Score At The Top Blog

The latest tips, tricks, and education to help you get into your top college.

3 Reasons Scores Still Matter at 'Test-Optional' Colleges

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 10:59:12 AM

In the wake of a “year like no other,” the numbers are starting to trickle in and we’re learning more about how the widely implemented test-optional policies affected admissions. Already, the data bear out what we’ve been telling our students all along: it’s in your best interest to submit a competitive score in the optimal range of your top-choice school. Here are our top three reasons for this advice:

Topics: College Admission, ACT/SAT, Test Optional

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Topics: College Admission, ACT/SAT, Test Optional

When Less Is More...

Last Updated on Apr 29, 2021 4:32:42 PM



For most high school juniors, spring semester is a busy season filled with events and exams. Often, students are beginning to make college plans that include scheduling the SAT and/or ACT, even in this “test-optional” era. The process of registering for one of these tests is easy enough: go to CollegeBoard.org or ACT.org, and click on the test registration link. Answer a few questions, ask for mom and dad’s credit card, and you’re all set. However, before you register for a test date, a few words of wisdom….

Topics: ACT, ACT/SAT, Test-Prep

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Topics: ACT, ACT/SAT, Test-Prep

Test Simulations: The Key to Proper Practice

Last Updated on Feb 22, 2021 9:44:22 AM

There’s no other way around it when it comes to prepping for the SAT or ACT Tests. To properly prepare, you have to practice — and most importantly, practice properly. What we do mean?

If you were an actor, you wouldn’t show up on opening night without first having rehearsed the script and completely familiarized yourself with the play’s staging, lights, and sound issues. Similarly, by taking several practice SAT or ACT tests and simulating the testing environment and timing as closely as you can, you will walk onto the testing “stage” feeling more confident and prepared. Sure, there are always jitters on test day, but with proper practice, you minimize the unknown and maximize your chances for doing your best.

Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Simulations

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Simulations

Better Returns than Buffet's: The Bright Futures Scholarship

Last Updated on Feb 22, 2021 2:00:00 AM

We understand that Return On Investment can go hand-in-hand with risk: no pain, no gain. But how would you respond to a proposed investment of $2,000 that could result in saving between $7,392 (a 370% return on your money) and $28,416 (a 1,421% return on your money) over roughly four years? While this investment isn’t risk-free, it is low risk, assuming you have a student willing to work hard and follow instruction. Simply put, this investment is in test preparation for the SAT and ACT! When paired with a motivated student (and the right test-prep tutor), the result is a hefty scholarship from Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarships (BFSs).

Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Financial Aid, Investment

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Financial Aid, Investment

Testing Calendar for Juniors - Class of 2022

Last Updated on Nov 12, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Although many selective colleges have temporarily gone test-optional because of the pandemic, test-optional doesn’t mean “test-blind.” Not only will test-optional colleges consider your scores if you submit them, but submitting competitive scores that are well into a college’s mid-50% range for admitted students has the potential to improve your admission chances. For students who don’t submit scores, colleges will place far more emphasis on other crucial admission factors, such as your academic record, extracurricular commitment, essays, and recommendations. So, if you’d like to improve your potential for admission, here’s our advice about your junior-year testing calendar. This means YOU, members of the class of 2022:

Topics: ACT, SAT Test, ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Tutoring, Educational-Consulting

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Topics: ACT, SAT Test, ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Tutoring, Educational-Consulting

Attention, Students Who Want to Apply to Test-Optional Colleges!

Last Updated on Jul 6, 2020 1:13:19 PM

Colleges are businesses, and they like to get lots of admission applications because that makes it easier to fill classes with in-coming students. One way that a college can increase its number of applicants is by improving its ranking in the annual US News College Rankings.

In fact, a study published on the Harvard Business School’s blog found that “When explicit rankings of colleges are published in U.S. News, a one-rank improvement leads to a 1-percentage-point increase in the number of applications to that college.”

Topics: ACT/SAT, College Counseling, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, College Counseling, Test Optional

Bright Futures Scholarship Update 2019

Last Updated on Aug 21, 2019 11:15:51 AM

Florida Senate Bill 190, dealing with higher education, became effective on July 1 of this year and makes several changes to the Bright Futures Scholarship program. Among the most important of them are:

Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Bright Futures

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Test-Prep, Bright Futures

Our Advice on Whether to Complete the ACT or SAT Essay

Last Updated on Jun 24, 2019 6:01:00 AM

A recent blog post by one of our fellow members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) opened with this advice to other IECA members:

Topics: ACT/SAT, Essay, ACT Essay, SAT Essay

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Essay, ACT Essay, SAT Essay

The Most Effective Ways to Prepare for the SAT or ACT

Last Updated on Jun 3, 2019 11:38:00 AM

The most effective way to prepare for the SAT (and the ACT, for that matter) is to start early because doing so opens up opportunities that diminish and disappear as time passes. An early start gives you time to take multiple SAT practice tests; identify areas of weakness and what, in particular, to study in order to improve; and to take multiple actual SATs (see below for why we suggest at least three) on a convenient schedule that’s unavailable to late-starters.

Topics: ACT, SAT Test, ACT/SAT

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Topics: ACT, SAT Test, ACT/SAT

The Future of Bright Futures...Isn’t So Bright

Last Updated on May 16, 2019 11:28:00 AM

Many college-bound Florida students and their families take advantage of the state’s generous Bright Futures Scholarship program, which awards students a certain percentage of their tuition as determined by test scores, volunteer hours, high school curriculum and GPA. Currently, students scoring 1290 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT are eligible to receive 100% tuition and fees to attend one of Florida’s public institutions (UF, FSU, and the like) under the program’s Florida Academic Scholarship, assuming they meet the academic and volunteer requirements. The Florida Medallion Scholarship, a partial award consisting of 75% tuition and fees, is given to students who score 1170 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT and meet the academic and volunteer requirements. While the awards are sufficient to cover all or most of tuition and fees at a public university in Florida, they may also be applied to the tuition at private universities in Florida (University of Miami, for instance). High-achieving students are recognized for their hard work and can enjoy the benefits of a more affordable college education. However, a significant change to the program will adversely affect some students from the class of 2021 onward.

Topics: ACT/SAT, Investment, Bright Futures

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Investment, Bright Futures

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