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Early Decision vs. Early Action: What’s the Scoop?

School Admissions

Confused about the differences between ED, EA, REA, and SCEA? Unsure what's best for you? Maureen Delaney guides you through the maze of early applications.

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Executive Function: Planning & Initiation

Schoolwork & Studying Life Skills Buzzword

Starting things is hard. I’ve devoted way more creative energy over the years to excusing why I haven’t started projects than I have to starting them. “Statistically speaking,” says John Mulaney, “it is 100% easier not to do a thing, than to do a thing.”

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After Class: Theater

After Class Life Skills

Each month, we highlight a particular extracurricular to give you a preview of something you might like to try out. Jeff Knox shares his thoughts on Theater in this month's After Class feature.

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Radical Downtime and the Default Mode Network

Life Skills

Brains, like muscles, do not grow strong and resilient through constant, exhaustive effort, but rather through intermittent periods of manageable stress, and rest. The default mode network is all about connection: connection to other people, to our pasts and futures, and to ourselves.

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Changes to ACT Extended-Time Testing

Test Prep

The ACT has revised its time limits for extended-time students. Learn more here about these changes.

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The New ACT-SAT Concordance and, More Importantly, What to Do About It

Test Prep School Admissions

The College Board and the ACT have released new tables so that you can more accurately compare scores. Find out what you need to know!

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College Essays in English Class

Writing a college essay College

English teachers often require students to write college essays as a classroom assignments. Consider a

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University of Chicago Goes Test-Optional, Most Selective College To Do So

School Admissions College

Jeff Knox, PrepMatters' Director of Educational Planning, discusses the decision by the University of Chicago to make standardized tests optional for undergraduate applicants.

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Teacher Recommendations: Who Are Your People?

School Admissions College

Letters of recommendation confirm your strengths and distinguish you from other students. As your teachers talk about you as a whole person, they also offer third-party support for the narrative about yourself that you share in your college essay.

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Looking Ahead: The College Essay

Writing a college essay School Admissions

Get a head start on your college essay with these common application prompts.