Ivy Bound Test Prep Blog

The Prep School Transition (Grades 9 – 12)

privateschoolIn your new school, you will make new friends. We caution that it is a lot harder to make friends when entering after 10th grade. 9th and 10th see loads of students starting anew together. The fall varsity athlete who transfers to begin 11th grade will gain an instant group of chums; other 11th graders have it harder.

“Leaving your friends behind” should be a non-issue. You will keep your close 8th grade friends, even if you are in a boarding school. Plenty of prep school grads report long-kept relationships with their K-8 friends on weekends and in the summer. And these stretch back to decades when texts and Facebook posts were no substitute for actually hanging out.

We invite students and parents who have made transitions from public school to prep school to join in the conversation on the Ivy Bound Facebook page.

My Child Doesn’t Test Well


Combating the “My Kid Doesn’t Test Well” Mentality

by Michelle Ambrosio, Music Director and School Success Consultant
Sandi Foster, Schools Liaison and Parent Consultant, and
Mark Greenstein, Founder and Lead Instructor, Ivy Bound Test Prep

We here this routinely from parents who call us about ACT or SAT study. “My kid is a good student in school, but doesn’t test well”. Sometimes it is followed by “so getting her a lot higher will be miraculous”. Sometimes it’s followed by a resigned “so we probably can’t be applying to __________” (an elite university). We write this to give parents hope, realistic hope, that this is not a permanent impediment to SAT or ACT success.

Before broad-brushing a student’s testing abilities, it is worth distinguishing three types of academic tests:


Private Schooling For 9 – 12

The Good and Not-So-Good on College Admissions

blog-gradAre prep school students more qualified for admission to top colleges? Generally, yes. (The competitive admissions process at prep schools weeds out less meritorious students.) Does that hurt when 20 highly-qualified candidates from the same small prep school apply to be admitted to the same elite college? Yes. (In these days of desired “diversity” no elite college can take all 20). Is that balanced out by a prep school counselor’s willingness / ability to steer students among a large variety of “good-fit” colleges? With the right counselor, yes.

Counselors in public high schools spend only 25 percent of their time on college-related counseling; counselors in private schools spend 55 percent. Prep schools typically allow a wider variety of courses, and prep schools keep most class sizes small.


Early Career Assessments

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful

by Mark Greenstein
Founder and Lead Instructor
Ivy Bound / Rising Stars
info@ivybound.net • www.ivybound.net

Re-publishable so long as the Credit and URLs are preserved.

Parents concerned about their children’s development are bound to come across “career readiness” or “career aptitude” assessments even in the primary school years.  State agencies and even the national ACT (American College Testing) make these available online.  Parents, and students who encounter them prior to high school, should be very wary of their usefulness.

The Bad

The bad is using a multiple choice test to approximate any career.  No career is done on paper.  DAY ONE on any job involves working with people, systems, and tangible things, not tests of acuity.   Colleagues rarely know how a newbie scored on past tests, and almost never care.  How well you take on responsibilities is their prime concern.


SAT Vocabulary Drill: P Words (pt 4)

At Ivy Bound Test Prep we understand the importance of practice and hard work. We wanted to do more for students and offer further assistance, outside of our Test Prep and Tutoring programs, by creating our Vocabulary Builder video series. In today’s article we will be going over our fourth installment of “P” words.


Important Note For Rising Juniors

blog-girlWith the change to a clearly HARDER-TO-PREP-FOR SAT, we especially want rising juniors to prep for the ACT or current SAT and avoid the revised one if possible.

For rising juniors, the best way to avoid the revised SAT is by having a great current-SAT or early ACT score.  Ivy Bound has always recommended doing a chunk of SAT or ACT prep the summer before junior year.  It gives students more options for success, and gives the truly nice result of being DONE EARLY, before the hectic-ness of junior spring.


Moving vs Stationary SAT


What’s easier to hit?

A) a stationary teed-up whiffle-ball, or
B) a fast-pitched curve-ball?

If you don’t feel good about A), try this one:

A) a fixed target 50 feet away, or
B) a skeet on a parabolic trajectory?

If you twice chose “B”, college may be a waste of your time (baseball’s Minor leagues, or the Navy Seals beckon).


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