Knowledge Bound: The RSC Blog

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Posted on Jan 30, 2012 - 06:00 AM | College Prep | Comments (0)

Maura Kastberg, RSC’s Executive Director of Student Services, takes time to answer questions our counselors receive all the time. Maura has been helping students prepare for college and career for 15 years.
  1. Do colleges prefer the SAT or ACT?
Most colleges don’t have a preference and are willing to accept either. In fact, most do. Although there is some regionalization, like the SAT being more popular in the Northeast and the ACT more popular in the Midwest, you can generally submit scores from either test. If you’re unsure, check a school’s admission policy on our website or the college’s.
  1. I struggle to get my homework done. Won’t your college prep program just be more work and make it even harder to prepare for college?
The first thing we help you do is manage your time through our Time-Management tips and worksheets. This not only gives you more time for your homework and our program, but outside activities, too. Many of the things on your schedule are things you have to do anyway – SAT/ACT test prep, applying to colleges, researching majors and careers, etc. Since we put this information in one place, you’ll find it saves you time. Our program is works with your schoolwork, saving you several hours a week!
  1. How can I graduate college in 4 years or less?
Know what you want to do before you go. Right now, you’re focused on graduating in 4 years or less. Use that focus to pick a major before freshman year, and don’t change majors (unless you absolutely have to). A new major keeps you in college longer. And don’t transfer colleges. Know which colleges meet your needs before you apply. Transfer students are less likely to graduate and may need to take additional classes for school credit. Take personality tests (like the ones we offer) that help you determine the right major and college for you.
  1. I heard you can boost your SAT score by taking the test a second time. Is that true?
Taking a test a second time generally boosts your score by 50-100 points, though an SAT prep course can usually boost it 150 or more. Our program includes long-term and short-term test-taking strategies, timed tests and practice questions that do more to prepare you for the test than simply taking it again and hoping for the best. If you already have a good score, you might want to take it again for the small bump, but if you need to get it up 150 points or more, you should consider taking an SAT prep course. Also, once you have your scores, you have to know where they’ll benefit you most. Our SAT program can help you properly apply your score once the test is behind you.
  1. It’s hard to stay upbeat considering how expensive college is, the dropout rate, the unemployment rate… How do I stay positive?
First, know your goals. This will keep you motivated and able to overcome many problems associated with higher education. Second, keep college affordable by maximizing your financial aid. Third, thoroughly research college and careers. Find the colleges and majors that lead to jobs. Fourth, be prepared. Get good grades in the AP classes that help you most. These suggestions can help you stay positive, but that first one is the most important – don’t give up on your goals!
Ask a College Prep Expert is a regular feature of this blog. If you have questions for Maura, please leave them in the comment section below. If you’re one of our students and your question needs an immediate answer, contact a counselor. If not, call a student enrollment counselor and sign up today! 


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