Recent data from the IECA shows that 26% of all students work with an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC). This trend is an outcome of the tremendous pressure put on our high school counselors from budget cuts. The recommended student-to-counselor ratio is 250:1. In California, counselors are drowning under an unmanageable case load (now 1,061:1). High school counselors are required to wear many "hats" and time devoted to college advising often suffers. Over 60% of public school students report getting NO college advising from their school-based counselor. The national average is 38 minutes of college advising through four years of high school. An Independent Educational Consultant, on average, works with only 50 students.
College visits and continuous training are also requirements of an IECA member. We spend the time to visit colleges, meet with admissions officers, attend training seminars, and dig in to what really makes each university unique. What programs do they offer, what degrees/majors, is undergraduate research offered, do Teaching Assistants (TA's) give the freshman lectures? These are just a small sample of the types of questions asked by an IEC.
At Thinque Prep, we do our best to find the colleges that best suit your needs. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee admission into any school. You should always be wary of companies that promise admittance into the school of your choice. No legitimate company can possibly guarantee admission.
Admissions officers do not give either test preferential treatment, nor are they given any instructions to do so. Both tests are accepted on an equal basis. Many students get into competitive universities having only taken the ACT. Most, however, do take both exams.
This is actually a phenomenon that is rooted in history. In 1951, the ACT was created as a placement tests for colleges in the non-Northeastern states. As such, the test has been extremely popular in the midwest, with seven states requiring all their high school Juniors to take the exam. California has long been a champion for the SAT, mostly because of geography. Now as more educators are becoming aware of the options, the ACT is rising in popularity.
With the recent changes to the test, there is less of a distinction between the two exams. However, we still believe the following:
Many educators do prefer the ACT because it is more of a 'content-based' exam. Compare this with the SAT, which is largely touted as a 'reasoning based' exam. Many students who take the ACT, do prefer it to the SAT because the questions are more straightforward. However, every student has his or her own strengths, so even though the ACT may be better for some students, the SAT may be better for others.
Conversely, many students dislike the ACT because of the limited time they have to answer the questions. They prefer the SAT because
Call us to find out which test will be better for you or your child.
All experts agree that the best way to prepare for any standardized tests is to use actual tests that have been released by the educators. Even practice tests that have been released by the biggest companies still are flawed in many aspects. At Thinque, we only use actual practice materials that have been released by CollegeBoard and ACT.