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

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 [...]

Show, Don’t Tell, on Your College Applications

By | October 14th, 2015|Categories: College Applications, Writing|

The College Essay: Best Advice by Aimee Weinstein* Most seniors feel a huge amount of pressure when sitting down to write that college essay and staring at a blank screen.  While this is true for any writing assignment, it is particularly painful for students since the topic of the essay is very close to home: YOU. Your job, in writing the essays for the college application – be it the Common [...]

The New ACT Essay

By | September 6th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Natalie Villacorta Starting September 2015, the ACT will have a new optional writing test. The essay is still a demonstration of a student’s ability to make an argument, but the prompt has been revised to resemble more closely real-world argumentation. Previously, the prompts all focused on school issues, such as whether students should be required to wear uniforms or maintain a “C” average in order to obtain a driver’s [...]

Katie Fawcett on Common TJ Essay Errors

By | June 5th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|

Essay instructor Mrs. Katie Fawcett makes the following recommendations for and observations of students’ essays.  These comments refer to practice essays and Student Information Sheet (SIS) responses written by students wanting to gain admissions to  Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ).  Most of these comments can be applied to any essay situation such as college applications.  She say major problems are: […]

Online Results Are Equally Good!

By | June 3rd, 2015|Categories: results, Uncategorized|

Dear Mrs. Dalby- Our son leaves for the college of his choice in six months. Your SAT-prep and general guidance on college admissions helped him make it to the Ivy League. When I first called you in the spring of Coy’s sophomore year, we weren’t sure how SAT-prep with you might work out. You had come highly recommended, but we live a few hours’ drive away from the D.C. area. I [...]

How to Prepare on Your Own for the TJ Test

By | May 18th, 2015|Categories: TJ Prep|Tags: , , |

Roughly, there are four hurdles to tackle to get into TJ. The multiple-choice TJ exam given in December Teacher recommendations/Science and math course work/grades . The Student Information Sheet (SIS) The timed essay written on the same day as the SIS in January. Consult TJ admissions for a clear idea of the weighting of these components. Read  TJ’s website thoroughly.  See what courses are offered and what clubs exist. […]

Class of 2019 TJ Results

By | April 9th, 2015|Categories: News, results, TJ Prep|

  Class of 2019 TJ Test Prep Results Here are the 2nd cut results for Mrs. Dalby vanSchaick's fall 2014 TJ prep classes. This past fall 2014, Ms. Kate taught four TJ admissions prep classes.   Altogether 25 students prepared and sat for the TJHSST admissions test in early December.  She had three students in the Tuesday evening class, six in the Saturday 11am class, eight in the 2pm class, and eight [...]

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