New ACT and SAT Concordance Tables - Released Summer 2018

SAT and ACT - New Concordance Chart
 

 SAT scores versus ACT scores - concordance chart displaying how scores compare to each other. Which test is better for you to take? ACT or SAT? Find out by taking one of each test!

Concordance tables bridge the gap between the ACT and SAT scales, providing a guide to link equivalent scores. They’re not only essential for admissions staff, but also for students and families to help decide which test is the best choice. The newest concordance tables were released this summer, replacing the contested tables that were posted by the College Board, without input from ACT, in 2016.

The range of possible SAT scores that a student can achieve is much wider than the range of possible ACT scores. There are only 36 distinct score possibilities on the ACT, whereas there are 120 possibilities for the SAT, a test which increments its scores by 10 points between 400 and 1600. This means that the concordance table needs to assign a range of SAT scores that match a given ACT score.

The official 2018 ACT/SAT concordance tables can be viewed here.

How Different Are the 2016 vs. 2018 Concordance Tables?  

The truth is, when comparing the 2016 and 2018 concordances, the adjustments are not very dramatic. Yet there are some important implications for students:

·         For the highest scores on the scale, the top SAT scores have become more valuable in comparison to ACT scores. For instance, a 1540 on the SAT is now considered equal to a 35 on the ACT. Previously, concordance charts had linked the SAT’s 1540 with a 34 on the ACT.

·         For the lowest scores on the scale, the bottom SAT scale scores have become less valuable in comparison to ACT scores. A clear example of this is at the SAT score of 590. While this was previously equated to an 11 on the ACT, this score is now linked to a 9, dropping its value by two points.

·         Near the middle of the score ranges, (21-24 for ACT, 1060-1190 for SAT) the concordances did not change at all.


What Does This Mean for Students? 

The new concordances do not change much for students when it comes to college admission, so this minor adjustment will not make waves.
 
However, the new concordance information does have the potential to affect minimum scores for merit scholarships or programs that require clear-cut SAT or ACT score ranges. It is likely that the response will be mixed: some institutions will adjust their required ranges, while others will just stick with their established status quo.
 
Our advice for students starting test prep does not change: if you are deciding between the ACT and SAT, it is still important to take a full-length practice test for each. When you have completed both tests, compare your scores against the 2018 concordance chart. If your SAT and ACT scores are comparable, you should choose whichever test you preferred. If one score is significantly higher, opt for that test instead. The new concordance tables do not change the process of selecting a test; however, they do help to standardize how students, guidance counselors, and admissions committees compare test scores.
 
If you would like to take a practice ACT or SAT to compare the exams and assess your testing skills, Vint Hill Educational Services offers mock tests in group, individual, and at-home formats. Along with the test booklets, you will receive testing instructions and full diagnostic reports showing score breakdowns in each of the test sections. For more information, please read on, or visit our Mock Testing webpage.

Preparing for the New School Year

With the new school year just around the corner, it’s time to start back-to-school prep. Shopping for new school supplies and clothes helps kids to start thinking about the return to the classroom, but that’s just the beginning. There are many more ways to prep kids for school year success so they can start the new school year with a fresh and ready mind.

The habits and routines that are implemented at home right now go a long way to helping students prepare not only for back-to-school success, but for success that lasts the whole school year—much longer than new pencils or running shoes will! Wondering how to help your child get a jump start on a great school year? Here are some ideas to prep the entire household for success in the 2018-2019 school year:

HOW TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR OFF RIGHT:

REINTRODUCE BEDTIMES AND WAKE-UP TIMES
Poor sleeping habits can have an impact on student performance, so the sooner you get your child on a regular sleep schedule, the better. Starting the school year will be easier for you and your child, and will help avoid morning—and evening—rushes.

MAKE SURE CHILDREN ARE READING AND WRITING A LITTLE EVERY DAY
Reading and writing helps get children’s minds working and helps keep their brains sharp. Getting back into the habit of reading and writing a bit each day will help maintain school skills like penmanship and vocabulary so your child can start the school year strong.

LIMIT SCREEN TIME DURING AFTER-SCHOOL HOURS
During the school year, after-school hours should be reserved for homework and extra-curricular activities. Start getting into this routine in the weeks leading up to school. The sooner kids turn off the TV and turn on their minds during this timeframe, the less of a hassle homework will be during the school year.

PLAY BOARD GAMES TO CHALLENGE THE MIND
Use TV-free time to play board games with kids during what will become the homework hour. This will help kids get into the habit of doing engaging their mind during this time, so when homework starts coming home again, they already have a routine in place.

GET AN ALARM CLOCK
An alarm clock can help children develop time management and organization skills they’ll need during the school year. This will help kids take ownership of their activities and help avoid rushed mornings.

BUY A FAMILY WALL CALENDAR TO HANG IN A VISIBLE LOCATION
A wall calendar makes a great organization tool. Have kids write down their commitments like soccer, dance class, birthday parties, etc. When school starts, use the calendar to note the due dates of big projects, standardized testing dates, and vacation days.

START HAVING KIDS SELECT THEIR CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE
Picking out clothes is a great way for children to develop organizational habits. Having everything picked out and ready the day before also helps cut down on school-day morning rushes and last-minute scrambles.

BEGIN TALKING ABOUT RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Start counting down the days together. Preparation can help make the transition back to class much less stressful and difficult for students. Talking about the upcoming school year can help kids manage expectations, set goals, and prepare.

TAKE A TOUR OF YOUR CHILD’S NEW SCHOOL
If your child is starting at a new school, it can be intimidating. Getting to know the way around helps lessen school-related anxiety and boost confidence. Take a tour of the new school, find out teachers’ names, the location of classrooms, and where the bathrooms are located.

REVIEW LAST YEAR’S REPORT CARD(S)
Unless problems were addressed over the summer, it’s likely they may return again this year. Remind yourself of weak areas so you can make a plan to address problem areas early on.

BUY NEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES
Being prepared with the right supplies is an important part of performing well in school. New supplies also hold a certain magic for getting kids excited about hearing the school bell ring again.

A BETTER SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS RIGHT NOW!
Learning how to have a successful school year starts with the right preparation and a positive attitude. It’s never too early to start thinking about getting back into the school-year routine—getting started now will help make the back-to-school transition easier on both you and your child.

Contact us for an end of summer tutor and get ahead before school starts!  

5 Must-Know SAT Math Tips

Your SAT Test Day is approaching, and you need SAT Math tips and strategies to maximize your score. Remember that your SAT Math subscores will reflect how you perform on specific questions tied to The Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis concepts.  

SAT Math Tip #1: Use this approach to answer every SAT math question 

Step 1: Read the question, identifying and organizing important information as you go

• What information am I given?

• Separate the question from the context.

• How are the answer choices different?

• Should I label or draw a diagram? 

Step 2: Choose the best strategy to answer the SAT Math question

• Look for Patterns.

• Pick numbers or use straightforward math.

Step 3: Check that you answered the right question

• Review the question stem.

• Check units of measurement.

• Double-check your work.

SAT Math Tip #2: Use this method for multi-part Math questions

Step 1: Read the first question in the set, looking for clues.

Step 2: Identify and organize the information you need.

Step 3: Based on what you know, plan your steps to navigate the first question.

Step 4: Solve, step-by-step, checking units as you go.

Step 5: Did I answer the right question?

Step 6: Repeat for remaining questions, incorporating results from the previous question if possible. 

SAT Math Tip #3: Translate words into math

Translate the words in the question into math so you can solve.

SAT Math Tip #4: Review number properties and SAT math relationships

Recognizing number properties will save you time on Test Day. Number properties rules include odds and evens, prime numbers, and the order of operations. You can pick numbers to help you remember the rules.

For SAT math relationships, knowing the difference between ratios, proportions, and percents can save valuable time. Being able to move easily among percents, fractions, and decimals will also save time. 

SAT Math Tip #5: Make sure your calculator is allowed and bring it with you on Test Day. 

Check the official SAT website to make sure the calculator you plan to use on the SAT math section is allowed.

 

Contact us to learn how we can help increase your SAT math score! 

The SSAT: Planning, Preparation, and Practice

If you're interested in attending an independent school, you may have heard the term SSAT and may now be wondering how to study for the test. In this article, we'll briefly cover the basics of what the SSAT is and does and offer key SSAT prep strategies and tips. 


What Is the SSAT?

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admission Test, is a standardized test required by a number of independent schools worldwide as a part of any hopeful student's application.
It's offered at three levels:

  • Elementary, for students currently enrolled in Grades 3 or 4
  • Middle, for students currently enrolled in Grades 5 through 7
  • Upper, for students currently enrolled in Grades 8 through 11

What Does the SSAT Test?

The SSAT measures verbal, quantitative, and reading skills, all the while emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving.
The quantitative section tests things like basic operations, basic fractions, and ordering numbers (for the elementary-level students) and algebra, geometry, and data analysis (for the upper-level students). 

The verbal section consists of responding to synonym and analogy questions at an appropriate level for the student's age.

The reading section is focused on answering comprehension and analysis questions related to short passages from a variety of genres.

The test is almost entirely multiple-choice, with the exception of one 15-25 minute free-response writing exercise. Younger students will be asked to write a short story, while older students will have the choice of constructing an essay if they prefer.

The SSAT is designed to measures skills rather than achievement; in other words, it's not intended to rely on your mastery of specific material. This is supposed to help keep the test fair across all different backgrounds from which a student might originate.

How Is the SSAT Scored?

The SSAT is norm-referenced, meaning your final score is based on how well you do compared to other test takers. You will receive a scaled score and a percentile ranking. The scaled score's range will depend on the student's grade level:

  • For Elementary, the range is 300-600 per section, or 1200-1800.
  • For Middle, the range is 440-710 per section, or 1320-2130.
  • For Upper, the range is 500-800 per section, or 1500-2400.

The percentile ranking is always on a scale of 1-99, and it represents your performance as compared to students of the same grade who tested on the SSAT for the first time within the past three years in the US or Canada.

While the test is designed to be of "middle difficulty," this is a very competitive group of students against which you're being scored—these are the select students applying to the finest independent schools. 
 

SSAT Practice Tests

Use practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format, instructions, time constraints, and content. They're a great opportunity to practice as well as to ease the uncertainty you are likely to feel when facing a test of unknown characteristics.

Practice tests also provide the perfect opportunity to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can ask a tutor, teacher, or parent for help on the specific areas where you struggle.

VHES offers a free in-home baseline practice test to help students familiarize themselves with the SSAT and prepare for the official exam. Click here for more information about our SSAT Prep service and diagnostic reports.  
 

How to Study for the SSAT: 5 Steps

#1: Take an Official Practice Test 

You should start prepping at least three months before you plan to take the SSAT. The first step is to take a practice test and then analyze your performance: what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what growth will you need to see in order to reach your goal? Quantify where you are and where you want to be. Note your performance in each of the three scored content areas. 
 

#2: Study Regularly

Having a regular study schedule is vital to raising your score, since you need to put in real time and effort to improve. 

Are you way behind your goal—say, more than 200 points? Think about scheduling at least an hour or two a week for Elementary students or up to three or four hours a week for Upper students. 

Are you looking to make a more moderate score increase of 100 - 200 points? You'll still want to study regularly, but can cut down to an hour or less per week for Elementary-level or roughly two hours per week for Upper-level.

Are you right about where you need to be in your score? You don't need to put in quite the same level of sustained SSAT prep, but we still recommend taking one or two more practice tests to keep your scores stable (or even improve them!).
 

#3: Focus on Your Weaknesses

In your prep, focus in on the topics that were hardest for you, but don't forget to dust the ones you've mastered off pretty routinely, too.

For the quantitative section, pay close attention in your math class; especially review/practice the topics that are slated to come up on the test, according to the Official Guide.

For the verbal section, make a game of playing with synonyms and analogies in everyday life. Get your friends and family in on it, too, if you can!

For the reading section, the best thing you can do is actively engage with reading on a daily basis. Draw from multiple genres, and force yourself to answer questions (your own or someone else's) about the text you've read.

For all sections, complete practice problems as often as you can. 
 

#4: Take Another Practice Test—In Fact, Take a Few

Take a practice test every four weeks or so—more often if you are uncomfortable with the test and want a greater improvement, less often if you feel at ease testing and are near your goal score.

Use these practice tests as a time to increase your familiarity with the format and feel of the test. Also perform a check-in to see how your trouble areas are progressing. Ask where your focus needs to be at this point in time.
 

#5: Slow Down About a Week Before the Test

Give yourself plenty of time to relax; cut down on your study time, and get plenty of rest. Stop studying altogether a day or two before the test. You need to start storing up sleep for the big day!

 

Please let us know if you have any questions about the SSAT.

Email us at contact@vinthilles.com for a free SSAT diagnostic report. 

 

Preparing for AP Exams

Are you ready for your AP Exams? May is a hectic month with tests, finals, and school events, so prepping for your APs early and often will ensure you’ll do your best on these important tests. Here are tips to help you put together your perfect review strategy.

When should I start studying for AP Exams?

Many students start shifting to AP prep mode 1 to 3 months before test day, usually ramping up by spring break. The goal is it give yourself enough time to get used to AP question types, take a few practice tests, review content, and hone your test-taking strategy.

The good news is that all your hard work for your AP classes is setting a great foundation for the AP test. Use your old tests and quizzes to track where you need to strengthen your knowledge and what topics you already know well.

How to study for multiple APs at once:

If you are taking more than one AP test this May, it’s important that you start early and make a schedule to map out your time. To come up with your study plan, ask yourself:

  • How many days/weeks/months away are my exams?
  • What time of day is my best, most focused study time?
  • How much time per day/week/month will I devote to preparing for each exam?
  • When will I prep? (Be as specific as possible: "Mondays & Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. I will study for AP Bio," for example.)

Studying in small chunks keeps the workload manageable, so try to stick to one AP subject per night.

How to Study for AP Exams:

1. Start with old material. Begin by reviewing the material you have already completed in class. Set aside 15 minutes or so each evening to review past work. Refreshing your memory on a regular basis is the best strategy for effective learning.

2. Approach new material with the AP test in mind. You can’t just forget the material once you’ve been graded on it! The AP exam will be the culmination of the entire year. As you master new material, take a few minutes to make notes that you’ll use later for AP Exam review. Highlight the important points of each lesson while it’s still fresh in your mind, and note the areas where you struggled.

3. Don’t overly rely on your high school teacher. Your teacher’s job is to ensure all the subject material is covered—not to help you study. There often isn’t enough time during class to teach the material AND do a thorough review by May.

4. Invest in an AP prep book. A great test prep book will help you review essential content, introduce you to test format and question types, and help you practice for the big day.

 

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SAT Writing and Language Test Breakdown

Time
•    35 minutes 

Format
•    44 questions
•    4 passages
•    Multiple-choice

Scoring
•    You receive 1 raw point for a correct answer
•    You lose nothing for answering incorrectly
•    Your raw score is calculated by tallying the raw points
•    The raw score is converted to a scale score from 10-40, known as the Writing and Language test score
•    The Writing and Language test score is combined with your Reading test score to produce an overall Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score from 200-800
•    Sub-scores are also included on a 1-15 scale for the following: Words in Context, Command of Evidence, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions
•    Some of the sub-scores will actually count for two cross-test scores: Analysis in Science and Analysis in History/Social Studies
•    In the end, college admissions offices will put a greater emphasis on the 200-800 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score

Content
Standard English Conventions
•    Conventions of usage
•    Sentence structure
•    Conventions of punctuation
Expression of Ideas
•    Development
•    Organization
•    Effective language use

Two Content Areas
Standard English Conventions
•    20 questions
•    Conventions of usage: pronoun clarity, possessive determiners, agreement, frequently confused words, logical comparison
•    Sentence structure: sentence boundaries, subordination and coordination, parallel structure, modifier placement, shifts in verb tense, mood, voice, pronoun person and number
•    Conventions of punctuation: end-of-sentence, within-sentence, possessive, items in series, nonrestrictive and parenthetical, unnecessary
Expression of Ideas
•    24 questions
•    Development: proposition, support, focus, quantitative information
•    Organization: logical sequence, introduction, conclusions, transitions
•    Effective language use: precision, concision, style and tone, syntax
    
Structure
•    Questions will follow the order of the passage
•    Unlike the SAT math section, the questions do not progress in level of difficulty
•    The student must read 4 essays that are about the same length
•    Every essay has 11 questions about style, grammar, and strategy
•    The essays range in topic and understanding: from 9th grade to college-level essays
•    One passage in each of the following: careers, history, humanities, and science
•    Types of passages: 1 nonfiction, 1-2 explanatory, 1-2 argumentative

 

SAT Writing Tips

  1. Focus on one passage at a time
  2. Each passage of 11 questions should be finished within 8 minutes
  3. Answer the easier questions first and focus on one question at a time
  4. Patience is what allows you to work more quickly and accurately
  5. Use the two-pass approach for each passage
  6. Use the process of elimination
  7. Once you’ve eliminated an answer, cross it out in the test booklet
  8. Shorter is always better! The SAT prefers writing that is precise and concise
  9. A question will never test more than two errors
  10. “No Change” is usually the answer ¼ of the time it appears as an answer choice
  11. Don’t find errors where none exist
  12. The keys to the correct answer often lie within the question
  13. Anticipate the answer and come up with it on your own
  14. Questions about the main idea, author’s intent, or purpose, will often require reading the entire paragraph or beyond it
     

Do you need some help with the SAT writing section? Call us to find out how we can help! 

Tips for Academic Success

Finding the right routine:

Allowing enough time to get ready for class, study for an exam, or complete an assignment can be tricky.  The key is to always do what must be done first. This usually involves studying, reading, projects, and weekly homework assignments. Worry about what can be done later, after completing what needs to be done now. If you’re getting ready for a test, don’t check text messages, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, or start any Google internet searches. Enjoy the entertainment side of things after the task at hand is completed.  This strategy reduces a lot of stress that comes with doing things last minute: waiting to study the night before, starting your paper the week it’s due, working on your presentation the morning of, etc. 

Try to stick to a routine or tentative schedule.  This is because time management can be tough for some students. Mainly, because students overestimate the amount of time they have for a task and underestimate how much time it will take for them to do it. All of the student's professional meetings, such as counseling or tutoring, should be pre-arranged.  Most students do well with structure, so meeting at the same time and on the same day works best.

 

Staying focused:

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Students usually retain more information when they study in different locations. If possible, change the studying location from time to time. There are students that do better in a busy area – think of your local public library, the school’s library, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Barnes N Noble, worship center, community center, etc.  Then, there are other students that know they must have silence. These students may prefer a bedroom, basement, home office, private study room, even their home patio, or sun-room.  In case you didn't know, the best place to study is outside. So, try to change the study location when you can!  

You can put your phone across the room or in another room and leave it there.  If you want to check your messages from your friends, you have to get up and walk to it.  Students say that this significantly limits the amount of phone distractions.  If this is too hard for you, set the timer for 15  minutes, and work as hard as you can during that time.  When the timer goes off, get up, check your messages for one minute, and then get back to work.

Playing songs by your favorite artist is fine for routine assignments that do not require too much. However, music should not be played when intensely studying for a big exam. Playing music can negatively impact long-term retrieval.  

When students are having a tough time getting started with homework, it’s always a good idea to begin with an easy task, followed by a difficult one, and then an easy assignment again.  

 

Being organized:

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Record all school assignments on a calendar. You can use a tablet, laptop, smart phone, desktop, or a wall calendar. Record the final due date and then set incremental due dates and associated tasks to get it done on time. By week one, perhaps your topic and introduction should be completed. Then, going into the second week, start doing research on supporting points and arguments.  When large tasks, like a final paper or studying for a mid-term, are broken down into direct, manageable chunks, they are more likely to be completed on time. For instance, if a test is coming up on Friday, the student should record tasks like “complete 1-10 review problems on page 19” and “create flashcards for math steps,” etc. on Monday or Tuesday.  Being specific with your tasks can be far superior to simply jotting down a vague reminder like “study for my math test.”

Tasks that you record should be no more than 30-35 minutes.  When tasks end up taking longer, students are far more likely to procrastinate and avoid doing it altogether.  

Every student should schedule a “binder and backpack sweep” session to help stay organized. Set aside 30 minutes each week and conduct a clean out.  Sundays are perfect for doing this. This also lets the student plan ahead for the week – what’s due and when, starting a long-term assignment, and planning what to work on.  Enter the 30-minute clean sweep on your phone calendar, monthly planner, room calendar, or make sticky notes to remind yourself.

 

Reading and studying:

Active reading should be utilized when preparing for an exam.  Active reading includes writing notes in the margins and highlighting pertinent information.  As reading becomes more complex, these strategies help students to understand more advanced topics. 

Tips:
Read one section at a time.  After you’re done, go back and highlight the important information. The color of the highlighter does not matter at all. Yellow, blue, green, pink, or orange - just pick one!    

Use margin notes. Margin notes are another interactive way of studying. It’s better than just reading the information and moving along. In short phrases, summarize the main points in the margins of text books. Doing so, will help with retaining the information that was read.  

Engage in “self chat” at the end of each section.  The student should ask, “What did I just read here?” or “What’s the takeaway from this section?”  Self chat helps students comprehend what they are reading better.

If you are reading, try the SCAN strategy.  Simply put, before reading do the following:

S = Survey Headings and Turn Them into Questions
Find each heading, and change it into a question.
C = Capture the Captions and Visuals
Review pictures or charts and read the captions beside them.
A = Attack Boldface Words
Hone in on the terms in bold; read these words to gain an understanding of the main idea.
N = Note and Read the Chapter Questions
Check out the questions at the end of the chapter.

Looking for an Academic Coach? Contact us for in-home tutoring support! 

One-To-One ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Raleigh NC, Durham NC, & Cary NC

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 
We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to students’ homes on weekdays or weekends.

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Contact us to get started with your customized ACT/SAT prep program.

One-To-One ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Charlotte NC

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 
We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to students’ homes on weekdays or weekends.

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SAT Score Increase Northern VA - Richmond VA - Charlotte NC.jpg

Contact us to get started with your customized ACT/SAT prep program. 

One-To-One ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Richmond VA, Henrico VA, & Chesterfield VA

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 
We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to students’ homes on weekdays or weekends.

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SAT Score Increase Northern VA - Richmond VA - Charlotte NC.jpg

Contact us to started with your customized ACT/SAT prep program. 

One-To-One ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Washington DC & Northern VA

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 
We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to students’ homes on weekdays or weekends.

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Contact us to get started with your customized ACT/SAT prep program.  

One-To-One ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Fredericksburg VA, Stafford VA, & Spotsylvania VA

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 
We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to students’ homes on weekdays or weekends.

ACT Score Increase - Northern VA - Richmond VA - Charlotte NC.jpg
SAT Score Increase Northern VA - Richmond VA - Charlotte NC.jpg

Contact us to get started with your customized ACT/SAT prep program. 

Spring 2018 Mock ACT/SAT Classes - Charlotte NC

Vint Hill Educational Services offers mock testing for the ACT and SAT. These administrations are hosted in the Charlotte NC area. We supply the test booklet, essay booklet, answer sheet, testing timer, extra pencils, and a proctor. Students will need to bring: a calculator, two No. 2 pencils, snacks, and a drink. 

Each student receives a 9 page diagnostic report using our test scoring software. We only use official ACT and SAT practice tests. Students that take both an ACT and SAT will receive a student scores comparison chart. This will reveal which test the student is scoring higher on, ACT or SAT.
 
Charlotte NC area: Click here to register for a mock ACT or SAT
ACT - 03/03/2018 & 05/12/2018
SAT - 02/03/2018 & 04/21/2018

View our sample ACT/SAT diagnostic reports and student scores comparison chart: 
ACT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeACTReport-Sample17.pdf
SAT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeSATReport-Sample17.pdf
Student ACT vs. SAT chart - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/VHES-SAT-Scores-Versus-ACT-Scores-Julia.pdf

For those that have only taken a PSAT or SAT, a practice ACT is a must, and we can compare the results to see which test the student is scoring higher on. 

Mock ACT/SAT Registration
Online: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4aabab2fa3f49-free
Phone: 704-412-4004
Email: contact@vinthilles.com
Cost: 
$25 for 1 test (ACT or SAT) 
$40 for 2 tests (ACT and SAT)
ACT/SAT diagnostic and comparison chart will be emailed to parents. 

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the ACT or SAT. 

Reading Strategies: Academic Coaching Specialist - Washington DC, Northern VA, Charlotte NC, Richmond VA

There is a host of tools at the student's disposal for interacting with what we are reading. The concept is known as active reading and it will work to increase comprehension and retention of information. Try out some of the strategies below. 

BEFORE YOU READ:
•    Z – Sweep:  Performing a Z-Sweep will help you understand what lies ahead. Move your hand from the left to the right under the first line, then back around through the body of the text, and then finish with a sweep from left to right at the bottom. Read the first sentence, glance or sweep through the body, and then read the last one or two sentences. By using this strategy, you can gain a cross-section of what you are about to read. 

•    SCAN:  This strategy significantly improves text book reading comprehension in middle and high school students.
S = Survey Headings and Turn Them into Questions
Find each bold heading, and turn it into a question. For example, if the heading is The War of 1812, you should think, “What happened in The War of 1812?”
C = Capture the Captions and Visuals
Glance at the pictures or diagrams and read each caption.
A = Attack Boldface Words
Be sure to focus on the terms in bold. Quickly read these words for an understanding of the main vocabulary words.
N = Note and Read the Chapter Questions
This is perhaps the most important pre-reading strategy. Read the review questions at the end of the section first. This will help with the main idea behind the passage.

AS YOU READ OR AFTER YOU READ:
•    Highlighting:  Using color helps to increase attention.  Highlight the main points and be careful not to become “highlighter crazy”.  Highlight the main points after you read a section.  As yourself, “What’s the main point of the paragraph I just read?”

•    Margin Notes:  Questions or comments jotted in the margins next to important paragraphs provide visual cues.  Writing down quick notes as you read really helps with retention.  Furthermore, when you go back over the book before finals, all the main ideas will be there for you. 

•    Summary Writing:  Summarizing information is time-consuming, but it is the best way to be sure that you understand and remember what you read.  You can write brief summaries at the end of each chapter or at the bottom of your 2-column notes.  If you write a summary within 24 hours of taking notes or reading, you’re much more likely to retain the information.

Contact us and you can start working with a tutor on active reading strategies!  

ACT/SAT Prep: Richmond VA, 2017-2018 Practice Dates

For the 2017-2018 school year, we will be offering group practice tests in the Richmond VA area. These mock sessions will take place at the American Legion in Mechanicsville

These practice tests are taken in a group setting to simulate the testing environment. We use official ACT and SAT practice tests. We supply the test booklet, essay booklet, answer sheet, testing timer, extra pencils, and a proctor. Parents receive a student diagnostic score report (ACT/SAT) that reveals strengths and weaknesses, along with a test scores comparison, ACT versus SAT. 

Each student receives a 9 page diagnostic report using our test scoring software. Students that take both an ACT and SAT will receive a student scores comparison chart. This will reveal which test the student is scoring higher on, ACT or SAT.

Richmond VA area: Click here to register for a mock ACT or SAT
ACT - 01/13/18, 03/03/18, 04/21/18
SAT - 10/14/17, 02/17/18, 04/07/18

View our sample ACT/SAT diagnostic reports and student scores comparison chart: 
ACT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeACTReport-Sample17.pdf
SAT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeSATReport-Sample17.pdf
Student ACT vs. SAT chart - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/VHES-SAT-Scores-Versus-ACT-Scores-Julia.pdf

For those that have only taken a PSAT or SAT, a practice ACT is a must, and we can compare the results to see which test the student is scoring higher on. 

Mock ACT/SAT Registration
Online: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4aabab2fa3f49-free
Phone: 540-428-5379
Email: contact@vinthilles.com
Cost: 
$25 for 1 test (ACT or SAT) 
$40 for 2 tests (ACT and SAT)
ACT/SAT diagnostic and comparison chart will be emailed to parents. 

High School students from all areas of Richmond are encouraged to attend: MIDLOTHIAN VA, GLEN ALLEN VA, ASHLAND VA, DUMBARTON VA, CHAMBERLAYNE VA,TUCKAHOE VA, CHESTERFIELD VA, SHORT PUMP VA, HENRICO VA, AND OTHERS! 

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the ACT or SAT. 

SSAT Tips and Strategies

A good SSAT test prep program will strengthen underlying skills, instill confidence, and help students reach their full potential. Successful test-taking not only encompasses the necessary academic skills, but also the understanding of how to take standardized tests. Utilizing a two-pass approach, pacing drills, process of elimination, plugging in the answer choices, and question recognition, are all ways to help increase your score. Having a tips and strategies toolbox will help the student be in control of the test. View the SSAT test format. 

•    Guess if you can eliminate 2 answer choices on easy or medium questions. Guess on hard questions if you can eliminate 3 answer choices.
•    Attractor answers are most common towards the end of a section. 
•    The student receives 1 minute per question on the reading section.
•    The student receives 30 seconds per question on the verbal section. 
•    The student receives 72 seconds per question on both math sections. 

SSAT Math:

•    Half of the math questions are arithmetic and about one-fifth are Geometry based. 
•    If the problem doesn't say “not drawn to scale” then estimate by looking at it.
•    Use numbers that are easy to work with when plugging in for variables. 
•    If you think a question will take more than 72 seconds, circle it, and come back to it later.
•    Watch out for sudden measurement changes. For example, the chart lists yards and the answers are given in feet. 

SSAT Verbal:

•    Review the tested word and find the correct definition.
•    The answers may also use a secondary definition.
•    Examine the word for roots, prefixes, and suffixes. 
•    Does the word sound positive or negative?
•    For analogies, build a sentence with the word to understand the relationship. 
•    Eliminate answer choices with no relation and that seem weak in their relationship. 

SSAT Reading:

•    Spend the first minute looking for “easy” passages to tackle. 
•    Reading is the only section that doesn’t progress from easy to difficult. 
•    Usually, the very first sentence will be the main idea. 
•    Read at a strong pace, but do not re-read. 
•    Try not to worry about rushing through passages. 
•    Don’t move onto the next passage, until you answer all of the current passage questions. 
•    If you’re running short on time, look for the questions that ask for a definition. 

Contact us regarding test prep for the SSAT, including a free diagnostic report!

Best ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Northern VA

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 

We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. It is important to retest the student periodically, in order to reassess strengths and weaknesses. The ACT/SAT prep program should revolve around the student, as he or she grows throughout the prep program. When we see scores suddenly spike in the main area of focus, it means attention must be switched back to the new lowest scoring section.

Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to your home on weekdays or weekends. ACT/SAT prep is available throughout Northern VA and surrounding areas.     

Here’s one of our ACT prep students that went up 5 ACT composite points, after only 6 sessions of one-to-one prep. English went up 3 points, math shot up 7 points, reading increased by 6 points, and science jumped up 4 points. 

ACT Student Score Increase.jpg

Best ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Richmond, VA

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 

We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. It is important to retest the student periodically, in order to reassess strengths and weaknesses. The ACT/SAT prep program should revolve around the student, as he or she grows throughout the prep program. When we see scores suddenly spike in the main area of focus, it means attention must be switched back to the new lowest scoring section.

Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to your home on weekdays or weekends. ACT/SAT prep is available throughout Richmond, VA and surrounding areas.     

Here’s one of our ACT prep students that went up 5 ACT composite points, after only 6 sessions of one-to-one prep. English went up 3 points, math shot up 7 points, reading increased by 6 points, and science jumped up 4 points. 

ACT Student Score Increase.jpg

Best ACT Prep & SAT Prep: Charlotte, NC

WHY DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK SO WELL? 

We often get asked this question. It’s because we focus on the individual student and not a classroom of students. The largest ACT/SAT score increases are seen when ACT/SAT prep is customized for the individual student. This is also why a baseline test is so effective. Our ACT/SAT practice test score reports are used as a student diagnostic. 

The ACT/SAT tutor will hone in on the specific needs for the individual. The diagnostic report reveals trends such as pacing and themes among certain question types. On the SAT reading section, the student may have the most trouble with command of evidence. For the ACT math section, it might be quadratic equations that need the most attention. It is important to retest the student periodically, in order to reassess strengths and weaknesses. The ACT/SAT prep program should revolve around the student, as he or she grows throughout the prep program. When we see scores suddenly spike in the main area of focus, it means attention must be switched back to the new lowest scoring section.

Our ACT/SAT tutors will come to your home on weekdays or weekends. ACT/SAT prep is available throughout Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas.     

Here’s one of our ACT prep students that went up 5 ACT composite points, after only 6 sessions of one-to-one prep. English went up 3 points, math shot up 7 points, reading increased by 6 points, and science jumped up 4 points. 

ACT Student Score Increase.jpg

2017-2018 School Year: Mock ACT/SAT Class Dates

Vint Hill Educational Services offers mock testing for the ACT and SAT. These administrations are hosted in the Northern VA area and the Richmond VA area. We supply the test booklet, essay booklet, answer sheet, testing timer, extra pencils, and a proctor. Students will need to bring: a calculator, two No. 2 pencils, snacks, and a drink. 

Each student receives a 9 page diagnostic report using our test scoring software. We only use official ACT and SAT practice tests. Students that take both an ACT and SAT will receive a student scores comparison chart. This will reveal which test the student is scoring higher on, ACT or SAT.
 
Northern VA area: Click here to register for a mock ACT or SAT
ACT - 09/30/17, 11/11/17, 02/03/18, 03/24/18, 05/19/18
SAT - 09/16/17, 10/21/17, 01/27/18, 02/24/18, 04/28/18

Richmond VA area: Click here to register for a mock ACT or SAT
ACT - 01/13/18, 03/03/18, 04/21/18
SAT - 10/14/17, 02/17/18, 04/07/18

View our sample ACT/SAT diagnostic reports and student scores comparison chart: 
ACT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeACTReport-Sample17.pdf
SAT report - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/PracticeSATReport-Sample17.pdf
Student ACT vs. SAT chart - http://www.vinthilles.com/s/VHES-SAT-Scores-Versus-ACT-Scores-Julia.pdf

For those that have only taken a PSAT or SAT, a practice ACT is a must, and we can compare the results to see which test the student is scoring higher on. 

Mock ACT/SAT Registration
Online: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4aabab2fa3f49-free
Phone: 540-428-5379
Email: contact@vinthilles.com
Cost: 
$25 for 1 test (ACT or SAT) 
$40 for 2 tests (ACT and SAT)
ACT/SAT diagnostic and comparison chart will be emailed to parents. 

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the ACT or SAT.