Test is Changing

Big Testing ChangesThe Answer is Blowin’ In the Wind

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the answers were actually blowing in the wind?  Unfortunately Bob Dylan wasn’t speaking of the ACT and SAT when he wrote this fabulous song over 50 years ago.  What Dylan did get right was the wisdom of the roads we must travel to actually get the answers.  With major changes coming to the SAT, the answers may be even harder to find, but at MaThCliX we are working around the clock to demystify these changes and help your student score their best on standardized testing.

Many have asked me about the changes and how they will impact students.  The test is changing the scoring system from 2400-1600, with the writing portion now being optional, but more importantly the content is changing significantly.  The approach to the reading passages will be completely different and the math will now explore higher level content areas.  The reading will now include more content based reading, but with more common vocabulary.  I GREATLY encourage everyone to learn more about these changes and schedule a meeting with me to discuss how this may change things for your student.

The PSAT is also changing and even sooner!  The PSAT will be debuting its changes, quite similar to the changes for the SAT, in October!  The scoring will now more closely align with the scoring of the 1600 scale SAT and it is expected that PSAT scores will now be a better indicator of how a student will do on the SAT.  In the past the PSAT was a good introduction to the SAT, but lacked transferability to SAT scoring.  I think this is a great new feature of the new PSAT.  I look forward to making my own comparisons once we have real world examples to use.

“The ACT isn’t changing too, is it?” is the other question I’m getting asked quite often.  No, the ACT is not changing this year, except for its typical simple updates.  In all reality, the SAT is changing to be quite a bit more like the ACT.  This is good news for those who like the ACT already and it is also great for those who would like to prepare to take both tests.

Come join us this Fall to prepare for all of your test prep needs.  Debuting this Fall, MaThCliX will be offering an unique opportunity to learn test prep skills in a book club.  Test Prep Book Clubs will run for two months and will teach reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing and test taking strategies.  We will also continue to offer our great one on one tutoring packages designed to see the greatest growth in test prep achievement.


Contact me today to create your perfect plan and learn more about all the changes!

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

practice makes perfectStudents question the need to be in the Math Lab during the summer, yet they don’t question the need for summer football training.  Just like we need to keep our bodies in shape, we need to keep our brains in shape. 

If you’ve seen a lot of progress through the year, why would you let that dwindle away by not practicing those skills over the summer?  Start out the new year strong with a fresh mind that has practiced and kept in shape.

Think about when you first learned to read.  You started with letters, which turned into words, then into sentences and finally BOOKS.  If you did not study and look at letters daily, you would not have been able to turn those letters into words and you would have to continually relearn.  Take what you have learned this year, grow it, expand it and understand things at a whole new level. 

Some things to work on over the summer include: basic math skills, logic skills, writing skills and my personal favorite, test taking skills!

Summer is not only a great time to keep up skills you’ve already learned, but also a good time to get started on preparing for the SAT and ACT while not plagued with hours of homework and practice until 8pm.  And how about a little incentive to get started today?  Sign up for a Test Prep package that includes 10 hours or more of tutoring by July 1st and receive $25 off of a Fall Test Prep lab package.

A Little Gold Star

A Little Gold StarLittle Gold Star

How many of you parents remember the work you would do for one of those little foil stars?  I can remember practicing a song on piano over and over in hopes that it would gain me that tiny little seal of confidence.  And when I did earn one, the next week I’d practice twice as hard because I knew I could earn one and had to prove myself once again.  
What was it about that star that made me work?  It certainly wasn’t it’s monetary value or glamour.  It was the pride that came with knowing I could do something.  Every other week I accomplished my songs, but that week, I was a star!  

Do you know the role your positive words play in your students’, friends’, coworkers’, spouse’s, tutor’s lives?  Your role is huge in your child’s education, even if you never look at a piece of homework.  Encouraging them to score their best, without berating them over less than stellar grades can make all the difference in the world.  I would never be where I am today without my mom telling me how proud she was of my grades, piano playing, crafting, etc.  Now I was never good at cleaning my room, so she chose not to focus on that flaw, as she knew I could make it to adulthood with clothes on the floor, but I couldn’t without my education.
As MaThCliX test prep coordinator I spend quite a bit of time encouraging students to use their own abilities.  I find so many of the skills a student needs to excel on the ACT and SAT are within them, they just don’t trust their instincts and chances are, someone along the way chose to point out all of their mistakes and not their strengths.  I am not at all saying students do not need to know their mistakes or to work on where they struggle (that’s why we’re here!), but the approach is key.  A conversation started with confirmation of what is done right, is going to be received a whole lot better than one that begins with everything someone fails.  I see students with the same abilities and different confidence levels score drastically different.  
I want to close with some tangible ways you can encourage your children, coworkers, peers:
1. Commend good behavior
2. Spend more time with praise than discouragement
3. Work on things like vocabulary together as a family, make it fun, a joke even and laugh together when you use it!
4. Talk about areas of weakness as how you can improve, rather than focusing on it being a poor area
5. Don’t use powerschool only to ground your child, but also as a bragging point
6. Ask your child’s tutor what they did well, so you can discuss
7. Keep in mind, we all have different skills and abilities.  If one child isn’t doing what another did, encourage them to do THEIR best and do not compare to others!

Oh the Places You Will Go

test prep

Oh the places you will go!

Why is so much emphasis placed on a test you will take on one day of your life?  Does the very thought make you want to cry or run away and join the circus?  Let’s dive into some information that can hopefully make those cold sweats stop and give your student the confidence he or she needs to accomplish this great task and unlock a world of opportunities for the places to go.

The SAT and ACT tests were designed to give colleges and universities a standard upon which to base their acceptance.  With school systems differing as much as pizza toppings, it is essential to have some similar way to test students coming from around the world.  Are these tests fair?  I could argue on both sides of this for days on end, but the bottom line is, these tests are required.

A high score on one or both exams can be just what is needed to differentiate between two students and get your student into the university of their dreams.  To obtain this high score, preparation is the key.  If your student has a smart phone, start by downloading an app that allows them to study vocabulary on their own, daily.  There are many free apps out there and knowing and using vocabulary is a big component to scoring well on the exam and aiding with the fundamentals for college.

How can MaThCliX help you?  MaThCliX offers various individualized plans of attack to help students conquer the world of SAT and ACT preparation.  We begin by offering a practice exam, with a full evaluation.  The Evaluation includes your student’s specific scores and where they need to focus their time.  Recommendations will be made a packages offered that may include independent work, classwork or individual tutoring sessions. As every student learns differently, the plan provided will include what is best for each student and not a generic one size fits all plan.

If you have any questions, please contact me, Katie Boswell.  Asking questions does not commit you to anything.  I want to help all students achieve their greatest potential and open up the opportunities for the places they can go.  [email protected]