Alexis Avila talks about how test preparation is …
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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 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?