Categories
School

Why a College Preparatory School is Important

For parents, it can be a tough decision to select a school for their children to attend. This process becomes even trickier when it comes to choosing high schools. Some high schools are marketed as college preparatory schools. Most of these programs require passing an exam before receiving an offer to join. These schools will be valuable for the academically ambitious student, and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Prestigious school reputation.

When looking at college applications, admission counselors can do a double-take because of the name of the high school. These admissions officers know which high schools provide a reputable, college preparatory education. The names of the high school carry a heavyweight on the application, as it reveals how academically disciplined these students are. Additionally, admission counselors view these students as well-prepared for the rigors of university.

  1. Teachers expect more from students.

As part of a college preparatory school, teachers know that the students are held to a higher standard. As such, they adjust the curriculum accordingly. These teachers come from great academic backgrounds and will push their students to do well. They tend to give a classroom experience similar to a university with lectures and expectations for students to take notes.

  1. Friendly competition among peers.

Students of college preparatory schools want to give their all and do the best that they can in their academics. With this, the competitive nature of the school will push students to work hard and learn advanced subject matters. More so than a cutthroat environment, these schools promote healthy ambition and motivation to do well in academia. 

  1. Diverse portfolio of programs available.

College preparatory schools are more likely to offer different programs such as Advanced Placement classes and the International Baccalaureate. Other examples are elective classes specifically focused on STEM material, or programs to help students determine a career pathway. These schools have programs designed to help students have a successful, educated future, making college preparatory schools a desirable choice for students.

College preparatory school can be a huge stepping stone in a student’s academic career. Students will definitely feel wholly prepared for university life and beyond. Fortunately, Acclaim has many top college preparatory schools near our locations in Southern California. Our services include test prep material catered for each prestigious high school to ensure your child admission to these fantastic schools! Register with us to develop your child’s passion for learning.

Categories
Subjects

Which SAT Subject Test is for You?

Certain universities require students to take SAT Subject Tests along with the normal SATs. This is a way for colleges to further gauge what kind of person you are and how you will fit in on campus. However, there are twenty different tests for you to choose from. Here is a list of Acclaim’s trusted advice on narrowing down the selection!

  1. Choose the subjects you’re interested in.

If you take the SAT Subject Test based on topics you enjoy learning about, the exam will be a less stressful process. Brainstorm ideas on your favorite subjects in school, because you will most likely score better on these subjects than others. Additionally, try taking various sample tests to see which one suits you the most. Scoring well on these exams is fairly important for your college application, so choose the tests that you feel that you’ll perform best in!

  1. Take a test in a language you’re confident in.

College Board offers a few SAT Subject Tests on different languages. If you are bilingual and can comfortably speak the languages that are tested on, use your knowledge to take the test! Moreover, if you ever took a language class that you’re enthusiastic about, definitely consider taking that Subject Test. Your fluency in different languages will illustrate to universities that you are passionate about foreign cultures outside of your comfortable domain.

  1. Prepare for an exam within your career pathway.

If you are decided on your major or certain about the career pathway you’d like to pursue, choose the Subject Tests accordingly. For example, if you intend on being in the medical field, take a Biology exam. College admissions counselors will see that you are fervent about the field you are entering and have advanced knowledge regarding the concepts within your desired field. 

  1. Talk to an academic advisor. 

An academic counselor will be able to help you choose which SAT Subject Test would be best for your college application. Acclaim, for one, provides a premier college consulting service. Our staff will be able to guide you with a step-by-step process to shape your portfolio and help you get into your dream college! 

The suite of SAT tests that are required for students to take may overwhelm you. Regardless, following these steps will help you navigate the college application process in a simplistic manner. For even more special guidance catered to your educational needs, sign up with us at Acclaim to receive full benefits and services!

Categories
Subjects

How to Improve Your SAT Math Score

Countless students struggle with math throughout their academic careers. Regardless, math is a huge aspect of the SAT that can add or harm one’s score. Fortunately, the math problems on the SAT are often similar to past tests, displaying the same types of problems. For this article, our fantastic math tutor, Timothy, will be giving you some advice on improving your SAT Math score!

  1. Get familiar with the testing topics

Timothy asserts that “The first step in improving your SAT math score is to ensure that you’re familiar with the common topics that the test covers.” An example of a frequently observed topic is linear equations. According to Tim, you will see a quick increase in your scores once you have a better understanding of quadratics and SOH CAH TOA. The SAT Math sections are formulaic in their design. Once you are exposed to more of these problems, you will see that most of the problems ask the same questions but with different numbers. 

  1. Practice test-taking skills

After you learned the core topics tested in the SAT Math section, Tim recommends that you improve on your test-taking ability. He says, “Before answering a question, challenge yourself to eliminate answers you know cannot be right.” Furthermore, he suggests that you look for patterns in answer choices to develop guessing strategies. Along with your arithmetical capabilities, you will be able to score well if you can navigate through the pressures of the SAT.

  1. Figure out which answers serve as a “decoy”

Some SAT multiple-choice answers are designed to deceive you. Whoever sees past these tricks are the ones who will score well. Tim defines these deceptive choices as “decoys.” He gives an example of four choices:

a) 1

b) 5/2

c) 0

d) 2/5

With these choices in mind, Tim would lean towards choices B or D. Why? “If B were the right answer, then D would be a great “decoy” answer. A “decoy” answer is an answer choice that is purposely meant to be similar to the correct answer.” As you can see, the pattern is that B and D are both fractions, but the numbers are reversed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the answer will be either B or D, but the probability of B or D would be higher than A or C. 

The SATs are a critical moment for a high school student, as it is highly considered by admissions counselors at universities. We at Acclaim understand the significance of these tests, which is why we offer an array of services pertaining to the SATs, including the Subject Tests. For more helpful tips from our wonderful tutors like Tim, sign up to arrange a lesson with them. If you’ve been preparing to apply for colleges, read about how to decide on your major and how to achieve a perfect GPA!

Tim is one of our phenomenal math tutors. He is greatly experienced and very passionate about teaching his students. Get in touch with tutors like Tim here.


Categories
School

How to Improve Essay Writing

Regardless of grade level, students are always asked to write a few essays during the school year. Though people may say that English and writing are subjective, there is still quite a bit of structure involved in essay writing. Once you master this formulaic structure, you will see that your grades have greatly improved. Embed these tips in your next essay and you’ll see for yourself!

  1. Organize your body paragraphs.

Your teachers will determine your essay grade almost entirely on how you execute your body paragraphs. Write your topic sentence, body sentences, and conclusion sentence in that order. Ensure that your body sentences are relevant to your topic sentence.

Once you have written all of your body paragraphs, structure them by importance rather than chronological order (e.g., having your first paragraph talk about the beginning of the book, etc.). The first body paragraph should be extremely convincing, the second can afford to be of less relevance, and the last body paragraph must be the most engaging of all. Following this stringent structure will benefit you, as this is an efficient way of trimly organizing your essay.

  1. In your analyses, use specific words from your cited quotations to help you prove your thesis.

The key to demonstrating critical thinking in essays is through analyzing the author’s diction through quotations. Read the quotes that you plan to embed in your essay, and pick a few words that you think the author intentionally used to highlight a character or situation. By trying to see the book through the author’s lens, you will grasp a more solid understanding of the author’s point, along with key themes and motifs. Then, reiterate how these specific words pertain to your thesis statement.

  1. Write fluid sentences in your conclusion paragraph.

Many students have issues with writing their conclusion paragraphs. Some err by writing a simple sentence for their paragraph, while others list out their points in a didactic way. The key to a conclusion paragraph is to paraphrase your main points (your topic sentences for each body paragraph) and reiterate your thesis statement. Don’t add any new facts to your conclusion; this paragraph is dedicated to wrapping up the essay. Try to write your summarization in seamless sentences that will give your reader a sense of closure.

  1. Have a succinct, workable thesis.

Your thesis, depending on the paper, can only be about 1-3 sentences long. It is crucial that your thesis is a concise statement of your opinion of a novel. Additionally, it needs to be provable through quotations and concrete evidence. You must be able to expound on your thesis for a large portion of your essay. Try to formulate a specific thesis based on a broad observation.

Essay writing is vital for a student to develop and hone their communication skills. Though it may be complex, our phenomenal English tutors at Acclaim are extremely willing to help. Moreover, see a list of fine literature recommended for students to write their essays on!


Categories
School

How to Survive AP Classes

If you’re taking any AP courses, you’re on track to be noticed by distinguished universities for your efforts. AP stands for Advanced Placement, and these are college-level classes that students can take in high school. Admission counselors see these classes very favorably, and AP courses can eventually benefit you. For one, you wouldn’t have to take these courses once you’re enrolled in a college, and you can save tuition expenses by graduating early! One caveat is that these classes are designed to be challenging, so here are a few ways to help you succeed in these classes:

  1. Complete all of the homework.

Your teacher assigns homework to help you further understand the lesson for the day. Sometimes, you may feel that the work is unnecessary and doesn’t supplement your understanding. Regardless, your homework is a core factor of your grade, so make sure all of your assignments are finished so that you can receive the points for them.

  1. Buy and use a prep book.

Prep books are useful because they offer specific strategies to help you on the actual AP exam. It will inform you very clearly of the time constraints you will have, and give you tips on how to efficiently eliminate wrong answers. Additionally, these books provide some textbook material for you to review before your tests and AP exam, so it will help you obtain a good grade for this class.

  1. Use different notebooks for each AP class you’re taking.

If you’re taking multiple AP classes, it’ll be easier for you to maintain focus if you devote a single notebook for each AP class you’re taking. If you’re taking just one class, take really detailed notes in a manner that will help you, whether that includes different colored pens, highlighters, or sticky notes. It is crucial that you consolidate one notebook for an individual class so that you can learn the material to your fullest potential.

  1. Have a tutor help you.

AP classes are meant to be difficult, and your teachers will expect much more from you because of the level of this class. With that, they will also grade harder on assignments, essays, and tests. Having a tutor who is an expert on the subject will be beneficial to your performance in the class. Your tutors might have also taken an AP course for this class, so they will know exactly how to help you. At Acclaim, we also provide tutoring services for an array of AP courses, and we can support you in achieving a fantastic grade in the class!

  1. Try past AP exams on the subject.

To help you score well on the actual exam in May, make sure to answer some of the sample questions that CollegeBoard provides. They also release exam questions that were actually asked in previous years, so it will give you a good idea of what kind of questions will be presented on the test. This will also help you master the knowledge you need to pass your class with the grade of your dreams!

AP classes are stimulating and challenging, and it is a large step to put your goal of attending a good college into fruition. Another step would be obtaining a good GPA; if you stay motivated and eager to learn as you are now, you can also achieve a 4.0! Sign up for our AP tutoring sessions at Acclaim to succeed in your AP courses and receive our expertise to get you into your dream school!

Categories
School

How to Improve Your Grades in the Middle of the School Year

Every student understands the desperate and helpless feelings one has when they view their grades as subpar. If you feel that you are in this situation, take comfort in the fact that universities always notice improvements in report cards. Most importantly, as you try to improve your grades, you will find the most effective learning method for you! Simply regain the motivation you once had at the start of the school year, and you can undoubtedly raise your grades — no matter what point in the year you are!

  1. Start using a planner.

Planners are extremely useful not only for students but also for most people in the working world. It is a wonderful way for one to organize their tasks and ensure that nothing will get forgotten! With a planner, notate the homework assignments and projects that must be completed, emphasizing their due dates. Additionally, jot down upcoming quizzes and tests so that you can prepare and study for those.

  1. Get closer to your teachers.

Let your instructors know about the specific concepts you are struggling with, as they are there to help. Having a good relationship with your teachers is important, as they can become compassionate towards you and grade more leniently. Remember that all teachers were students once before, so they understand the difficulty of schoolwork.

  1. Do some additional practice with the problems you struggle with.

The best way to improve your understanding of complex concepts is to practice and continually expose yourself to them. For example, try some math problems that were not assigned for homework so you can practice similar problems and master them by test day. This can be applied throughout all subjects, whether you balance various equations for chemistry, or analyze different passages in a book for English.

  1. Talk with an academic counselor.

Academic counselors are the experts on attaining a successful academic life and helping you get into your dream universities. At Acclaim, our counselors and tutors can provide the expertise and necessary material to help give you the top grades. Furthermore, our experts can also give their insight into college consultations if you want to plan ahead with your academic career. They can organize your academic goals and set a plan for you to achieve them.

Improving your grades is always a viable option, even if you feel that you have been sidetracked from your goals. Despite the doubts you may have about your capabilities, a 4.0 GPA is tangible. As you learn more about your learning style, you will definitely raise your GPA and also feel fulfilled with gaining more knowledge in your studies. 


Categories
School

How to Decide on Your Major

No matter what year of high school one may be in, it is natural for all students to feel apprehensive about selecting a major for college. Choosing your major is a key factor that contributes to your college experience and your future in the workforce afterward. Never fret, however, as you can change your major at any point in your college career! Here are a few tips on how to decide your major:

  1. Make a list of hobbies that you enjoy.

Creating a list, chart, graph — whatever visual that suits your needs — will greatly help narrow down your interests to a single major. Find a hobby or interest that you would enjoy doing for the rest of your life. A job does not have to be limited to paperwork and regular office tasks; a job catered to your interests can be fun! You would find college life to be pleasant as well, as you would be studying a major that you sincerely enjoy. 

  1. Think about how you want to impact the world. 

Take a moment to contemplate your life and who you are as a person. Do you want to help people, animals, or the environment? Do you want to use your skills to help increase profits for a company that produces a useful product? Think about your personal method of helping the people in your life, and how to best utilize your soft skills in a workplace setting. 

  1. Narrow down subjects that you do well in

Think about the subjects that you are learning in school, and consider the ones you have a natural aptitude for. If any of those subjects pique your interest, perhaps you will enjoy pursuing higher education for one, where you will learn more deeply about the topic. Within majors, you can choose a concentration, where you will study a particular aspect of the topic that fascinates you. If you perform well in a subject and you like it, it may be a sign for you to pursue it!

  1. Don’t limit yourself

Although you may be learning the same seven subjects in school, universities offer a diverse array of subjects and experiences. Even if you begin your college years as an “undecided” major, you will eventually find a pathway that intrigues you. Do not rush the process, as your life experiences will shape your interests. Take your time in absorbing the various majors offered by colleges and use your time wisely in choosing which one attracts you the most.


Selecting a major is definitely a huge decision that will impact your life. Nonetheless, keep in mind that you have plenty of time to think about it. Changing your major is always an option that countless students take advantage of. Furthermore, you don’t have to go through this challenging process alone. Acclaim provides excellent college consulting services to help you


Categories
School

Simple Ways to Get That 4.0 GPA

It is naturally the dream of many high school students to obtain a 4.0 GPA. Not only would it contribute to admittance to prestigious universities, but it would also give students more financial opportunities like scholarships. Even though it may seem daunting, the process of achieving a 4.0 GPA can be simplified in a few tips:

  1. Use highlighters in moderation to supplement your studies. The key to utilizing highlighters to your advantage is not using them excessively. As you are highlighting, you will realize that you are retaining the material by determining which bits of information are crucial enough to take note of. In the process, you are becoming an active reader, as opposed to passively scanning through the details.
  1. Annotating is critical to the learning process, and it is not limited to your English books. Your English teachers probably emphasize the importance of annotating to understand the text. This advice is viable across all subjects — annotating your textbooks can give you a comprehensive understanding of the topic you are currently learning. You can notate your reactions to the text, draw arrows towards important topics, or highlight (see #1) certain vocabulary words. Learning concepts to your full capacity is paramount to passing tests and quizzes, both of which amount to a large portion of your grade.
  1. Take notes during class, and do so legibly. Many of our suggestions lean towards notetaking because most of your studying process should consist of reading the notes you wrote during class. Rather than trying to squint and decipher your handwriting, you would have a much more productive study session if you take the time beforehand in class to write clearly.
  1. Constantly seek out your teachers whenever you need help. Prior to college, teachers do not really have a time dedicated for “office hours.” Whenever you struggle to understand a concept in math or want your essay to get read over, take about ten minutes of your lunch period or after school to ask your teachers for help. They will appreciate how much effort you are putting into their classes, and in turn, they will be more gracious in grading your work. This is also great practice for attending office hours in college!
  1. Most importantly, allocate your time wisely. This may sound like banal advice, but it’s the only way to get your homework completed on time, which is a key to receiving a good grade. This is a prime time of your life to learn valuable skills such as time management, which will benefit your future when you attend university and enter the workforce. As you become better with your time, you will preclude negative habits such as procrastination; putting homework and projects off and cramming for exams are forms of procrastination that every student regrets in the meanwhile. Time management helps you learn and memorize to the best of your abilities, and ultimately, helps reach your potential!

These are all easy ways that can help you get a perfect GPA. Receiving good grades involves consistency in your studies, along with time management. If you find yourself struggling in your classes and need some extra help in your academics, sign up for classes with Acclaim to help you get back on track to fulfill your goal of a 4.0!