Go, Grads!

In 2014, Edupath helped thousands of students get the test scores they needed for admission to their dream colleges. Congratulations to our graduates on all your hard work! We wish you amazing success on your next adventure!


The Edupath Team

Edupath is your path to college

Edupath is Your Path to College


10 Last-Minute SAT Tips That Involve Absolutely No Studying


For your test prep pleasure: 10 last-minute test tips that involve absolutely *no* studying. They’re designed to benefit the two most common types of students — those who have already studied their posteriors off (take a look, is yours still there?) and those who, well, haven’t.

Step 10. Give Your Brain a Break

Sick of studying for the SAT? Or, on the other hand, maybe you’re feeling totally unprepared. Either way, this test just isn’t something you can master in one night. So don’t wear your brain cells out trying. Hang out with a buddy, go for a run, watch a goofy movie. Be kind your mind, and it will be kind to you.

Step 9. Snooze Until You’re Satisfied

You might already be planning to hit the hay (or, more likely, the mattress) at a reasonable hour on Friday night. But learning coaches recommend going to bed earlyish on Thursday, too. No burning the midnight oil. No cramming to find out where midnight oil is produced, or charting its economic and environmental viability in comparison to ten other types of fuel. No, really.

Sleepy student

He should’ve gotten a good night’s sleep.

Step 8. Think Through Your Pre-Test Morning

Prevent unnecessary test-day drama by planning ahead. You don’t have to obsess – just nail the essential details. Like:

  • What time does the test begin?
  • Where is the testing center?
  • How will you get there?
  • What time will you leave home? Add half an hour to your estimated travel time in case of unexpected delays.
  • Is someone giving you a ride? If so, make sure they are on board for this trip, and know when you need to leave.

Step 7. Plan Your Wake-Up Call

Getting plenty of sleep is good. Getting it while the test is actually taking place – not so good. Set your alarm for a time that allows you to get dressed and eat breakfast without rushing. Set a back-up alarm as well, just in case. And finally, have someone else in your house set their alarm, too. Who knows why standardized tests start at such uncivilized hours… But c’est la vie – that’s the way it is. On the upside, you’ll be out of there by early afternoon – nap time!

Keep Calm & Plan Ahead Sign

Now that’s good advice.

Step 6. Avoid Nakedness

Set out your clothes the night before. Think comfortable. Think non-distracting–at least to you. Think superstitious, if that’s how you roll. Officially, you’re allowed to tuck a lucky rabbit’s foot or some similar small item into your pocket (Your brother’s foot – probably not).

Step 5. Pack These Before You Go To Bed

Just like nightclubs, standardized tests are guarded by super-authoritarian humans who will definitely insist on checking your ID and admission ticket. If you don’t have the right stuff, you won’t get in. End of story. Prevent test-day snafus by printing out your ticket and packing up all essentials the night before. You will absolutely need:

  • An acceptable photo ID
  • Your SAT admission ticket
  • Two sharpened No. 2 pencils
  • A calculator with fresh batteries

You may also want to bring:

  • Water and snacks for quick energy during breaks
  • A book to read while you’re waiting for the test to start. That way, your brain is warmed up and you’re in reading mode right from the get-go.

Step 4. But Don’t Pack These, Please

Any electronic device, including phones, tablets, cameras, computers, music players, and recording devices. Also, anything that even resembles any of the aforementioned items. It might help to pretend that you’ll arrive at the test in a covered wagon, wearing a calico shirt, and looking forward to square dance season.

Step 3. Breakfast on Brain Food

We’re not saying breakfast is the most important meal, because that would be annoying. But for maximum endurance – as you’re no doubt aware, the SAT lasts almost four hours – you’ll want to consume something with more staying power than a bowl of Froot Loops or a Cinnabon. Can’t go wrong with protein, you know. If you’re a fan of coffee or tea, pour yourself the same amount you usually do. If you don’t already drink caffeine, today is not the day to start.

Breakfast = brain food

This kid is ready! …Maybe a little *too* ready.

Step 2. Turn Demons into Angels

In terms of body chemistry, being nervous and being excited are pretty much identical states. Try telling yourself how “excited” you are, reinforcing the idea of upbeat anticipation rather than OMG dread.

Step 1. Put Test Stress in Perspective

The SAT is not — like, so not — the defining event of your life. Two years from now, you won’t care how you scored. In ten years, you might even not remember how you did. And a hundred years down the road? By then, people will have smarty-pants chips implanted in their brains at birth and only a handful of very learned, very wrinkled historians will ever have heard of that legendary rite of passage known as the SAT. So there.

Now go forth, and do good.

Edupath Deep Dive: SAT Lit Subject Test

Deep-Dive: SAT Literature Subject Test


**Update** Miss out on the live webinar? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. We recorded a brief 11-minute SAT Literature Subject Test Review Deep Dive, where you’ll find helpful hints, pertinent facts, and most importantly – lots of pictures.

SAT Literary Buzzwords

Wanna go further? Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at some sample SAT Lit Subject questions? We’ve created a brief SAT Literature Subject Test demo for you, complete with video tutorials for each question. Why not give it a try?



Not quite up to speed for the SAT Literature Test? As Shakespeare wrote, “The readiness is all.” In other words, the more you know what to expect, the better you’ll do. You’re probably aware that the test requires you to use your critical reading skills, and to be familiar with a variety of literary genres and terminology. But what, exactly, what should you study? And what’s the most effective way to study it? Join Kevin Snyder, Edupath’s Manager of Tutoring Programs, for a free Deep-Dive webinar on the SAT Literature Test.

Edupath Deep-Dive: SAT Literature Subject Test
May 27, 2014
4pm PT / 7pm ET

Register Here.



About Kevin: Prior to Edupath, Kevin taught High School in the Philadelphia area. He currently holds teaching certificates in both California and Pennsylvania. He leads, organizes, and directs in-person SAT/ACT classes at the Berkeley and San Francisco Public Libraries as part of edupath.org.



The SAT is Over–Now What? 10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Scores


1. Enjoy your (temporary) ignorance.

For the time being, put the SAT out of your mind. No one can live in a state of anxiety 24/7. And you do have another thing or two to think about, right?

2. Go with the flow.

Folks tend to feel relieved when they complete a challenge like, just for example, a nearly four-hour standardized exam. At the same time, though, it’s normal to experience a bit of blahness as the drama of Taking the Big Test fades. Don’t worry – there’s plenty of excitement just around the corner. Like when you . . .

3. Snag your scores.

On Thursday, May 22, the College Board releases scores from the May 3 SAT. You can pick them up at your school or test center, or through your account on the College Board website.

4. Resist the temptation to share.

It’s human nature to compare yourself to friends. But there’s a lot to be said for keeping your scores to yourself. Nothing is more awkward than bragging to a buddy about how you aced Critical Reading, and having them burst into tears. Unless, of course, it’s hearing about your buddy’s great scores, and bursting into tears yourself. As they say in yoga class, “Stay on your own mat.”

Beware over-sharing your scores with others

5. Put your scores in perspective.

What’s a good score? What’s not so hot? There’s no single answer to that question. “One size fits all” makes sense for beach towels, not for SAT rankings. So, continue to spare your friends the gory details, but also check how your scores stack up against those of students accepted to your dream schools. You can find this info via any number of venues, including individual college websites and Edupath’s college search tool. As you’ll see, mid-range scores might be inadequate for a student who wants to attend an Ivy, yet perfectly acceptable for someone with their heart set on, say, art school.

6. Plan to take the test again – or not.

According to the College Board website, 55 percent of students improve on their junior year scores when they take the SAT again as seniors. On the other hand, 35 percent actually see their scores fall. Per the website, “The lower your scores, the more likely it is that your scores will improve the second time you take the SAT. The higher your scores, the more likely it is they will drop.” Keep in mind, however, that statistics aren’t destiny, and there are exceptions to every rule.

Set goals for your target colleges

7. Pinpoint your goal.

There’s no magic in simply retaking the SAT – sadly, the second-time-around fairy is not going to descend from on high and sprinkle your pencil tip with correct-answer dust. To improve your scores, you’ll actually need to study. But study what? It’s possible that you’re content with your Critical Reading and Writing scores, and only want to do better on Math. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Whatever your situation, zero in on what you want to improve. Remember, your real goal isn’t getting a certain number – it’s getting into the college of your choice. Retaking the SAT, if you choose to do so, is just a means to that end.

8. Make yourself a Monday-morning quarterback.

Now that you’ve been through one round of the SAT, you have the advantage of hindsight. How did you prepare for the May 3 test? Will that same technique help you get ready for round two, or would it be better to change it up?  As the writer George Santayana noted, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


9. Make a summer study plan.

The SAT is offered again in October, which gives you a nice chunk of prep time. No, you don’t want to devote every spare hour to studying. But there are numerous ways to make steady progress toward higher scores without sacrificing your soul. (Well, not all of it, anyway.) Among the many methods:

  • Test prep app (like the Edupath SAT app – itunes.com/edupath)
  • Online test prep site
  • Test prep book
  • In-person prep class
  • Individual tutoring

10. Forget about college (every now and then).

The Greek philosopher Aristotle famously recommended “moderation in all things” (a category that surely includes studying for the SAT) as the best way of life. It doesn’t make sense to be so excessively busy preparing for your future life that you don’t even have a present life.

What's YOUR summer study plan?

Just like anyone else, you need to hang out with friends, run around at the park or beach, sleep in on weekends, and do whatever you do to feel like yourself. So if anyone complains that you’re not working hard enough, you can tell them that Aristotle gave you permission to chill.



Last-Minute Help! Expert SAT & ACT Tips


Looking for last minute tips and strategies for the SAT and ACT? For example, few students know that one of the fastest ways to improve test scores is to stay engaged with the test, by keeping your pencil moving at all times. Students who write down equations, underline the main idea, and fill in their own blanks have proven to achieve higher scores.Join Kevin Snyder, Edupath’s Manager of Tutoring Programs, for a free Office Hours webinar. Bring your questions to this interactive session.
Edupath SAT & ACT Study Hall
May 1, 2014
4pm PT / 7pm ET
Register Here.

About Kevin: Prior to Edupath, Kevin taught High School in the Philadelphia area. He currently holds teaching certificates in both California and Pennsylvania. He leads, organizes, and directs in-person SAT/ACT classes at the Berkeley and San Francisco Public Libraries as part of edupath.org.


Surviving the College Tour: A Six-Day, Seven-Campus Sojourn



Back in the Paleolithic era, I set off for my freshman year of college with two new Samsonite suitcases, a jumbo jar of Noxzema, and only the flimsiest idea of what the campus would even look like (I’d merely seen photos).

Contrast that to today, when high school kids routinely pay personal visits to a dozen or more colleges before deciding where to apply. And while academic issues still play a role in students’ decisions, so do lifestyle factors like weather, the local cuisine, and access to the scions of name-brand families.

Frankly, I have mixed feelings about trotting kids around the country to pass judgment on colleges they might not actually get into or be able to afford. But my own blind-date approach to college, though not unusual at the time, didn’t result in a great match. While the university was academically renowned, I found the casual California vibe of the campus a turn-off. In the long run, my inability to embrace the gestalt of the place affected my ability to engage and learn.

And so this month my 17-year-old son (a high-school junior) and I joined the throngs of anxious middle-aged parents and teens clamoring for a first-hand glimpse of far-flung colleges. Like (and seemingly with) dozens of my son’s public school classmates, we crossed the continent on a six-day, seven-school journey that involved planes, trains, taxis, subways, and several acres of shoe leather, or whatever shoes are made out of these days.

Long story short, this complicated and exhausting sojourn proved invaluable. Not only did my son confirm his suspicion that he’d prefer to attend college on the East Coast, but in-person visits helped him realize that he simply couldn’t see himself at any of the three schools—all small, esoteric, insular–that he’d initially placed at the top of his list. Equally important, he was able to identify the template for schools that did appeal to him–large and urban, but with a contained campus and a classic look. Now we know what to look for. Besides a pot of gold, I mean.

A few pointers for any parent who foresees a college tour in the near future:

vintage phone

Book in advance.

Everything–I mean everything–is cheaper when you book in advance. Well, duh. Yet, cowed by the complicated logistics, I put off planning our itinerary until two weeks before departure. Next time, I’ll shoot for two months. Still, we were able to get a “local college tour” discount at some hotels (check the “Visiting” section of college websites for deals of this sort). Plus, I finally gave in and joined the AARP to take advantage of reduced travel rates. Child brides, this won’t work for you.

Be on time.

Official college visits take place in two parts: an hour-long information session, usually presented by an admissions official, and a campus tour conducted by impossibly perky youngsters who have mastered the skill of walking backwards. For various reasons—among them the time and money you’ve invested just to show up—you don’t want to be late for either one. What you may not realize is that the address you’ve been told to report to is likely just a check-in site; once you arrive, you’ll be directed somewhere else. There’s nothing like arriving five minutes late, thinking you can just sneak into the back of the room, and finding that your tour group has apparently vanished into a black hole.


Sit up and pay attention.

The info session involves the rare opportunity to sit. Don’t miss snagging the seat of your choice, or more likely, your child’s choice. Although I kept suggesting to my son that we park ourselves in the front row to reap the benefits of eye contact with the speaker, apparently he would rather have hiked barefoot across the Rockies than make such a spectacle of himself. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

I also urged my son to take notes, with the unsurprising outcome that he didn’t and I did. BTW, taking notes is not only useful for future reference—what, exactly, did Ms. Admissions Maven reveal as the secret to making your application stand out?–but also a great way to stay awake if you find yourself drifting during blow-by-blow descriptions of financial aid forms and the new library renovation.


Choose the right tour guide.

After the information session, you’ll usually be introduced to several students who will trot you around the campus and answer lifestyle questions. If you get to choose your guide, opt for an extrovert, or one whose academic interests are similar to yours. If you don’t get to choose your guide, choose anyway—rest assured, it won’t blow your chances of admission if you attach yourself to Ms. Pre-Med’s party instead of Mr. Art History’s.

That said, do your best to discount your feelings about the tour guide when forming an opinion of the school. Chances are, you’ll never see him or her again. (Also, try to be super-human. Who knows, maybe you can fly if you try really hard.)

Read between the lines.

Did you know we are living in the great age of a cappella? I certainly didn’t, but everywhere we went, yet another guide was rhapsodizing about the school’s stupendous a cappella singers. Translation: students at these schools were (or wanted to be thought of as) well balanced; they did not spend their entire lives analyzing the influence of Socrates on Nietzsche or deconstructing the post-modernist implications of astrophysics. (Of course, it’s also possible that a cappella is code for something like, I don’t know, “no-clothing classrooms” or “free opium in the dining hall.”)

One morning, our 9:00 a.m. info session was largely conducted by a pony-tailed sophomore who claimed she was majoring in literary arts and pre-med, performed as an aerialist (!), and did religious studies research in her spare time. That afternoon, our guide at another school—an athletic young woman with a pleasantly bossy, big-sisterish manner–was majoring in architecture and minoring in political science. Also, she interned at NASA as well as Cessna (which was sponsoring her pursuit of a pilot’s license), headed the college rock climbing team, and taught salsa and merengue classes on the side. Translation: these two schools fostered sleep-optional behavior, exalting frenetic levels of activity and making the merely studious feel inferior.

Then there was the college where I found myself scrutinizing the admissions officer’s intensely patterned knit pants, wondering if she’d actually looked in the mirror before leaving the house. This being an edgy art and design institution, however, the defiantly unattractive message her trousers conveyed was surely no accident. Translation: staff at this school walked the walk.

Huddle with the home team.

We encountered my son’s classmates everywhere–in a Boston taqueria, a Providence bookstore, the Newark airport, and on most of the tours we took. Twice, we even wound up having dinner with family friends from home, which gave the kids a chance to touch base and let their hair down. For the adults, there was also comfort in familiar faces–along, perhaps, with the dawning realization that our respective sons might soon be competing for the same limited slots. To avoid stumbling into dangerous conversational ground, I sometimes found myself talking about the weather. These days, they have it everywhere, you know.

 Keep track of your stuff.

Suffering from mild jet lag and “if it’s Tuesday, this must be NYU” syndrome, I left garments in hotel rooms and misplaced my credit card on a daily basis. Worst of all, despite repeated admonitions from flight personnel, I neglected to check the seatback pocket for personal items before deplaning and so lost track of the tiny college-ruled notebook in which I had recorded the wisdom of the ages—well, of seven college admissions officers in 2014, anyway. A more relaxed pace and earlier bedtimes would have made these small mishaps less likely.

But at least my son has seen what he wants. Now all (i.e., “all”) he has to do is go and get it.


Countdown to the SAT: Your Guide to Sanity


What are you doing Saturday morning, March 8? If you’re reading this post, chances are that you, like hundreds of thousands of other high school students, will be taking the SAT.

If you’re a human being – and we’re betting you are – it’s only natural to feel a little anxious. Or, okay, a lot.

But fretting and sweating won’t do a thing to spike your SAT scores. Nor will a big bout of last-minute studying. Here’s what to do instead so you sail into the test feeling confident and at the top of your game.


1. Put Your Mind at Rest

Take a page from the playbook of champion athletes, who know they’ll perform better if they relax in the final hours before a competition.

Last year, Diana Nyad became the first person to make the grueling 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida without the protection of a shark cage. The night before, she ate an early dinner (pasta with garlic and olive oil). Then she put on her pajamas and did crossword puzzles.


And just before Olympic snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won gold in Sochi last month, he “was chilling really hard,” he told The Boston Globe. “I was eating mad snacks. Chocolate. Onion rings. Chips.” As a grand finale, he “fell asleep watching ‘Fight Club.’”
The takeaway here? Walk into the SAT – more or less the Olympics of high school – feeling relaxed and rested, not frantically digesting info from a last-minute cram. Watch TV. Listen to music. Hang out (but not too late) with friends. Right now, boosting your mood is the best way to boost your scores.

2. Plan Your Morning… Tonight

The devil is in the details, they say. For a smooth, non-Satanic start tomorrow morning, figure this stuff out tonight.
a. What time does the SAT begin?
b. How will you get there?
c. What time will you leave home? Add half an hour to your estimated travel time in case of unexpected delays.
d. Is someone giving you a ride? If so, make sure they are on board for this trip, and know when you need to leave.

3. Schedule a Three-Alarm Morning

Set your alarm clock for a time that allows you to get dressed and eat breakfast without rushing. Set a back-up alarm as well, just in case. And finally, have someone else in your house set their alarm, too. Make them promise they’ll jump on your bed yelling “Time to rise and shine, you fabulous love lump!” if that’s what it takes to get you going.

4. Get Your Wardrobe in Gear


Set out each and every item you will wear to the SAT. Hey, this is the perfect day for your lucky underpants.

5. Prep Your Take-to-SAT Kit

Photo ID
Your SAT admission ticket
Two sharpened No. 2 pencils
A calculator with fresh batteries
It’s not required, but you might also want to bring water and snacks for quick energy during breaks.

6. Do Not Pack

Any electronic device, including phones, tablets, cameras, computers, music players, and recording devices. Also, obviously, no weapons. Except, perhaps, your razor-sharp mind.

7. Get Enough Sleep

A rested brain is an alert brain. Enough said.


1. Breakfast of Champions

The theme of today’s morning meal: normal, normal, normal. Eat whatever you usually eat. Add something high-protein for endurance if you can. Coffee  drinkers, don’t skip the java – your brain is counting on that caffeine. But if you’ve never sipped anything more stimulating than OJ, don’t even think about that king-size energy drink.

2. Reframe Last-Minute Jitters


Being nervous is all about the fear that things will go badly. Excitement is a response to the belief that things will go well. Yet we experience both states in a similar way, with butterflies in the stomach, rapid heartbeat, a sense of distraction, and so on. If our own bodies don’t know the difference, why should our minds? Try telling yourself how “excited” you are, reinforcing a sense of positive anticipation rather than one of dread.

3. Put the Test in Perspective

“The person who scored well on an SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman,” sociologist William Julius Wilson has noted. “These tests do not measure character, leadership, creativity, perseverance.”

Yes, it’s true: your entire future does not actually depend on your performance on one short test on one brief Saturday morning of your hopefully extremely long, happy, and successful life.

And besides, if you want to, you can take the SAT again in just a couple of months.

4. Do Not Skip This Important Final Step

Once you’ve finished the test, you’re 100 percent entitled to celebrate. Maybe 101 percent. See, there really is something to be excited about.