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Quick Blogs

Below you can find a list of short blogs about topics that parents and students (should) care about the most. Taking standardized tests can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to. These 5-minute reads (in addition to our services) can change your perceptions about test-taking.

November 14, 2019
subject tests
Prepping for AP Exams and Subject Tests

It’s the winter of your junior year… you’ve just got your first quarter of grades and you’re absolutely killing AP bio!  You won’t start reviewing for AP exams in school until the spring, but that doesn’t mean you should put off thinking about them until then.  The spring of your junior year can get pretty […]

November 11, 2019
self reporting
Self Reporting Your Test Scores

In a surprising shift in college admissions, more colleges are now allowing applicants to self report their test scores. Previously, colleges required all applicants to send official score reports directly from the testing agency as a necessary part of the application. Not only did these reporting fees quickly add up, but having to send official […]

November 5, 2019
Does Prestige Matter?

Each year, the college admissions process gets more competitive, especially at the top schools in the country. This past year, Harvard’s admissions rate hit a low of 4.5%, and Stanford, the most selective school in the country, has elected not to publish its admissions rate for fear of dissuading prospective students from applying. It’s no […]

October 26, 2019
personal statement
Top 7 Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

Whether you go Common App or Coalition, your personal statement is the crown jewel of your application. If you’re doing your due diligence, this might be the 100th listicle you’ve read on how to write the perfect college essay, but we hope that it helps you out to hear it from someone you know you […]

October 24, 2019
stress
Student’s Don’t Know What They Don’t Know – And It Causes Stress

As high school gets more serious and college admissions become more competitive, it’s not a surprise that there’s an increasing prevalence of mental illness, including depression and anxiety, among high school students. In fact, new research has found that students in high performing schools have the same risk for serious mental illness as students growing […]

October 22, 2019
growth mindset
1-on-1 Tutoring and Growth Mindset

Imagine you are sitting in class. The teacher asks a question.  You think back to your homework the night before, and you’re 80% sure you know the answer. You go to raise your hand, but something in you is pulling it back down.  You’re not completely sure about the answer, and you don’t want to […]

October 16, 2019
easier SAT ACT
Are some SATs / ACTs Easier Than Others?

Yes. But not in the way that you think. Many students try to identify which month reliably offers the “easiest” test sitting— is it late fall when seniors are scrambling for a last minute boost or is it in winter and early spring?  While some tests are considered “easier” than others (and this has all […]

October 14, 2019
ACT to Allow Students to Retake Individual Sections

Starting next September, the ACT will allow students to retake individual sections instead of having to retake the entire test. This is an exciting change that could transform the way students prep for the test and the way colleges review ACT scores. Prior to this change, students would have had to retake the entire test […]

October 8, 2019
DEBUNKED: Common Myths About Testing

Does thinking about the SAT or ACT stress you out?  These tests are important and you should definitely take them seriously, but don’t let these common misconceptions contribute to an already stressful experience! 1. You shouldn’t take the test more than twice This is false. All colleges allow students to superscore the SAT.  Most colleges […]

October 3, 2019
Understanding the Test-Optional Movement

The SAT has been a lightning rod for controversy and criticism for decades, and the College Board’s efforts from the 2016 redesign to this year’s Adversity Index fumble have only served to feed the skepticism of parents and educators alike. Now, scores of elite colleges, including 15 of the 100 top-ranked national universities, have adopted […]

October 1, 2019
Taking the Test One Last Time

Should I take it one last time? As senior year begins, students might wonder if they should take the SAT or ACT one last time. Because taking the test again means taking time away from school work and college applications, there are some important things to consider before signing up. Would a few extra points […]

September 25, 2019
PSAT
When the PSATs Matter and When They Don’t

Most high schoolers will take the PSAT for the first time in October of sophomore year. For many students, it might seem like there is a lack of information surrounding this test.  What is the PSAT? Does my score count? Should I study?  As the name suggests, the PSAT is just a “preliminary SAT.”  The […]

September 19, 2019
Why “Sticker Price” is Misleading

With college tuition prices spiraling out of control, most families heavily consider “sticker price” when comparing prospective schools.  However, Paul Tough of the New York Times Magazine reports that 89% of students at private four-year colleges receive some form of financial aid— meaning that very few families pay sticker.  In fact, the average student paid […]

July 15, 2019
Summer Test Prep

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Who would have known amidst his journey to becoming one of the most gifted writers in the English language, Shakespeare would have known how to approach standardized test prep! We have fun with our literary references, but let’s be real: students need to take advantage of standardized […]

June 25, 2019
The Proctor Nightmare

Sign this petition to urge standardization of SAT/ACT proctors and test site: https://www.change.org/p/high-school-families-make-each-sat-act-proctor-and-test-room-standardized-8bc51f5c-0f5d-44c7-8129-a4e1e21653df Imagine it’s the morning of test day. Your student wakes up fully rested, prepared and confident that their SAT/ACT preparation is going to pay off. They’ve done their due diligence. They’ve hit the books, found a tutor, and done seven practice tests, […]

June 19, 2019
The Admissions Essay: Don’t Let the Prompts Define You

Say it’s a loved one’s birthday. You plan on going out and buying them a gift that’s unique to your relationship and makes them think of how thoughtful and caring you are. But alas, you’re crunched for time and the birthday party is tonight, so you gather all your allowance and decide to get the […]

June 14, 2019
The Burning House Dilemma

Imagine you’re in a burning house, what would be the few things you grab before you scram for the door?  You wouldn’t be able to bring the antique china set that has been passed down through generations and, honestly, you wouldn’t even have much time to decide at all. Due to the severity of the […]

June 13, 2019
Students Don’t Read and Don’t Know Where to Start

“The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, that the ties of brotherhood may still bind the rich and the poor in harmonious relationship. The conditions of human life have not only been changed but revolutionized, within the past few hundred years. In former years there was little difference between the dwelling, […]

June 5, 2019
The University of Virginia brings back Early Decision

As the college application process insidiously approaches and students make last minute touch ups to the common application essay, it is critical to encourage students to weigh their options in order to make the most informed decision about which schools to apply to and when. While some might choose to apply to every school on […]

May 23, 2019
How will the “Adversity Score” impact college admissions?

The Varsity Blues celebrity admissions scandal that broke just a few months ago left many yearning for a so-called meritocratic admissions system.  Just last week, the CollegeBoard announced their development of an “Adversity Index” that will allow colleges to view an applicant’s SAT score in the context of the socioeconomic status, crime rate, and average […]

November 28, 2018
But When Will I Ever Use This?

“Lines are stupid; I’ll never use these dumb formulas” Every teacher has heard this, and we at Streamline Tutors hear it constantly: “why do I need to know this beyond this test? I’m never going to use the formula for a line in the real world, so why learn it now?” There are multiple answers […]

November 6, 2018
The Case for Believing in Yourself

Why Believe Anything? In the age of fake news and alternative facts, it often feels impossible to tell what is true anymore. Any belief you have can be proven wrong with contrasting evidence, and it makes us return to the question: “Why believe anything at all?” This uncertainty has even leaked into test prep. With […]

September 11, 2018
Making March Marvelous

Thinking about March usually conjures up images of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and of course college basketball. Likewise, while college athletes prepare themselves for March Madness, we think that students should put just as much effort into preparing for the March SAT. Just as athletes do their hardest work in the offseason leading up to […]

July 13, 2018
Essays: Recommended but not Required

It seems that college admission boards are finally realizing what students knew all along: essay questions on tests are more hassle than they’re worth. As a recent article in the Washington Post points out, Princeton and Stanford have finally joined a long list of schools that have made the essay on the SAT and ACT […]

April 19, 2018
Late Season Applications: How to Make Colleges Woo You

College admissions decisions for the regular round are finally arriving in Baltimore — there are a number of opportunities high school seniors can seize if they are dissatisfied with their choices or discouraged by costs.  In the spring months, colleges are hustling to fill empty dorm rooms and open spots in their incoming classes. Come […]

March 23, 2018
Not Happy with your SAT Score?

March 10th — it came and went. Maybe you took a prep class with your friends, maybe your mom ordered you one of those big scary workbooks. You did what everyone told you to do. But now, here we are. It’s March of your junior year, and your SAT score isn’t where it needs to […]

February 1, 2018
Case Study 5: The “Bad Test-Taker”

Executive Summary: Anthony was a middle of the road Park student starting at an 1120 on his diagnostic SAT. He had great grades, but his performance on the SAT didn’t seem to match. Parents were struggling to come up with an explanation, but Streamline knew exactly what to do. Challenges: From the start, Anthony came […]

January 30, 2018
Case Study 4: The Recruited Athlete

Executive Summary: Claire was a star lacrosse player at McDonogh. Her junior year, she was recruited at an Ivy League school — all she needed was a 29 on the ACT. Challenges: Claire’s practice schedule made it impossible to register for a prep class. She needed one-on-one, with flexible timing that kept her committed and […]

Case Study 3: The Prep Plateau

Executive Summary: Teresa was a popular girl at Franklin High with a starting score of 21. She never thought of herself as an academic-type, but she needed a 27 for her dream school. Her tutor unearthed the academic insecurities that were preventing real growth. Challenges: Many students anticipate their development will be a linear progression: […]

Case Study 2: Bright Students Need Tutoring Too

Executive Summary: Tim was a bright Mcdonogh student with a high starting score — 1420 walking in the door. His parents had signed him up to take a prep class with another local company. After months with them, his score had managed to go down. Streamline turned things around. Challenges: In a large traditional classroom […]

January 10, 2018
Case Study 1: Unearthing Latent Obstacles To A Student’s Test Prep Success

Miles’ IQ was in the 99th percentile while his processing speed was below the 20th percentile. We wouldn’t find that out until we conducted a full battery of educational testing. It took a lot of work to get us there. The parents were resistant. “Isn’t extra time cheating? There’s nothing wrong with my kid!” Unfortunately, in the traditional classroom setting, a high IQ can mask certain learning differences. When a child is earning good grades and keeping up with the material, parents and teachers don’t always recognize red flags.

December 12, 2017
I just got my PSAT score…now what?

In October, sophomores and juniors around the country took the PSAT. If you’re a sophomore or junior, an email from the College Board will hit your inbox before the end of the week. When you open it, you’ll get directions to your score report. But what should you do next?

Why academic coaching could be the solution for your child

Our academic coaches at Streamline Tutors work to dispel the myths our students have absorbed into their self-conscious. We don’t let our students settle with what they’ve decided about themselves and their abilities.

November 28, 2017
T minus 3 days. It’s crunch time. Saturday is test day.

The official SAT is this Saturday. Read about our tutor Anneliese’s two experiences with the SAT–one successful and one not so much. Streamline’s tutors are not just test prep robots; we understand how daunting standardized tests can be. We are here to help. 

November 22, 2017
The SAT Essay isn’t required — so why bother?

Most top-tier colleges require the SAT or ACT Essay. There are exceptions — Cornell just recently made the essay optional, and UChicago considered the writing section supplemental even on the old SAT. The trouble is, most of us haven’t finalized our college lists on test day.

November 14, 2017
At Streamline, Holistic Prep is Successful Prep

Streamline emphasizes establishing where the student is coming from, and tailoring our instruction to the unique needs of the student. Streamline has a three-tiered pyramid approach to math problems on the SAT and ACT.

November 9, 2017
Tackling the Grammar Section

Streamline tutors train their students to look behind the question at the conceptual framework. This perspective is one of the core strengths that leads to successful strategy development and a confident approach to testing.

November 2, 2017
ACT vs. SAT
A Test Prep Plan for Juniors

Now that you’ve got your Halloween costume taken care of, it’s time to start thinking about standardized test prep.

August 16, 2017
Test Prep Before School Starts

Summer is thought of by parents, students, and teachers alike as a time for rest and relaxation, free from the stresses and commitments of the academic year. However, for students entering the junior year of high school, it is also a window of opportunity to begin SAT and ACT test prep. 

June 30, 2017
College Admissions Boot Camp – Stand Out Among the Competition

If you’re a parent with a rising senior applying to college in the fall, you may be looking ahead with some trepidation. With gossip swirling about the horror stories of kids with stellar GPAs and test scores not getting into their first, or for that matter, third choice , it may leave you shaking your head […]

May 3, 2017
Early Admission: A Strategic Move to Consider

Deciding whether or not to apply for early admissions can be challenging. Should you commit to a single school through Early Decision? Does early admissions really make a difference in your overall chances of being accepted? Here’s what you need to know.

April 25, 2017
ACT vs. SAT
ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Should You Take?

The truth is, colleges don’t prefer one test over the other. Both the ACT and SAT are similar in terms of content but differ in pacing and style. So, it’s important to pick the one that puts your best foot forward – and focus only on that one.

April 14, 2017
Why The New August SAT Test Date Is Awesome

The new August SAT date is awesome news for some students. Not only does it give students the opportunity to fully commit to prepping over the summer, but it also offers relief to a number of students in specific situations.

March 8, 2017
Secret Weapon for Dramatically Improving SAT or ACT Scores

To see a significant change in your SAT or ACT score, you need to fundamentally change your abilities in critical thinking and reading, not just learn memorization techniques and test shortcuts.

March 2, 2017
Too Late to Apply for Accommodations on the SAT and ACT?

In many cases, parents don’t even realize their students have a learning difficulty. They might just assume their student is a “poor test-taker,” without realizing there’s a legitimate reason why. Learning difficulties can be hard to detect, especially when high levels of intelligence mask underlying struggles with attention or processing.

February 24, 2017
I’m not happy with my SAT score!

With junior year creeping to a close, those who aren’t happy with their scores face a challenging array of questions: Should I jump ship on the SAT and try my hand at the ACT (or vice versa)? Should I sign up for a class? Seek out a private tutor? Switch tutors? Give up?

February 16, 2017
Why 4 months of tutoring for the SAT/ACT?

Some parents rush to sign up for SAT/ACT prep a month or two before the test, but the reality is that dramatic score improvements typically occur with 4 months of tutoring.

February 9, 2017
Who should take (and prep for) SAT Subject Tests?

Subject Tests represent another differentiating factor in college admissions evaluation.

March 22, 2016
How the New SAT Tests Intelligence (and What it Means for Your High School Student)

You might want to consider a different way to prep.

April 6, 2015
Don’t even bother applying to Harvard. Here’s why…

The admissions stats you’ve never seen.

September 17, 2014
Applying to College? You May Want to Delete Your Facebook Account

A life without Facebook might seem incomprehensible to some, but high school seniors applying to college would be wise to consider it, if only temporarily. As cited in the Huffington Post, more than 80 percent of college admissions officers use Facebook and other social media sites to get a second look at an applicant. Unless the […]

June 26, 2014
Making Your College Application Stand Out–Focus on What Makes You Unique

(Post also found on the Baltimore Fishbowl here: http://www.baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/making-your-college-application-stand-out/) It used to be that GPA and SAT scores dictated where a student would be accepted into college. Now high scores and top grades only get a student considered at selective colleges and universities. The admissions office at Harvard, for one, reports that over 70 percent of its applicants […]

March 27, 2014
An Exercise in Critical Reading: Why the SAT Will Change in 2016

Please read the following post carefully, as you would an SAT passage.  Critical reading questions — consistent with those found on the current SAT — will follow! In his speech March 5 announcing an overhaul of the current SAT, College Board President David Coleman owned up to criticism that the current SAT reinforces socio-economic inequality […]

March 25, 2014
Answers to the SAT Questions on “An Exercise in Critical Reading”

Please feel free to comment on the strategies you used to figure these questions out! 1. E 2. B 3. A 4. A

February 25, 2014
When Push Comes to Shove: When and Why Baltimore Parents Hire Tutors

A closer look at how tutoring can impact your child’s education.

December 21, 2013
Tailoring SAT/PSAT Strategy to Fit a Student’s Needs

Also found in the Baltimore Fishbowl With just a few days left until winter break, high school sophomores and juniors across Baltimore are powering through remaining tests and papers before the holiday vacation begins. But they’re also getting scores back from a standardized test they took in October: the PSAT. Students across the nation take the PSAT as […]

December 4, 2013
Give Yourself an Early Holiday Present: Make Your Teachers and Counselors Your Best Advocates

Some consider teacher and counselor recommendations to be the icing on the cake of a stellar college application, but they serve an integral role in the college application process. Most understand that the strongest recommendations don’t succumb to platitudes like, “Johnny is a great, hardworking student,” or “Sarah always goes the extra mile in class,” […]

October 22, 2013
Is the Ivy League Out of Reach for Most Baltimore Students?

Also published in BaltimoreFishbowl.com: found here. Last year, Baltimore Fishbowl writer Rachel Monroe reported on the parental angst incited by the low acceptance rates of Baltimore students at elite colleges.  Since then, not much has changed: acceptance rates remain relatively low at area high schools while  New England’s best prep schools still send students by the […]

October 16, 2013
How to Improve Executive Functioning (Part 1): Learn a Second Language

One of the biggest buzzwords in education these days is the term “executive function” (EF). While the term itself may conjure up images of elementary school students in suits and ties, we’re sure our savvy Baltimore readers know that EF skills are actually the overarching capacities that enable students to stay on task, plan ahead, […]

October 10, 2013
Getting the Most out of your High School Experience from Day 1 (SAT & College Visits)

It’s only October and already tension is in the air for high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Will the government shutdown persist? Will the Affordable Care Act work? What happened to my Pre-Calculus grade? Which Baltimore tutoring company can help me do my best? Amidst these dubious times, there are several certainties regarding college admissions […]

September 23, 2013
A College Admissions Perspective: Getting the Most out of your High School Experience from Day 1 (Extracurricular Activities)

Well into September, high school students are hopefully acclimated to the academic demands of the new school year. For some, fall sport seasons are already in full swing, necessitating that students manage their time wisely to stay on top of projects, tests, and homework.  Others may have extra time on their hands and may wish […]

September 19, 2013
College Rankings and College Admissions: Coming Out on Top

A look at what’s really behind the US News & World Report College Rankings and how they impact college admissions.

September 16, 2013
What Counts for College Admissions: Part 1 GPA

Director Ian Siegel takes an in-depth look at the way colleges evaluate your GPA.

September 5, 2013
rosh hashanah
Rosh Hashanah: a day to Reflect… on Parent Involvement in School

America lags behind its counterparts in every major subject on the OECD.

August 27, 2013
What to Do on Day 1 of Your High School

The last days of August bring mixed emotions to high school students and parents alike.  Most students mourn the estival freedom that steadily slips behind them while still anxiously looking forward to what the new school year has in store: extracurricular activities, old and new friends, a new list of classes to attend, room numbers […]

August 6, 2013
SAT, ACT, or BOTH?

How to choose between prepping for the SAT & ACT.

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