Test Prep Archives - Make The Grade

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Managing all of the information that you need to absorb as a student can be a delicate balance. It can become difficult at times to find enough time to study properly, manage your time, prepare for exams and organize all of your information. The following is how to manage information by doing the big job in small steps.

Set Your Schedule

It can become overbearing to deal with all of your responsibilities if you don’t create an organized schedule and stick to it. Rather than waiting until the day before an exam to study a large amount of material, set times during the prior week to chunk out your study sessions. This will allow you to absorb the information easier, and relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with studying for an important exam. Spending an hour out of each day to study is much more manageable than studying for several hours in one day.

Center Your Focus

Having assignments due for multiple classes at once is a tough reality, but you will need to complete all of the work on time in order to maintain your grades. Avoid multitasking on material from different classes all at once. Try to knock out the assignments for one class at a time, this will make it easier for you to stay concentrated on that subject.

Ask About the Details

The job of your professor is to explain the material in a way that you can understand, so don’t be discouraged about asking for more information. Even the smallest details on a study guide or assignment can have significant meaning, so ask for clarification on anything that you find confusing. Knowing as many details as possible about the work that you need to do will increase your ability to knock out large projects.

Contact Make The Grade

If you’re a student that is currently struggling with classwork and managing their schedule, contact Make the Grade. Our high-quality tutoring and consulting services are available at an affordable rate. Our tutoring sessions are able to be conducted directly in our office, or virtually through an online classroom. We can teach you valuable skills that will help you improve your grades and your overall life as a student. Give us a call at (215)-540-8378 or visit our website at https://makethegrade.net/ to get in touch with us and learn more about our services.

Traditional education methods are not the best choice for everyone. Some students work best outside the classroom in a virtual environment. Middle school is a great time to introduce virtual learning options to students, as this is a time of great change. So, trying out new learning methods to see what works best is ideal. If you and your middle school-aged child choose to try out virtual learning, here are some best practices to follow to get the most out of the experience.

Have a Plan in Place

The best way to fail at virtual learning is to jump in without a solid plan in place. Developing a solid plan before you begin will help to keep you on track. Start by creating a plan for the entire school year and then break it into semesters. Finally, break it down into monthly and weekly plans. When your work is broken into smaller chunks, it will help keep you organized and focused.

Communicate With Your Teachers

Being in a virtual learning environment does not mean you will be completely cut off from school. It is crucial that you remain in regular contact with your teachers. Your teachers are your best source of academic support. As a virtual learner, you will have access to all your teachers’ contact information. Use it as often as necessary. They are there to answer your questions, offer assistance and help solve your problems. Use the resource of your teachers as much as possible to make your virtual learning experience an easy one.

Keep a Notebook

Keeping a notebook is a great way to keep all of your schoolwork organized and easy to find. A great option is to have one large binder with a section for each class. You can take notes and work out problems in the notebook, so you will always know where to find them. Separate all of your subjects with dividers so your work has a specific place to go, and it can be accessed more easily when you need it.

Do Work for all of Your Classes Every Day

In the self-paced environment of virtual learning, it can be easy to procrastinate and let some schoolwork wait until the last minute. But, it is crucial to stay on top of assignments so you do not fall behind. The best way to do that is to get in the habit of doing some work for all of your classes every day. That way, you can ensure that everything stays fresh in your mind, and you do not fall behind in your work.

Following these easy best practices will help you get the most out of your virtual learning experience. For more information about best practices for virtual learning in middle school, contact Make the Grade today.

High school is an important time in a young person’s life. It’s the period when they really begin to develop, both physically and emotionally, into the kinds of people they will be. Therefore, it is vital that you help give your child the best homeschooling experience possible. Here are some ways to know if virtual learning is right for your high schooler, and some of the best online resources for them to use.

Should I Homeschool my High Schooler?

There are a lot of myths about homeschooled kids that cloud people’s judgment on the subject. Some people believe that homeschooling makes kids socially stunted, shy and distant from reality. These myths are completely untrue, but that doesn’t mean that homeschooling is right for everyone. If your child is independent, highly organized, disciplined, and works best by themselves, homeschooling can be a highly enriching experience. Some kids thrive under the structure of public or private school and some kids are more productive by working on their own schedule. Either way is fine, just make sure to assess your child’s personality and temperament before you make a decision.

What Online High School Should I Choose?

There are thousands of accredited, online high schools in the United States, and many more throughout the world. No virtual learning program is a one size fits all school, and you should thoroughly research several of them before you make a decision. This can be a long process, so to help you out, here are some factors to consider before you start looking.

First, look at the range of courses they offer. Then, research how flexible their courses are for achieving a diploma. Also, consider the academic support offered by faculty members, the technology they use, testimonies from graduates and tuition rates. Do this research alongside your son or daughter and listen to the sort of features they value in an online high school before deciding. It’s a lot of work, but it’s for your child’s education.

There’s no one way to homeschool your child. The nature of homeschooling is that the child’s schedule, methods, study habits and recreational time is mostly theirs to decide. However, that doesn’t mean that the quality of education a homeschooled child receives will always be the same. If you are interested in homeschooling your child, do the necessary research so that you’ll know they are getting the most out of their virtual learning.

Obtaining a college education is a critical step for many high school graduates. Getting into a good college or university is often contingent on a student’s ACT or SAT scores. So, being well-prepared for these tests is crucial. Here are some best practices for you to follow if you plan on preparing for these tests online.

Create a Study Plan

No matter how you decide to study for the SAT or ACT, it is crucial to create a study plan before you begin. Include both short and long-term goals and schedule a specific time to focus on problem areas. Do not forget to also schedule time for breaks, as they will be necessary. Also, keep in mind that studying for these tests requires a large time commitment. Start your plan months ahead of your anticipated testing date.

Manage Your Time

When working in an online environment, it can be incredibly tempting to start visiting other sites. This practice can be an incredible time-waster. Stick to your study plan and create daily goals to keep you on task and manage your time properly. Using your online studying time to focus on preparing for your tests rather than surfing the ‘net will help you out in the long run. Resist the urge to visit your social media sites during your study breaks, as it will be difficult to separate yourself from them once break time is over. Instead, save your internet surfing for times when you are not trying to prepare for your exams.

Practice Tests

Practice makes perfect. This adage applies to just about everything in life, including preparing for the ACT and SAT. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources online that will give you access to practice for both of these standardized tests. Taking practice tests will give you a good idea of what to expect on the scored assessments, determine challenging sections of the tests and allow you to learn from your wrong answers. The more practice tests you take, the better you will get, and when the time comes to take the ones that count, you will be more than ready.

Vary Your Study Topics

Change up your study resources and content regularly. By dedicating different study sessions to different areas, you can stay fresh, remain motivated and prevent burning out.

Preparing for your ACT or SAT online is a great way to get ready for the tests and help to ensure you do your best on them. For more information about the best practices for preparing for the ACT and SAT online, contact Make the Grade today.

So many options.. so little time…


you MUST have a plan which should be the based on an analysis of all of your options.

This video gives you many many options…

what is your plan?




The ETS announced that there will be no online / home based SAT this fall .. September 2020.

Their reason was simply that they did not feel that the test takers would universally have access to 3+ hours of strong reliable internet.

Personally I suspect that there were other reasons as well… including the fact that many students taking the AP exams (online/virtually) in May had access issues and issues submitting their scores.

Where do you stand on this issue?

Would you like to be able to take the SAT at home?


What’s going on with the SAT and ACT exams?

What is going on with the Covid-19 situation?

Will school be the same in September? Ever?

How did you like or not like home based learning?





What’s going on with the SAT the ACT and the college Admissions process??

Here is the replay from the live presentation May 28, 2020. 

Are you a parent with a 10th or 11th or 12th grader?

Are you uncertain about what’s going on with the SAT/ACT exams and the college admission process?

Thursday 5/28 – 7pm – I am hosting a brief informational workshop to answer questions:

  • What is the same?
  • What is different?
  • What is your recommended test prep timetable?
  • What options does your child have at this point?
  • What are the college admissions people thinking now?
  • Will this impact my child’s college plans?
  • And time for Q/A as well.

Register here: You can register here: https://bit.ly/SATACT2019

Test Anxiety – What to do?

If you have children in school or away at college, you know how difficult their life can be at times. The stresses related to the education system are numerous, but one of the hardest things to deal with is the anxiety before an important test. The following are some tips you can give to your children to help them cope with and overcome test anxiety.

Proper Time Management

Planning, time management and information management skills are excellent ways of improving test scores and boosting confidence. Waiting to study the night before the day of the test is stressful and it’s harder to retain all of the information in such a short amount of time.  You should be reviewing materials for several days(!) leading up to the test.  You should spread out the study sessions rather than procrastinating will make it much easier to retain information.  These are all core Maximum Education tenets.

Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to do well on a test, as well as make it harder to concentrate while studying. You try these simple and easy techniques right away:

  • Practice deep breathing exercises– Deep breathing is a great way to fight back against anxious thoughts and clear your mind.  Just take 5 or 10 long breaths focusing on the exhale.  Count . 4 in and 6 out… 
  • Take breaks in between study sessions– Advise your children to take breaks from studying whenever they’re feeling overwhelmed. If they do something they enjoy such as listening to music, taking a walk or grabbing a snack they will be more likely to return to studying in a calmer state of mind.
  • Getting more sleep– Sleep plays a major role in regulating stress and anxiety levels. Advise your children to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, especially on the night before the test. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on the brain, causing your memory to work at decreased levels.

Contact Make The Grade

If your children are struggling with test anxiety and their grades are slipping, contact Make The Grade. We offer educational consulting and tutoring services at an affordable rate. mAke the grAde offers tutoring both live in our office or virtually using an internet based classroom, so we can help you wherever you’re located all over the world. We teach valuable skills such as time management and information management so your children can be set up for success. 

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The mAke the grAde podcast launched on July 17, 2019.

The mission is to provide actionable ideas and information to parents and students so they can use the ideas right away to make positive improvements in their academic lives.

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