Summer Reading and SAT Scores

Summer reading often is not on the top of a student’s to-do list. Usually, over the break students use their time to hang out with their friends, enjoy the weather, and do activities outside. Kids don’t want to “waste” their time reading. (Of course, there are students who enjoy reading for

fun, but this blog post is not intended to convince those who already enjoy reading to read). To those students who groan at the very sight of a book during summer vacation, this blog post is for you. “Why should I read over the summer?” you ask yourself and every adult within earshot. If contemplating reading a dusty, ancient, library book seems like a chore, then you should listen up.

Reading fluency is essential for those high SAT scores that you want. During the summer months, when you will primarily read buzz feed articles and personality quizzes, play video games, and go outside to swim, hike, or play sports, you are not wasting your time.

Relaxation is absolutely important to one’s happiness, and you should continue to do that. But you should also make some time for reading, because the few hours you spend a week on a book, either for fun or for school, will increase your SAT/ACT verbal scores tremendously.

It’s pretty obvious that reading over the summer will have this effect. If you spend some time on reading a book, your ability in understanding the reading passages on the tests will increase. You may learn new words naturally, and recognize them on the exam more easily. You will be able to comprehend passages faster and more clearly. You will have practiced patience for reading through a dense text with a lot of information. You will naturally go back and search for answers in the text, and will remember where to find the answers more readily. With more experience with reading, the easier it becomes, and the more you will enjoy the experience and the faster you will get. If you enjoy it more, you will be less nervous when test day comes around, and you’ll score higher because you will not make as many mistakes.

Blog Post by Rachel S. Stuart a Tutor and Featured Blogger for Academic Advantage Tutoring

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About Rachel

I have always been a proud “nerd.” When I could, I always helped my friends with their homework because I just loved to teach them how to think about the world differently. In particular, history and writing have always been my specialties. When I was a little girl, my aspiration was to one day be a history professor! I hope to begin Master’s classes in the field of education and continue to be fascinated by changing technology in the classroom and different ways of engaging my students’ creativity!
Honors and awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in History Honors Program at Emory, Recipient of
the Theodore H. Jack Award, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Dean’s List at Emory.
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High School Students and Summer Plans

High school students, what are your summer plans? By the time the school year is close to its end, all of my students can’t wait for the summer break to arrive. Students anticipate spending their time with friends and family, focusing on enjoying their carefree summer. Although I think it is essential that students have fun over the summer, it is also important to make sure that a student’s summer is a productive time of preparation for the year ahead. Summers should certainly be filled with fun activities with friends and family, but students should also not lose sight of their educational dreams goals.

I spoke with some of my SAT Prep students who were telling me about summer travel plans, summer camp plans, and other fun-sounding activities. One of my students is taking a cruise to Alaska with her grandparents, while another is going to camp for the last time as a camper. I am happy to hear their excitement as they describe their plans to me. In the back of my mind, however, I think about their dream schools, and the test scores they would need to achieve to get into these schools. I remind these two students that they need to stay committed to continuing to prepare for the SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement tests.[1]

The students both respond that they know they cannot just have fun all summer. The students know that they have to continue to study so that they can have a less stressful school year. “But how,” they ask me, “can I study for these exams and stay focused during all of these fun activities?”

I tell my students that planning ahead of time is the best way to achieve success. Together, we form an individualized plan for each student and their particular summer plans. The student who is going on a cruise to Alaska with her grandparents will take her SAT Prep book with her, as well as her AP English Language Summer work. We plan that she will spend one hour every other day working on SAT Prep and read a chapter of her AP English Language Summer Work on the days that she does not do SAT Prep. The other student who is going to camp for the last time will utilize the camp’s SAT Prep sessions. The class meets once per week as an extra enrichment activity at the camp. She will also try to complete her Summer AP Biology work, spending at least one hour every week on reading her AP Biology textbook.

With these plans in place, both girls will definitely be prepared for the next school year. Take the advice in this article, and your child can be prepared too.

[1] I encourage my students to get ahead over the summer for the coming year’s AP Classes. This way, they can make sure they achieve good grades but also not feel too stressed about preparing just a few months before the exam.

Blog Post by Rachel S. Stuart a Tutor and Featured Blogger for Academic Advantage Tutoring

rachel-close-up-good-pic (183x200)

About Rachel

I have always been a proud “nerd.” When I could, I always helped my friends with their homework because I just loved to teach them how to think about the world differently. In particular, history and writing have always been my specialties. When I was a little girl, my aspiration was to one day be a history professor! I hope to begin Master’s classes in the field of education and continue to be fascinated by changing technology in the classroom and different ways of engaging my students’ creativity!
Honors and awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in History Honors Program at Emory, Recipient of the Theodore H. Jack Award, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Dean’s List at Emory.
Please follow and like us:

Get Ahead-Summer Tutoring

Summer time is a time to refresh and renew! We all set aside some time to relax, visit family and vacation. Summer time is also the perfect time to get ahead of the upcoming school year. We offer various programs for students to fill in academic gaps, take refresher math or writing courses or work on class work for the upcoming school year.

Reading and Math Remediation-If your Math and/or Reading diagnostic pre-test revealed some gaps in learning, use the summer to work on your basic skills. A strong foundation in Reading Comprehension and Basic Arithmetic and Geometry is needed for standardized test success including SAT and ACT exams.

Math Workshops can refresh your memory and help reinforce learning in all areas of basic math that were not learned before, unclear or simply forgotten. Math knowledge builds student achievement and confidence.

Writing Workshops can help students with writing a cohesive and organized essay which is needed for class papers, standardized testing and SAT and ACT exams.

Summer Prep Academy-Grades 2-8 we work with students on the upcoming school year’s curriculum. Students work on Reading comprehension, English Language Arts and Math to get ahead of the class for fall. Students are knowledgeable when teachers teach the class material and poised to make A’s.

Summer Courses-Grades 9-12-Students take upcoming math and science courses in Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Physics.

PSAT Prep-Students can get prepared for the newly designed PSAT which will be given in October. Students will have the advantage of learning the new test format and practice. 12 week course.

SAT or ACT Prep– Rising Juniors, Seniors and Sophomores can prep to improves scores on the SAT before the redesigned test is released. Research shows that the greater the time students have to practice and prep, the more scores increase and test anxiety decreases.

Navigating the College Application Process– Students will bring their laptops for an interactive planning session to plan for life after high school.

Study Skills-Learn organizational skills to become confident! Handle stress, learn note-taking and reading comprehension strategies.

Get a HEADSTART on the new school year. The reality is that students have the years between Kindergarten and 10th grade to obtain the core academic skills needed before taking college admissions exams to continue on the time scale of entering college directly after the high school senior year. Don’t wait until the sophomore, junior or senior year of high school when there is too little time left to improve Reading, Math and Writing skills before taking SAT or ACT.

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Making Your Summer Count

These cold winter days have everyone looking forward to the warm summer months. Summers should include vacations and relaxation but before you head to the beach I strongly encourage you to carve out some time for a structured summer experience. High school students should look for opportunities that will position them to make more informed decisions about their career path and should use the summer time to obtain the academic skills needed to reach their desired goals.  The reality is that students have a brief period of time to gain the academic knowledge and civics skills to be knowledgeable to compete for future jobs and reach career goals.  Making decisions about future goals could occur via employment, summer studies, volunteering or attending a college-sponsored program. Start by talking with your teen to determine what interests he/she would like to explore.  Realistically consider your teen’s current academic abilities.  Summer is an ideal time to improve reading and math skills for some students while other students may need to focus on targeted college admissions test preparation to improve their ACT or SAT scores.   Also, consider the opportunity to improve an artistic or athletic talent.

 

A few things to consider when looking for a summer opportunity:

  • What career(s) pathway is your teen interested in pursuing?
  • Are there volunteer opportunities with a parent’s employer? Take the initiative to ask even if there aren’t any publicized.
  • What Georgia colleges are near your home and what summer programs do they offer?
  • Check the out-of-state colleges you have an interest in attending and see what summer programs they have to offer. This is an awesome way to test the waters and show demonstrated interest.
  • Does your teen’s summer job expose him/her to a career pathway of interest? If not, can you help them identify some options that might?
  • A meaningful volunteer experience doesn’t have to take 40 hours a week. The key is doing something over an extended period of time that shows commitment so it can be as little as 2-4 hours a week. Another advantage longevity gives you is interaction with an adult professional who can serve as a reference and mentor.
  • Use your inner circle. Stop by your school counseling office ask your church youth program or anyone else you interact with often.
  • Use the summer to improve skill levels in math and reading comprehension. It is difficult to obtain the desired ACT/SAT score if students lack basic skills.  Waiting until the Junior and Senior year often proves too late if basic skills are lacking.
  • Get started today! Many programs will require an application and as always the early bird gets the worm.

 

The college planning and admissions world changes frequently.  We would like to assist you by providing tips for adolescents preparing for life after high school and navigating the world of college admissions.

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Summer Learning

summer-academy1Students lose at lot of what they have learned over the school year during the summer months if they do not participate in summer academic enrichment activities. Take advantage of the summer and include academic learning during time off from school. There are a variety of summer learning activities from which to choose. Take available summer school courses to catch up or get ahead. Using the summer to get ahead with  Test Prep courses for SAT/ACT can help improve test scores.  Summer workshops in Reading, Math or Speed Reading can be helpful. Parents can also assist students at home by incorporating summer bridge books with daily home activities.

Academic Advantage Tutoring offers a Summer Prep Academy to prepare students for the upcoming school year. Students are taught in advance of the school year and return to school ahead of their peers with the knowledge and confidence to excel and succeed. Exciting educationally based field trips allow students to learn both in and out of the class setting. Students who enroll in the program return to school prepared for fall coursework as well as standardized testing.

summer-academy-34We also offer Remediation programs in Reading and Math. Diagnostic testing before tutoring allows us to focus on specific learning gaps with the goal of teaching the student specifically what is needed in order that they may be on grade level or above by the start of the school year.

We can also help students taking summer school courses, online courses and students preparing to retake CRCT, EOCT and GHSGT exams.

Students may also enroll in our Writing, Math and/or Spanish workshops for Fall Academic preparation.

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