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Happy Summer! Test Prep Tips: SAT, GRE, LSAT, ISEE, and more…

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August 2018

August marks the official release of Common Appessays and college application deadlines. If you are eager to begin your personal statement check out this New York Times article, featuring Arete’s CEO and founder, Nikki Geulaabout the need for a college coach.

Read on for the latest news about college admissions requirements, information about standardized exams, and Arete’s featured community service opportunities.


Major Colleges No Longer Require the SAT or ACT Essay

All eight Ivy League members as well as the University of Chicago, Duke, and Stanford no longer require the SAT and ACT optional essay! Although the essay portion is only required by twenty-five schools, most universities will still evaluate prospective students’ writing through other methods. For example, Princeton now require all students to submit a graded writing sample.


Breaking News: Top Law Schools Now Accept the GRE instead of the LSAT

Twenty top law programs, including: Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Penn now accept GREscores from law school applicants in lieu of LSATscores!

If you are unsure of which exam to take, take a look at this U.S. News & World Report articlefeaturing Arete’s founder and CEO, Nikki Geula!

Here are some FAQs regarding the tests:

How many times can a student take both exams?Students can take the GRE once a monthwhereasthe LSAT may only be taken up to three times in a two-year period.

What are the most difficult components of each exam? Traditionally, the logic games on the LSAT tend to stump test takers. At Arete, we make sure our students learn multiple ways to approach these questions so there are no surprises on test day. Time is limited, so it is critical to approach the questions efficiently.

On the GRE, students need to shore up their math skills, drill vocabulary, and root words. Timing can be an issue for some students on the GRE. Mastering the various verbal and math question types will help with time management and confidence the day of the test.

Arete Tip: The best way to determine which test is the better fit is to take a practice test. Call Areteto schedule a practice test today!

Click here for Arete recommended GRE and LSAT books!


The ISEE and SSAT: Information and Pointers

Is your child applying to independent secondary schools or boarding schools? It’s time to start preparing for the upcoming ISEE or SSATentrance exams! Aretehas curated the best ISEE and SSAT materialsto help.

Areterecommends that students take six practice tests before official test dates. Be sure to consider these suggestions when preparing your child for the ISEE or SSAT:

Register Early.ISEE and SSAT test centers fill up quickly, especially during the fall. We recommend registering your son or daughter for the ISEEwhen test dates and locations become available in August orcreating an account with the SSATas soon as possible.

Know your Root Words.Root words are essential to building a comprehensive vocabulary. When students know Latin roots, they can easily decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Apply for Accommodations Now.If a student qualifies for accommodations, submit them to the testing center weeks or even months prior to the test date. Processing accommodation requests for the ISEE and SSAT can take several weeks, and sometimes parents will need to provide additional documentation if their student is not initially approved. If you need guidance call Areteto speak to an accommodations specialist.

Start Studying Today!Parents should start preparing their child for the ISEE or SSAT now!

Nota Bene:Students can take the ISEE onceper window, or a maximum of three timesin a 12-month admissions cycle. The SSAT is offered eight timesa year between October and June. There is no limit to the number of times a student can take the SSAT.

Call Areteto find out about our ISEE and SSAT individualized tutoring, tutor groups, and practice tests!


Arete in Action: Community Service Q&A with AreteTutor, Phoenix G.:

Arete:Where did you do service work this past summer?
Phoenix G.: Koumbia, Guinea, which is a farming village in West Africa with 853 middle and high school students. Koumbia is a village without electricity or running water, reached only by bumpy, unpaved roads from the capital city of Guinea.

Arete: What did you do there?
Phoenix: I worked with my friend Lisa Einstein, who volunteers with the Peace Corps in Koumbia as a physics teacher, and the organization she founded with her students called the Association des Jeunes pour la Défense des Droits des Enfants (AJDE). The contribution was so meaningful to the community, and I have decided to continue fundraising in order to establish a scholarship fund for girls in the organization. So far, we have raised enough money for 100 scholarships!

Arete:Can you share why this work is important?
Phoenix: The importance of promoting education for girls around the world is self-evident. The statistics speak for themselves! Investing in girls’ education reduces child marriages and saves the lives of children and mothers and promotes healthier and better-educated children. It is also essential to mitigating economic shock, affording woman the knowledge to be financially aware. Beyond numbers, connecting with a small community in such an intimate way, investing time and resources and love, is important both for increasing opportunity, and reminding us of our humanity and responsibility.

Arete: This sounds amazing! How can we get involved?
Phoenix:A U.S. nonprofit arm for the AJDE is in the works. For now, their work can be followed on the Facebook page.

Practice Tests at Arete

Practice tests are a critical component to acing test prep. Areteoffers practice tests at our office for the ISEE, SHSAT, SSAT, ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, TOEFL, and more! All you have to do is call us with your preferred practice test date(s) and show up. We will handle the rest!

Call us today at 212.691.1479 for more details.

Tutor Spotlight


Phoenix G. has graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Religion and joint certificates in Medieval Studies and Theater. For her Religion, Theater, and Medieval Studies thesis, she received the Stanley J Seeger Fellowship to travel abroad in England and Greece and to stage a production of two medieval mystery plays from the Wakefield Cycle. She is a Masters candidate at Yale University.

Phoenix studied multivariable calculus while at Princeton and also has over 5 years of experience working as a tutor and mentor with Arete.

SUBJECTS:AP English Literature, AP Spanish Language, AP History, AP Calculus AB and BC, Multivariable Calculus, ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests (Spanish, Literature, Math, and History), ISEE, SSAT, and GRE.

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