Wyomissing, PA

Don’t make this common SAT mistake!


Doing anything to prepare for the SAT is a good idea. Working with experienced coaches either through private lessons or in a class is a better idea that has proven results.  When SAT scores have big consequences; don’t make the mistake of struggling through preparing alone.  Here is some advice from College Counseling Services of Pennsylvania’s senior SAT advisor:

Should your child take a group SAT prep course?shutterstock_213330322


As a private SAT tutor, I receive many phone calls & emails asking me to tutor.  I often tutor one-on-one, but sometimes I tutor larger classes throughout the year.  I am often asked by parents, “what are the benefits of my child taking your class as opposed to private tutoring?”  The following is a list of benefits to taking a group SAT prep course.


  1.  Price – A private SAT tutor can be pricey. As I mentioned earlier, I usually tutor students one at a time. A weekly visit from a private tutor can add up. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay a private SAT tutor between $50-$100 per hour.


In a group setting or SAT prep class, the price would be significantly lower, and you get the benefit of the same instruction.


  1.  Solidarity-    We have all heard of the old saying “two heads are better than one.”  Well, it turns out that it’s kind of true.  When your 0720achild takes a group prep class, he/she may have questions but are too afraid to ask. It turns out that many students often have the same question.  When a child asks a question, that question was usually on the minds of many students.


In addition, group instruction lends itself well to peer instruction.  The larger the group, the more the instructor has to divide his/her time among the students. I often use peer teaching to help one another out until I can personally speak with each student.  Many times even if a student is correct, it’s nice to confirm an answer with a peer.


  1.  Practice – I cannot stress enough how important it is to practice for the SAT exam. Although I hate calling it homework, I often assign extra work to complete for the following week.photo-1424115087662-5845efc6b366


A group prep class can “guilt” a child to into practice. After all, you don’t want to be the one who doesn’t have their homework completed!


  1.  Structure – As I just mentioned, I often assign extra work to be completed for the following class. Of course some students groan and complain about have to complete “homework”.


The extra work I assign not only provides more practice, but structure as well. Students are used to being in “school mode”.   If structure is provided, a group prep class is a lot like school.


Why is this so important?  Children tend to accomplish more when structure is provided.  In addition, structure provides stability. The routine is familiar to them and they tend to put more time and effort into the class.


As always, good luck!  Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments section.


Lou Blair has been a public school teacher and private SAT tutor for twenty-one years.


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SAT Crash Course

Our experienced team will provide an accelerated review of the Reading, Writing, and Math sections of the SAT exam.  Participants will be taught the most effective strategies for each section. The course will also cover the new  (optional) essay portion. Test-taking skills and techniques for reducing test anxiety will also be discussed with each class.  Finally, students will be able to work with instructors to create long-term goals to maximize their scores.

The class will meet in the Body Zone conference room from 9-11am on September 17th and 24th.  The cost of for each session is $50 per student.  You may register on our website www.collegeplannerforyou.com  or by calling 888-524-1958.  We will provide the books, please bring a calculator. Space is limited to 20 students.

Email us: info@collegeplannerforyou.com

Include SAT Crash course in the comment box.

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What “Type” of College Should You Pick?

Ever wonder what the difference between a College and a University is?  What about Public or Private institutions? Here’s a little summary that we typically review with new clients who are in the process of determining the best college fit for themselves. If this helps you please leave a comment.  If you have any questions you would like to have answered please leave it on the contact form.

Types of Colleges

1D180509DF Public

Also known as “State Schools”. These school receive public funding from state and federal governments.  The tuition is usually lower than that of a private college. Students who live “In-State” receive a tuition discount.

There are 14 “State Schools” in Pennsylvania.

Local Examples include:

Millersville, Kutztown, and Lock Haven University.



Private colleges rely on tuition, fees, and donations for their funding. Private schools are usually more expensive than State schools, however “Endowments and donations allow them to grant significant financial aid packages. Because of this there are occasions where a Private school with a higher tuition may end up costing you less than a State school with a lower price tag.

There are over 100 private colleges in Pennsylvania alone. With several ranking among the nations “Best” Colleges.

Local Examples include:

Ursinus, Messiah, West Chester, and Alvernia

1AA9897112Community colleges

Community Colleges offer two-year associate degrees that prepare you to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree. They also offer other associate degrees and certificates that focus on preparing you for a certain career. Community colleges are often an affordable option with relatively low tuition. Community colleges are a good financial choice if you don’t have your heart set on the “Typical” four year college experience, if you would like to commute, or if your high school grades were not high enough to get into a four year college right away.  Many students elect to attend a Community College to take their general requirements, and then transfer to a four year school.  You must be very careful to make sure all of your credits are transferable, and match the Gen Ed requirements of the four year school of your choice.

Liberal Arts Colleges

A Strong LIberal arts college is a good choice if you are not 100% certain of your major, or future career goals. A liberal arts education is considered to be “Well Rounded”, meaning that while selecting a major you are also being education in “General Educational Requirements”. For instance; even if you want to study Art; you ,most likely, will still have to take a foreign language class, and a history, or religion requirement. “General Education Requirements” vary from school to school. Many schools with a religious affiliation require more biblical studies than schools that have more of a liberal reputation.

These colleges offer a broad base of courses in the liberal arts, which includes areas such as literature, history, languages, mathematics and life sciences. Most are private and offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study.

These colleges offer a broad base of courses in the liberal arts, which includes areas such as literature, history, languages, mathematics and life sciences. Most are private and offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study.


Four-year colleges offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. These include universities and liberal arts colleges.


Two-year colleges offer programs that last up to two years that lead to a certificate or an associate degree. These include community colleges, vocational-technical colleges and career colleges


Universities often are larger and offer more majors and degree options—bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees—than colleges. Most universities contain several smaller colleges, such as colleges of liberal arts, engineering or health sciences. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study. Admission procedures are typically the same for Universities and Colleges.

Vocational-technical and career colleges

Vocational/ Technical schools offer specialized training in a particular industry or career. Possible programs of study include the culinary arts, firefighting, dental hygiene and medical-records technology. These colleges usually offer certificates or associate degrees.

Check out https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-find-your-college-fit


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