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Suniti's Advice Corner

How to Register For The ACT [With Pictures]

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Mon, Jan 08, 2018

 Planning on taking the ACT? Awesome! However, unlike the tests you take at school, you can’t just show up at the test center. You need to register first. Without registering, you won’t be able to take the test.

You might be thinking, “Great! Another thing I have to add to my to-do list.” Studying for the ACT is already stressful, and having to take care of the necessary logistics is a pain. But in this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to register online—the easiest way to register. Follow these steps, and you should be able to register with no problem. Once that’s out of the way, you can go back to studying. Registration takes about 40 minutes. You’ll want to have on hand your or your parents’ credit card information, your high school course details, and a headshot photo.

Before getting into the registration steps, keep in mind that you’ll want to register as early as possible in order to get your preferred testing location. They also have strict registration deadlines. For US students you can register late with a fee. But we recommend not procrastinating for this! Sometimes seats do become sold out. For more info on this check the ACT website. 

TABLE: This table represents the test dates and registration deadlines for the ACT

2017-2018 ACT Dates (International)
Test Date Registration Deadline
September 9, 2017 August 4, 2017
October 28, 2017 September 22, 2017
December 9, 2017 November 3, 2017
April 14, 2018 March 9, 2018
June 9, 2018 May 4, 2018

Source: ACT.org

Find out what ACT skills you need to improve.

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Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

Answering the Most Common PSAT Score Questions

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Tue, Dec 12, 2017

This time of year, 11th graders ask us a lot of PSAT score related questions. A lot of students begin to panic when they get their PSAT results. So they come to us to figure out how to flip their score into a top SAT/ACT score. In this post, you will find the most common PSAT questions we get every December as PSAT scores come out.  Leave a comment below if you have any additional questions, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Does a low PSAT score hurt my college application?

Turn that frown upside down: A low PSAT score will not hurt your college application. Colleges do not factor in your PSAT score as a part of your college application.

The one negative of getting a very low PSAT score is that you will not meet the National Merit or other scholarship cut offs. But don’t be disheartened – only 7500 out of 1.6 million PSAT takers (that’s 0.5%) end up receiving scholarships through National Merit. 

The only thing a low PSAT score should do is motivate you to study hard for the SAT/ACT, because those scores matter a lot. Think of your PSAT score as a baseline. With the right practice, you can turn your PSAT score into a high SAT/ACT score. 

Do colleges see my PSAT score?

Your individual PSAT score is not reported to colleges. However, if you opted in to Student Search Services during your PSAT test, you might hear from colleges and/or scholarship organizations if your score falls within a certain test score range the organization is looking for. 

Why is the PSAT out of 1520 if the SAT is out of 1600?

The PSAT is slightly easier than the SAT, so rather than scaling it up to 1600, the College Board has kept it at a lower maximum. Don’t worry about what the test is out of. All you need to know is:

If you got 1100 on the PSAT, you would score (approximately) 1100 on the SAT.

Read our post all about understanding your PSAT score. 

Do I need to study for the SAT/ACT if I got a high PSAT score?

You should definitely study for the SAT/ACT, no matter what your PSAT score is. First, the SAT/ACT are tougher than the PSAT. This means you will score lower on the actual tests unless you prepare. Second, your PSAT score is not reported to colleges.

Turn your PSAT Into a Top SAT/ACT Score - Learn More

What is a good PSAT/SAT/ACT score?

“Good” in this case is relative. For some, a 960 is a great score. For others, a 1420 is a good PSAT score. And for some, even a 1420 isn’t good enough. To understand what kind of score would be considered “good” for you, it is important to have a list of a few colleges you might be interested in. If you have this list, follow these steps to understand what a “good” score for you means:

Option 1

  • Visit the college’s admissions website (type in Google: [Name of University] admissions website. Here’s an example with Boston University:

Boston University admissions search example

  • Look for Undergraduate admissions class profile (select the most recent one available)

boston university admissions landing

  • Scroll till you see “Average SAT Score” or “Average ACT score” of incoming class  

boston university admission stats

Source: Boston University 

For BU, the Average SAT for their freshman admitted class 2021 is 1452, and average ACT is 32. So for a student who wants to know what a good score is if they’re interested in a university like BU, a good score is around 1400 on the SAT or 30+ on the ACT.

Option 2:

  • Go to google and type in something like “[Name of University] Average SAT score”

university of illinois admissions

  • Make sure you click on the official University’s site (it should end in .edu) as there are a lot of other non-official sources of information that might not be most recent or as accurate.

university illinois admissions google results

university of illinois admission stats

Source: University of Illinois

For University of Illinois, the Average SAT for their freshman admitted class 2021 range is 1360-1480, and average ACT is 27-33. So for a student who wants to know what a good score is if they’re interested in a university like University of Illinois, a good score is one that falls within either of those ranges.

Still not completely understanding your score? Read our post where we go into detail in understanding your PSAT score. Click Here To Understand Your PSAT Score

Turn your PSAT Into a Top SAT/ACT Score - Learn More 

Tags: For Students, For Parents, For Counselors, psat

How to Register For The SAT [With Pictures]

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Tue, Oct 17, 2017

 

We find a lot of our student have a hard time registering for the SAT. The SAT is something that stresses a lot of students out as is, and no one likes to fill out forms. Some people get stuck on all of that paper work. Additionally, some people have a hard enough time finding where to begin. That's understandable considering CollegeBoard has so much content on their website. So this is why we have written up a step by step guide on how to register for the SAT.

At step 1 you will find a link that will take you directly to the beginning of the SAT Registration. Then follow our images below which will walk you through the entire process. 

What you will need: A head shot saved on your computer, valid passport(international students), and the registration fee (varies based on location).

If you need to find the SAT dates and the registration deadlines click here

If you still have any problems at all then leave us a comment below and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. 

Need to Prepare for the SAT?

Start Studying Now 

Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

5 Common (easily avoidable) SAT & ACT Mistakes

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Mon, Sep 25, 2017

5 mistakes students make about the sat and act

In the midst of prepping for the dreaded SAT and ACT, it can be easy to let certain details fall through the cracks. However, these seemingly minor details can have major implications for your college application process. Don’t let this happen to you. Here, we highlight 5 common SAT mistakes and ACT mistakes students make. For SAT tips and ACT tips on how to avoid these mistakes continue reading. 

  1. Not sending your scores to your colleges of interest.

    Most colleges require you to submit your standardized test scores as part of your application—that’s the whole reason you’re taking these tests, right? On Collegeboard, you can submit your SAT scores up to 4 colleges of interest for free for every test date that you register for. As soon as your scores become available they are sent to those schools. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many students don’t do this. Double- and triple-check to make sure that your scores have been sent to all colleges of interest. If you don't, you will need to pay to send your scores again and they take longer to deliver. 
  1. Providing the wrong information on interest forms.

    The PSAT registration, along with other resources, asks you to indicate what majors you’re interested in. There are tons of websites that are great resource for college research but be aware that in most cases the information you provide them is given to colleges. So make sure you’re providing the correct information. Again, seems easy. You might be thinking, “Who would make a mistake like that?” But it happens. So just be careful. Submitting the wrong information could mislead admissions counselors and could hurt your chances of acceptance if your schools of interest don’t offer your reported majors of interest.

Here are some good websites for college research. Again, be careful to provide the best information for you.

Niche

Big Future

CollegeWeekLive

CollegeConfidential

  1. Not doing the “optional” essay section.

    Yes, it might say it’s an optional essay, but when it comes to college admissions, you should interpret “optional” as “required.” First of all, some colleges still require the essay. If you decide to apply to one of those colleges, you will have to take the tests with the essay section. Second of all, doing the essay even if it’s not required by the college can improve the college’s impression of you because the essay serves as another piece of information about you. You always want to try to go above and beyond what’s expected of you. And, the more time they spend on your application, the less time they have to spend on someone else's! There’s no benefit to not doing the essay. Feel that you’re just not good at essay writing? That’s nothing that a little bit of preparation can’t help with—for example, with TestRocker. A real person will hand grade at least 2 practice essays, and give you feedback on what to change and how to do better.

Sign up for TestRocker

  1. Not bringing the right materials.

    The night before your test, set aside everything that you’re going to need so that you’re not scrambling the morning of and inadvertently forget something. You will need a photo ID, your admission ticket, at least two No. 2 pencils with erasers, and an approved calculator with spare batteries. If you don’t have your ID and your admission ticket, you won’t be allowed into the test room. If you take the test with anything other than a No. 2 pencil, it will not be scored properly. And if you don’t have a calculator, you’ll just spend more time than you have to on certain math problems. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks and water to help you maintain your stamina throughout the test.

  1. Not planning for multiple test attempts.

    While it may not be pleasant to take the SAT and ACT, you should absolutely plan to take the test at least twice. If you don’t do as well as you would have liked the first time around, then you definitely want to take it again so that you can put your best foot forward on college applications. Make sure that you schedule accordingly and register in time so that you’re able to submit your scores in time for college application deadlines. It would be a shame to not make a college application deadline because you didn’t take the SAT or ACT early enough. And if you did score well the first time, awesome! You can still take the test again for the opportunity to superscore or to submit your best scores. Use TestRocker’s downloadable test prep plan to make sure you are on the right track. Finally, register for the tests as soon as possible because test centers fill up fast. In many cities/countries, there is only one test center.  And once a test center is full, you will have to wait until the next available test date.

Have more questions? Comment them below or talk to a TestRocker expert.

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Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

How High Test Scores Lead to Scholarships

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Mon, Sep 25, 2017

Scholarships.jpg

By now it should come as no surprise that scoring well on the SAT and/or ACT will increase your chances of getting into your top colleges. What you may or may not have heard is that high test scores also increase your chances of getting college scholarships. Let’s face it—college is expensive! For this reason, it’s a good idea to take advantage of any sort of financial assistance you can get. There are nonprofits and other organizations that can provide scholarships, but the most common scholarship will come from your college itself. 

The SAT/ACT give you an opportunity. Perhaps you didn't get the best grades and your GPA is average at best, but you redeem yourself by scoring big on your entrance exams. That could still potentially lead to a scholarship. If you did have a good GPA and accompany it by outstanding test scores then sky's the limit.

Different colleges will award different types of test score scholarships. While it is a good idea to check with the colleges that you’re interested in to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information, this blog curates relevant data from Guaranteed Scholarships on SAT/ACT scores and scholarship opportunities. Below you will find tables about dozens of colleges and their typical ACT & SAT scholarship offers correlating with test scores. 

Don't forget about superscoring your test scores. Every point counts when it comes to scholarships and superscoring is the key to bumping your total score to the next scholarship tier.

Improve your test scores through TestRocker and receive SAT & ACT scholarships.

Try TestRocker For Free

 

TABLE: Alfred College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

93

1200

26

Free tuition, room, and board

90

1150

25

Free room

88

1100

24

Free board (18 meals a week)

 

TABLE: Arcadia University Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

Award

3.2

1030

Between $3000 and full tuition

 

TABLE: Belhaven College Scholarships

ACT Score

SAT Score

Annual Award for Students Living on Campus

20

930-960

$500

21

970-1000

$1000

22

1010-1040

$1500

23

1050-1080

$2000

24

1090-1100

$2500

25

1120-1150

$3000

26

1160-1190

$3500

27

1200-1220

$4000

28

1230-1260

$4500

29

1270-1300

$5000

30

1310-1340

$5500

31

1350-1380

$6000

32

1390-1440

$6500

33

1450-1500

$7000

34

1510-1560

$7500

35

1570-1600

$8000

36

 

$8500

 

TABLE: Bluffton College Scholarships

First-Time or Transfer

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

First-time

3.0

1050

23

$8396

First-time

3.5

1140

25

$9396

First-time

3.75

1220

27

$10,396

Transfer

3.5

1050

23

$2500 (up to $4000 based on need)

 

TABLE: Buena Vista University Scholarships

GPA

ACT Score

Award

3.75

26

$7500

3.25

20

$5500 annually

 

TABLE: Cedarville College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

3.0

1310

30

$2000 annually

3.0

1120

25

$600-$1400

 

TABLE: Centenary College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.8

1210

27

Up to $10,000

3.3

1030

22

Up to $8000

3.0

910

19

Up to $6500

2.5

800

16

Up to $5000

 

TABLE: Chowan College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

Annual Award

3.0

1000

$5000

3.0

1100

$5200

3.0

1200

$5500

3.0

1300

$5750

3.5

1000

$5500

3.5

1100

$5750

3.5

1200

$6250

3.5

1300

$7000

4.0

1000

$5750

4.0

1100

$6250

4.0

1200

$7000

4.0

1300

$8000

 

 

TABLE: Daniel Webster College Scholarships for Resident Students

GPA

SAT Score

Annual Award

2.5

1000

$2000

3.0

1000

$4000

3.8

1200

$7500

 

TABLE: Dominican University of California Scholarships

Student

GPA

SAT Score

Annual Award

All students

3.6

1200

$11,500

Traditionally under-represented students

3.2

920

$11,500

 

TABLE: Dordt College Scholarships

GPA

ACT Score

Award

3.0

21

$500-$5000

 

TABLE: D’Youville College Scholarships

Scholarship

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

Duration

Honors Scholarship

 

1100

24

50% off tuition and 25% off room and board for residents; 50% off tuition for commuters

4-5 years depending on program

Academic Initiative

85

1000

21-23

25% off tuition and 50% off room and board for residents; 25% off tuition for commuters

4-5 years depending on program

Achievement Scholarship

80-84

900-1090

19-23

$1000-4000 annually

4-5 years depending on program

 

TABLE: Eastern College Scholarships for Incoming Students

Class Rank

SAT Score

Annual Award

Top 15%

1200

$7000

Top 25%

1100

$6000

Top 40%

1000

$4000

Top 50%

950

$1500

 

TABLE: Faulkner University Scholarships

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Annual Award

1030-1130

22-24

$2500-$3000

1140-1290

25-28

$3500-$4000

1300-1370

29-30

$5000-$5500

 

TABLE: Goshen College Scholarships

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

3.5

Top 15%

1100

24

$1800-$3000

3.8

Top 5%

1270

29

$2400-$3500

 

TABLE: Hampden-Sydney College Scholarships

Class Rank

SAT Score

Annual Award

Top 5%

1400

$15,000

Top 10%

1350

$11,250

Top 15%

1250

$7500

 

TABLE: Hamline University Scholarships

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.8

Top 5%

1260

28

$5500-full tuition

3.5

Top 15%

1180

26

$3500-$6500

3.25

Top 25%

1140

25

$2000-$5000

 

TABLE: Jamestown College Scholarships

GPA/Class Rank

ACT Score

Award

3.8

30

$9000

Valedictorian (Ranked 1st)

25

$8500

Salutatorian (Ranked 2nd)

25

$7500

3.8

26

$6500

3.4

24

$5000

3.0

20

$3000

 

TABLE: Mars Hill College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

Award

3.5

1200

$7000

3.5

1100

$6000

3.5

1000

$5000

3.5

900

$4000

3.0

1000

$3000

3.0

900

$2500

2.5

1100

$3000

2.5

1000

$2000

 

TABLE: Niagra University Scholarships

GPA

ACT Score

SAT Score

Award

95

26

1150

$9500

91

27

1270

$8500

90

22

1000

$8200

85

24

1100

$7200

85-89

20-22

950-1050

$6500-$7500

mid-80

20+

950+

$4500-$5000

 

TABLE: North Central University Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.5

1240

28

$2500

3.0-3.49

1050-1230

23-27

$1500

 

TABLE: Northwestern College Scholarships

Class Rank

ACT Score

Annual Award

Top 5%

28

$5000-$6750

Top 10%

26

$3000-$4900

Top 25%

23

Up to $2900

 

TABLE: Ouachita Baptist University Scholarships

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Annual Award

1110-1170

24-25

$2000

1180-1290

26-28

$3000

1300-1370

29-30

$4000

1380+

31+

$5000

 

TABLE: Palm Beach Atlantic College Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.5

1150

26

$2000

3.25

1050

23

$1000

 

TABLE: Regis College Scholarships

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score

Annual Award

3.0

Top 10%

1200

$9000

3.0

Top 25%

1050-1190

$6000

3.0

Top 50%

950-1040

$3000

 

TABLE: Roosevelt College Scholarships

GPA

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.0-3.24

24

$1000

3.25-3.49

22-29

$1500-$5000

3.5-3.79

22-29

$3000-$6000

3.85+

27

Up to $7500

 

TABLE: Southern Christian University Scholarships

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Annual Award

940-1010

23-24

Up to $300

1020-1090

25-26

Up to $400

1100-1250

27-29

Up to $500

1260+

30+

Up to $600

 

TABLE: Southwest Baptist University Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Award

3.85

Top 5%

1190-1230

24-27

$2950

3.75

Top 10%

1170-1310

26-29

$2950

3.85

Top 5%

1240-1600

28-36

$2530

3.75

Top 10%

1090-1160

24-25

$2530

3.75

Top 10%

1090-1230

24-27

$2100

 

TABLE: Southwest Missouri State University Scholarships

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.6

Top 20%

1170

26

$2000

3.8

Top 10%

1090

24

$1000

 

TABLE: Union College Scholarships

ACT Score

Tuition Award

30+

20%

28-29

12%

25-27

7%

 

TABLE: University of Indianapolis Scholarships

Class Rank

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

Top 5%

1270

29

50% tuition

Top 15%

1100

24

30% tuition

 

TABLE: University of the Redlands Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

ACT Score

Award

3.5

1100

23

$1500

 

TABLE: University of St. Francis Scholarships

GPA

Class Rank

SAT Score

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.5

Top 20%

1100

24

$5000-$7000

 

TABLE: University of Tennessee at Martin Scholarships

GPA

ACT Score

Annual Award

3.5

28

$3000

3.5

25

$1500

 

TABLE: William Woods University Scholarships

Class Rank

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Award

Top 5%

1130-1230

30+

$5000

Top 20%

1130-1230

25-27

$3000

 

TABLE: Wilmington College Scholarships

GPA Range

SAT Score Range

ACT Score Range

Annual Award

3.0

1090-1600

24-36

$9000

3.0

860-1080

18-23

$7000

2.99

860-1600

18-36

$2000

 

TABLE: Wingate University Scholarships

GPA

SAT Score

Annual Award

3.0

1000

$3000

3.4

1100

$4000

3.8

1200

$6000

If your school of interest is not listed, leave a comment below and we will reach out to help. 

Preparing for the SAT & ACT with TestRocker will help you improve your scores. Give it a try—you never know how much money you will end up saving on your college degree!

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Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

9 SAT, ACT & PSAT Videos Every Student Needs to See

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Fri, Sep 22, 2017

9 SAT & ACT Videos Every Student Needs to See.jpg

Video is becoming a more and more common medium in educational settings, and with good reason. Think about it—are you more likely to be engaged when you’re just reading something or listening to a teacher talking? Or when you’re watching a video that actually brings the concepts you’re learning to life? Several studies have demonstrated that watching videos is associated with greater retention and better mastery of material, which explains the success of TestRocker.

TestRocker has over 4000 videos about the SAT, ACT, and PSAT. It also has over 4000 practice questions, each of which are accompanied by at least one video. We’ve found that students who perform the best on the tests after using TestRocker are also those who have watched the most videos.

Start Watching TestRocker Videos

Improve Your Score

Because of our love for video we’ve searched around for the top SAT videos and ACT videos online. If nothing else, you’ll want to be sure to watch at least these 9, which are discussed in detail below. For those of you taking the PSAT, these can also be helpful PSAT videos. 

9. Why Punctuation is Important.

Without punctuation there is no sentence. Punctuation is the glue that holds together a set of statements. In this video you will learn why it is so important. It will help you understand the importance of the writing and essay sections of the SAT and ACT. This video has 2 parts. So be sure to continue on to the next video to complete the entire lesson. 

Click here to see our entire punctuation series. 

8. SAT vs ACT Myths & Facts.

There are a lot of myths about the SAT & ACT. A lot of times these myths mislead students into taking the test that isn't best for them. In this video you will learn about SAT myths and ACT myths. Remember no one test is "easier" than the other, or are they? Read about which test is easier

7. Don't Even Think About Doing This...

6. Know What to Bring on Test Day.

This is important because if you bring the wrong tools or don't come prepared with the right credentials then it's possible you won't be allowed to take the test. That's a rough situation to be in. That means you wasted your money registering for that test, you might have spent a lot of time preparing for that partiuclar test, or it could already be late in the application season. This video highlights what you need to bring, what not to bring and additional items you might want to bring with you to the test. 

Read more about what to bring and not to bring on test day.

5. How to Get Scholarships With Good Test Scores.

In this video a college student explains how her test scores resulted in receiving a scholarship. So she explains why preparing for your SAT or ACT is immensely important.  

4. Stay Motivated to Not Procrastinate

In this video the creator talks about procrastination and the misconception that it is fueled by lack of motivation. He brings up the point it fueled by the lack of willingness. Watch the video to understand more. TestRockers best student success stories come from students who have watched the most number of our videos. I am talking hundreds of our videos. It sounds like a lot; however, using TestRocker a little bit each day or a few times a week will really begin to add up the number of videos watched quickly. With average score increases of +180 SAT and +4 ACT, our combination of practice questions and video explanations takes the cake as the best test prep option. Start watching our videos.

Improve Your Score

3. ACT Math Calculator Study Session (Great for SAT too)

It's important to know how to function your calculator for the test. You might need to learn how to use a scientific calculator or how to function your particular model, and how to use it for specific types of questions. This ACT calculator video goes over it all and will greatly improve your score by learning the tips and tricks our tutor will explain. Keep in mind this video is also very good for any SAT calculator help also!

Click here to watch

sat-act-calculator-practice-video.png

2. How to Tackle The Dreaded SAT & ACT: How to Get Scholarships & More

There's a secret to the TestRocker process that not every test prep service utilizes. In this video Urvashi explains the process of a proper SAT/ACT prep plan, how to take your score to an impressive level and learn why scholarships and college recruiting starts with the PSAT.  

Click here to watch

Urvy on CollegeWeekLive Thumbnail Lo.jpg

1.  SuperScoring the SAT & ACT

Possibly the most under utilized yet most effective strategy for boosting your test scores. This video explains how you can superscore your test scores. Read our article to get all of the details about superscoring.

 

By now you should have a good grasp on the importance of the SAT & ACT, and why it is important to be well prepared for it. Now for your next step, get settled with a good test prep service. 

Improve Your Score

 

For more questions or comments, please enter them below in our comment field. 

Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Educational Consulting Business

Posted by Michael Henry on Tue, Aug 08, 2017

 

Are you an Educational Consultant trying to grow your business? If so, first of all, kudos on doing what you do! Through your work, you are helping several students reach their full potential in high school, college, and beyond. Secondly, as you probably already know, if you want to get your name out there and reach a broader base of customers, you need to meet your target audience where they are.

These days, you’re probably going to find most of your target audience online. More and more, kids and their parents are using the Internet to research colleges and to prep for the SAT and ACT. Therefore, it is highly effective to leverage social media to reach more people and grow your business. There are so many different features on the different social media platforms that you can use to make your content more interesting, fun and relatable to your audience.

In this post, we’ll first give you a rundown of the reasons you should be using social media. Then we’ll talk about which platforms you should use for which audiences and the features you should use to make the most of these platforms.

Can I really get business from Social Media?

Of course you can. We know from experience. For many of our students some sort of social media interaction impacted their decision to sign up. Here are 6 reasons we use social media and why so many use it to their advantage. 

  1. It’s (mostly) free.

The best things in life are free, right? On social media, you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of money on advertising. It is free to create an account or page and to post on any platform, and should you decide to use paid advertising to reach potential customers, you can spend as much or as little as you want depending on the number of people you are hoping to reach. On social media, just a little bit of money can expand your reach.

  1. It’s a great way to expand awareness of your services.

Once you start reaching the right people, your following will start to grow organically. With the right type of content, your followers will be inclined to share your posts among their networks, creating a ripple effect. On social media, you can reach many more people and get your name out there much faster compared to non-digital methods of advertising.

  1. There are so many built-in features to help you create more interesting content.

Whether it’s videos, photo albums, live streaming, or stories, social media platforms are filled with fun and innovative features that will help you capture your audience’s attention. You should take full advantage of these features and use analytics to determine which ones give you the most reach and engagement. Keep in mind that the newer features are likely to get the most engagement, since apps and websites like to promote them the most. We recommend always keeping variety in the type and content of your posts to keep your social channels fresh and more interesting.

  1. It’s an easy way to communicate.

Teens typically spend anywhere between 6 and 10 hours online a day. Social media seems to be their preferred method of communication today. If they have questions about anything school-related, they’re likely to quickly pull up your Facebook page and send you a message rather than call or email. Having a presence on social media allows for your audience to conveniently get in touch with you.

  1. It builds your credibility.

These days, every business and brand has a presence on social media. If you are not already on social media, you are doing yourself a disservice. Building your credibility is not only posting about your brand, but also by sharing information that is genuinely useful to your audience.

In the marketing world this is called “trust factor.” You need to show your audience that you are legitimate. To do this, be sure to post about news, testimonials, reviews, and company culture. There will be potential clients who look you up on social media to find trust factor. You want to make sure to look professional, knowledgeable and successful. Otherwise a poorly displayed business on social media can look a poorly ran business. Take a look at TestRocker's Facebook Page as an example. 

  1. It shows your personality.

Followers like to see the person behind the brand, and social media is a great way to do just that. Showing your personality through photos, videos, stories, and live streaming helps your audience build a connection with you, which will increase engagement and ultimately bring in more business.

Now that you’re convinced to get on social media to build your followership and your business, we’re going to discuss the most important social media platforms for reaching your target audiences, namely students and their parents.

We came up with 9 of the most important Social Media tips to grow your business. Download the list and be sure to follow each tip and watch your business grow!

Get Social Media Tips

Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Parents

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  1. Pinterest
Parents, especially mothers, often use Pinterest to exchange ideas about such topics as recipes, DIY around the house, and of course, their kids. Posting infographics  or downloadable resources is an effective method to garner social media attention and get more contacts.

Parents are influenced by social media just as much as a teenager would. According to WordStream 93% of Pinterest Users use the platform to plan or make purchases.

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As you can see here this Pinterest post from a Homeschooling mother has 22 pins. Those are 22 influenced parents who are showing their trust and want to show their followers the post. 

  1. Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform and you can find almost everyone on here. While kids are still on Facebook they have taken to and spend more time on other platforms, you will still find their parents on Facebook. On Facebook, you can boost posts so that they reach more people in your target demographic.

A cool feature to take advantage of is “Facebook Live,” where you can live stream your content. Facebook is all about their Facebook live feature because it's fairly new and gets great engagement. Good go to Facebook Live feeds are to do Q & A's, wacky challenges, hold a seminar or even showing the sights and sounds of a special event. 

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Other than these cool features Facebook can operate like Pinterest would. There are tons of impressionable parents on Facebook eager to help their student grow. 

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be for professional networking, which is why you’ll find parents on here. In particular, LinkedIn Messaging has a high open rate because LinkedIn constantly reminds you to view a message until you’ve clicked on it or deleted it.

Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Students

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  1. Instagram

Today’s youth enjoy and engage with visual content more so than text based content, which is what makes Instagram so effective. According to New Survey, 76% of American teens are on Instagram. That's a huge opportunity. Followers want to see visually appealing things on Instagram. Aesthetic is everything.

It is important to get engagement with your content otherwise Instagram will give it a shorter shelf time to show to your followers. They want their users to have a good experience and showing content that doesn't perform well is not going to help. 

However, we understand your service isn't a visually tangible product. It's hard to create content around that. If you can supply a good mix of professional, fun, aesthetic and relevant content then skies the limit. 

Here are a few companies that also don't have the most visual products but still rock Instagram.

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  1. Snapchat

Today more than 75% of American teenagers use Snapchat. We’ve been finding that kid’s today are using this app for basic messaging, even more than texting and iMessaging in some cases. However, Snapchat can be a bit more complicated than a simple post and call to action.

For those of you who don’t have a good grasp on Snapchat, let me explain. The concept behind it is that you send a “snap” to a friend or a set of friends. A snap can be a picture or a video that can go for no longer than 10 seconds. After your friend views the snap it vanishes from their inbox forever. However, they can then reply with their own snap or text back. 

Live stories are also a fun feature to take advantage of. Stories are similar to a snap in that they are temporary. You can post a video or picture for your entire following to see and they can view it as many times as they want for 24 hours.

With those features aside, you can still privately direct message (DM) followers. This is where the value in Snapchat is for you. Again kids are starting to Snap and/or Gram as their preferred platform for communication. We have found that many students prefer communication on Snapchat or Instagram. Why wouldn’t you utilize that gateway to start a conversation?

" 'I enjoy the ability to directly send messages to others, and ‘streaks’ because they offer a good excuse to talk to people,' said Zena Meyer, a senior at Orange County School of the Arts, referring to a running count of how many consecutive days two users have chatted on the app. " - LA Times

" 'My friends and I usually start a conversation first with a photo, and then usually keep the conversation by texting through Snapchat,' said Simone Chu, a senior at Arcadia High School." - LA TImes

HubSpot taking advantage of their Snapchat account. 

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Follow us as we recently launched our account!

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  1. Twitter:

Not only is Twitter easy to use, it is incredible for getting information out in real time. It’s also easy to schedule posts in advance. When using Twitter, keep in mind that most tweets have a lifetime of 18 minutes according to WishPond, and possibly less if your followers are following lots of accounts. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule your posts at times when you know your audience will be online and to re-tweet important posts to increase your audience’s chances of seeing them.

  1. WhatsApp:

In our increasingly globalized world, youth and adults alike are using WhatsApp to connect with their friends in different countries. WhatsApp is the worlds leading messaging app around the world. It's similar to iMessage where it does not rack up fees because it is a web based platform. Therefore, it is perfect for professional communication, international communication and even just basic communication if you prefer. For us as educational professionals it opens up a window of opportunity by making communication easier and cost efficient with our international students. 

We came up with 9 of the most important Social Media tips to grow your business. Download the list and be sure to follow each tip and watch your business grow!

Get Social Media Tips

 For More Ways to Grow your Educational Consulting Business - See Part 1

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Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

3 Ways to Grow Your Educational Consulting Business

Posted by Michael Henry on Mon, Aug 07, 2017

3 ways to build your educational consulting business
 
We attended the HECA annual conference in Long Beach, CA this year and had some excellent conversations with a side of southern California sun. Something that we found interesting was the volume of conversations happening among peers and in sessions that centered on how to expand your independent consulting business.
 
heca-ieca.jpgThis being our first experience at HECA, we anticipated the usual conference discussions about new policies at schools or sharing a few things from a recent campus visit that were intriguing. Much to our surprise, there were so many generous conversations related to how small businesses have grown into groups and practices serving dozens of students at each grade level. 
 
At TestRocker, we can relate and have crossed a lot of the same bridges that you have. It's for that reason, we wanted to share some ideas on how to grow your business. Some of these ideas we got from consultants at the conference and others are practices we have stumbled upon as we grew our business from 1 country to 36 countries! 
 
Without further ado, here are 3 ways to grow your educational consulting business.
 

1. Think outside the box for referrals.

There are many people in a student's life from family to teachers and coaches. Finding contacts in unique ways can not only be untapped wells, but also create helpful relationships with influencers in a student's life.
 
Is there an employer in the community that gives out internships to high school students? Are there Meetup groups in your area where you can not only engage with a hobby of yours, but also find parents of students with similar interests? What are students doing after school other than the traditional activities like sports, band or clubs? There are many organizations that offer non-traditional after school experiences now.
 
After coming up with your new ideas for reaching students, contact the necessary person in charge of that organization or event.  Then explain how you can help them and vice-versa to help services for services. It works like a charm.
 

2. Use social media appropriately & effectively.

There's no doubt that social media plays a big part in every business now. It doesn't matter what the demographic is, there's a way to effectively use social media.  It's especially influential to a teenage and parent demographic. Using social media can bring in new clients or keep existing clients. The best part about it: for the most part, it's free! 
 
There are two key parts to social media marketing.
1. What social media outlets to use.
2. How to use social media to impact your business. 
 
There's a lot to discuss on this topic. To get actionable ideas on how to grow your business with social media click here.
 

3. Adding Complimentary Services

Add complimentary services to generate additional revenue without changing the time you spend on regular counseling activities. By partnering with complimentary services, you generate additional revenue with the same amount of effort.
 
Obviously, it should mirror the same high level of customer service that you provide in your practice as well as be a trusted resource on whatever piece of the process you are helping with, from test prep and interview prep. It's just easier to sell a full service product than have potential clients spending additional time shopping instead of making a decision and getting to work sooner. 

testrocker_iMac2.pngTestRocker is a perfect example of a service that operates on a similar timeline that you you'll inevitably address in conversations with your students anyway. College entrance exams are our specialty and we've been working with consultants and their students for over 5 years now, so we know the level of service that is required when you refer students to work with us.
 
I'd love to tell you more about how we can support your practice as a complimentary service. Let's start with a quick 15 minute demo of the program so you can see how it works.
 
Schedule a time with me
 
 

Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

Do My Scores Still Count [SAT & ACT]

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Wed, Jul 19, 2017

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Timing is important when planning to take the SAT and ACT. When taking standardized tests, you want to plan your test dates such that they will be valid when it comes time to apply to college. In this blog, we’ll answer all questions related to when you can and should take the SAT and ACT.

How long are my SAT scores valid?

Technically, they are valid forever. That said, after 5 years, your scores probably don’t mean a whole lot.

"If you took the test 5 or more years ago, your scores will be accompanied by a note explaining that they may be less valid predictors of college academic performance than more recent test scores." CollegeBoard

 Furthermore, the SAT has changed significantly in the past year, so if you took the old test, it might be worth it to take it again. Some colleges place restrictions on the length of time between taking a test and submitting your scores, but usually this period is no less than 5 years.

How long are my ACT scores valid?

Like the SAT, 5 years about the cutoff. Technically the scores are never terminated, but ACT suggests using those scores may not be worth it.

“ACT scores from more than five years ago may no longer be appropriate because they may not reflect your current level of educational development.” ACT

In any case, you can request to have your scores sent for any test date after October 1, 1996. To receive them go to this ACT webpage

How late can I take the SAT and ACT?

This depends on the application deadline.

For the SAT it depends.

  1. If you order free score reports, meaning you determined 4 colleges you'd like to send reports of your grades to by 9 days after thest, the colleges will receive scores between 29 and 32 days after you take the test.
  2. If you do not order free score reports, the colleges will see your scores between 34 and 43 days after taking the test.

CollegeBoard explains all details needed on this topic here

In the case of the ACT, colleges receive scores according to the reporting method and schedule they select—at least every 2 weeks. Scores are not released to colleges until all scores are available for reporting. Most multiple choice scores (including the composite score), are available 2 weeks after the test date. Writing scores are typically available another 2 weeks after that. So you could be looking at a total of 4 weeks.

Therefore, you should not plan on taking the tests later than 1-2 months before the application deadline. You can check with the individual colleges how late they will accept scores.

Can I take the SAT and ACT after high school?

Absolutely! While some of the logistics and test prep methods might be different from that of a high school student taking the tests, you are never too old to take the SAT and ACT.

How early can I take the SAT or ACT?

Technically you can take them as early as you want. In regards to the SAT CollegeBoard says,

"Anyone can take the SAT. But the rules are a little different if you are:

  • 12 years old or younger.
  • In eighth grade or lower, regardless of your age."

These rules include being apart of one of their required youth talent agency, and requests for permanent record keeping if the student does not want the score removed from their records. 

Read more about the rules here.

For the ACT, student's younger than 13 are required to register via mail due to internet laws.

"Due to Internet privacy laws, students 12 years or younger cannot register online or create an ACT web account, even if their parents or guardians assist them or create their account."

To get a registration packet go here

If you do take the tests before 11th grade you should definitely expect to retake it in 11th or 12th. With a year or more of education your score should increase.

What it comes down to is that there’s no age limit to these tests. The only thing that can matter in these situations are whether or not the scores reflect your education level at the time of application, and if the school of interest will still accept the scores. 

You need to begin prepping for the tests months in advanced, and the best online SAT, ACT and PSAT prep is right here at TestRocker. Give it a try for free and see why it is the award winning SAT/ACT prep program. 

Improve Your Score

Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, act, International Students

Frequently Asked PreACT Questions (FAQ)

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Mon, Jul 17, 2017

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Everyone’s heard about the PSAT. What you might be less familiar with is the PreACT, or the preliminary ACT. The PreACT just came out last year. If you’ve got questions, this is the place to be. Below is a guide to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the PreACT.

While reading this FAQ, it is a good idea to open our ACT FAQ in order to track the differences and similarities.

Looking for SAT or ACT prep?

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What is the PreACT?

Similar to the PSAT, the PreACT provides college and career readiness information to students before they take the actual ACT.

Who can take it?

It’s is available to 10th graders through schools that are offering the exam.

Understanding PreACT Scores?

Just like the ACT, it is scored from 1 to 36. For each of the four required sections, you get a raw score, which is the number of questions you get right. Your final score, known as the composite score, is the average of your four raw scores.

Understand compose scoring read our test terminology post

How long is it?

The PreACT is 1 hour and 55 minutes long. That’s nearly half the length of the ACT.

What is on it?

The PreACT covers English, math, reading, and science. There is no writing section. The test consists of questions from old ACT exams, so the PreACT is a good indicator of the difficulty of the ACT.

TABLE: PreACT Sections

Section

Topics Covered

English

Punctuation, usage, sentence structure and formation, topic development, organization, unity, cohesion, knowledge of language

Math

Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, coordinate geometry

Reading

Main idea of a passage, author’s purpose, tone, meaning of words in context

Science

Scientific reasoning on biology, Earth and space sciences, chemistry, and physics

 

When do I take it and when are test dates?

You can take the PreACT in 10th grade. Some schools administer it, and different schools offer the test at different times between September and June. If you’re interested in taking it, talk to your guidance counselor about the test date and procedures. If your school is not offering the test, your counselor can help you find a nearby school that is.

How much does it cost.

It’s $12 to take the exam. Some schools will cover the cost. In other cases, it is your responsibility. Check with your counselor about payment procedures for the PreACT at your school.

Why should I take it?

First of all, the PreACT is a good indicator of how you would do on the ACT, and is a great way to prepare for the ACT. Secondly, students who take the PreACT can opt in for free to Educational Opportunity Services (EOS), which makes your data available to over 1500 colleges and financial aid and scholarship groups.

TABLE: What are the differences between the PSAT and the PreACT?

 

PSAT

PreACT

Cost

$15

$12

Time of Administration

October or November

Anytime throughout the year as decided by schools

Scholarship Competition

National Merit Scholarship

No associated scholarship

Time to Results

6 weeks

2 weeks

 

Should I take the PSAT or the PreACT?

If you want to take the SAT, you should definitely take the PSAT, and if you want to take the ACT, you should definitely take the PreACT. It is a good idea to take both so you can see where you are stronger. You could also make your decision based on which test(s) your school offers. Keep in mind that if you do not take the PSAT, then you are not eligible for the National Merit Scholarship.

Take our quick survey to find out which test you should take to be sure you're taking the right test for the greatest success. 

SAT or ACT Survey

Should I prepare for the PreACT?

Definitely. There is no benefit from not studying, and preparing ahead of time helps you put your best foot forward and feel less anxious. Additionally, as stated above the PreACT gives you the ability to opt into the EOS, which could lead into scholarships and boost college recruiting. So be prepared to impress before you’re even applying to colleges. Keep in mind, the PreACT is not something to stress about. Just do your best.

For more information about the PreACT see this post. 

Infromation on college entrance exams are often changing. For the most up to date PreACT info see the ACT website.

To start preparing, check out TestRocker—a fun and interactive test prep program that will help you rock the PreACT, PSAT, SAT or ACT!

Improve Your Score

Tags: For Students, For Counselors, act, International Students, preact

About Suniti

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Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream PSAT, SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching thousands of students how to maximize their PSAT, SAT and ACT scores for over a decade.

TestRocker is an award-winning PSAT/SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking a diagnostic test, students receive a customized study plan, individualized to their strengths/weaknesses. Students practice and learn concepts through videos. Each of the 2000+ questions on TestRocker is accompanied by a video explanation from Suniti. TestRocker has the largest video library in the world for PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation. 

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