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Summer is prep time for admissions tests
by Garrett Valenzuela - gvalenzuela@dailysparkstribune.com
Jul 08, 2012 | 297 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stock Photo - High school students in northern Nevada who are preparing for college-entrance exams can find prep help though the Washoe County School district or private companies.
Stock Photo - High school students in northern Nevada who are preparing for college-entrance exams can find prep help though the Washoe County School district or private companies.
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RENO — Though it can be hard to resist the sunshine, video games and sports camps that are a traditional part of summer break, teachers and principals also encourage high school students to begin preparing for the SAT and ACT college admission exams.

Summer provides ample time to gain knowledge about strategies to succeed on these highly important standardized tests. Leslie Hermann, assistant principal at McQueen High School, said more focus is put on the ACT in Washoe County high schools per the requirement of the University of Nevada, Reno.

“At McQueen, more students choose to take the ACT over the SAT because more and more students want to go to UNR,” she said, adding the high school has implemented a preparation program for juniors and seniors known as Triumph College Admissions (TCA).

TCA is a PSAT, SAT and ACT prep program that students can access through the school district’s website. The company offers six full-scale practice exams designed to give students a chance to see the official format of individual sections, questions and rules for the four parts of the exam. Students can then come in on a Saturday and take a proctored practice exam and as soon as they are done find out their results through the TCA website.

“They can immediately find out full diagnostics on the exam such as areas of weakness or strength and those areas that they are struggling with have links to tutorials, more practice quizzes and problems,” she said.

Given the importance of preparing for exams such as the SAT and ACT, one summer resource in Reno and Sparks is Huntington Learning Center. Huntington provides exam prep through its “undivided attention” principles, which focus on improving confidence and familiarity in test takers.

“The most important component of performing well on the ACT and SAT is having solid subject-matter knowledge, but there are many other things your teen can do to improve his or her performance,” the company said in a press release. “Learning to work well under pressure and quickly eliminate wrong answers are two examples.”

Co-founder of Huntington Learning Center, Eileen Huntington, advocated the importance of using the allotted time during the summer for practice exams and preparation.

“The ACT or SAT may be the one of the most important tests your teen ever takes,” Huntington said. “A targeted program that addresses your teen’s weaknesses and helps him or her develop good test-taking skills and strategies will help him or her achieve the best possible score.” Huntington Learning Center has offices in Reno and Sparks and offers personalized plans for exam preparation.

According to Hermann, the focus put forth by McQueen and other schools in Washoe County on the ACT comes from the advantages it provides when entering college. Benefits range from prestigious scholarships to saving money once arriving at college.

“Students can avoid paying for remedial classes that do not count toward their degree and higher scores bring potential for more scholarship money,” she said, adding that she will be visiting classrooms beginning the second week of school to announce the opportunity to use the TCA program. “A student who does several practice tests can understand the pacing of the exam and improve their score by one or two points. If we can get them on board with it they will understand how to take a test and the strategies that go into it.”

For more information, visit www.tcaprep.com.
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Summer is prep time for admissions tests by Garrett Valenzuela - gvalenzuela@dailysparkstribune.com


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