How does the computer-adaptive GRE work?
The GRE is a computer-adaptive test, or CAT for short. Every test taker will see a least two Math sections and two Verbal sections. The difficulty level of the second section (easy, medium or hard) in each subject is determined by your performance on the first section. If you get lots of questions right on the first section, you will get a harder second section, but access to higher scores. If you don’t get as many questions right on the first section, you will get an easier second section and your scoring potential is capped at a lower range.
The computer-delivered GRE is the standard format for test takers. The paper-based GRE is far more rare and only offered up to three times a year. But if you want to learn more about the paper-and-pencil test, visit ETS.org .
When are AP tests?
APs are given during a two-week period in May.
When should I start preparing for the ACT?
Ideally, you should start preparation in the spring semester of 10th grade. You should at least take a first pass at the test at that point, to understand where your knowledge gaps are and explore how you can improve over the coming year. Many students wait to start prep until halfway through 11th grade, but that can be a bit stressful to balance with school work and leaves them in trouble if unanticipated scenarios arise (we're look at you, 2020). Take it from us: the earlier you look at this, the better.
We sometimes work with students who come to the process very late. For example, students who decide to apply to US colleges at the start of their senior year. While this is very far from ideal, it is not impossible to tackle. We are always open to discussing with you about your circumstances, to advise on what would be best for you.
How long is the SAT?
3 hours. If you choose to complete the Essay, the test will be 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Can you help with homework?
Absolutely! We can definitely help students tackle tricky homework assignments. But we will always focus on learning above rote completion; our goal is to help students build independence over time by developing their academic, time management, and study skills—as well as their confidence.
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Everything You Need to Know About the Waitlist
How does a waitlist work? What does it mean to be waitlisted? What should you do if you’re waitlisted? In this webinar, ESM Prep College Counselors Carley Nuzzo and Ted Murguia answer all of these questions and more, giving you professional insight and tangible steps to take for your best possible outcome.
SAT/ACT Testing in 2022
Adam Allouche, ESM's Director of Test Strategy, and Brian Smith, ESM's Director of Curriculum, guide students through the upcoming year in standardized testing. They will discuss planning for freshman, sophomores, and juniors; test admissions policies for Fall 2022 applications; and offer general test preparation advice for both students and families.
Applying to US & UK Universities from Asia
In this joint discussion hosted by ESM Prep and Keystone Tutors, ESM College Counsellor Rachel Edgell and Keystone's Director of Asia Jenny McGowan meet to compare the US and UK university application processes. They’ll identify key differences between the timelines and requirements, discussing the best way to balance both processes with limited stress and maximum effect.
Easy Ways Juniors Can Get Ahead on the College Application Process
College application deadlines can seem far away for juniors, but ESM Prep Essay Coaches Kat Baruffi and College Counselor Eric Harter are firm believers in starting some application components before the start of senior year. In this webinar, Eric and Kat will discuss how to get a solid leg up in the application process by starting now!
Fall 2021 College Admissions Update with ESM Founder Billy Downing
In this webinar hosted by ESM Founder Billy Downing, he’ll share insights from this December’s Early Decision / Early Action round to help families better understand the current admissions landscape. He’ll also discuss what high school Juniors should be thinking about as they begin the admissions process this coming summer.
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