Posts By: Melissa Slive

Take Control: Play to Your Strengths on the ACT Reading Section

Hey, guess what? Nobody’s watching over your shoulder as you take the ACT. And that means when it comes to the reading passages, you get to pick which one you read first. The ACT always includes four readings, always in the same order: prose, social science, humanities and natural science. Now, most students (I’d say… Read more »

Increase Your Speed on the ACT Science Section

If the ACT Science section was six hours long, almost everyone would get a perfect score. Unfortunately, you only have 35 minutes. Here are 6 tips to increase your speed: 1. Don’t pause between questions. When you take school tests or other standardized tests, you might be used to looking over your answer for a… Read more »

Subjective vs. Objective

I receive many questions about understanding the difference between these two key terms — here is my answer! Subjective questions and readings are tied to EMOTION. Objective questions and readings are tied to FACT. When reading a science passage, ask yourself, “Is this an objective or subjective piece?” If the passage is objective, the questions… Read more »

Add Flavor to your Essay- Bring in History

I have read literally thousands of SAT essays, and I know that many students mention examples from history in their 25 minute essay. However, students do just that – they mention history. In 25 minutes, the average student has difficulty coming up with the details necessary to really support an essay and therefore only brings… Read more »

Five Damaging Remarks Well-Meaning Parents Make

I recently posted the five characteristics of supportive parents, adapted from The Zen of the SAT by Susan Fine. Now it’s time to look at Susan Fine’s five damaging remarks well-meaning parents make. Sadly, I see that I have been guilty of at least three of the five damaging remarks, regarding tests in general. I… Read more »

Narrowing the College Search

There are thousands of colleges and universities to choose from. Start by eliminating schools that do not meet your standards. Consider the following criteria when first beginning your college search: • Regional Location • Setting (Urban or Rural) • Enrollment Size (20,000 or 2,000) • Academic Program • Admissions Criteria Admissions criteria should be the… Read more »

Signs that it Won’t Last

Remember, this is a committed relationship. You want four years of happiness… You Don’t Like the Campus. The school is great. The program is strong. The students seem enthusiastic. But the campus just doesn’t “feel right.” Be it the urban setting, the drab architecture or the lack of landscape, if you don’t feel right on… Read more »

Tips to Rock the 2015 ACT!

Here’s one New Year’s resolution you won’t want to break: rock the 2015 ACT! You can make this resolution a reality with these five helpful tips: English: The context (style and structure) questions usually require more thought than the grammar questions do. Focus first on just the grammar questions within each 15 question passage (there are… Read more »

Push Those Calculator Buttons!

When does 2 – 2 = 4? When a kid is stressed, the clock is ticking, and there’s only a few minutes left on the SAT or ACT. You’d be surprised by how many silly mistakes students make as they race through math problems, scribbling furiously in the margins of their test booklet. 2 –… Read more »

Tips to Rock the 2015 SAT!

As we ring in 2015, I want to share my four most popular SAT tips. (Next week I will give you my four most popular ACT tips.) Please share these tips with your child to ensure great testing success in 2015! I wish all of you a new year filled with laughter and joy. Reading… Read more »

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