Executive Function Strategies Blog

How Non-Cognitive Variables Can Help in the College Admissions Process

Editor’s note: This week, we feature guest blogger Karen Spencer, Director of Educational Counseling for Bright Horizons College Coach. Please read more about Karen below.

Ask any high school junior going through the college search process about the one thing that scares them most and you’ll usually hear them say “standardized tests.” The SAT and ACT tests have been around for a long time (the SAT will be 100 years old in 2026!), and so have students’ fear and loathing of them. While I don’t know any students that love standardized tests, they tend to be more problematic for some students than others. The bright side is that many, many schools read holistically in their admissions process, which is to say that they look at many factors outside of just the numbers—the “non-cognitive” aspects of an application—and this focus can be very helpful for a student who struggles with standardized testing. 



Academic First Aid Kit for Students (When you forgot about that test!)

Disclaimer: Cramming the night before a test is never the best strategy. These tips are only to help you at the last minute when necessary, not to give you a reason to delay preparing well for a test.

The Scenario: It’s Sunday night. You’ve had a long, fun weekend and then you realize you have a history test Monday morning...uh oh…OMG!!!!  You start to feel like it’s the end of the world, maybe consider bribing your teacher, or maybe even think of skipping school tomorrow.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Oversights like this can happen once in a while, even when you’re trying your best to keep your planner up to date. (Congrats - you’re human!)

Most high school students are busy juggling homework, sports, extra-curricular activities, the social scene, adolescent pressures, and tests/exams. At this time of year, it’s common to feel a little burnt-out with all those demands - and there’s also the awkward start-back-up again feeling to deal with, happening after winter or spring breaks. What should a student do when that “uh oh” moment occurs and they need to cram for an exam the night before?  Cramming at the last minute is not an optimal method to study; however, here are some useful tools to have in your Academic First Aid Kit when you’re in crunch mode (and hopefully, that's rare!).



4 SAT Tips for Test-Preparation Success

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger David Recine, a test prep expert at Magoosh. Please see David's bio below.

What tips do you need to follow to ace the SAT? That depends at least partly on your own skills and learning needs. But here are four tips that can help any student get a strong start as they embark on their SAT preparation and chart their own best path to success.



Know the Score on SSAT Scoring: What is a Good Score on the SSAT?

 

Editor's note: This week, our guest blogger is Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped & Polished, a tutoring and test preparation company in Natick, MA. Please read his complete bio at the end of this article.

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is the required entrance exam that leads to enrollment in some of the world’s best independent schools. It is undoubtedly an important test, so students and parents are naturally anxious when it comes to the Score Report. Upon receiving the Score Report, most parents are eager to know if the scores are “good” or “bad.” The most frequent question that parents ask about the SSAT is: “What is a good score?” This is not always easy to ascertain.