged to administer testing.

In addition, the student must show a history of receiving accommodations at his/her school for a stretch of at least 4 months in the case of the SAT and 12 months in the case of the ACT. To show a history of receiving accommodation, you might have to work with your student’s teacher to include documentation or letters describing the accommodation that was provided.

What does SAT/ACT Accommodation Look Like?

The look of each accommodation depends on the type of accommodation needed and varies on a case-by-case basis. Some examples include, requesting a reader or a scribe, a quiet testing room, enlarged print test booklets and answer keys, additional or extended breaks, the use of a computer, and multiple-day testing. It is important to be as specific as possible when making a request regarding the type of accommodation that will be most helpful. These accommodations are endorsed for range of disabilities, all the way from mild to moderate LDs, including anxiety, ADHD and slight visual processing issues to more severe learning disabilities such as dyslexia, major visual impairment and dyscalculia.

The most common type of accommodation granted to a student is 50% extended testing time. At TestRocker, we believe students benefit from this accommodation and it is worth pursuing if your student qualifies. However, a 50% time extension translates to 5 hours and 45 minutes on the SAT with Essay, and can make testing day a test of endurance. To circumvent this, make sure you help your student practice for the SAT/ACT with extended time. TestRocker’s test prep programs give students the option to practice with 50% increased time. Such a realistic timed practice will help students keep their stamina and energy up right till the end on actual test day.

The Application Process

In general, the best way to get accommodation approval is to work with your school. Your school can apply for the accommodation online for the SAT. If you were to do it yourself, you would have to submit a paper application. The table below shows the application process for both ACT and SAT





Complete one of these forms with your school's SSD coordinator:

Request for ACT Special Testing

Application for ACT Extended–Time National Testing

Complete the Student Eligibility Form with your school's SSD (Services for Students with Disabilities) Coordinator. You will be provided a parent consent form to sign as well.


The deadline is typically four weeks to the test date. So get this done as early as possible.

Do this as early as possible, if possible in the spring before the year the test is to be taken.


Time taken

The ACT takes about four weeks to review your information

The College Board can take up to seven weeks to review your information

Next Steps

It will be noted on the admission ticket that you will get in the mail if you are approved for extended-time. You will as well be notified by mail if you are accepted for other testing accommodations.

You will get an Eligibility Letter. This letter will describe the accommodations for which you have been approved and in the letter, there will be inclusion of an SSD Eligibility Code.


Submit your request with the regular registration packet to request extra time. To appeal other accommodations, make sure you submit the application for special testing before submitting the regular registration packet.

When you register for the test, use your SSD Eligibility Code.


Should my student sit for the ACT or SAT

In our experience, timing is more of an issue for those students who take the ACT, even for those who don’t have a learning disability. This is because the ACT has 215 questions versus 154 questions on the SAT that have to be completed in the roughly the same amount of time. Given that the tests have relative scoring, being granted extended time on the ACT gives a student more of an advantage.

Another instance where getting extended time (50%) on the ACT is more beneficial than the SAT is when you are allowed to take the test over multiple days. Taking the test over multiple days helps students feel rested. It also allows students to focus their review only on the sections they are sitting for. Testing over multiple days in normally granted to students taking the ACT outside the United States or Canada. Students taking the test in the United States can also be approved for multiple day testing if they request special testing at their school (instead of at a national testing center). The threshold for being allowed to take the SAT over multiple days is much higher. You need to be granted 100% extra time (not just 50%) and request special testing at school.

 An important consideration when deciding between the two tests is to see which type of test the student is stronger at. There is a difference in content and type of questions between the two tests. Learn more about the differences here. A painless way to compare performance on the two tests is to take TestRocker’s free SAT and ACT Diagnostic tests. Bottom line is, getting more time on either tests is useful and should definitely be pursued.

This article is meant to serve as a general information guide for those planning on requesting for accommodation. You should review ACT and College Board’s website for most up to date information.

Tags: For Students, For Parents

Understanding Your 2015 PSAT Score

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Fri, Jan 08, 2016

The cat is out of the bag! 2015 PSAT scores were released online on January 7th. If you took this PSAT, you were amongst the first students to experience the new changes. Here are answers to some popular questions we get from students and parents about the PSAT report.
 Why are PSAT scores important, and what if I didn’t score well?

 Your PSAT score is a predictor of how you would perform on the SAT if you took it today. Honestly, the score should serve as a realization that the college application process is starting, and that its time to get serious.

Many school counselors will also use your PSAT scores to give you an idea of the kinds of schools you should think of applying to. It definitely acts as a good place to start, but don’t let your PSAT score deter you from aiming high for those “reach” schools. 

Our advice: don’t get discouraged if your score isn’t as high as you expected. With the correct planning, preparation and hard work, you can aim to raise your score by 200 points when you actually take the SAT.

Do colleges and universities see my PSAT scores?

Breathe! Universities do not receive your PSAT scores. The only people with access to your scores are you, your school & district (probably the counselor), your parents (if you choose to share with them, which we think you should), and the National Merit Scholarship folks who will see if qualify.


What do my PSAT scores mean? 

There is a lot of information in your PSAT score report. Here’s what you need to know:

Total Score: This is the number that tells you how you did on the PSAT, and approximately what you would score if you took the SAT today. It is the combination of your Evidence-Based Reading & Writing + Math sections. Each of the two sections is out of 760, for a total maximum score of 1520. The SAT will be out of 1600 (800 for each section).

Additional Test Scores: This area tells you how you performed on Reading, Writing & Language and Math. Our advice: Don’t worry too much, it is just providing you with additional information. Same goes for the cross-test scores.

What is the College & Career Readiness Benchmark?

Under each score on the first page of your score report, you will see a multi-colored red, orange and green line. The vertical black line is where you fall on that line/scale. The benchmark shows whether you are on track to be ready for first year college courses. Scores in Green show that you meet or exceed the benchmark. Orange shows that you’re almost there but still need a bit more work, and red shows that you need to improve significantly in that area.

Did I qualify for the National Merit Scholarship?

National Merit Scholarship Index (NMSC Selection Index) – go to this section to see if you meet the entry requirements. If there is an asterisk next to the score in the NMSC Selection Index section, that means you didn’t qualify.

Now that I understand my PSAT score, what should I do next?

If you are going to be applying to universities next semester, it is time to get serious. Your SAT/ACT prep is going to be the first step in your college application process. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Spend time reading your PSAT Skill Insights area. You will get a good understanding of things you can do to improve your score.
  2. Understand why the SAT/ACT tests are important. 
  3. Create a test taking plan with your parents.
  4. Need help creating your test-prep plan? Get a free customized study plan and consultation.


 You also might like:

How to Support your Child Through the Test Prep Process

Discouraged by your PSAT Score? Tips and Advice

Tags: For Students, sat, psat

Should I take the January 2016 SAT?

Posted by Urvashi Mathur on Thu, Dec 17, 2015

The current SAT is going to be discontinued after January 2016. This is not new information. However, if you are a currently in 12th or 11th grade, you should seriously consider taking the SAT in January. Here's our advice based on which grade you are in right now:

12th Graders (Class of 2016) - Take the SAT in January if you are applying Regular Decision. Some universities will accept your January test scores! Benefits are simple: 1) a better score leads to a better chance of being considered for acceptance. 2) a better score can lead to higher scholarship amounts. 

Question: Will my university of choice accept January SAT scores? 
Answer: Many universities will. The best way to know for sure is to check on the university website. Here are a few examples of universities that accept Jan scores:

See Full List of which top 20 Colleges accept JAN SAT scores←

11th Graders (Class of 2017) - Take the SAT in January if you have previously prepared for or taken the current SAT. Don't let the work you have already done to prepare for the current SAT go to waste. If you choose to take the Redesigned SAT at a later date, you can send in whichever scores you think are best. Prepare over December break, take the January SAT (be a part of history!) and get your testing out of the way. There is no downside here. 

Question: Will universities accept current SAT scores even for the Class of 2017?
Answer: Absolutely. ALL universities will accept your current SAT scores when you apply next year. This information is openly available on all university websites. In fact, some universities have even stated that they will accept the Current SAT scores for up to 5 years from the date of the test. Don't belieave us? Here is a quote from the University of Chicago admissions website: "We will continue to accept scores from the old version of the SAT for the five years scores remain valid." 

If you've decided to take the January SAT, your test is just about a month away. If you're feeling like there isn't much you can do to prepare at this point, we are here to tell you that's not true! You can still do a lot to get the highest possible SAT score. To help you get there, we have created a 3 week prep calendar. Follow this calendar and you will be ready to rock the current SAT, one last time, in 3 weeks.

And remember, TestRocker is completely online, so you can prep for the SAT whenever you want, wherever you want. Good luck!


Click to Download the Calendar




Are you ready to rock the test? 

Get Started!

 Which Top 20 Colleges Accept January SAT Scores?

Top 20 Colleges

Accept JANUARY 23rd SAT scores?

Accept Feb 6th ACT Scores?

Admission Deadline

1.     Princeton



January 1 2016

2.     Harvard University



January 1 2016

3.     Yale University



January 1 2016

4.     Columbia University



January 1 2016

5.     Stanford University



January 3 2016

6.     University Of Chicago



January 1 2016

7.     Massachusetts Institute Of Technology



January 1 2016

8.     Duke University



January 3 2016

9.     University Of Pennsylvania



January 5 2016

10. California Institute Of Technology



January 3 2016

11. John Hopkins University



January 4 2016

12. Dartmouth University



January 1 2016

13. Northwestern University



January 1 2016

14. Brown University



January 1 2016

15. Cornell University



January 2 2016

16. Vanderbilt University



January 1 2016

17. Washington University St. Louise



January 15 2016

18. Rice University



January 1 2016

19. University Of Notre Dame



January 1 2015

20. University Of California Berkeley



November 30 2015

 You also might like:

Your Guide to SAT Test Day

Staying Calm on Test Day

5 Things You Shouldn't Do Before Your SAT Test

Tags: For Students, sat

Five Types of U.S. College Summer Programs Worth Considering

Posted by TestRocker Team on Tue, Dec 01, 2015

U.S. College Summer Programs.jpg

Summer is a time that offers endless of opportunities: students have the option of recharging and the possibility of finding a program that offers the opportunity to engage, learn something new, and be inspired. For those of us who are life-long learners the summer possibilities are endless. But how can we decide how best to spend a summer break?

It is important that before finally deciding on what to do in the summer, you take time to reflect on what do you hope to get out of it. Do you want to use the summer as a reflective period? If so, spending time away from technology and social media might be the right choice for you. I used to spend part of my summers in a secluded area in southern Mexico learning about nature, reading novels, and putting into practice what I had learned in my botany class by collecting all sorts of leaves. At the same time, I combined my summers with a two to four week summer program to learn new mathematical concepts. While, there is not a one-size-fits-all for the summer experience, this time of the year allows you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, improve your learning muscle and discover a new interest that can potentially change what you hope to do during your college years.

One of the best ways to engage in self-discovery is to spend time in a college campus to determine if a given subject area is the one you would like to explore further when committing yourself at a four-year institution or if that particular institution is one you want on your college list.

  1. Junior and Senior Programs:  If you are interested in choosing thought-provoking courses that will help you develop your critical thinking, analytical, and presentation skills while providing you with new lenses for viewing the world, this is a great fit for you. Furthermore, you will have an opportunity to experience undergraduate life both inside and outside the classroom in a college campus. Some great alternatives are: Wellesley Pre-College Program ; Harvard Pre-College Program ; Notre Dame Summer Scholars ; Washington University in Saint Louis ; Carnegie Mellon.   Applications for some of these programs usually open in November and spots fill up quickly. Make sure to apply early.

  1. Writing Programs: One of the ways to succeed in college and the world is by having superb writing skills. Hence, these programs will allow you to get ready for most of your summer courses while honing your writing abilities to excel in the profession of your choice. Some great options are: Boston University Summer Challenge; Lake Forest College Writing and Thinking Workshop; Northwestern Medill School of Journalism Cherub Program; Carleton College Summer Writing Program.
  1. Engineering Programs: These programs are ideal if you are interested in exploring the academic and career opportunities in the various fields of engineering; apply your knowledge of math and science; get hands-on experience in engineering projects; or conduct university-laboratory research under a faculty mentor. Washington University in Saint Louis Pre-Engineering Institute ; Cornell Engineering ; University of Notre Dame Introduction to Engineering ; Johns Hopkins University Engineering Innovation Program.
  1. Business Programs: Perhaps you are interested in developing your entrepreneur interests in a close knit community while developing a real venture of your own; honing your teamwork and communication skills in the business setting; or finding out more about how to understand sport as a business. If so, you may wish to explore the following possibilities: Babson College Entrepreneurial Development Experience ; Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Leadership in the Business World Program ; Ithaca College Introduction to Sports Management .
  1. Leadership Programs: If you are someone with outstanding leadership skills interested in a career in global diplomacy or intrigue by the possibility of connection with future world leaders, these two programs offer an outstanding opportunity to reach this goal: Georgetown University International Relations Program for High School Students ; University of Notre Dame Global Issues .

The most important thing when discerning a summer program is to keep in mind that this endeavor is a way for you to discover yourself, to learn about new interests, or decide to follow an alternate path. Whatever you do, do not pick a program thinking it will guarantee you acceptance at a given school, but look at it as an opportunity to learn and when completing your college application think about how this summer experience has changed you and how has prompt you to further explore certain possibilities during your time in college. Do not forget to meet the application deadlines for the summer programs!


About the Author: 

Linkedin_1.jpgAdela Penagos, PhD, Futuro Enlightened's President, has 16 years of academic advising, teaching, and admissions experience between Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, and Boston College allowing her to help students not only to be admitted to college or graduate school but to find success in college and beyond. She has a wealth of experience guiding students to put forth the best possible application for undergraduate, graduate, law, and medical programs and to excel once into the program of choice.  She is passionate about helping students reach their potential.

 Adela has a BA in Modern Languages from Knox College, cum laude, an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in Hispanic Language and Literatures from Boston University.  She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and has lived in Mexico, France, and the United States.

Adela Penagos is a college admissions expert and can be contacted directly at:  apenagos@futuroenlightened.com


Tags: For Students, For Parents, College Applications

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