Alexis Avila talks about how test preparation is …
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A lot of high school students applying for college want to rule out big colleges without really knowing them. Here are three big college myths to help you make a more informed decision when applying to college from Alexis Avila CEO of Prepped & Polished.
Three Myths about Big Colleges
Myth 1. Big Colleges don’t have small class sizes. Truth is, you can find all types of class sizes at big colleges. Class size really depends on what you’re majoring in and what year you’re in.
Myth 2. Big Colleges have an out of control party scene. Truth is, you’ll also find a lot of activities to do that are non-party related. It’s a big school and there is something for everyone!
Myth 3. You won’t meet anyone at a big College. Truth is, because there are so many students on campus you will find a wide diversity of students there. So it’s easy to find people you share things in common with because there are so many interested students coming to that school!
What was your biggest takeaway from this video about Three Myths about Big Colleges? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Studying can be a challenging task, especially for students with learning disabilities. Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation joins us with 7 study tips to help students.
1. For ADHD Inattentive Type
Pitfalls: Difficulty Paying Attention, Trouble with Multi-Step Tasks
Strategies: Break your essays into small chunks. For SAT and ACT essays first spend several minutes brainstorming examples and outlining each paragraph BEFORE actually writing the essay.
2. For ADHD Hyperactive Type
Pitfalls: Impulse Control
Strategies: Write out all your math steps on paper before rushing directly to those confusing multiple answer choices.
3. Unmotivated, Low-Energy Type
Strategies: Don’t enroll in large classes. Small class sizes are more stimulating and engaging. Bonus Tip: Low on energy and need an energy boost during a test? Eat dark chocolate before or during your test to get the energy burst without the crash!
4. Executive Function Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Difficulties with Time Management and Organization
Strategies: Become an early riser. Develop an early morning routine by waking up early and doing homework exercises each Saturday two to three months BEFORE your SAT or ACT test.
5. Non-Verbal Learning Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Drawing Inferences, Difficulty with Word Problems
Strategies: Avoid Careless mistakes, Underline! Underlining key words in math problems will force you to read questions carefully and know EXACTLY what to look for.
6. Anxious Student Type
Strategies: Practice tests bolster confidence. Take practice tests under timed conditions on Saturday mornings to mimic test day environment.
7. Reading/Language-Based Learning Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Trouble with Working Memory
Strategies: On long reading passages, mark up the passage, answer specific questions as you read, and answer general questions last.
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips for students with learning disabilities? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
It’s almost time for grades, but you’ve got a few weeks to bump up those scores! Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation showed us 5 Ways to Get an A in School
Tip 1: Pay attention in class and take notes. Taking notes helps you stay focused and not lose attention. Also arrange your notes in a question format. ie. What is Mendel’s law of segregation? Why did James Madison write the federalist paper? etc… And answer concisely. Then before exams cover up answers and try recalling them. This will keep you on top of content. If you need to refresh your notetaking skills, I suggest taking a summer notetaking course.
Tip 2: Get on your teachers good side
I’m not saying put an polished apple on your teacher’s desk each morning. That could hurt your grade! Instead do the following 4 things:
Come to class on time
Come to class with a positive and enthusiastic attitude
c) Come to class prepared (do your homework)
d) Always ask questions in class. Try to ask at least one every day (even if you’re shy!). This keeps you engaged and prevents you from losing focus. Ask questions even if you think they are “stupid.”
* bonus tip, go to your teacher’s office hours from time to time. This will show your teacher that you care and want to do well in class!
Tip 3: Always do your homework every night no exception! (do all the reading + the problems) Homework allows practice and most of the learning happens on your own. This also allows you to ask questions in class on stuff you don’t get. Also learn to LOVE to do your homework by setting up incentives for homework completion. Get yourself a snack if you finish your math HW on time. Finish that big project due Friday? Then treat yourself to a Friday night movie!
*Keep in mind, if you’re a slower learner, you will have to put in time and half or double time toward your homework to get an A. So reserve enough time in your schedule to get your homework done!
Tip 4: Prioritize those items in your class that count the most! A lot of times it’s easy to spend 10 hours writing an essay that counts for 5% of your grade and only studying 3-4 hours for an exam that counts for 20%.
Usually exams count a lot, so I recommend preparing for exams at least 1-2 weeks in advance. Remember, proper planning is key to an A.
Tip 5: Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise, and do fun things. Getting As in school requires a lot of work and sometimes it can become overwhelming. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle and enjoying life will help you get A’s without all the stress!
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips about 5 ways to get an “A” in school? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
It’s 24 hours until your SAT or ACT test. Here’s what to do.
Standardized testing can be stressful & worrisome, but worry no more! Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation goes live on Mass Appeal Channel 22 NBC Springfield to tell us what to do the day before and day of your SAT or ACT Test.
Pack all your stuff that you’ll need for tomorrow including:
5-6 Sharpened number two pencils
calculator with fresh batteries
snacks and water
Know how to get to the testing site.
In other words, don’t get lost or may start the test late. If necessary, plug the address into your GPS and drive from your house to the test site.
Eat an enjoyable meal and relax.
Feel free to catch an EARLY movie or watch a movie at home. Don’t go to a late movie or a party.
Don’t cram the night before the test and do a bunch of SAT or ACT practice test sections. Cramming will fry your brain and stress you out. Instead, do some leisure reading or memorize some math formulas to keep your mind sharp.
Rest and Get to Sleep early.
Get to bed a little earlier than you usually do so you can relax your mind and body and give yourself plenty of energy going into tomorrow morning’s test.
Wake up early.
By waking up early you give yourself ample time to get into your morning routine. Plus you’ll wake up in a good mood and stress-free knowing you not you already packed your backpack the night before!
Eat a good breakfast full of protein and carbs.
Don’t eat fried or high sugar foods! Instead, a protein and carb enriched breakfast will give you sustained energy over the course of a four hour test. Pre test breakfast suggestions include:
Two scrambled eggs with whole grain toast, and glass of OJ
Steel cut oats with skim milk topped with berries
Whole grain toast with a thin layer of peanut butter and sliced bananas
Do a couple of easy math problems while eating breakfast.
Doing some math in the morning will wake up the brain and keep you sharp.
Leave for the test site early.
If you get to the test site late you may wind up in the worst seat, or even worse, may miss a section of the test.
For a test break snack, eat dark chocolate.
A dark chocolate bar is a really good thing to have if you feel like you’re in a slump. It gives you a burst of energy without the crash.
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips about SAT/ACT test? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
Check out the Four Things the SAT and ACT Test Creators Will Never Tell You. Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation told us more.
1. You can learn to beat the test. By practicing and learning test-taking strategies (such as back solving questions on the math section or answering reading questions as you read the passage), you won’t only improve your test score, but can ace the test.
I had a student who practiced SAT problems each day, got tutored, and took the test 5 times, and then after super scoring his results (combining his best sections from multiple sittings), he improved close to 500 points and got into Brown University.
2. The essay graders spend no more than several minutes reading and grading your essay. The SAT graders are trained to do a masterful job of glancing through hundreds of essays in a sitting. Therefore, it’s critical that you make a great first impression on the judges by taking care of the basics.
Qualities of a cosmetically appealing essay include:
Legible handwriting (not cramped, enough spacing between words)
No cross-outs (erase all mistakes)
3 to 5 indented paragraphs (introduction, 1 to 3 supporting paragraphs, conclusion)
The longer the better (minimum 1.5 pages. In general, scores decrease as the length decreases)
3.The SAT is probably a harder test than the ACT test.
For years, students have come to my office to take my Test Prep Selector Practice Test which is an ACT SAT Hybrid Test comparing your ACT score to your SAT, and find that the majority of students do better on their ACT sections than on SAT sections. Why is that? The ACT is a more straightforward, less trickily worded exam; with fewer answer choices, no guessing penalty, and best overlaps with the school curriculum.
The SAT, which is getting redesigned starting March 2016 is trying desperately to look more like the ACT. The SAT got rid of the guessing penalty, there are fewer answer choices, and made the essay optional, but still the SAT exam questions look harder than ACT questions! So when applying for colleges, consider taking the ACT.
4.The SAT and ACT tests will help you get into college but not predict how successful you will be in college and post-college.
A good SAT or ACT score may get you into a better college on paper. But it’s proven that an accurate predictor of success is not the college you go to but how you utilize your time while in college.
A recent Gallup poll surveyed nearly 30,000 college graduates last year and found the percentages of students, who were thriving in all aspects of their lives, did not vary whether the grads went to a public or private four-year college.
I have students who got descent test scores, didn’t get into a top college but are doing amazingly well. What is their secret? These students maximize their time while at college. They find great programs and professors to partner with, they take advantage of the many internships available to them, and make great social and professional connections.
Overall I know students who didn’t ace the SAT and they are now young adults running their own businesses, working in careers that suit their passions, and best of all these students are happy. Just don’t tell the SAT that!
What was your biggest takeaway from these ACT/SAT tips? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
Use these strategies to start the year off on the right foot.
Organize Your Homework
Purchase an academic calendar with room to write notes in it.
(if you must use technology to schedule and organize your homework, use google calendar, or the iStudiez Pro App, which which is an easy way to keep track of your schedule, homework, and grades!
Take a look at all your assignments and make a list of what’s due each week.
Prioritize the list by arranging by due date.
Look at your assignments and figure out how long it will take to accomplish each task. For example, writing approximately how long takes to do math homework could be listed as 30 minutes ,1 hour etc.
Organize Your Backpack
Carry only the textbooks and folders for the classes you have on a given day. This will help protect your back, too!
Carry the following in a separate compartment: two black and blue ink pens, two pencils with erasers, a highlighter, a stack of blank index cards, and a mini pencil sharpener.
Always keep your assignment notebook near the top of your bag for easy access.
Store School Papers at Home
Make folders for each subject to store school papers.
At the end of each week, transfer graded school papers from your backpack to the appropriate home folder.
Keep your folders in special drawer away from other home clutter
Hang your A + papers on the fridge for all to see! It will give you that motivation to keep getting A’s.
Organize Your Desk
Remove all clutter from your desk.
Add the essentials that you will need each day (pens and pencils, lined paper, laptop) .
Group similar things together. Pencils/pens, post-it notes, and your stapler go in one area, while homework and projects goes in another area.
Keep a garbage can nearby to get rid of things.
Recommended School Supplies
Assignment notebook with room to write notes in
Pencils and Pens (blue and black ink)
Lined Paper and index cards
Tape and scissors (for school projects)
Mini Dictionary (students typically aren’t allowed to use their cellphones during the school day)
What was your biggest takeaway from these back to school tips? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?