My Blog

College Admissions

How Standardized Testing Benefits Individuals

Standardized testing evaluates test takers’ understanding of meaningful academic skills that are necessary for their success as students, professionals, and citizens. This post is authored and published by the National Test Prep Association and shared here with permission. Photos by Kelly Sikkema and John Arano on Unsplash

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College Admissions

The Value of Test Preparation

In addition to higher test scores, test preparation has many additional benefits. This post is authored and published by the National Test Prep Association and shared here with permission.

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College Admissions

How Standardized Testing Benefits Society

Standardized tests remain among the most efficient and effective tools for measuring student knowledge, ability, and achievement. This post is authored and published by the National Test Prep Association and shared here with permission.

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College Admissions

You are a tutor? Don’t talk to me.

An aspect of the conversations around college admissions that has baffled me is how some college admissions officers and college counselors entirely dismiss the input of SAT and ACT tutors. Everyone’s input should be put to scrutiny, especially when someone has a financial interest in a topic. So scrutiny of a tutor’s input is justified. But is outright rejection of the possibility that they can meaningfully add to the discussion surrounding the value of the SAT and ACT? I think not. Here’s why. Understanding Samantha Only SAT and ACT tutors see the tests, students’ performance and progress on the actual

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Thoughts on Life

Keys to Success

Here are the keys I have found for succeeding at work and in life. Work Hard This seems obvious, right? Actually, not so much. For the last 9 years, I have been asking my students what the primary key to success is. The answers have ranged from: connections, education, money, luck, personality, etc. Most of those are good to great answers. But none of them are as important as hard work. If you don’t work hard, then none of the other things matter overly much. But, if you do work hard enough, then you can overcome not having most, if

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Thoughts on Life

How to be Extraordinary

By definition, the average person is not extraordinary. And yet, paradoxically, the surest path to becoming extraordinary is to be what people would assume to be ordinary. It is only because most people do not do what is expected of all people that, if you do what is expected, you will be extraordinary and viewed as such by other people. All of the following are obvious, but, what is not obvious to most people, is that doing the following will make them extraordinary. Be Prompt with Communication People are emotional. Very, very, very, very emotional. Not some people. All people.

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Personal Finance

Highest Pay Per Hour

By direct experience and by observation, I believe the highest most people are ever paid per hour is at times when they work for free. I know. Sounds ridiculous, right? Here are some examples from my life and the lives of others to illustrate the point: My Own Experience When I started my first job after college, I was tutoring part-time. The tutoring company for which I worked had more-or-less no SAT/ACT curriculum, even though they were a tutoring company that specialized in SAT/ACT prep. (That, by the way, should tell you a lot about the quality of SAT/ACT prep

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Travel Experience

Maldives Itinerary

Before talking about an itinerary for the Maldives, I first need to talk about whether it is worth it to go to the Maldives. So here are the pros and cons of making the trip: Cons: Long plane trip: It took us 22 hours to get there – 19 of those hours were spent in airplanes. Small land masses with little elevation: I really like hiking. Well, that’s impossible in the Maldives because the highest land elevation on the over 1,000 islands is about 20 feet above sea level and the largest island is about 1 square mile. You will

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Travel Experience

Maui Itinerary

Because Maui was my favorite vacation, I want to share what an incredible place this is and what we did, so hopefully, you can have a similarly great or even more amazing experience. Why Maui? While you might go visit other islands, if you’re only going to one, this is probably it. Maui is a fantastic blend of tourist amenities (great restaurants, etc) and nature, so it’s really a perfect blend of how amazing Hawaii is. Region to stay: The best regions are the west side of the island and the south side of the middle of the island. Both

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Personal Finance

Financial Stewardship

Desires Desires are infinite. Is there a new physical possession that you want? Consider that if you get it, you will still, ironically, not have received what you want. What we want more than the physical possession is to fulfill our feeling of desire. But that is not possible with physical possessions. The sooner we recognize that fulfilling a physical desire simply leads to a new unfulfilled desire, we can stop the insatiable cycle of a lack of fulfillment. Learn to temper and reign in your desires; if you don’t, you are 100% guaranteed to be discontent. Only when we

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