New SAT Causes Family Fights

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Top Ten Secrets to reduce stress between parents and college-bound high school students wrtitten by a test-prep expert and author. New SAT will be given for the first time on March 12, 2005.

Top Ten Secrets to reduce stress between parents and college-bound high school students:

1. Parents: Take the SAT Challenge! If parents will take an SAT practice test they will feel some of the same anxiety, cringe at their results, and discover that the test is hard.

2. Hire SAT tutors who emphasize academics. Hire SAT prep tutors who focus on the applicable academic material rather than just the tricks.

3. Get email reports from tutors. Have the tutors keep the parents informed about each session so that the parent tracks progress with the tutor rather than pestering the student for information.

4. Try the ACT. Have the student try the ACT. Most colleges accept it and some students do better on it than on the SAT.

5. Make learning fun. Also, have the student do the crossword and other word puzzles in SAT Vocabulary Express, the fun book of word puzzles that will increase SAT scores.

6. Emphasize getting good grades rather than good SAT scores. Bs in honors classes are better than As in regular classes.

7. Hire an independent college counselor High school college counselors are overworked and do not have the time to walk families through the process.

8. Realize that the schools parents attended may not be within reach for their child. The number of high school students planning to attend college has increased dramatically; the student may be well qualified for a particular college and may still not get in.

9. Look for colleges where the student will thrive academically and socially. Choosing colleges based on their name recognition and prestige value is a formula that will increase stress, not decrease it.

10. Support your child through a difficult process. Leave the nagging to the tutors and college counselor. Why ruin the student’s last year at home?

SAT Vocabulary Express: Word Puzzles Designed to Decode the New SAT -- Solve puzzles, play games--and improve your SAT score!

Memorizing words isn't a very effective way to ace the SATs. To score well, students have to play with words--take words apart, understand their connotations, and spot the word games the test is playing.

About the Authors:

Jacqueline Byrne is a founding partner of Ivy Educational Services, a test prep and college counseling firm in Scotch Plains, New . She provides private tutoring for the new critical reading and writing SAT, the ACT, and the AP and SAT II Literature exams. Michael Ashley's crossword puzzles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He has been a contributor to Games Magazine for 25 years.

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Jacqueline Byrne