Blog 2017-08-01T00:10:38+00:00

The Case of the Missing PSAT

By | September 19th, 2016|Categories: Insights, News, results, SAT Prep|

Posted by Kate Dalby When I started coaching the SAT back in the mid 80s, I would often start my evaluation of a student with his or her PSAT booklet from the previous fall. Usually the students would get the scores back before the winter break in December, and I would get a flurry of calls over the vacation asking for my help. At the same time the students received [...]

Why Choose Inspiring Test Prep for TJ Prep?

By | September 14th, 2016|Categories: TJ Prep|

What sets Inspiring Test Prep apart from other TJ prep companies? Aside from the fact that Kate Dalby, the instructor, has over 20 years of experience in TJ prep, Inspiring Test Prep provides comprehensive preparation and counseling for our students. We don't just stop at teaching the test; we cover the essay, SIS, and general admissions counseling with our TJ prep course. What makes us different? Friendly and collaborative learning environment Proven test [...]

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

By | September 7th, 2016|Categories: ACT Prep, Insights, SAT Prep, TJ Prep|

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 [...]

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Allergies and Testing

By | August 29th, 2016|Categories: ACT Prep, Insights, SAT Prep, Uncategorized|

Red eyes? Sneezing, coughing, ears itching? Tired, can’t stay awake, ADD medication doesn’t help? Fall allergy season is fast approaching in Washington Metro DC, just in time for the fall ACT, SAT, and PSAT. Nasty allergens will make my students and me miserable. September is typically ragweed season, bringing with it runny noses, itchy throats, and fatigue.  Typically people take medication that makes them drowsy or foggy headed; this is not a [...]

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Tips and Tricks for College Application Success

By | August 23rd, 2016|Categories: College Applications, Insights, Writing|

  by Dr. Aimee Weinstein No matter how you slice it, the first semester of senior year of high school is stressful. In addition to the regular class load, activities and other responsibilities, kids have to work through their college applications, including the omnipresent essays. Even with such conveniences as the Common App and the Coalition App, everything must be filled out and double-checked before sending to any schools. The [...]

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New Post: Geometry Crash Course

By | August 1st, 2016|Categories: summer camps, TJ Prep, Uncategorized|

Is your lack of geometry hurting you on high school admissions tests? Take our four-day crash course to review essential elements for tests such as the SSAT, TJ admissions, HSPT, and ISEE. Homework sets included to reinforce class instruction. Class is 7-9pm Monday through Thursday, August 14-17. Cost: $300 Instructor: Caroline Hesse To see the course description or to register click here.

Letter to the Class of 2017

By | July 8th, 2016|Categories: College Applications|Tags: , , |

Dear Class of 2017: Your time is nearly here – you’re about to start your senior year and all of the accompanying excitement will be yours!  It is going to be a wild ride, so hang on to your metaphorical hat. The start of senior year also brings with it a lot of angst and stress in the form of college applications. You need to hone your college list, make [...]

An Easy Path to a Killer College Essay

By | May 23rd, 2016|Categories: College Applications, Insights, News, Writing|

by Aimee Weinstein There’s never a perfect time to buy a car, catch a cold, have a kid… or write an essay. I am specifically thinking of parents of high school juniors who most often agree that there hasn’t been enough time for their kids to do anything beyond schoolwork in months. The popular parenting-older-kids website, Grown and Flown, agrees that junior year is the most stressful of all the high [...]

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College Board SAT Bait and Switch?

By | May 15th, 2016|Categories: ACT Prep, Insights, News, SAT Prep|Tags: , , , , , , |

Maybe to call it “bait and switch” is extreme,  but we are pretty annoyed.  Last fall College Board introduced the redesigned PSAT and SAT, and released the scores  in January 2016.  At the time, it seemed as if all of the juniors we talked to were doing better on the new test, but we work with small numbers of students and figured that the new (and radically different) test was just better-suited to [...]

Private Test Prep Tutoring

By | May 9th, 2016|Categories: ACT Prep, News, SAT Prep|

Learn what Khan Academy isn’t teaching you – effective strategies to maximize your scores. We’re not saying Khan doesn’t do a good job — it is a solid place to improve your math foundation, and if you want someone to read to you, we suppose watching the reading videos might be diverting — but if you want great scores, AND you don’t have a lot of time, you need great strategies for taking the test and insight [...]

Basis Independent School – A STEM Alternative

By | May 9th, 2016|Categories: News, TJ Prep, Uncategorized|

Good News – a STEM Alternative by Kate Dalby Last fall several of my TJ prep parents asked me what I knew about Basis; at the time absolutely nothing. Ignorance is not my favorite state of mind, so I did some research which included meeting with Sean Aiken, Basis Independent school principal, to find out more about his K-12 school opening up in McLean (Tysons), Virginia. Basis is a consortium of schools: some charter public [...]

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

By | April 25th, 2016|Categories: Insights, News, SAT Prep, Uncategorized|

“I helped my son get into Stanford!”   This Facebook ad caught my eye.   This morning I was scanning my Facebook page and read this post on the right.  Now I’m thinking, “dad’s made a generous contribution to Stanford and this is how he gets his son in”. […]

Summer TJ Prep

By | April 11th, 2016|Categories: summer camps, TJ Prep|

Take advantage of this early start on TJ prep and get the same course as offered in the fall at the discounted price of $850. That's a savings of over $100! Class meets for 3 weeks in July 2017, Monday through Thursday, the 10th to 26th. You start with a free, no-obligation at home math diagnostic to determine if a class is the right way to go. After a phone or [...]

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Summer Writing Camp

By | April 10th, 2016|Categories: summer camps, Writing|

Summer 2017 Writing Camp Going to camp is always fun, even if you aren’t the outdoorsy type.  Your son or daughter will find the same can be true with Inspiring’s Writing Camp this summer.  Whether students enjoy writing or don’t, our instructor has a series of activities that will get them to enjoy finding apt words, creating engaging prose, and organizing for effect.   Cathy Colglazier, former English chair at [...]

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Taming the Stress-Monster

By | March 29th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Dr. Aimee Weinstein As the mother of a high school junior and an SAT/ACT writing tutor, I have never felt the spring academic pressure build up quite as much as it has in recent weeks. As enumerated on the website “Grown and Flown,” these kids are taking their huge course loads, which often includes several AP courses; preparing for standardized tests; and still trying to stay on top of [...]

How to Get Into a Top Ranked College

By | March 21st, 2016|Categories: College Applications, News|

by Sybil Gohari, The Admissions Company What does it really take to get into Harvard? That’s the question high school students and their parents alike, ask every year. Plenty of ink has been spilled, warning of the seemingly dismal odds of admission for even the best and the brightest.And truth be told, with about a 5% acceptance rate at this school, and similar odds at the top 10 ranked schools [...]

Test Prep = Confidence = Success

By | March 8th, 2016|Categories: ACT Prep, Insights, SAT Prep, TJ Prep|

by Dr. Aimee Weinstein Taking any standardized test, especially one designed for college admissions is a nerve-wracking proposition. The head of the College Board, the company that administers the new SAT, understands that all too well. “I’m in the anxiety field,” David Coleman acknowledged this week in an interview with The Washington Post. What Coleman forgets is that it’s not just the test that stresses students to the max. Beyond [...]

TJ Admissions Throws Another Curve Ball

By | February 26th, 2016|Categories: Insights, News, TJ Prep, Uncategorized|

by Kate Dalby Many students sitting for TJ’s SIS (student information sheet) on February 20th, 2016, were throw a curve ball when they read the “ethical essay” question.  It wasn’t an essay prompt as they expected, but rather a math question. My understanding, from speaking to several of my students, was that they were given 30 minutes to solve a question and explain the logic of their answer.  The question went [...]

READ READ READ, So You Can Write!

By | February 15th, 2016|Categories: News, SAT Prep, Writing|

READ READ READ, So You Can Write! by Dr Aimee Weinstein With the advent of College Board’s new redesigned SAT next month, schools, students and test prep centers are on high alert, wondering what to expect. Even the New York Times and U.S. News and World Report have added fuel to the proverbial fire with their recent articles about concern over increased reading requirements on the redesigned test.  It seems [...]

PSAT One-Day Bootcamp

By | January 9th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|

No time for a PSAT prep class? Inspiring Test Preparation will fix that with its one-day comprehensive PSAT review. If you are a little rusty on your grammar, the PSAT shows no mercy. If you have any tendency to carelessness in bubbling-in forms or misreading problems, you risk ruining your scores on this important test. Don’t leave your scores to chance! Win a scholarship! Remember, the 11th grade PSAT is also the qualifying test for the National [...]

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How to Choose a Good SAT or ACT Prep Course

By | January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|

“How can I choose a good test prep class? I hear this question frequently at family and social gatherings. It’s a dilemma for a lot of people. How do you choose any good service: a dentist, chiropractor, accountant, or lawyer? Of course, word of mouth is an excellent way to track down a reputable company or individual. You may be wondering why I would post a blog discussing how to find the right [...]

Reclaiming the Conversation

By | November 18th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized, Writing|

The Art of Communication by Dr. Aimee Weinstein Researcher, M.I.T. Professor and writer Sherry Turkle recently reported in her new book, Reclaiming Conversation, that 89% of people admit to taking their phones out during social situations and 82% of people think it’s wrong to do it. She claims that we, Americans, have had enough of our moment with technology and the time has come to take back and re-value our [...]

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