Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Signet’s CEO, Jay Bacrania, speaks with a parenting coach, Cindy Kaplan, about the ways parents and children interact, understanding the difference between soft and hard boundaries, and reframing responses to deepen parent-child connections.Your view of parenting seems a bit different from conventional views. How do you define the role of a parent?Most parents I work with believe that their job is...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Let’s look at how building strong routines can help the average person. Think about something as simple as exercising regularly. For someone who enjoys exercising every day, going for a run or getting to yoga class is pretty easy. But to the exercise-allergic person, the habit of working out daily can seem as impossible as scaling Everest. The amount of effort it takes to get to the gym is tremend...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • There is evidence that it is important for students to stay sharp during this time—it’s possible to lose critical academic skills and knowledge over the summer months. Here at Signet, parents often ask us about the “best” way for their child to spend the summer so they are refreshed and ready for the school year and avoid the “summer slide.” While there’s no standard road map, with this list of Do...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • In this interview, Signet’s CEO, Jay Bacrania, talks with Dr. Sheila Akbar, Signet’s Director of Education. Sheila oversees Signet’s admissions team and also works closely with students to guide them in writing their college essays, including designing comprehensive curricula for students and families. Sheila has reviewed nearly all of our students’ applications and essays. In short, Sheila knows ...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Some components of the college application are visible to the student: the essay, the application form, the activity list. Some components, however, are “invisible”: the counselor recommendation, the teacher recommendation, and demographic information. Naturally, students and parents put more weight on the visible parts of the application, as they know what those components look like. However, the...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • We speak with psychiatrist Dr. Chiké Nwankwo, who offers his perspective on students’ mental health. He discusses how we see achievement, how our relationship to technology may be increasing our anxiety, and most importantly, how students and parents can change their mindsets to better manage stress. Can you tell our readers a bit about your background and what you do now? I’ve always been interes...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • This interview is part of Signet’s series of interviews with former admissions officers and admissions experts. This series covers topics like the college admissions process, how to think about college majors, what makes a good college “fit”, the application and activity list, and the essay, among others. Our goal is to give you inside knowledge into the nuances of how these pieces of the applicat...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • At Signet, we strive to treat our students as whole people, not just as students struggling with a particular subject. For that reason, we think mental health is an important thing to talk about. Sometimes the academic issues that are causing you and your parents so much frustration have their roots in mental health issues, and if that’s the case, then getting a proper diagnosis can make a huge di...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • To help you navigate the last few months of senior year, the team of admissions consultants at Signet have pulled together a handy checklist of things students and families should do as they begin the college transition. You can find a slightly more in-depth version of this checklist as a PDF here. And remember that this is an overview; specific dates and deadlines vary by school. Before Graduatio...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Do you ever feel like the amount of work you have to do seems to expand to fit the time you have available to do it? Have you noticed that when you work under pressure, things seem to get done a lot more efficiently? Here at Signet, we’ve found that using the Pomodoro Technique helps students use their time more effectively and get more high-quality work completed. The Pomodoro Technique is based ...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Junior spring might be the most challenging semester of high school.Most students are juggling standardized test prep and rigorous coursework, as well as possibly beginning prep for AP exams and SAT Subject Tests. And there’s one more ball to throw up in the air: second semester of junior year is also when the college application process really gets underway.You may be asking yourself how it’s all...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • If you’re like most students, you start thinking about finals a week or two before the end of the semester. That means you have to a) review a lot of material, b) that you first covered weeks or months ago, c) in a very short amount of time. Enter the all-nighters, the crying jags, and the emotional shutdowns, all very natural responses to such stressful circumstances.What if we told you there was...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Parents may feel confused about what exactly a private counselor does, and how their services may differ from what a school counselor can provide. Despite the fact that we’re a company that offers these services, we’ll tell you here and now that working with a private counselor is not always necessary. We are committed to serving the best interests of students first and foremost, and our goal is t...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • We hear it all the time: “my kid has executive function issues” or “my student struggles with executive functions.” But what does that actually mean? To help illuminate the concept of executive functions, our CEO and Co-Founder, Jay Bacrania, conducted an interview with Dr. Bonnie Singer in the spring of 2017. Dr. Singer is a researcher and educator whose practice helps students both with executiv...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Today we address a topic at the heart of some of our most challenging conversations with families: course rigor. At the start of the college application process, some parents have outsized expectations of where their students can go, based solely on their GPAs. This situation tends to arise when students have good grades, but did not take challenging courses in high schoolHere are some of the typi...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Way back when you first started high school, you probably had tons of ambitions and goals: you were going to join the right sports teams, start your own club, and kick academic butt through freshman and sophomore year. You were charged with excitement and imagination, ready to conquer the whole world. Now it’s almost summer, and you’re just about at the halfway point of your high school career. Pr...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • On the redesigned SAT to be released in 2016, the Math section will come in two parts: a 55-minute section with 37 questions on which students may use a calculator, and a 25-minute section with 20 questions on which students may NOT use a calculator. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for changes to the Reading and Writing sections, respectively.)FORMATMost questions will be still be multiple c...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Important Note: This article focuses on updates that took place to the SAT in early 2016, so goes into great depth about the differences between the old SAT (which students took from 2005-early 2016) and the “new” SAT, which may not be as relevant to most current test-takers and their parents. However, the article also provides detailed context about the Evidence-based Reading and Writing section ...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • So, you’ve taken umpteen practice tests, memorized every grammar rule under the sun, quizzed yourself on all of the math formulas you’ve been taught, and learned 2,000 vocabulary words, but your SAT score is stuck in the mid-600s.What’s holding you back from attaining higher scores? Here are some common challenges you may have not even noticed were facing (and ways to combat them). Challenge #1: Y...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Sometimes when it comes to college admissions, families put the cart before the horse: students get their heart set on being accepted to a particular school, then try to fashion themselves in the image of that school. Letting the horse pull the cart is clearly the much more effective approach: students should pursue excellence in their studies and activities, and seek to build a personal narrative...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • We hear it all the time: “my kid has executive function issues” or “my student struggles with executive function.” But what does that actually mean? To help illuminate the concept of executive function, our CEO and Co-Founder, Jay Bacrania, conducted an interview with Dr. Bonnie Singer in the spring of 2017. Dr. Singer is a researcher and educator whose practice helps students both with executive ...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • In this interview from the spring of 2017, Signet’s CEO, Jay Bacrania, spoke with Blair Munhofen, a Signet admissions consultant and director of college counseling at an independent school. Where should thinking about college majors fit into a student’s application process? I ask my juniors and even my sophomores what they’re interested in studying and what kind of classes they like. I purposely a...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Eleventh grade is really the start of the college process, which culminates in senior year, and junior year is an excellent time for students to begin making college visits.Done wrong, college visits can be boring, expensive, and a significant source of tension between parents and students. But done right, college visits can be exciting, affordable, motivational, and a real opportunity for parents...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Spring of junior year is when the college application process really gets going...or at least that’s when it should start. By starting at the right time and taking a deliberate, measured approach, you can set yourself up for an effective, low-stress application experience. To help you start the college admissions process, Signet’s CEO, Jay Bacrania, conducted an interview with one of our consultan...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • We don’t need to tell you that AP exams are important. You already know that colleges love AP exams because they: demonstrate mastery of complex topics, serving as the gold standard of academic rigor in the U.S. allow colleges to compare students from different regions and backgrounds can be used to earn credits at many schools You also know that while a score of 3 is considered “passing,”...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • Many of our parents ask, "When is the optimal time to start college visits?" Our standard recommendation is to start thinking about college visits during junior year of high school. (Our blog posts here and here provide additional context on the benefits of junior year college visits.)However, there are some cases where some students could benefit from college visits earlier in their high school c...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • How do great students study without pulling all-nighters? How can you avoid cramming for tests? What’s the secret to acing exams?Well, it’s not magic. The most successful students have a consistent, ongoing process of learning that helps them absorb information as it’s presented throughout the class. This process requires thought, time, and effort throughout the semester, but it can save a lot of ...

Signet Education
Signet Education
Blog Post
  • The high school whirlpool is a phenomenon that begins when parents and students start to “hear things” about how to be “successful” in high school, usually in 9th or 10th grade. These rumors are usually highly focused on getting into elite colleges, so families in academically competitive schools and with high-achieving teens are the most likely to get sucked into the whirlpool. It happens slowly ...

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