Student

Common Application Essay Prompts for 2014-15

2014-15 Common Application Essay Prompts Rising Seniors, use this summer to write your Common Application Essay.  The Common Application itself will go live on August 1, 2014 but the essay prompts are available now.

As stated in The Common Application Knowledgebase:

"The Common Application will retain the current set of first-year essay prompts for 2014-15, without any edits or additions. The essay length will continue to be capped at 650 words. The feedback received from member colleges and school counselors has been positive. The essay prompts will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that they continue to serve students and member colleges well.

The essay prompts are as follows:

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family."

EDNAvigators offers assistance with the College Essay Process

 

The New Redesigned SAT

David Coleman reported on The Redesigned SAT today.  Below are some highlights. DeliveringOpportunity.org will provide all specifics of the new SAT.  The New SAT will be:

  • Focused and Clear
  • Useful and Open (applicable to work in college and career settings)
  • Based upon what is currently taught in class

The Content of the Redesigned SAT will include Three Sections

1.  Evidence Based Reading and Writing:

  • The exam will showcase students command of evidence rather than picking right answers.
  • Students will be asked to locate the evidence that supports the answers.
  • Students will read and analyze a wide range of texts (Science, Social Studies etc) - This sounds very similar to the current ACT
  • Students will work with narratives  and graphs - students must be data analysts
  • Students will analyze texts.
  • There will be no more sentence completion
  • Vocabulary will be "powerful words" like synthesis and its various meanings

2.  The Essay

  • Assignment will be to analyze the core argument of a text.
  • Directions will be:  As you read the passage in front of you, consider how the author uses evidence, reasoning, and stylistic or persuasive elements to add power to the ideas expressed.
  • Essay will be optional on the SAT (like the current ACT)

3. Math

  • Will focus on three areas:
  1. problem solving and data analysis (ratios, proportions..)
  2. the heart of algebra (linear equations and systems)
  3. passport to advanced math (the math that opens doors of opportunity - calculus will be included)
  • Students will be presented with a scenario to which they will apply the math they have learned.
  • There will be calculator and non calculator sections of the SAT.

Other Facts:

  • America's Founding Documents and Global Conversation will be included on the Redesigned SAT.
  • The new exam will be given spring 2016 It will be offered both through computer and pencil and paper.
  • The new test length will be 3 hours with an optional 50 minute essay
  • The New SAT will return to the 1600 score
  • The essay will be scored separately.
  • The penalty for wrong answers will be removed.
  • April 16 the full blue print for the exams and sample questions of the New SAT will be revealed.
  • Khan Academy will provide FREE test prep.  It will be adaptive.  It will provide customized learning.  Khan Academy has always been a cornerstone of learning at EdNavigators.  As EdNavigators students know, Khan Academy has provided answers to the questions in the College Board Blue Book for a while.  We are thrilled about this new partnership.  We are looking forward to the Khan Academy SAT Prep. Khan Academy SAT prep will be found at:  khanacademy.org/sat

Sandy Aprahamian, Principal, Educational Consultant  - EdNavigators

AP Exams - Quick Facts

AP Exams are the cumulative final exam for students who take AP classes in high school.AP Exams 101 Test takers do not have to have completed an AP course to sit for the exam.

For some colleges, AP exams can earn the student college credit.  For other colleges, AP courses and successful exam scores are expected for admission - no college credit is earned.

AP exams are scored from 1-5  a minimum of three is required to earn college credit but many schools require a 4 or 5 on the AP exam to award college credit.  This varies by school, by subject sometimes by department within a school.

AP exams are offered in high schools over a two week period in May.

For a full description of AP exams and the dates they are offered, visit The College Board's AP Website.

Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Consultant, EdNavigators

Prevent Panic on ACT Test Day

ACT TIPSYou have been working hard and are academically prepared for the ACT.  Don't let last-minute logistics sabotage your confidence.  Below are last-minute tips to prevent test panic and maintain an optimal state of mind for testing. Two days before the test:

  • Print out your admission ticket and read it over.
  • Read and complete the Test Day Checklist
  • Read the Test Day Tips
  • Gather everything you need to bring to the test center.
  • Get directions to the test center.  Plan a test-drive to the test center if you are not familiar with the area.
  • Decide what time you will need to leave your house in order to arrive at the test center a few minutes early.
  • Plan what you will wear to the exam and lay it out. Pick something comfortable.
  • Plan your breakfast for test day and be sure you have the ingredients available.
  • Reviewing the big picture format and timing of the test.

The day before the test:

  • Gather any test items that you were not able to find yesterday.
  • Make sure there is enough gas in your car.
  • Relax - Remind yourself that you ARE prepared for the test. Focus on how much you DO know.
  • Do NOT think about areas you feel you need work on.  Do NOT take extra practice tests.  If negative thoughts slip into your mind, delete them immediately.  Tell yourself you are prepared. Do NOT try to cram in information.
  • Go to the movies or do something that takes your mind off of the test.

Unexpected Scenario 1:  Bad weather and power outages

Unexpected Scenario 2:  Sick on test day

  • Don’t worry.  Colleges do not see that you registered for but missed the test day.  Obviously, is best to take the test when you are healthy. If you are unsure of what to do, is worth a call (319.337.1270) to ACT to explain your situation and discuss your options.

If any other questions come up, go to the testing source, ACT.org.

A relaxed brain performs.  In order to earn your optimal score, take ACT in a comfortable, relaxed and confident state of mind.

Wishing you all the very best on test day.

Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Independent Educational Consultant, EdNavigators

 

 

Who is Logan LaPlante? What is hackschooling? It’s worth twelve minutes of your time to find out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY I came across this video when reading the most recent Edutopia blog.  I encourage you to set-aside twelve minutes to watch it.  In this video, Logan proves that there is more than one way to get an excellent education.  Options in education are available and attainable.

Logan LaPlante is a teen full of life, inspiration and passion.  He is a self-described hackschooler who is sculpting his personal and unique path to happiness.  Logan clearly has family, friends, educators and supporters who are open-minded about education and understand that education is not a one-size-fits-all experience.  These role-models have enabled Logan to navigate his customized educational path.  Kudos to Logan and to those supporting him on his journey.

Hackschooling is a term that was coined by Logan LaPlante in his Tedx speech.  Logan describes hackschooling as "hacking school" - breaking it down into small pieces so that it may be improved.  The best innovators are those who think outside the box and find better ways to accomplish a goal.  By “hacking school” Logan is building his own, improved and customized model of education.

In 2013, I started EdNavigators with the hacking mindset.  My goal as an educator has always been to customize education and help each student I work with find and implement the educational/life-path that matches his or her unique self. My mission is to help students, like Logan, navigate their own educational paths.  I offer my teaching skills, knowledge of the educational process and personal experience to guide each student on his or her journey. I enjoy the variety of working with students from different backgrounds and all school environments including homeschoolers, hackschoolers and unschoolers.

I wish the happiest of holidays to all of the students and families with whom I have worked this year.  I wish you the very best on your education and life path and feel fortunate have the opportunity to guide you in discovering your dreams and making them a reality.

Without my own supportive family, friends, educators, and supporters, EdNavigators would not exist. Thank you for everything.  I wish you all true happiness and a life of purpose.  Make your dreams a reality in the year ahead.

Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Independent Educational Consultant, EdNavigators

 

Time Sensitive College Advice for High School Juniors and Their Parents

For the Students:  Standardized Testing Timeline

High School Juniors should plan to take the SAT or ACT this winter.  Sign up for the exams and begin preparation now.

For the Parents:  Financial Aid/ College Affordability Timeline

Parents, of Juniors, THIS (2013) is the tax year that will be used for FAFSA and Profile financial aid forms.  The time to get a feel for where you stand, is NOW.  I recommend a fee-based financial planner who specializes in college affordability.  Higher Education is a big investment and honest financial counseling is an important first step of the college planning process. The money and time spent on the financial planner's advice and analysis often pays for itself.  I recommend Fred Amrein at College Affordability for a personalized and customized financial plan for college. His website provides a financial aid video library.  It is worth a look.

 

Sir Ken Robinson

Cover of "The Element: How Finding Your P...

Sir Ken Robinson has had a place on my list of favorites since I was introduced to his book, The Element, in 2009. Every time I read, watch or listen to Sir Ken Robinson I feel inspired and optimistic.
I agree with Sir Ken Robinson's belief that education is about finding each person's passion.  Education is not a cookie cutter process because humans are not cookie cutter creations.  We are each uniquely created and influenced by our environment and our peers.
An educational environment that is best for one student is not best for another.  Successfully educating students requires knowledge, creativity, and commitment to each unique child.  A student must be in a relaxed environment to learn and create.  A relaxed and inspired brain learns.
In the past, within hours of reading, seeing or hearing Sir Ken Robinson's work, my bubble of optimism began to deflate.  I would realize that the changes needed to improve education were too vast.   Vast change takes time and we have a generation that can't wait.
My desire to do something now led to EdNavigators .  Through EdNavigators, I help students, on an individual basis, to discover their passions, navigate their educational paths, overcome roadblocks**, and move toward their dreams.
Sir Ken Robinson will be speaking at Malvern Preparatory School on  Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30PM.  Kudos to Malvern Prep for hosting this forward thinker and popular presenter!  I encourage everyone who is able, to see Sir Ken Robinson at Malvern Prep.  This is the link to purchase tickets.