Yearly Archives: 2014

Valuable Insights on College Entrance Exams

Standardized entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT play a major role in the college admission process. The SAT is administered by the College Board and measures skill or natural intelligence. The American College Testing Program (ACT) is administered by ACT Inc. and measures achievement in the core curriculum areas. It is based on the knowledge and skills normally taught in high school college-preparatory courses. All colleges will accept either one but it’s important to know the difference between the two.

  • The questions on the ACT have more advanced math concepts, and tend college advisorto be more straightforward. The ACT also has a science section, which the SAT does not.
  • The SAT has a strong emphasis on vocabulary, is broken up into more sections such as critical reading, math and writing.

Everyone should take a Mock ACT after taking the PSAT so that the results can be compared and the student can then move forward to take the assessment that most accurately represents his or her capabilities.

Start getting ready at least six weeks before the test. Take a practice test to prepare for the real thing. There are several free online practice exams:

Strategies to keep in mind:

  • Relax. Stress is your number one enemy. If you’re not satisfied with the results you can retake the test.
  • Play Detective. Eliminate answers you are sure are wrong, and guess from the remaining choices. Narrowing down your choices will increase your chances of choosing the correct one.
  • Avoid confusing variables in math questions. Turn the questions into simple arithmetic problems by plugging in a number and solving the problem.

When retaking the test, it’s important to have three pieces of information: the score you have, the score you want and the plan to reach your goal. The benefit of retaking the SAT and/or ACT is that scores usually go up after the first try.

You may surprise yourself and your higher scores may even motivate you to apply to other schools or scholarships that you thought were out of reach. Colleges will take your highest score in each section, not just your more recent score. Some will even use test scores as a factor when handing out scholarship money, so plan to take the test at least twice!

Junior Year: Make a plan that will guide you through school to college.

college consultant NCThere are many questions to think about when planning for college, so get started now!

When it comes to searching for colleges, do you have any in mind? Do you know where you want to apply? How much help do you want finding ways to pay for college? When you imagine college, what are you most excited about? Is it learning new things? Living on your own? Playing sports? Having a social life? Or are you pursuing a career interest?

Here are some steps you can take this year to get a jump start on your college search process:

  • Take a good look at your unweighted GPA.
  • Take college admission tests, such as the SAT and the ACT.
  • Strive to take college-level or honors courses as a senior, because that’s what college admission officers like to see.
  • Prepare a list of schools that interest you, and begin scheduling college visits. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to talk with students at each campus you visit.
  • Colleges look for quality involvement in extra activities and experiences outside of school; join an academic club, volunteer for activities and clubs and play sports. Passionate involvement in activities and demonstrating leadership helps showcase your maturity and ability to make meaningful use of your free time.
  • After determining the qualities you are looking for in a college, put those ideas into a college search program such as or to create a list of colleges to consider for applications.
    Start researching scholarships and financial aid options.
    Attend college fairs that allow you to meet with college representatives to ask questions.

If you’d like help with your college search process, applications, college essay, financial aid options and more, call Klaar College Consulting. We have a variety of programs available to meet your needs. Or attend one of our upcoming seminars.

Klaar to Host March Seminars on Planning for College Finances

college planner NCKlaar College Consulting is offering several educational seminars to help students and parents to prepare for applying for college. The seminars will be led by Charlotte Klaar, Ph.D., Director of Klaar College Consulting, and Dianne Keilholtz, M.S., a Nationally Certified Counselor who recently joined Klaar College Consulting as an Independent Educational Consultant.

The seminars will offer timely information on: planning for college as a sophomore, junior and senior; scholarships and financial aid options; standardized tests; and changes in college applications.

The seminars are on Saturday, March 22, 9 a.m. – 12 noon at the Frederick Campus of Mount St. Mary’s University at 5350 Spectrum Dr., Frederick, and Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Comfort Inn, 1872 Edwin Miller Blvd., Martinsburg, WV. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to 301-834-6888 or [email protected].

Dianne Keilholtz“Ms. Keilholtz spent 28 years with Frederick County Public Schools, most recently as a guidance Dianne Keilholtz
counselor,” and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role at Klaar College Consulting,” noted Dr. Klaar.

Ms. Keilholtz earned her Bachelor’s in Special Education at Hood College, and her M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from McDaniel College. She is also an Associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Dr. Klaar is a Certified Educational Planner with more than 19 years of experience in her field. She also holds a PhD in general psychology from Capella University, a BA in liberal studies from the University of the State of New York, a teaching certificate from William Patterson University, and an MS in interdisciplinary science studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Klaar is an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling.

Going the Extra Mile: Volunteering and the College Application

Independent Educational Consultant SCSo you’ve got good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and know exactly what you want to major in—but you’re still worried about getting into the college of your dreams. You need something that is going to set you apart from the other applicants and make you stand out to a college admissions board. That one thing might just be spending your breaks and summer vacation volunteering.

Volunteer experience looks good on an application for a few reasons. One, it shows that you’re socially conscious. You’re committed to the idea that you can make the world a better place, and you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Two, the responsibility that comes with any volunteering position is no laughing matter. Three, you will undoubtedly learn something from your experience.

You’ve got the growth, the social consciousness, the time, and the effort ready to go—but what about the actual volunteering? In order to find the best volunteering experience for you, ask yourself a few questions…

1. What will my college want to see?
2. What would I actually enjoy doing?

After you answer these for yourself, you can accurately assess what you want to do. Is your dream school religiously affiliated? Maybe consider volunteering at your local Sunday school or church mission. Do you love working with children? Think about dedicating your time at an elementary school babysitting during PTA meetings. Another, bigger question to ask is if you want to stay in your community. Not many high school students pursue volunteer opportunities abroad or in other states, and while it might look glamorous, its not always an option for students under the age of 18. There are many opportunities to volunteer right in your hometown, all you have to do is be willing to seek them out.

Check with churches, schools, nonprofit organizations, libraries, sports teams, local businesses, your friends, your family members to see if they know of any local opportunities. Always ask for a detailed letter of recommendation after completing your service. Include this with your college application, and you will be sure to stand out from the rest. This will be a chance to help someone in need, and you’ll establish friendships and connections with others that will last for years to come.