I will work with any student, whether he/she needs an hour to ask specific questions or a six-month complete prep program. Contact me to discuss my recommendations for your particular needs.
A contract is not required, but I do offer a discount to students who commit to multiple sessions. I'm also better able to develop a study plan with a defined minimum number of sessions.
I use Skype or Facetime for voice chat and an online whiteboard to conduct internet sessions. Teens are very comfortable with the arrangement and even some local students prefer the scheduling convenience of online sessions.
I encourage my students to direct the session based on their own needs. This may feel uncomfortable at first (most students are much more accustomed to being told what to do at all times!), but building a clear sense of his/her own strengths and weaknesses is excellent preparation for test day.
Most big name test prep companies make you believe that standardized tests are out to get you, and that to score high you need to game the test. I disagree strongly with this approach. I believe that the secret to standardized tests is knowing the information, not tricks! Unfortunately, many students are not fully grasping basic math or grammar in school, and tutoring can help remediate weak areas. The same types of questions appear repeatedly, and intensive practice will allow a student to approach test day with confidence.
Absolutely. Students often prefer to work at their own pace for a variety of reasons from scheduling to finances. I'm happy to work with him/her to develop a personalized self study plan.
As noted above, my approach is very different than that espoused by most prep companies. While there are specific strategies that can be helpful, my goal is to help a student get better at math, reading comprehension, or writing. Students struggle with standardized tests because they don't have a firm grasp of algebra (or grammar or vocabulary), not because they haven't learned enough strategies. If tricks were all it takes, everyone would score 2400!
Completed homework isn't required prior to a session. However, practice is necessary for a student to make real progress. The more work he/she puts in, the more likely a significant score increase. I encourage students to self-assign their own homework. They know their weak spots, and they know how much time they'll have to spend on SAT prep before our next session. In some cases, a student and I may agree to reschedule a session if he or she feels unprepared for a appointment.
Most ADHD/LD students know what accommodations are, and most are already receiving some accommodations in high school. However, requesting accommodations for a standardized test can be complicated. I can assist with assessing which accommodations will be helpful (and which can do more harm than good).
To request accommodations from the College Board or ACT, you will need to have formal diagnostic testing done by a psychologist. To develop an accommodations strategy, I need the results of that testing, as well as any SAT, ACT or PSAT scores available for the student.
It's sometimes helpful to observe a student complete some practice test sections. I can then note any obvious ADHD/LD sequelae impacting a student's test strategy.
No. Your school counselor will likely complete and submit the application for you. You will need to provide documentation of the disability (the psychological testing report).
For homeschooled students, or those with limited access to their school counselor, it's possible for parents to request accommodations directly from The College Board. However, in most cases working through your school is preferable.
My role is to help you understand the accommodations process and the most helpful accommodations for you. This empowers you to talk about your needs with your school counselor. While school counselors want to help, they may have neither the time nor the knowledge necessary to think about which accommodations will benefit you most. Most counselors will request accommodations based on those you receive during the regular school year. The problem is that the demands of standardized tests are much different than those during a typical school day. The unique pressures of test day may require a unique approach!
You want the best for your child, but the college admissions process is stressful. It's hard to know how to help your child, especially when your child carries the additional burden of a learning disability or ADHD. Some parents receive great support from their child's teachers and school administrators. Others, unfortunately, don't get enough professional guidance. I can help!
Parents struggle with knowing how much (or how little) help to give. They want to make sure their child's disabilities don't cripple their chances with admissions, but at the same time worry they may be pushing their child into a more stressful situation than he/she can handle. They want to protect their children, but they want them to be independent, too. It's completely anxiety inducing!
The good news is that it's normal to have a lot of ambivalence. You're just like every other parent out there trying to do the right thing. But if you find yourself tied up in knots, or your child runs away at the mere mention of college, it's time to re-evaluate your thinking.
While coaching is most effective when I know both parent and student, I'm happy to work with any parent needing guidance.
Parent coaching is scheduled in half-hour increments. Contact me to set up a consultation.
A self-prep plan includes a detailed weekly outline.
Don't worry, this happens often! Sometimes students hit a plateau in their score. Sometimes geometry continues to be a stumbling block. Sometimes staying on track is harder than it seems! Even the most diligent students get stumped sometimes.
In these cases, we can re-evaluate the study plan or I may be able to provide additional practice resources. I'm also always available for tutoring. Sometimes an hour or two of one-on-one work is enough to make progress.
I've found that students often need an attitude adjustment before going into a standardized test. They, and their parents, may turn the test into a life-or-death situation, and in that context, who wouldn't be prone to freezing up on test day? Unfortunately, this sort of catastrophizing is reinforced by college counselors and big test prep companies...really, anyone whose business relies on increasing your anxiety so you'll spend more money!
You don't have to buy into the insanity. I'm an expert in increasing stamina and reducing anxiety. These skills apply well beyond test day, from college exams to big projects in the workplace. Learn to adjust your expectations, think realistically and calm yourself down. I'm also able to recognize when test anxiety is severe enough that professional intervention is required.
Yes, but doesn't mental toughness training sound a lot more positive that coping with test anxiety? Students need to feel confident, not that they're saddled with a disability. This is especially true for students who really are struggling with an ADD or LD diagnosis. Improving mental toughness allows the student to be in control, not the anxiety.
No. I use these techniques with all of my students as part of the tutoring process. However, I offer specific mental toughness training sessions to students who have already mastered the test, but can't seem to master their fears on test day. High achieving students are actually the most vulnerable to "choking," because of the high expectations they have for themselves.