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Get That Job: An employment guide for high school, college and beyond 01/21/2020

Now offering a new course:

Get That Job: An employment guide for high school, college and beyond

We realize not for all students will attend college. To help high school students transition into the work world we now offer Get That Job: An Employment Guide for High School, College and Beyond. In this six-hour course students will write a professional resume and cover letter, learn to manage social media and networking accounts for maximum professionalism, become familiar with job banks and websites, and explore how to seek, apply and interview for a job. This class is offered at Alden, Eden, Iroquois, Lake Shore and Niagara Wheatfield Schools. As with all of our classes students are welcome to attend any site.

Planning Your College Admissions Test Prep Timeline 10/14/2019

Freshman Year: No standardized test for you. Work on your grades!

Sophomore Year:

October – if your school offers the PSAT and/or the Pre-ACT, it’s a good idea to take them. 

Two main benefits of taking the PSAT as a sophomore:

  • It’s good practice for the SAT and a PSAT score will show which areas of the test you might be weaker in.

  • It’s good practice for your junior-year PSAT (listed below).

The benefit of taking the Pre-ACT as a sophomore:

  • It’s good practice for the ACT and a Pre-Act score will show you which areas of the test you might be weaker in.

Junior Year: 

October: it’s a good idea to take the PSAT or Pre-ACT test if you didn't take it in your sophomore year. We also strongly suggest that you complete a simulated SAT and/or ACT test. We offer both free of charge.

The two main benefits of taking the PSAT/Pre-ACT as a junior:

  • It’s good practice for the actual SAT/ACT.

  • A good score can earn you National Merit recognition, which may include a scholarship!

(See http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php)

Spring:

  • SAT/ACT – You will likely start taking one or both of these at this point (technically, you can take these tests earlier, but it’s always better to wait until junior year, when you’ve studied the requisite content, especially the math). Each test is offered three times during the spring, but the dates are staggered so that the ACT and SAT are never on the same weekend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  •  SAT subject Test – These are one-hour multiple-choice test in specific subjects (e.g., Spanish, U.S. History, Biology) given on the  same dates at the SAT. You cannot take both the SAT and a Subject Test on the same date, but you can take up to three Subject Tests, which are a good way to show off your strengths. Remember that students opt into the Subject Test, so take the ones in area where you know you will excel.

Senior Year:

Fall: Hopefully you’ve taken the SAT and/or the ACT, and/or the Subject Tests by now, but if you want to improve your scores, you’ll have one or two more opportunities usually in October and November. Although some colleges may not accept scores from November test dates. Check with your college counselor to be absolutely sure.

Spring: Enjoy life! You got into college! All your dreams are coming true! And that’s due in large part to the fact that you planned out early which tests you would take and when you would take them.

Please contact All-Pro Tutoring & Test Prep at (716) 400-2767 or (716)310-3319 if you have any questions/concerns regarding the ACT or SAT tests or if we can help your student prepare for either test.

Also don't forget to register for our FREE Simulated ACT/SAT tests. Pre-registration is required.

Changes Coming to the ACT Test 10/14/2019

 The changes are effective September 2020. They will allow test takers:

  • Who have already taken the full ACT to retake only a part of the exam (English, math, reading, science or writing).
  • To decide whether to take the test online or on paper.
  • To use "superscoring" in which they combine scores from multiple ACT tests.

The key advantage to the ACT superscoring -- as opposed to that of the College Board with the SAT -- is that someone doesn't need to retake the entire test. Students could just take the portion of the ACT they wanted.

Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer, said that the changes would not make the ACT easier. "Our research shows that ACT scores for students who take individual section tests are consistent with those earned when they take the entire test. We are simply offering new ways to take the ACT, saving students time and giving them the ability to focus only on subject areas needing improvement," she said.

Starting the College Search: How Parents Can Help 10/14/2019

Finding a college that is a good fit and affordable for your teen can be overwhelming with thousands of colleges to choose from. There isn’t a magic formula for building a college list, but there are a few key steps you can take as you and your high schooler start the college search and learn about your financial aid options.

  1. Explore your financial aid options. The most important thing you can do is work with your teen to figure out how to pay for college. Completing the FAFSA during your their senior year of high school, searching for scholarships, including local scholarships and opportunities offered by your employer, and saving for your teen’s education are important steps that can help lessen the financial burden of college. Jeff Boron from Send Your Kids to College is a valuable assest when planning how to pay for college. His contact information is listed below.

  2. Determine what your teen is looking for in a college. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your teen about what they’re looking for in a college.Do they want to attend a school located in a city or a more suburban or rural setting? Do they want to go to a large school or somewhere smaller? Do they have a particular major in mind?Discussing the answers to questions like these can help you and your teen narrow down their options and identify the “must haves” when it comes to building their college list.

Visit colleges and attend college fairs. Visiting a college is a great way to get a feel for a college and whether your son or daughter might want to apply there. When you’re on campus, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore and talk to lots of different people, including students, professors, and staff.

  1. BigFuture’s Campus Visit Checklist can help you make the most of your visit. If you can’t make it to a college campus, you can learn a lot about different colleges online or by attending a college fair.

  2. Get advice. You aren’t alone and neither is your son or daughter. Talk to people around you who may have gone through the experience as well—family members, other parents, teachers, school counselors, faith leaders, or other community members.Talk to them with your teen about their college goals and get their suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if this is the first time you are navigating the process!

Through the entire college application process, BigFuture, the College Board’s free college planning tool, can help you and your teen. Use our College Search tool to find colleges based on the characteristics that are most important to you and save your college list with your College Board account.

One of the best things you can do as a parent during this time, is to be supportive. It can be a stressful time for both you and your teen, so focus on the destination, and enjoy the journey.

And don’t forget to celebrate the successes and milestones along the way. Putting in the hard work now will be worth it when your teen gets that college acceptance letter in the mail!

By Cassandra Larson, Executive Director for the Access to Opportunity Program at The College Board.

For college entrance test prep contact All-Pro Tutoring & Test Prep (716) 400-2767 or 310-3319. For college planning contact Jeff Boron of Send Your Kids to College, Western New York's only nonprofit college planning organization. To schedule a private consultation call (716) 633-1515. For more information visit: www.sendyourkidstocollege.com

5 Key Skills for Academic Sccess 08/20/2019

It's never too early or too late to help your child develop the skills for academic success. Learn how to build these skills and stay on track all year long.

by: | August 18, 2019

Five-key-skills-for-academic-success

It takes a combination of skills — organization, time management, prioritization, concentration and motivation — to achieve academic success. Here are some tips to help get your child on the right track.

Talk to your child.

To find out which of these skills your child has and which he can develop further, start a simple conversation that focuses on his goals. Ask him about his favorite subjects, classes he dreads and whether he’s satisfied with his latest progress report.

Listen for clues.

Incorporate your own observations with your child’s self-assessment. Is your child overwhelmed by assignments? She may have trouble organizing time. Does your child have difficulty completing her work? She may get distracted too easily. Is your child simply not interested in school? She may need help getting motivated.

Identify problem areas.

Start here to help your child identify which of the five skill areas are trouble spots.

  1. Organization

    Whether it’s keeping track of research materials or remembering to bring home a lunch box, children need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.

    Tips to help your child get organized:

    • Make a checklist of things your child needs to bring to and from school every day. Put a copy by the door at home and one in his backpack. Try to check with him each day to see if he remembers the items on the list.
    • Find out how your child keeps track of his homework and how he organizes his notebooks. Then work together to develop a system he will want to use.
    • Shop with your child for tools that will help him stay organized, such as binders, folders or an assignment book.

  2. Time Management

    Learning to schedule enough time to complete an assignment may be difficult for your student. Even when students have a week to do a project, many won’t start until the night before it’s due. Learning to organize time into productive blocks takes practice and experience.

    Tips to help your child manage time:

    • Track assignments on a monthly calendar. Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.
    • Help your child record how much time she spends on homework each week so she can figure out how to divide this time into manageable chunks.
    • Together, designate a time for nightly homework and help your child stick to this schedule.
    • If evenings aren’t enough, help your child find other times for schoolwork, such as early mornings, study halls or weekends.

  3. Prioritization

    Sometimes children fall behind in school and fail to hand in assignments because they simply don’t know where to begin. Prioritizing tasks is a skill your child will need throughout life, so it’s never too soon to get started.

    Tips to help your child prioritize:

    • Ask your child to write down all the things he needs to do, including non-school-related activities.
    • Ask him to label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
    • Ask about each task, so that you understand your child’s priorities. If he labels all his social activities as 1, then you know where his attention is focused.
    • Help your child change some of the labels to better prioritize for academic success. Then suggest he rewrite the list so all the 1s are at the top.
    • Check in frequently to see how the list is evolving and how your child is prioritizing new tasks.

  4. Concentration

    Whether your child is practicing her second-grade spelling words or studying for a trigonometry test, it’s important that she works on schoolwork in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.

    Tips to help your child concentrate:

    • Turn off access to email and games when your child works on the computer.
    • Declare the phone and TV off-limits during homework time.
    • Find space that fits the assignment. If your child is working on a science project, she may need lots of space; if she’s studying for a Spanish test, she will need a well-lit desk.
    • Help your child concentrate during homework time by separating her from her siblings.

  5. Motivation

    Most children say they want to do well in school, yet many still fail to complete the level of work necessary to succeed academically. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into your child’s interests is a great way to get him geared to do well in school.

    Tips to help motivate your child:

    • Link school lessons to your child’s life. If he’s learning percentages, ask him to figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
    • Link your child’s interests to academics. If he’s passionate about music, give him books about musicians and show how music and foreign languages are connected.
    • Give your child control and choices. With guidance, let him determine his study hours, organizing system or school project topics.
    • Encourage your child to share his expertise. Regularly ask him about what he’s learning in school.
    • Congratulate your child, encourage him and celebrate all his successes.

Often what holds children back from trying is the fear of failure or the memory of a time they didn’t do well. You can help break this cycle by celebrating your child’s successes, no matter how small, and by giving him opportunities to succeed academically.

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