Archives for September 2011

Improve SAT Scores

raise-sat-scoreThere’s one sure-fire way to improve SAT scores. Go to an expert SAT prep tutor that will teach you proven techniques on how to answer the different types of questions and help you in areas in which you need to improve. It doesn’t get much more basic and real than that.

An expert SAT prep tutor will also help you become comfortable with the format of the various test sections. As we do, they will show you how to approach answering the questions on the critical reading section, review and practice different types of math questions, and show you how to write a great essay. Even small advances here will improve SAT scores.

When considering different SAT prep tutors, think about whether you want to be tutored privately or if you want to be part of a group. If you work one-to-one you it may not be any more costly than in a group because you probably will not need as many sessions since each session will be specifically designed around your needs.

However, if you would rather be part of a group SAT program, try to find a small group setting and be sure that the group matches your ability. This way all the students in the group are similar in ability to you and you won’t have to worry that the class will move too fast or too slow.

Also, to improve your test scores, take at least one official practice test, under timed conditions. This helps you learn how to pace yourself. But don’t let this rattle your nerves. Most students do not do that well on these tests because they don’t know how to answer the questions and they run out of time.

Don’t Panic! If you are working with an expert SAT tutor, you’ll be taught the strategies and concepts to help you raise your score when you take the real SAT.

Finally, stay calm. Think about it. If you don’t get the score you want, you have options. You can retake the test at another date. Even though this is not your first choice, remember that when you retake the test, you will be more aware of how to answer the questions.

And remember, colleges don’t only look at SAT scores when they are selecting their freshman class. They consider the whole child and see if it’s a good match for their school. And that’s also your goal, to find a good match for you.

Overcoming Adult Dyscalculia

Hoping to become a psychologist, a 28 year old friend of ours asked for our advice in overcoming adult dyscalculia. Her worry was the math section of the GRE exam sheadult-dyscalculia would have to pass to get into a good graduate school. Her worry certainly isn’t unwarranted, but there are ways to get around adult dyscalculia.

Fortunately, there are many paths to take to reach the goal of graduate school (or anything else for that matter). Here are a few suggestions:

  • Taking the GRE math course isn’t going to be easy, but first give it a try by taking a prep course or hire a qualified math tutor who can teach strategies and sufficient math skills in order to pass. However, that certainly won’t guarantee a good score on the exam.
  • Before going through all the anguish and expense of a course or private tutoring, contact the colleges of interest and explain the situation. They help solve problems like this, and likely will be interested in helping overcome adult dyscalculia as well. When calling, speak to an admissions counselor, or the chair of the Psychology Department or the dean of the graduate school in psychology.
  • Whether it’s psychology or a managerial position at work, what have you got to lose? On the flip side, think of what you have to gain by initiating an open discussion with folks? (Not every one understands how quirky the brain can be about learning certain things, so use discretion if awareness of the issue would negatively impact the situation long term. There are yet other options, first.)Before taking the GRE or even preparing for it, research graduate schools and their requirements. Some universities may not require the GRE. Research thoroughly because they have many other requirements that are similar. Many wonderful opportunities are out there, so keep researching.

Finally, remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s important in life to find your own strengths and go with them. Don’t ruin your life with sadness or pity by dwelling on the weakness. If there is no way around math think of other options.

What’s often hard for people to budge from is the vision they’ve created for themselves at a certain school or in a certain job. But the fact is there are always ways to be doing what you love with a different title or address. Sometimes the process of overcoming adult dyscalculia means those of us who have it must dig a bit deeper to find the gold.

As an example, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) can have very similar careers as psychologists including private practice work as psychotherapists. Often the requirements are less stringent for this degree. Many other helping careers may not require math. Make an appointment with a career counselor privately or at a nearby college to explore your options. There’s more than one path to take to find the right career.

Henry Winkler is Honored with OBE

Henry Winkler, most famously known as “the Fonz” from Happy Days was awarded an honorary OBE from the Queen of England for his work raising awareness of dyslexia in the U.K. British ambassador Nigel Sheinwald presented the OBE during a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. [Read more…]