Category Archives: SAT / ACT Test Prep

Reading Enrichment Camp

Many students, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they’ve learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. As a result, those students can lose up to 3 months of academic reading progress that has a cumulative, long-term effect that can hold them back a grade. If your student is having trouble with vocabulary, reading comprehension, fluency, or writing skills, the summer is the best time to help them get back on track.

At Omega Learning® Center, we offer a Reading Enrichment Camp that will help your student discover the love of reading and writing this summer! Omega’s certified teachers will help students develop and improve the core fundamentals of reading and writing including sight words, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, language arts, and writing skills. In our AdvancED® learning environment students build vital critical-thinking skills needed for reading and writing application. Find an Omega Learning® Center near you and learn more about our summer enrichment camps.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

 

Why Omega Learning Teachers Are Special

Omega Learning® Center recognizes how important teachers are. We appreciate all of our teachers, tutors, and staff here at Omega Learning® Center. Here are our top reasons why Omega Learning® Center’s teachers are so special.

Omega Learning® Center tutors believe in:

  • Providing opportunity for growth
  • Building student confidence
  • Achieving academic success
  • Encouraging critical-thinking skills
  • Communicating directly with schools
  • Utilizing a tutoring system

Omega tutors are teachers. Our tutors are qualified, motivated, and certified teachers who care about your student’s success.

Omega tutors are educated. Many Omega tutors have master’s degrees and special education degrees, and all must complete the Omega training/certification program.

Omega tutors produce results. Omega tutors achieve results using our AIM Tutoring System®. The average academic growth is 2.2 years after completing our program.

Omega tutors are local. Our tutors live and work in our community. They believe in the power of a strong education and its value for your student’s future.

Omega tutors are dynamic. Our tutors engage their students and our OutpAce® curriculum, including auditory, visual, and tactile instructional methods to achieve accelerated growth and lasting results.

Omega tutors are connected. Omega tutors send daily email updates to our students’ parents and schoolteachers to keep everyone informed on their Academic Team.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Parent Action Plan 12th Grade

Senior year is a whirlwind of activities. This is a big year for your child as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Use the suggestions below to help you and your child successfully navigate this important time.

Summer

  • Visit colleges together. If you haven’t already, make plans to check out the campuses of colleges in which your child is interested.
  • Ask how you can help your senior finalize a college list. You can help him or her choose which colleges to apply to by weighing how well each college meets his or her needs, for example.
  • Find out a college’s actual cost. Once your 12th-grader has a list of a few colleges he or she is interested in, use the College Board’s Net Price Calculator together to find out the potential for financial aid and the true out-of-pocket cost— or net price—of each college.
  • Encourage your child to get started on applications. He or she can get the easy stuff out of the way now by filling in as much required information on college applications as possible.
  • Help your child decide about applying early. If your senior is set on going to a certain college, he or she should think about whether applying early is a good option. Now is the time to decide because early applications are usually due in November.
  • Gather financial documents: To apply for most financial aid, your child will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your most recent tax returns and an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA, which opens Oct. 1.

Fall

  • Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor. This year, he or she will work with the counselor to complete and submit college applications.
  • Create a calendar with your child. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. Your child can find specific colleges’ deadlines in College Search. If your child saves colleges to a list there, he or she can get a custom online calendar that shows those colleges’ deadlines.
  • Help your child prepare for college admission tests. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT, in the fall. Learn more about helping your 12th-grader prepare for admission tests.
  • Help your child find and apply for scholarships. He or she can find out about scholarship opportunities from the school counselor. Your high school student will need to request and complete scholarship applications and submit them on time.
  • Offer to look over your senior’s college applications. But remember that this is your child’s work so remain in the role of adviser and proofreader and respect his or her voice.
  • Fill out the FAFSA to apply for aid beginning Oct. 1.. The government and many colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to award aid. Now it’s easier than ever to fill out this form because you can automatically transfer your tax information online from the IRS to the FAFSA.
  • Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, if required. If your child needs to submit the PROFILE to a college or scholarship program, be sure to find out the priority deadline and submit it by that date. Read How to Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
  • Encourage your child to set up college interviews. An interview is a great way for your child to learn more about a college and for a college to learn more about your child. Get an overview of the interview process.

Winter

  • Work together to apply for financial aid. Have your child contact the financial aid offices at the colleges in which he or she is interested to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure he or she applies for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
  • Learn about college loan options together. Borrowing money for college can be a smart choice — especially if your high school student gets a low-interest federal loan.
  • Encourage your senior to take SAT Subject Tests. These tests can showcase your child’s interests and achievements — and many colleges require or recommend that applicants take one or more Subject Tests. .
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 12th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.

Spring

  • Help your child process college responses. Once your child starts hearing back from colleges about admission and financial aid, he or she will need your support to decide what to do. Read about how to choose a college.
  • Review financial aid offers together. Your 12th-grader will need your help to read through financial aid award letters and figure out which package works best. Be sure your child pays attention to and meets any deadlines for acceptance.
  • Help your child complete the paperwork to accept a college’s offer of admittance. Once your child has decided which college to attend, he or she will need to review the offer, accept a college’s offer, mail a tuition deposit and submit other required paperwork.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents/parent-action-plan-12th-grade

What To Expect on ACT Test Day

Good sleep? Check. Good breakfast? Check. Review our Test Day Checklist and get ready to test.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

  • Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you’ll be comfortable no matter what the room conditions are.
  • If you’re unsure where your test center is located, do a practice run to see how to get there and what time you’ll need to leave to arrive by 8:00 a.m.
  • If you arrive earlier than 7:45 a.m., you might have to wait outside until testing staff complete their arrangements.
  • Bring snacks or drinks to consume outside the test room only during the break.

ARRIVING AT THE TEST CENTER

  • Report to your assigned test center by the Reporting Time (usually 8:00 a.m.) listed on your ticket. You will NOT be admitted to test if you are late.
  • Testing staff will check your photo ID and ticket, admit you to your test room, direct you to a seat, and provide test materials.
  • Be ready to begin testing after all examinees present at 8:00 a.m. are checked in and seated.
  • Please note that ACT may visit test centers to conduct enhanced test security procedures including, but not limited to, collecting images of examinees during check-in or other security activities on test day.

DURING THE TEST

  • Once you break the seal on your test booklet, you cannot later request a Test Date Change, even if you do not complete all your tests.
  • A permitted calculator may be used on the mathematics test only. It is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
  • If your calculator has characters one inch high or larger, or a raised display, testing staff may seat you where no others can see the display.
  • Do not engage in any prohibited behavior at the test center. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored. For more details about prohibited behavior at the test center, please see Terms and Conditions (PDF).  Note: For National and International Testing, you will be asked to sign a statement on the front cover of your test booklet agreeing to this policy.
  • Also remember that cheating hurts everyone. If you see it, report it.

TAKING A BREAK

  • A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. You will not be allowed to use cell phones or any electronic devices during the break, and you may not eat or drink anything in the test room.
  • If you take the ACT with writing, you will have time before the writing test to relax and sharpen your pencils.

FINISHING UP

  • Students taking the ACT (no writing) with standard time are normally dismissed about 12:15 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed about 1:15 p.m.
  • On some test dates, ACT tries out questions to develop future versions of the tests. You may be asked to take a fifth test, the results of which will not be reflected in your reported scores. The fifth test could be multiple-choice or one for which you will create your own answers. Please try your best on these questions, because your participation can help shape the future of the ACT. If you are in a test room where the fifth test is administered, you will be dismissed at about 12:35 p.m.
  • If you do not complete all your tests for any reason, tell a member of the testing staff whether or not you want your answer document scored before you leave the test center. If you do not, all tests attempted will be scored.

*ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this service.

Source: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-day.html

The New SAT One Year Later

Saturday, March 11 will mark the one year anniversary of the redesigned SAT. So, how has the test fared one year later? Are the results what we all expected or is there still work to be done?

“Students prefer the new SAT by a 7 to 1 margin, saying it’s “easier,” “more straightforward,” and “way more applicable to what we’ve been learning in school,” according to a recent release from the College Board. But is an easier test properly measuring the students’ ability to showcase what they learned?

As a refresher, the changes include:

  • A focus on the areas of math that matter most.
  • A move away from obscure vocabulary words to the use of relevant words in context.
  • No science section. Science concepts are tested in the context of the reading passages.
  • Students now have 43% more time per question on the SAT than on the ACT.
  • No penalty for guessing.
  • A focus on command of evidence.
  • Scoring scale was adjusted from 2400 to 1600, and the essay is now optional

It appears that these changes have increased the students’ overall confidence going into the SAT. In fact, the release states that 80 percent of students feel more comfortable with taking the new SAT and 59 percent of students who have taken the exam in the past believe that it is easier that the original version. The results also show that a majority of students are seeing a correlation between what they are learning in school and what appears on the new exam.

In 2016, after the first batch of results revealed higher SAT test scores, critics began to question the validity of the test and whether these changes were just an easy way to increase scores. Critics like Dan Edmonds of Noodle Education “speculate[d] that the College Board may be intentionally inflating scores to attract more students” in an attempt to overtake the ACT as the most popular college-admissions exam, according to The Atlantic’s 2016 assessment of the new exam.

However, The Atlantic article also identified a number of likely explanations for the higher test scores, such as students “no longer [being] penalized for picking a wrong answer” and “also hav[ing] more time to answer each question on the test.”

Students have been receptive to the new changes, especially removing the penalty for guessing. Knowing this as a student may take some of the pressure off of guessing an answer you don’t know. Though, some would argue that it encourages students to guess more on the SAT. Despite questions that surrounded the SAT, the new exam is definitely receiving strong support from students, teachers and even parents.

“I felt comfortable answering the questions. The vocabulary was perfectly moderate, which helped since it was my first time! I’m very grateful it wasn’t as difficult as expected!” said Valentina of Florida, according to the release.

Meanwhile, results from the College Board’s survey finds that parents are six times more likely to prefer that their children take the new version of the test over the previous version. Also, six out of 10 teachers are in support of the new exam over the older format.

For students who are looking for a practice test, Khan Academy and College Board have joined forces for an online test that 70 percent of students find helpful.

“Unlike traditional high-priced test prep that focuses on strategies for taking the test and quick cramming, Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy supports and reinforces what students are learning in class by helping them focus on the knowledge and skills essential for college readiness and success,” according to the release.

The new SAT is still gaining positive traction one year later. While some may still need convincing, these numbers speak to the overall success of the exam.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: www.educationworld.com/a_news/new-sat-one-year-later-798413613

7 Tips To Prevent Homework Battles

1. Create a homework station.

It doesn’t matter whether there’s a space in your house set aside for homework or a portable homework station. Having a place to keep everything your kid needs for homework can help prevent organization issues and homework battles.

Help your child stock the homework station with paper, sharpened pencils and other supplies needed daily. When your child sits down to work, make sure they have enough light and few distractions. And when done, have them do a quick check to see if anything needs to be replaced for tomorrow.

 

2. Use checklists.

There’s something very rewarding about being able to cross a task off a checklist. You can help your child learn how good that feels as well as teach them how to keep track of homework. All he or she needs is a small pad of paper on which they can list their assignments for the day. As your child completes each one, they can cross it off the list.

 

3. Create a homework schedule.

A homework schedule can help your child set a specific time for studying (and schedule in breaks between subjects). Help your kid find a time of day when they are able to concentrate, when you’re available to help and when they are not in a hurry to get somewhere else.

A homework schedule can also help your child keep track of long-term assignments and upcoming tests. Use a large wall calendar to write down due dates and tests. Then your child can work backward to add in study days before tests and break projects down into smaller chunks.

 

4. Choose and use a homework timer.

Homework timers are a great way to help keep an easily distracted child on track. A timer can also give your kid a better sense of time.

There are many types of timers to choose from—what’s best depends on your child. If he or she is distracted by sounds, a ticking kitchen timer may not be the ideal choice. Instead, try an hourglass timer or one that vibrates.

There are also homework timer apps that you can program for each subject. And don’t forget that your phone probably has a timer built right in, too!

 

5. Use a color-coding system.

Using colored dot stickers, highlighters, and colored folders and notebooks is a great (and inexpensive) way to keep organized. Ask your child to choose a color for each subject. Have him or her mark assignment due dates and test dates on the calendar with a sticker of the right color.

Before you file homework assignments and study guides in the appropriate notebook or folder, use a highlighter or sticker to mark the page with the right color. That way if the paper falls out, your child will know what class it’s for.

 

6. Mix it up a little.

For some kids, studying is tough because they need to learn material in different ways. If your child is having a hard time with a writing assignment, help him or her talk it through or act it out first. Use vocabulary words in everyday conversation—even if you have to be silly about it.

For math, use household items to help them figure out problems. Teach fractions with slices of pizza, for example. And help your child learn spelling words by letting your child text them to you. You can even help  master new facts by setting them to music!

 

7. Check in and check up.

You can’t do your child’s homework for them, but you can make sure they are doing it. Checking in to see if your child needs help or just to let them know you’re around may ease their homework stress. And don’t forget to look over their work at the end of the day, too!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/7-tips-for-improving-your-childs-homework-and-study-skills

4 New Year Resolutions for High Schoolers

The college admissions process is both a summation of four years of high school and a fresh start. No matter what your current year in high school is, you can take steps to ready yourself.

In the spirit of the new year approaching, here are four resolutions – one for each year of high school – to help students plan ahead.

1. Freshmen Resolution: “I will set college admissions goals now, rather than waiting until I’m a junior.”

College and its complex admissions process can seem impossibly far away when you have just begun high school. Your future, however, will be built on the foundation you lay out today. Begin determining your college goals now.

Starting now doesn’t mean that you have to set your entire trajectory immediately – during the next four years, you will discover new interests and new priorities that will partially shape your path. Rather, your college admissions goals can include general timelines for the next several years.

The next three resolutions are great goals to start with. For example, you might decide to complete your admissions testing early in your junior year. Another goal might be to begin building a list of interesting colleges and universities now, so that you will have a short list ready by junior year.

Other goals could include developing a well-stocked admissions portfolio on a platform like the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success or in another centralized location for gathering documents relevant to college applications.

2. Sophomores: “I will develop an ACT and SAT testing plan now – not as a junior.”

It is no secret that the ACT and SAT are critical to admissions success. But many students wait until they receive a disappointing result to dive into test prep. You do not necessarily need an intensive study plan as a sophomore, but you should know where you stand. Discover which test best suits your goals and strengths.

Commit to taking the PreACT or the PSAT, if possible. At the very least, complete a practice exam to get an estimate of your future score and to identify areas of improvement. Don’t stress unduly over the result – you still have a great deal of learning to do.

However, do map out a schedule of practice tests to measure your progress. These are especially valuable since testing can be an effective way to build your knowledge in addition to studying.

3. Juniors: “I will begin my college applications two months earlier than I believe I should.”

You might be tempted to set aside a single month or even two for college applications. Entrance exams have specific dates, you have to wait for your recommenders to send you their letters of recommendation and your high school releases transcripts on a set schedule.

That just leaves you to write your college essay – how long could it possibly take to write a few paragraphs?

The reality is that great applications take time. Your personal statement will require reflection and revision, and it will likely benefit from the input of trusted mentors and guardians or parents. Letters of recommendation can take time to acquire, since the authors are often busy with multiple letters to write – so it’s best not to wait until the last minute.

In short, you’ll need to start earlier than you expect to. This will allow you to gather your materials with time to spare for revisions or unexpected complications.

 

4. Seniors: “I will remember that admissions decisions do not solely determine my intelligence or future.”

Although the first resolution encouraged you to begin preparing for college as a freshman, it’s important to also understand that this focus should not define you.

Remember that college admissions is an intensely competitive process. Your GPA, test scores and a small slice of your life are weighed for admission – you may feel like there are more things you wanted to accomplish.

Ultimately, this is early in your life and you have many more opportunities ahead of you, wherever you end up attending school.

Remember, too, that no one best school is out there – there are hundreds of excellent colleges and universities, and many of them will provide you with excellent opportunities to learn and grow.

Above all, remember that college is one part of a journey. Yes, you can begin preparing as a high school freshman, but the story continues well past your graduation date. Spread out the work and keep moving forward toward your goals and dreams.

Source: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/2016-12-27/4-new-years-resolutions-for-college-bound-high-school-students

5 Test Anxiety SAT/ACT Tips

It’s Finals Week. (Give or take a week in either direction.) Or maybe you are taking those standardized SATs and ACTs, again, trying to boost your scores and make yourself a more attractive candidate to the college of your choice. Either way, we feel for you. And we are here for you.

1. Be Prepared 

If you are allowed a calculator on the exam, make sure it is an approved calculator. Go to the official testing website and double check. One student was told his sophisticated graphing calculator was a no.

2. Formulas are your friends

Some tests will provide math formulas. Some will not. (ACT does not provide math formulas.) There is nothing more stressful than suddenly forgetting a formula. Who needs that?

3. The week before the test

If the testing facility is new to you, drive or otherwise get to the location the week before the test. That avoids getting lost, detours, being late, etc. More unneeded stress.

4. The evening before the test (or, Test Eve)

Do not go to a prom the night before. (It’s happened.) Organize everything you will need: Fresh batteries. Photo ID. Pencils. Non-digital watch. Your admission ticket. Get a good night sleep. Remind yourself that you are well-prepared for the test. You got this!

5. Test Day

Be confident in your abilities. You worked hard! If there isn’t assigned seating, choose a good seat that has ample lighting.

Insider Tip: If you are someone who gets distracted by students who finish early, sit in the front row so you won’t notice them. One of my students always sits in the front for standardized tests — she says it really helps her focus.

Don’t get stuck on one problem. Do the ones you know first. Leave longer, harder problems to the end. (But make sure you mark your test booklet to find them easily later.) Completing the easier questions first will boost your confidence to tackle the more difficult ones.

Brain freeze? Mind gone blank? Start writing. Sometimes writing a math problem in your own hand can jog your brain into thinking of the next step. Are reading a boring passage — as so many of them are — try shifting positions. Write something, underline passages, make notes, something to keep your mind from wandering. Take the breaks that are offered.

Worst case scenario: Anxiety got the better of you, and you think you did poorly on the exam. Guess what? Most standardized tests allow you to cancel your scores within a few days of taking the test. It is not ideal, but it is good to know this in advance. Remember – you can always take the test again!

Source: http://blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2016/12/05/beat-test-anxiety-with-these-tips/

How To Overcome Test Anxiety

It’s test day. You accidentally left your pencils and pens at home, you spilled coffee on yourself rushing to the exam room after missing your alarm, then you sit down and get hit by the worst case of the butterflies ever. Your stomach hurts and you can’t concentrate on the questions in front of you. Can anything else go wrong?

Most students feel nervous before exams — especially the biggies, like standardized admissions tests, midterms and final exams. A little stress during an exam is good — you need some adrenaline to get you motivated to work through a test. But too much anxiety, as the all-too-familiar scene above illustrates, is not a good thing.

Besides making your test-taking experience miserable, too much anxiety can hurt your test performance. Below are some ways to help overcome test anxiety.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED

Whatever you do before an exam, do not cram the night or morning of the test. Doing so not only increases your pre-exam anxiety, but it isn’t usually effective in helping you study. Instead, space out your studying over at least a few weeks’ time. Study no more than two to three hours in one sitting before taking a break.

Besides studying, being prepared for your exam means having all the test materials you need ready to go on the day of your exam. Pack your pencil case, zip-top bag, or small pouch with whatever supplies you need for the test. This might include pencils, pens, a calculator and your school ID. Lastly, get to your test on time or early to avoid extra stress.

TREAT YOUR BODY WELL

Getting enough sleep and eating well in the days leading up to an exam, and on the morning of an exam, can go a long way in keeping anxiety at bay. A lack of sleep and nourishment can mess with your hormones and leave you frazzled before your exam. Always eat breakfast on the morning of an exam, and if you are allowed to bring water and a snack for a longer test, do so (because we all know how annoying rumbling stomachs are).

Exercise can productively help you alleviate some of the stress you may naturally experience before the test. Try going for a 15 to 30 minute walk the morning of your exam to help clear your head.

BE CONFIDENT

A little confidence can go a long way in helping you relax before a big test. When you walk into the exam room, visualize yourself getting through the exam with ease. Take deep breaths and think about all the preparation you’ve done that will help you succeed.

TAKE THE TEST STEP-BY-STEP

Once you’re working on the test, focus on getting through one section at a time. If you find yourself getting stuck or anxious about one section, move onto the next part then return to the unanswered questions at the end. Continuing to progress through the exam will help keep you relaxed.

Never panic if you can’t figure out the answer to a question, especially the first time you see it. Remember, you can always return to a question if you don’t know the answer right away. Other questions on the test may jog your memory or you may remember a fact as you cruise through the rest of the exam. Essentially, when it comes to test-taking, just remember to keep calm and carry on!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: http://college.usatoday.com/2016/07/02/how-to-overcome-test-anxiety/

Tutoring Success Story

Ben was an average student who was active in sports, but he lacked the motivation and organizational skills to succeed in class. His parents knew that once Ben starts falling behind in class, he stops trying altogether. When Ben ended up with poor grades on his report card, Ben’s parents decided it was time to seek academic help.

They went to Omega Learning® Center first, where Ben was given an academic assessment called the Woodcock Johnson IV. The academic assessment showed skill gaps in math calculation and applied problems, which required more advanced critical-thinking skills. Once Omega realized which academic areas Ben needed to improve on, Omega’s certified teacher built him a customized tutoring program specifically for him with remediation and individualized instruction. Ben had the same tutor each week and his tutor worked with Ben’s schoolteachers, keeping them informed on the progress Ben was making at Omega.

After completing Omega’s math program with multi-sensory instruction, Ben increased his math and science grades from “C’s” to “A’s” in school and his post-program assessment showed a 2.6 year increase in math calculation skills!

Omega Learning® Center can help your student achieve academic success this school year. Omega’s tutoring programs include but not limited to reading, math, science, writing, test prep, SAT prep, ACT prep, homework help, study skills, and more!

Click here to find an Omega Learning® Center near you.