SAT Preparation – Forthcoming Geneva Course

Susan Moldow, whohas her own educational consultancy, is running an SAT preparation course in March.  Here are details from the email she sent me: (and here is the flyer – 2012 March La Chat)

There will be a  SAT preparation course at the International School of Geneva in a few weeks on Saturday, March 24th and Sunday, March 25th.   There are still a few spots left.  Attached please find a flyer with details.  The course has been taught at the International School of Geneva and at other schools internationally over the past ten years.

Course information:

My course is focused on test taking strategies as well as content in math, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing/editing for the SAT’s three core sections. Students receive strategy and question practice both days of the course, and are encouraged to take at least one full length test after the course.  As repetition and practice are key to score improvement, students should plan on practicing/honing their strategies with further work on their own or with me in small groups or privately via Skype after the course. 

My experience and other services:
In addition to working with students in the U.S. on test preparation on a regular basis for the past 15 years, I have helped students internationally (including students at the International School of Geneva) to improve their SAT scores.  Please see my website at for additional information about my experience with and passion for helping students attain success on college admission testing.  In addition to teaching the course, I hope to offer private tutoring during the week of March 25th when I am in town. 
I am also available via Skype (online) for one-on-one tutoring before or after the course as my office is in the United States.  Skype tutoring provides the same level of teaching and strategy students receive in an in-person meeting or class, with the added benefits of personalized instruction.  I can provide this service over a few or many months at one, two or more sessions per week depending upon a student’s time frame for taking the test and his/her abilities.
— Students should let me know if they would like to enroll in the course (and in the supplemental SAT course/small group session on Monday, March 26th for additional review of SAT concepts and strategies) as soon as possible.
–Payment can be made via PayPal on my website:

US – Early Decision and Early Action

Advice from Kathy Compagnon –

For most schools, the complete application must be in their hands by December 30 of the year before you plan to attend. Check dates for each school.

You will receive a decision by early April, and it will NOT depend on your baccalaureate results. Many schools offer Early Decision or Early Action programs.

Typically, for early decision, a student applies to ONE school, his or her clear first choice, the application is in by November 1, and a decision (accepted, deferred or rejected) made by mid-December. If accepted, the student is obliged to enrol and must withdraw applications to all other universities; if deferred, the student maintains that application and applies to other universities in December. It is a smart option if you are absolutely certain of your choice and if your school record is clearly superior in light of the university’s standards. In general, acceptance percentages work in favour of early admissions candidates, so give Early Decision some serious thought.

Early Action or Notification programs follow the same timetable, but the decision is not binding. If your heart is set on an Early Action school, use that option. It will still improve your chances. And acceptance makes for a very merry Christmas holiday.

Applying to the US – How to Use your Summer Holidays!

More advice from

Use your summer vacations for more interesting adventures than lying on the beach with your cousins, especially the summers after 2nde and 1ere. It is better to pursue one or two activities in depth than a lot of activities superficially. Do not be cynical about volunteering. You will be amazed by how much it brings you.

Think long and hard about how you spend your time outside of the classroom. Babysitting? Cooking? Toying with cars? Watching movies? See if you have less obvious activities and use them in your application to give a fair representation of who you really are.

SAT 1 – What is it? Advice from Kathy Compagnon

The SAT I is a multiple choice general skills math, English language and writing exam administered by The College Board and given seven times during the school year. The tests are graded on a scale of 800 each; a score of 700+ is desirable; 650-700 should be acceptable depending on the other elements of your dossier. Practice does make perfect.

You can register for the SAT I on line at While you may take the test as many times as you wish, most people stop at three, and you should plan three opportunities, starting in Premiere, into your overall scheme. Traditionally, the university admissions committees retained only your highest scores from each exam, but received all scores nonetheless; there is a new option, Score Choice, whereby you would send only one complete score, but the jury is still out on which universities will accept that option.

You do need to prepare this exam; lycee students are not accustomed to the multiple-choice format, math vocabulary needs to be acquired, and speed and accuracy are essential. You should use the summer vacation to practice, and take the exam in October of 1ere. Practice books are available from Kaplan, The College Board or Amazon. There are also many prep programs you can find on line. Some people opt for private tutors; group study and consistent individual practice are also effective. Figure out what works for you. If you do opt for tutoring, make sure it is effective!


(Taken from « US Universities – A Guide », by Kathy Compagnon at

TOEFL and SAT Requirements for the US

Kathy Compagnon, at, a US counsellor based in France who has helped many Florimont students apply successfully to top US universities, writes the following:

TOEFL – Or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is basically a grammar and usage test, administered by ETS (Educational Testing Services) and you can sign up on line at Officially, most schools require that applicants whose native language and language of tuition is NOT English pass this exam. However, most will accept SAT I verbal scores of 600+ or 650+, depending on the school, in lieu.

IELTS is also acceptable. Scores should be at the high end. Check with each school.

If you have very low SAT scores, work to get top marks on the TOEFL as many schools will use it in place of or at least to calm the effects of low SATs in reading and writing (you have no excuse in math!).