Academics

A comprehensive look at high school academics. We cover grades, AP and IB courses, and the post graduate year. Learn the secrets of A+ students. Explore summer abroad programs, read interviews with experts and get valuable tips on excelling academically.

View the most popular articles in Academics:

Get Your Act Together!

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Get Your Act Together!
We take a look at the other college admissions test and offer some resources for test preparation.

What is ACT? 

The California Department of Education answers that question as follows:

The ACT test is designed to assess a high school student's general educational development and ability to complete college-level work.  

 

How do colleges use ACT?

Many colleges use the ACT results as one factor in the admissions process. ACT, a non-profit organization, has developed the test administered in locations around the world.

 

This video explains ACT.

 

 

What does the test cover?

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Why Small Class Sizes Work

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Why Small Class Sizes Work
You want your child to receive plenty of individual attention. That's one of the reasons most parents send their children to private school.

One of the primary reasons parents send their children to private school is for the individual attention students receive. Private schools can provide that sort of attention because their class sizes are small. Small class sizes work. Small class sizes are one of the main reasons you send your child to private school. With that in mind, let's look at why small class sizes are so important.

 

1. There's nowhere to hide in a small class.

 

Imagine your child in a large high school class of 30-35 students. She's not good at math. Most of the students in her class don't understand math and could care less about it. So your daughter hangs out in the back of the room, keeps quiet, and tries to pay attention. The distractions and cutting up around her mitigate against any meaningful learning. Consequently, your daughter falls further and further behind in math. Sadly, public school class sizes increase as school districts struggle with budget deficits. As a result, class sizes of 30-35 students are common.

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Contract Cheating

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Contract Cheating
Contract cheating is more common than most of us realize. Finding somebody online to write essays or term papers is fairly easy to do. The way we parents counter immoral behavior like this is to discuss it frequently with our children.

The college admissions scandal of 2019 proved that cheating is endemic throughout the secondary and tertiary levels of education. Nor is cheating restricted to college admissions tests and applications. We find examples of it in the classroom, on term papers, projects, and more. I will omit a discussion of cheating in elementary school in this essay and cover it in another article. 

 

In 2011, when I read about students paying another person to take their SATs, I was appalled. What were they thinking? And how did they pull it off? Looking back on my high school and university years, I realize now that it was tough to cheat in the 50s and 60s. That was because all of the examinations that I took required us to write out our answers in pen. We didn't have multiple choice exams. No punch cards. I did occasionally hear of students who wrote out formulas on the palms or who looked over at a neighbor's answer book. But that was about it. Fast forward to the age of smartphones, and cheating has gone digital.

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College Prep: Are SAT & ACT Necessary?

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College Prep: Are SAT & ACT Necessary?
Are the SAT and ACT essential for college admissions? The answer to that question depends on many things, not the least of which is your own personal philosophy of education. Some more answers here.

Should you send your child to a school which prepares its students to take either the SAT or ACT? That's a decision which you will face when you evaluate schools on your shortlist. At that point, you will have to choose schools which teach to the test or progressive school

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How To Enrich Your Child's Education

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How To Enrich Your Child's Education
We parents are responsible for expanding our children's horizons. We are responsible for showing and explaining things, concepts, and places they have never thought of. This article contains my roadmap for enriching your child's education.

It doesn't matter what grade your child is in or, for that matter, if she has not even started formal schooling. We parents are responsible for enriching our children's education. We are responsible for expanding our children's horizons. We are responsible for showing and explaining things, concepts, and places they have never thought of. What follows is my roadmap for enriching your child's education. While I am not a psychologist, I have raised four amazing children following the principles which I lay out in this essay. I was raised this way. So was my late wife.  We knew our method worked.

The Early Years

Playing classical music and reading are the foundations of an infant's education as far as I am concerned. I never believed that classical music made my children smarter. Indeed, The Mozart effect: Classical music and your baby's brain debunks that notion. But I do know that the music of Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Beethoven soothed my girls when they were infants. Furthermore, I continue to hear from listeners at the classical music radio station with which I am affiliated about how our classical music programming lulls their children to sleep.

In this video, Erica Goms fromeHow Health discusses how cognitive development in babies can be stimulated by simply playing with the baby and showing them toys.

Reading to your child develops her imagination. Those books which you read over and over to her become old friends. A lifelong habit of reading starts with

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