Kate Dalby

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So far Kate Dalby has created 31 blog entries.

Free ACT Diagnostic Test

SAT or ACT?  Try a Free Diagnostic Test.

If you are like many students, you are unclear which test is the right test for you: the redesigned SAT or the ACT.

To help you figure out which test to take, you can come take a free, no obligation, 3-hour ACT this Saturday, February 17 at 11:00 am  with Inspiring Test Preparation.  This get acquainted offer is good for new clients only*.    This test is used for the first class of our ACT preparation.

 Sign up here. (more…)


TJ, SSAT, and HSPT Math, Science, and Reading Drills


Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare; enroll in our test preparation program for 7th graders. We are offering a math drill class every Tuesday from 7:00 – 7:55 pm, a science drill from 6:00 – 6:55pm, and a reading drill from 5:00 – 5:55pm to help students get the best scores possible on the SSAT, HSPT, or TJ admissions test.

This program is a supplement to, not a replacement of, our regular 8th grade comprehensive six-week summer/fall TJ prep program. The purpose of the drills is to thoroughly review and drill math concepts, science reading strategies, and practice reading skills to establish the base for the six-week class.  



What to Eat the Day of the SAT (or Other Long Test)

by Bess Dalby*

Whether you are too tired or too nervous, you may not feel like eating at all the morning of the SAT or ACT. However, I cannot stress enough how disastrous it can be if hunger strikes during a slew of difficult math problems.

The human brain uses a variety of nutritional components to function during strenuous activities, and requires even more nutrition if it is deprived of sleep. Here I will outline five major rules that will guide your test day food strategy so that you can avoid feeling hungry or sleepy during the test.



SAT vs. ACT – Which test is right for you?

Now that it’s prime time to start studying for the SAT and ACT, we’ve had a lot of students ask us which test they should take.

Nowadays, most colleges accept the SAT and ACT and weigh scores from both tests equally, so that’s no longer a reason to take one test over the other.

The College Board recently redesigned the SAT and it is now quite similar to the ACT. Both tests now have optional essays and no guessing penalty. The SAT also no longer has a “random vocabulary” section, which used to be a big deal breaker for a lot of our students. Instead, the SAT has a vocabulary in context section. The SAT also has less geometry than the ACT.  We’ve covered the all differences in a handy graphic below. (more…)


Improve Your TJ Student Information Sheet (SIS)

The first year Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ) switched to monitored SIS administrations, we taught 35 students in five separate workshops what TJ says it is looking for on the student information sheet and essay***.  During those workshops we brainstormed topics to mention on the application and the candidates practiced writing answers to four prompts (three SIS prompts and one essay) under timed conditions.  We reminded the students that TJ admissions says pretty clearly that they are wanting to learn about “a semifinalist’s prior experiences, goals, and interests”.