COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

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How you can help your child ace the SAT or ACT
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/how-you-can-help-your-child-ace-the-sat-or-act-807

Posted: 2015-07-20

by Kathryn Flynn

An interview with Lauren Gaggioli, Founder of Higher Scores Test Prep

1. When should parents begin discussions with their children about the SATs and ACTs?

I love to see parents and students begin to talk about the timing of these tests as early as freshman year.

Once students have a sense of the classes they'll take in high school and the seasonality of their sports and activities, tentative plans can be put in place regarding when a student will prepare for and take the SAT or ACT.

There are five things you should consider when you're making these decisions:

  • Students test scores are valid for 5 years. There's no need to wait until spring of Junior year to take either exam if your student is ready to take them sooner.
  • Once students are halfway through Algebra 2, they are ready to take the tests. Math is the only subject we're waiting on to give students the green light to take the SAT or ACT. Once your student is enrolled in Algebra 2, it's time to finalize your testing plan and begin to research your prep options. (More on that in a moment…)
  • All students should have scores they're proud of by the end of their junior year. This advice trumps #2. If at all possible, don't wait until senior year to take the tests for the first time.
  • Avoid scheduling the tests in the middle of your student's busiest season. Consider all aspects of your student's life - academics (AP & IB tests and finals), sports, community service, and other activities. By taking the 50,000 ft view starting freshman year, you should be able to avoid overlapping testing and your student's busiest months.
  • Remember to account for prep time as you plan when to take the tests. Don't forget to back up from the test date you decide on to make sure your schedule is free for preparation. If you have to choose between being busy during prep and being busy around the time of the test, opt for the latter. Prep takes more time and energy than testing does.

To learn more about how to set up the perfect testing timeline, listen to Episode 42 of The College Checklist Podcast.

RELATED: Help your child get into a top school

2. What are the key differences between the two exams?

As someone who still regularly takes the SAT & ACT, I can attest first-hand to the fact that this is a slippery question. Many people like to paint with broad strokes when categorizing the tests, but I know from experience that a lot of the rhetoric you'll hear is simply untrue.

Here are the facts:

ACT:

  • Tests English, Math, Reading, and Science
  • No guessing penalty
  • One minute or less per question
  • More direct wording of questions
  • Math includes all levels up to basic trigonometry
  • Calculators may be used on all math questions
  • It is optional for colleges to require the essay, therefore I recommend students take it every time

2400 (Current) SAT:

  • Tests Reading, Math, and Writing
  • There is a guessing penalty
  • More than one minute per question in most sections
  • Somewhat cryptic wording
  • Math includes all levels up to Algebra 2
  • Calculators may be used on all math questions
  • Essay is not optional

Of course, there's more to these tests, but the reason I keep my answer to the straight facts is that I've heard SAT experts claim there is no difference between the two exams and an ACT representative characterize their test as "content-based" when comparing the ACT to the "reasoning-based" SAT.

In reality, neither of these statements is true.

There are a lot of myths about these exams so be careful who you're getting your information from and base no decision regarding these exams on secondhand information...even when it is from a professional. (See #3 for clarification.)

RELATED: Help! My child is starting college soon and we’re not prepared.

3. How should a student decide which exam to take?

About four months before you plan to prepare for the exam, take a full-length practice test of both the SAT and ACT. Space them at least a week apart.

Once you're done, compare the score results using an ACT/SAT score comparison chart to see which test is higher than the other.

If your student scores significantly higher on one test as compared to the other, have him or her take that exam.

If there's no clear distinction between the two scores achieved, talk to your student about which test he or she prefers and why.

A student's buy-in is a must and having a choice in which test he or she will take is imperative when it comes to getting great results.

You can find free full-length practice tests on the College Board and ACT websites or on my website: 15 Free Test Prep Tools.

4. What can you tell us about the “new” SAT?

In keeping with the style of comparison from question #2, here's what you need to know.

New (1600) SAT:

  • Tests English, Reading, and Math
  • No guessing penalty
  • More than one minute per question in most sections
  • Sections include some academic crossover (e.g. social studies and science measures in reading)
  • Math includes all levels up to basic trigonometry
  • Calculators can be used on only one of two math sections
  • It is optional for colleges to require the essay, therefore I recommend students take it every time

I would again caution families to be wary of what they hear when it comes to this exam. Before the world ever saw a full-length practice test from College Board, there were many rumors flying around and, worse, full test prep books being published.

In life, as in college admissions testing, be wary of bold claims. If what you're hearing sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can assess the new test yourself by checking out the official prep tests linked to from my 15 Free Test Prep Tools.

RELATED: Get your child Ivy League ready this summer

5. What types and styles of questions do the tests cover?

Both the ACT and the 2400 SAT are primarily multiple-choice exams, though the SAT includes a handful of "grid-in" math questions - which are essentially free response questions. (The new SAT will also include such questions.)

Both exams test students' critical reading, math, and writing skills.

The ACT also includes a Science section, but it is important to note that students who understand scientific method and can interpret charts and graphs have all of the scientific knowledge they need to answer 97% of the questions they will be asked.

Incidentally, the science section (insert air quotes around that phrase) is the reason the ACT is often categorized as a content-based exam. But you can't answer an SAT math question with out math knowledge - i.e. math content - which is why I find the typical designations for the two exams to be misleading.

6. What are considered “good” scores?

I believe that every student has his or her own best score and that my job is to get them to their personal best - whatever that may be.

I've worked with students who were in the 85th percentile who were under-performing their natural abilities.

I've worked with students at the 50th percentile who had seen amazing improvement and had worked diligently to climb to that level.

The bottom line is that these scores are a means to an end. Students need them to validate their academic achievements in school through a standardized measure for the benefit of the colleges who are comparing thousands of students in a given applicant pool.

To get a sense of what scores are good for the colleges you're interested in, look at their website and find their median score for admitted students. (That's usually found on the admissions FAQ page.) Then aim for the top of that range.

That's your good score. It's different for everyone!

(Did you do that and are disheartened by the scores you need to get into the schools you're researching? Check out the next answer for a new way to look at college search....and financial aid.)

RELATED: How to pass the College Affordability Test (CAT)

7. Are there scholarships available for high scores?

To be honest, there are scholarships available for nearly every score. You just have to know where to look.

There are two ways to leverage scores for cash for every student.

1. Merit-Based Financial Aid:

There are two kinds of financial aid - need-based (i.e. your family needs financial assistance to pay for college tuition) and merit-based (i.e. your achievements warrant that you be given free money to attend a given college).

Merit-based aid is, in most cases, based on your numerical measures: your GPA and test scores.

In a world in where a college's job is to attract "better" students, here's how the merit-aid game shakes out.

(Here, I'm using "better" to mean higher scoring. There's obviously much more to a student than his or her scores, but let's roll with the belief that higher scores = better student for a moment.)

If you apply to a college with a lower average ACT or SAT score than you have, that school is going to want you to attend because you raise the average admitted student GPA and test scores for that institution. That, in turn, gives the college more perceived prestige.

In short, you make the college look good because you - who could've attended a numerically superior college - chose to attend that school instead.

Colleges who look good can attract "better" students (students with higher scores) in the following year.

From the college's perspective, better scores means larger applicant pools means more tuition dollars.

Therefore, colleges will give you - a student with scores above their institution's averages - money to woo you to attend their school.

The problem is most students get their scores and aim to go to the school whose averages are just a little higher than their own. In that instance, you're grappling at the heels of school that is looking to attract a "better" student.

Flip this on its head by using the strategy I like to call - Aim high. Look down.

Do your very best in school. Prepare for and get the highest score you can on the ACT or SAT. Then research schools whose averages are slightly lower than your own.

There are many fine institutions that offer stellar educational experiences that will pay you to attend. You just have to look at it from a different angle than most students do.

2. Private Scholarships:

I have a friend who works in scholarships and he estimates that 60% of scholarships require an ACT or SAT score for you to even be considered.

While a high score is desirable, a score of any percentile is all that's required to be considered.

Scholarship applicant pools are often surprisingly small. Many students don't want to do the work it takes to apply, which means other factors - like your essays - can be considered with more care.

Don't let your scores keep you from applying for private scholarships. You can find lots of free money in private scholarships.

You may wonder - is it worth the effort? Well, most studies say - absolutely because, on average, you'll earn $66 for every hour of time you invest in applying for scholarships.

Think you'll find a part-time job that pays that well? Probably not...

Want to learn more? Watch this free workshop about turning your test scores into cash for college even if you're not a testing superstar.

RELATED: 10 things you need to know about getting scholarships

8. How many times can you take the exams in an effort to improve your score?

You can take the test as many times as you like. I still take the SAT and ACT as an adult and, as long as I give the testing companies money, they are happy to let me sit for their exams.

Students have a lot on their plate. While they can take the tests over and over and over, at some point we hit the law of diminishing returns.

I want students to respect the tests and be relaxed so they can do their best on test day. On the one hand, the tests are important and every effort does matter. On the other hand, I don't want that knowledge to completely stress a student out. We need contingency plans in place so students have more than one opportunity to shine.

To that end, I recommend that students never take a test on an official test day without first having taken a practice test at home.

It's often an expensive waste of time because, based on that first exam, most students realize they need to improve to get into the colleges they would like to attend.

You can find this information out at your kitchen table. Save the registration fee and take a free full-length practice test at home to get your baseline.

Once you've got a score, make a solid testing plan.

I usually recommend students plan to take the test three times.

They should take their first two tests late in their sophomore year or in their junior year. I recommend signing up for back-to-back test dates to be completed immediately on the heels of full test preparation.

The first test sets the score floor. The second test is close enough to prep that students remember what they learned, but also gives them license to be a bit more aggressive now that they have their first score in the bag.

I also would advise that families keep a third test date in reserve for the fall of senior year. The reason I recommend this is that students sometimes fall in love with a college as they finalize their list after junior year. They may realize they need just a few more points to either be more competitive or to win significant merit aid from that school. Knowing that this is a possibility and having the date saved on the calendar can help students stay focused well into senior year.

9. When should a student seek test preparation help?

Good test prep programs take time to find and then take time to complete.

You'll want to use your first test date as the anchor and start to research your options four to five months ahead of that date.

10. What type of help is available?

Oh boy! There are so many options!

There's free prep and paid prep; one-to-one tutoring and group learning; independent providers and large prep firms; in-home, in-class, and online.

But before you consider the myriad of options, I'd encourage you to bring your student in on the decision-making process because even the most expensive in-home tutoring won't be effective with an unwilling student.

Students need to take ownership of this process. Giving them options as to how they prepare is the first step.

For instance, I love to talk to students before parents sign up because if my voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard to the student, my course will not work him or her. It has nothing to with their ability or my skills. It's just not a good fit.

There must be complete trust between students and their test prep guide - whomever that is and however their material is delivered - but students have to have a voice in the conversation to know whether that trust is there or not.

Until it is, keep looking!

One other thing I'll advise is that you work with a comprehensive program. In my experience, apps with endless questions, boot camp-style prep, and taking at-home practice tests until your eyes bleed aren't helpful in affecting real score improvement. Rather, they tend to stress students out.

Comprehensive prep programs take place over a reasonable span of time (six to 10 weeks) and meet a few times a week so students can become familiar and comfortable with the content of the whole test in a focused, low-stress manner.

Your comprehensive prep program should include a few full-length exams - enough to breed confidence, but not so many as to overwhelm or desensitize the student to the full test experience. (Burned out students can't perform to their full potential on test day!)

For instance, my eight-week online prep courses provide students a personalized syllabus that guides students through specific curriculum during three meetings per week (seven hours total) that they can schedule on their own time. It includes video tutorials on academic concepts, score-specific strategy sessions, and two full-length practice tests.

My online courses also include online office hours with me so students can have their ACT and SAT questions answered by a test prep pro.

But my course is just one of many different offerings. There are similarly structured classroom courses and tutors who deliver excellent comprehensive prep in the comfort of your own home.

Talk to your student about what they think they need. Use Google to find local and online options, and be sure to research t least four or five different offerings. Talk to the people your student would be working with - tutor, instructor, or online provider - and make the decision that best fits your family's needs.

If there's anything teaching these tests has taught me, it's that no student needs exactly the same prep as the next.

Do the research. Find the program that resonates with you. Then commit.

Test prep only works when your family is all in.

RELATED: 11 ways to make the most of your next college visit


Lauren Gaggioli is a Number 2 Pencil Nerd. At least, that's what her dad called her in high school because of how much she enjoyed taking tests. After 8 years working as a private SAT & ACT tutor, Lauren founded Higher Scores Test Prep, a family-owned online SAT & ACT prep company. She is also the host of The College Checklist Podcast, a weekly podcast about all things college admissions.



An interview with Lauren Gaggioli, Founder of Higher Scores Test Prep

1. When should parents begin discussions with their children about the SATs and ACTs?

I love to see parents and students begin to talk about the timing of these tests as early as freshman year.

Once students have a sense of the classes they'll take in high school and the seasonality of their sports and activities, tentative plans can be put in place regarding when a student will prepare for and take the SAT or ACT.

There are five things you should consider when you're making these decisions:

  • Students test scores are valid for 5 years. There's no need to wait until spring of Junior year to take either exam if your student is ready to take them sooner.
  • Once students are halfway through Algebra 2, they are ready to take the tests. Math is the only subject we're waiting on to give students the green light to take the SAT or ACT. Once your student is enrolled in Algebra 2, it's time to finalize your testing plan and begin to research your prep options. (More on that in a moment…)
  • All students should have scores they're proud of by the end of their junior year. This advice trumps #2. If at all possible, don't wait until senior year to take the tests for the first time.
  • Avoid scheduling the tests in the middle of your student's busiest season. Consider all aspects of your student's life - academics (AP & IB tests and finals), sports, community service, and other activities. By taking the 50,000 ft view starting freshman year, you should be able to avoid overlapping testing and your student's busiest months.
  • Remember to account for prep time as you plan when to take the tests. Don't forget to back up from the test date you decide on to make sure your schedule is free for preparation. If you have to choose between being busy during prep and being busy around the time of the test, opt for the latter. Prep takes more time and energy than testing does.

To learn more about how to set up the perfect testing timeline, listen to Episode 42 of The College Checklist Podcast.

RELATED: Help your child get into a top school

2. What are the key differences between the two exams?

As someone who still regularly takes the SAT & ACT, I can attest first-hand to the fact that this is a slippery question. Many people like to paint with broad strokes when categorizing the tests, but I know from experience that a lot of the rhetoric you'll hear is simply untrue.

Here are the facts:

ACT:

  • Tests English, Math, Reading, and Science
  • No guessing penalty
  • One minute or less per question
  • More direct wording of questions
  • Math includes all levels up to basic trigonometry
  • Calculators may be used on all math questions
  • It is optional for colleges to require the essay, therefore I recommend students take it every time

2400 (Current) SAT:

  • Tests Reading, Math, and Writing
  • There is a guessing penalty
  • More than one minute per question in most sections
  • Somewhat cryptic wording
  • Math includes all levels up to Algebra 2
  • Calculators may be used on all math questions
  • Essay is not optional

Of course, there's more to these tests, but the reason I keep my answer to the straight facts is that I've heard SAT experts claim there is no difference between the two exams and an ACT representative characterize their test as "content-based" when comparing the ACT to the "reasoning-based" SAT.

In reality, neither of these statements is true.

There are a lot of myths about these exams so be careful who you're getting your information from and base no decision regarding these exams on secondhand information...even when it is from a professional. (See #3 for clarification.)

RELATED: Help! My child is starting college soon and we’re not prepared.

3. How should a student decide which exam to take?

About four months before you plan to prepare for the exam, take a full-length practice test of both the SAT and ACT. Space them at least a week apart.

Once you're done, compare the score results using an ACT/SAT score comparison chart to see which test is higher than the other.

If your student scores significantly higher on one test as compared to the other, have him or her take that exam.

If there's no clear distinction between the two scores achieved, talk to your student about which test he or she prefers and why.

A student's buy-in is a must and having a choice in which test he or she will take is imperative when it comes to getting great results.

You can find free full-length practice tests on the College Board and ACT websites or on my website: 15 Free Test Prep Tools.

4. What can you tell us about the “new” SAT?

In keeping with the style of comparison from question #2, here's what you need to know.

New (1600) SAT:

  • Tests English, Reading, and Math
  • No guessing penalty
  • More than one minute per question in most sections
  • Sections include some academic crossover (e.g. social studies and science measures in reading)
  • Math includes all levels up to basic trigonometry
  • Calculators can be used on only one of two math sections
  • It is optional for colleges to require the essay, therefore I recommend students take it every time

I would again caution families to be wary of what they hear when it comes to this exam. Before the world ever saw a full-length practice test from College Board, there were many rumors flying around and, worse, full test prep books being published.

In life, as in college admissions testing, be wary of bold claims. If what you're hearing sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can assess the new test yourself by checking out the official prep tests linked to from my 15 Free Test Prep Tools.

RELATED: Get your child Ivy League ready this summer

5. What types and styles of questions do the tests cover?

Both the ACT and the 2400 SAT are primarily multiple-choice exams, though the SAT includes a handful of "grid-in" math questions - which are essentially free response questions. (The new SAT will also include such questions.)

Both exams test students' critical reading, math, and writing skills.

The ACT also includes a Science section, but it is important to note that students who understand scientific method and can interpret charts and graphs have all of the scientific knowledge they need to answer 97% of the questions they will be asked.

Incidentally, the science section (insert air quotes around that phrase) is the reason the ACT is often categorized as a content-based exam. But you can't answer an SAT math question with out math knowledge - i.e. math content - which is why I find the typical designations for the two exams to be misleading.

6. What are considered “good” scores?

I believe that every student has his or her own best score and that my job is to get them to their personal best - whatever that may be.

I've worked with students who were in the 85th percentile who were under-performing their natural abilities.

I've worked with students at the 50th percentile who had seen amazing improvement and had worked diligently to climb to that level.

The bottom line is that these scores are a means to an end. Students need them to validate their academic achievements in school through a standardized measure for the benefit of the colleges who are comparing thousands of students in a given applicant pool.

To get a sense of what scores are good for the colleges you're interested in, look at their website and find their median score for admitted students. (That's usually found on the admissions FAQ page.) Then aim for the top of that range.

That's your good score. It's different for everyone!

(Did you do that and are disheartened by the scores you need to get into the schools you're researching? Check out the next answer for a new way to look at college search....and financial aid.)

RELATED: How to pass the College Affordability Test (CAT)

7. Are there scholarships available for high scores?

To be honest, there are scholarships available for nearly every score. You just have to know where to look.

There are two ways to leverage scores for cash for every student.

1. Merit-Based Financial Aid:

There are two kinds of financial aid - need-based (i.e. your family needs financial assistance to pay for college tuition) and merit-based (i.e. your achievements warrant that you be given free money to attend a given college).

Merit-based aid is, in most cases, based on your numerical measures: your GPA and test scores.

In a world in where a college's job is to attract "better" students, here's how the merit-aid game shakes out.

(Here, I'm using "better" to mean higher scoring. There's obviously much more to a student than his or her scores, but let's roll with the belief that higher scores = better student for a moment.)

If you apply to a college with a lower average ACT or SAT score than you have, that school is going to want you to attend because you raise the average admitted student GPA and test scores for that institution. That, in turn, gives the college more perceived prestige.

In short, you make the college look good because you - who could've attended a numerically superior college - chose to attend that school instead.

Colleges who look good can attract "better" students (students with higher scores) in the following year.

From the college's perspective, better scores means larger applicant pools means more tuition dollars.

Therefore, colleges will give you - a student with scores above their institution's averages - money to woo you to attend their school.

The problem is most students get their scores and aim to go to the school whose averages are just a little higher than their own. In that instance, you're grappling at the heels of school that is looking to attract a "better" student.

Flip this on its head by using the strategy I like to call - Aim high. Look down.

Do your very best in school. Prepare for and get the highest score you can on the ACT or SAT. Then research schools whose averages are slightly lower than your own.

There are many fine institutions that offer stellar educational experiences that will pay you to attend. You just have to look at it from a different angle than most students do.

2. Private Scholarships:

I have a friend who works in scholarships and he estimates that 60% of scholarships require an ACT or SAT score for you to even be considered.

While a high score is desirable, a score of any percentile is all that's required to be considered.

Scholarship applicant pools are often surprisingly small. Many students don't want to do the work it takes to apply, which means other factors - like your essays - can be considered with more care.

Don't let your scores keep you from applying for private scholarships. You can find lots of free money in private scholarships.

You may wonder - is it worth the effort? Well, most studies say - absolutely because, on average, you'll earn $66 for every hour of time you invest in applying for scholarships.

Think you'll find a part-time job that pays that well? Probably not...

Want to learn more? Watch this free workshop about turning your test scores into cash for college even if you're not a testing superstar.

RELATED: 10 things you need to know about getting scholarships

8. How many times can you take the exams in an effort to improve your score?

You can take the test as many times as you like. I still take the SAT and ACT as an adult and, as long as I give the testing companies money, they are happy to let me sit for their exams.

Students have a lot on their plate. While they can take the tests over and over and over, at some point we hit the law of diminishing returns.

I want students to respect the tests and be relaxed so they can do their best on test day. On the one hand, the tests are important and every effort does matter. On the other hand, I don't want that knowledge to completely stress a student out. We need contingency plans in place so students have more than one opportunity to shine.

To that end, I recommend that students never take a test on an official test day without first having taken a practice test at home.

It's often an expensive waste of time because, based on that first exam, most students realize they need to improve to get into the colleges they would like to attend.

You can find this information out at your kitchen table. Save the registration fee and take a free full-length practice test at home to get your baseline.

Once you've got a score, make a solid testing plan.

I usually recommend students plan to take the test three times.

They should take their first two tests late in their sophomore year or in their junior year. I recommend signing up for back-to-back test dates to be completed immediately on the heels of full test preparation.

The first test sets the score floor. The second test is close enough to prep that students remember what they learned, but also gives them license to be a bit more aggressive now that they have their first score in the bag.

I also would advise that families keep a third test date in reserve for the fall of senior year. The reason I recommend this is that students sometimes fall in love with a college as they finalize their list after junior year. They may realize they need just a few more points to either be more competitive or to win significant merit aid from that school. Knowing that this is a possibility and having the date saved on the calendar can help students stay focused well into senior year.

9. When should a student seek test preparation help?

Good test prep programs take time to find and then take time to complete.

You'll want to use your first test date as the anchor and start to research your options four to five months ahead of that date.

10. What type of help is available?

Oh boy! There are so many options!

There's free prep and paid prep; one-to-one tutoring and group learning; independent providers and large prep firms; in-home, in-class, and online.

But before you consider the myriad of options, I'd encourage you to bring your student in on the decision-making process because even the most expensive in-home tutoring won't be effective with an unwilling student.

Students need to take ownership of this process. Giving them options as to how they prepare is the first step.

For instance, I love to talk to students before parents sign up because if my voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard to the student, my course will not work him or her. It has nothing to with their ability or my skills. It's just not a good fit.

There must be complete trust between students and their test prep guide - whomever that is and however their material is delivered - but students have to have a voice in the conversation to know whether that trust is there or not.

Until it is, keep looking!

One other thing I'll advise is that you work with a comprehensive program. In my experience, apps with endless questions, boot camp-style prep, and taking at-home practice tests until your eyes bleed aren't helpful in affecting real score improvement. Rather, they tend to stress students out.

Comprehensive prep programs take place over a reasonable span of time (six to 10 weeks) and meet a few times a week so students can become familiar and comfortable with the content of the whole test in a focused, low-stress manner.

Your comprehensive prep program should include a few full-length exams - enough to breed confidence, but not so many as to overwhelm or desensitize the student to the full test experience. (Burned out students can't perform to their full potential on test day!)

For instance, my eight-week online prep courses provide students a personalized syllabus that guides students through specific curriculum during three meetings per week (seven hours total) that they can schedule on their own time. It includes video tutorials on academic concepts, score-specific strategy sessions, and two full-length practice tests.

My online courses also include online office hours with me so students can have their ACT and SAT questions answered by a test prep pro.

But my course is just one of many different offerings. There are similarly structured classroom courses and tutors who deliver excellent comprehensive prep in the comfort of your own home.

Talk to your student about what they think they need. Use Google to find local and online options, and be sure to research t least four or five different offerings. Talk to the people your student would be working with - tutor, instructor, or online provider - and make the decision that best fits your family's needs.

If there's anything teaching these tests has taught me, it's that no student needs exactly the same prep as the next.

Do the research. Find the program that resonates with you. Then commit.

Test prep only works when your family is all in.

RELATED: 11 ways to make the most of your next college visit


Lauren Gaggioli is a Number 2 Pencil Nerd. At least, that's what her dad called her in high school because of how much she enjoyed taking tests. After 8 years working as a private SAT & ACT tutor, Lauren founded Higher Scores Test Prep, a family-owned online SAT & ACT prep company. She is also the host of The College Checklist Podcast, a weekly podcast about all things college admissions.



 

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