(This is a commercial-free reprint from my Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com).

Jay Bacrania, is the CEO of Signet Education in Cambridge, New York. He helps college-bound high school students develop and implement a personal strategy to prepare for and pursue a fulfilling college experience.

Jay Bacrania, is the CEO of Signet Education in Cambridge, New York. He helps college-bound high school students develop and implement a personal strategy to prepare for and pursue a fulfilling college experience.

Jay Bacrania, is the CEO of Signet Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York, New York. He helps college-bound high school students develop and implement a personal strategy to prepare for and pursue a fulfilling college experience. “The internet makes it easier for students to consider applying to numerous places, and far away. It has become a kind of ‘arms race’ where students are applying to eight to ten schools.” And according to Bacrania, with email communications schools are getting very aggressive about connecting directly with students. “It can become a kind of hysteria as students and their parents feel pressure to apply to more schools,” he said. “The impact on the students is not good.”

According to Bacrania this ease of applying to schools raises the stakes and stress levels for students and parents making the college application process a financial and emotional burden. “The purpose of education is to explore and broaden the mind so you can find a place in the world,” he said. Bacrania encourages parents to help students avoid letting the process dominate their approach, but rather leverage the process to fulfill their personal needs.

Education is a process encouraged by God. God created our minds and designed that a child who grows to maturity should increase in knowledge, wisdom, and skills (Proverbs 1:1-5).

Below are Bacrania’s tips for preparing for the college application process and SAT and ACT entrance exams with less stress and anxiety.

  • Get started early. Encourage your student to start preparing for the entrance exams early: ideally the summer after the sophomore year through the middle semester of the junior year.
  • Save time and money. Take the PSAT and ACT practice exams on-line.
  • Use the internet well. Encourage your child to use the internet to find a good fit, and to avoid any frenzy or hype about what you need to do to become a successful applicant, go directly to the college admissions office and ask how they rank SAT or ACT scores, and what letters of recommendation are most helpful, etc. Avoid on-line forums.
  • About college entrance exams. ACT has more time pressure than SAT, and so slow readers may find ACT more challenging. While the new SAT test has more words: there are more word problems in math, there is more prose to read for English – so if you struggle with complex reading and comprehension, then this test might be more challenging. “Overall we do not see a huge advantage to taking one test over another,” Bacrania said.

Done well preparing for the college entrance exams always works, and it is important to study effectively. Bacrania encourages folks to consider tutor services like his because they know how to help students formulate a disciplined and focused approach that will minimize anxiety. Industry organizations like IECA and NACAC are good resources to find quality tutors and information about college preparation and the testing process. “The objective with college preparation and planning in high school is to increase their learning capabilities and find a good fit,” he said.

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About:  We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your donations are greatly appreciated. (Donations are payable to Banana Moments Foundation).

Photo by: Christi Benz

Photo by: Christi Benz

Joanna Jullien is an educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. Trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, she is a mother of two grown sons, an author of books on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture, and produces the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com.