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Suniti's Advice Corner

TestRocker Team

Recent Posts

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

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

2015-2016 SAT/ACT Test Dates & Registration Deadlines

Posted by TestRocker Team on Tue, Jul 21, 2015


Dear Class of 2016 and 2017: 

Another school year is about to begin! 

Get ahead of the curve by deciding your SAT/ACT test dates as soon as possible. Make sure you register in time as well. Here are the test dates to help you get started:

Image Credit: Woolwich

October 3, 2015 Current SAT September 3 September 18
November 7, 2015  Current SAT October 3 October 23
December 5, 2015 Current SAT November 5 November 20
January 23, 2016 Current SAT December 28 January 8
March 5, 20156
Redesigned SAT February 5 February 19
May 7, 2016 Redesigned SAT April 8 April 22
June 4, 2016 Redesigned SAT May 5 May 20

To Register for the SAT, visit: https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/


September 12, 2015 August 7 August 21
October 24, 2015 September 18 October 2
December 12, 2015 November 6 November 20
February 6, 2016
January 8 January 15
April 9, 2016 March 4 March 18
June 11, 2016 May 6 May 20

To Register for the ACT, visit: http://www.actstudent.org/regist/


You also might like:

Planning for the SAT, Subject Tests and the ACT

Creating a Test-Prep Plan with your Teen


Tags: For Students, For Parents

International Students: 10 Steps to College Acceptance in the US

Posted by TestRocker Team on Thu, Dec 18, 2014

If you are an internationflags-1al student and you want to pursue your undergraduate studies in the United States, this blog is for you! You will definitely need to have a clear plan of action as you go through the application process. To help you get started, we asked our friend and highly accomplished international admissions expert, Peter Davos, to provide a list of the steps to college success in the US.

1. Pursue your academic passion

With over 4,000 universities in the US, it's important to make the right choices. Take the time to choose a university that offers the major that you want, the flexibility that you seek, and the activities with which you want to get involved.

 2. Get involved

Take part in and show commitment to a few extracurricular activities that you love. Be it sports, volunteer work, music, leadership programs, or internships, it’s important to show that you’re a well-rounded student.

3. Choose a rigorous curriculum

It's not enough just to get good grades. It's also important to show that you can handle the rigorous curriculum of a US university. The best way to do so is by choosing a rigorous high school program, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, Advanced Placement, or A-Levels.

4. Take standardized tests

As much as we wish it weren't so, standardized tests are a critical component of the application that can make or break admission. Choosing the right exams (SAT vs. ACT, SAT Subject Tests, TOEFL) to take and when is a crucial part of the process. Plan to retake tests up to three times and seek tutoring if needed. (To get a customized study plan for the SAT, ACT or both, take the TestRocker Diagnostic test for free. Simply create a free account by clicking here.)

5. Create a balanced college list

Choosing the right colleges to apply to will not only impact the responses you will receive but also ultimately impact your happiness and success in your four years at university. Create a list of universities that matches your personality, credentials, and learning style.

6. Apply!

The most labor-intensive part of the process, applying to a number of US universities takes time and effort. Managing your time and understanding deadlines is key. Take the time to craft a structured and well-written personal statement. Ask for letters of recommendation from your teachers and prepare for possible admissions interviews.

7. Research scholarships

US higher-level education can be very costly, particularly for international students. That's why it's always worthwhile to research what types of scholarships there are out there. Make sure you're eligible to apply!

8. Get accepted!

It's April and responses from colleges are now coming in. With two or more acceptances in hand, it's time to make an informed choice. Make sure you are confident and comfortable with your decision. Some considerations include: university reputation, amount of aid received, academic curriculum, location, and extracurricular programs.

9. Apply for your student visa

There's one last step to be completed before you embark on your American adventure: apply for your F-1 student visa. Getting your student visa can be a smooth and stress-free process if you manage your time and prepare all the necessary forms in advance. Get your parents involved!

10. Pack your bags

Pack your bags, kiss your parents goodbye and get ready to live the best four years of your life. Study hard, get involved in student life, and make lasting friendships. Your ids education the most powerful tool you will have to make a difference in the world!

Students in the GCC region: Click here to request a free consultation with Peter.
About the Author:

Peter is the founder and Managing Director of Hale Education Group, the GCC's leading educational consultancy focusing exclusively on US university admissions. He graduated Phi BetaKappa, with a double major, from Johns Hopkins University and spent his junior year abroad completing the General Course in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Peter holds Master’s Degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University, where he was selected Marshal of his class. He has completed UCLA’s Certificate in College Counseling and IECA’s Summer Training Institute. A Johns Hopkins Alumni Interviewer for over twelve years, Peter is also a member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Council, Second Decade Society, and founder/co-president of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Society of the UAE. He is a proud member of the HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association), OACAC (Overseas Association for College Admissions Counseling), HASUAE (Harvard Alumni Society of the UAE), and American Business Council of Dubai. Peter is an Offensive/Defensive Lineman for the Emirates American Football League’s Dubai Barracudas and has been chosen to represent the UAE on the country’s National American Football Team, the Falcons. He is a contributing writer on US Education issues for Gulf News has lived in Dubai since 2010.

Tags: For Students, For Parents, International Students, College Applications

Prepare for the Nov 8 SAT in 3 Weeks!

Posted by TestRocker Team on Thu, Oct 09, 2014

Been busy with school work? Need to prepare for the November 8th SAT last minute? Fear not! With TestRocker you can be prepared on time. Simply follow our 3 week preparation calendar (see below) to ace the test on time. All of the important topics below are taught on TestRocker's award winning online SAT program

Here is some more information about TestRocker:


3 week calendar

Click HERE to download the Calendar


Tags: For Students

Your Guide to ACT Test Day

Posted by TestRocker Team on Wed, Feb 05, 2014

It’s almost the big day. You’ve spent the past few months, weeks and days preparing for the ACT. In preparation for ACT test day, we have put together a list of tips to help ensure that you walk into your ACT feeling relaxed, confident and prepared.

keep calm and carry on original resized 600Before the Test

Practice but don’t cram

As you prepare for the ACT in the days leading up to the test, remember not to cram. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, and try to avoid energy drinks. Energy drinks have been shown to hamper memory and focus, both of which you need to do well on test day.

Spend time reviewing the concepts that you struggled with the most. Practice increasing your speed and answering questions in less than one minute. If you are taking the ACT with the essay, brush up on how to structure the essay. Maybe even write out a practice essay in a timed setting.

Get your last minute questions answered

If you have been preparing with TestRocker, use our Community Feature to get your last minute ACT questions answered by Suniti. Those of you who have not been studying with TestRocker can use the “Ask Suniti” feature (along the right side of this blog) to get your questions answered or leave your questions in the comments below.

Get prepared

The night before your ACT, pack everything you need to bring with you to the test. This should include your ACT registration info and your photo ID. Double check your calculator batteries and bring extras just in case. While your preference is probably to use mechanical pencils, we recommend taking 6-8 sharpened pencils and a good eraser. The ACT is scored by computer so smudgy pencil marks will be difficult to read. Don’t forget to bring snacks that you can eat during your breaks.

During the Test

Pace Yourself

During the test, it is important to remain conscious of time. Move quickly on easy questions to make more time for challenging questions. The ACT has no penalty for wrong answers or omitted questions. So there is no harm in guessing (only if you aren’t sure of your answer, of course). Put a clear arrow next to questions that you plan to revisit so that you can come back to them later.

Make the most of your breaks

As we mentioned in our Guide to SAT test day, use your break time wisely. Use this time to eat your snacks, visit the bathroom, and refill your water and stretch your legs. 

After the Test


You did it! Congrats on finishing the test! Take some time to reward yourself and relax!

Planning to take the ACT again in the near future? Sign up for a free personal consultation with an expert or our free live online classes to learn why thousands of students in 17+ countries around the world are preparing with TestRocker. 

Image Source: Knowyourmeme

Tags: For Students, For Parents

3 Ways to Prepare for the Jan 25th SAT in 3 Weeks!

Posted by TestRocker Team on Thu, Jan 09, 2014

The Jan 25th SAT is quickly approaching. If you haven't started studying yet, don't freak out. TestRocker has put together this 3 week study calendar to help you study smarter.

Here are the three steps to ensure you get your dream SAT score on Jan 25th:

  1. If you haven't already done so, sign up for our free trial. If you enjoy learning with TestRocker then purchase our program!
  2. Use the calendar below and work through the recommended modules, video concepts, and practice quizzes.
  3. Wake up calm and relaxed on Jan 25th, and rock the SAT!

Since TestRocker is completely online, you can prep for the SAT whenever you want, wherever you want. In fact after your test, continue to use TestRocker to prepare for your next SAT. Good luck!

Click here to download the calendar

Ready to rock the test?

Buy Now!

Get ready for the SAT in 3 weeks

Tags: For Students, For Parents

Planting Dandelions Blog: TestRocker Review

Posted by TestRocker Team on Fri, Jan 03, 2014

I used to be a hands-off homework parent, unless asked for help. And although this Planting Dandelionsapproach is being championed in the media lately, in my instance, it was born less of philosophy, and more of happenstance. My kids are blessed with high intelligence, and are without major learning impediments. The grade school years have been a blissful, battle-free zone, as far as homework goes. We’ve all enjoyed coasting. 

As my older boys have risen through the secondary grades, this lofty ground has become quite a bit rockier. My high school freshman and I frequently battle over homework, and I was a bit worried about expanding the war to a new front when we were offered the chance for him to use TestRocker, an online study aid for college entrance exams.

So it’s a considerable endorsement of the program to say that he has progressed over a month into the study plan without me nagging, threatening, or having to utter dire predictions for his future. It doesn’t hurt that I have subcontracted him for this series of reports, and there’s a paycheck dangling ahead, but nobody’s paying him not to complain when I remind him to put the time in.

Click here to read the entire review

Tags: For Parents

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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