The College Prep Podcast

The College Prep Podcast

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For Parents, Teachers, and Teens Who Want Better Grades with Less Stress on the Path to the Perfect College
208: How to Make Your Final College Decision - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 16 • 30 min
April 1 was the date by which all colleges should have notified students of acceptance; students have this month to make the final choices and notify schools of their decisions. Tune in as Megan walks you through 10 factors to consider as you make this…
207: Give Your Time Management a Mid-Semester Makeover - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 9 • 19 min
By mid-semester students’ time management routines have often weakened or collapsed. Consider these four questions when giving your routines a makeover so that you can make it to the end of the semester with your grades and self esteem intact: * First, do…
206: Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension on SAT, ACT or AP Tests - The College Prep Podcast
Apr 2 • 29 min
Believe it or not — raising your reading comprehension scores on standardized tests is often not about improving your reading skills! Tune in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on this section of your tests.…
205: One Student’s Takeaways From a Semester of Coaching - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 26 • 18 min
How much can a student’s behavior truly change after a semester of coaching? In today’s episode, Gretchen walks us through a sixteen year old’s reflections about how he has grown as a result of academic coaching. The following eight ideas resulted from a…
204: AP or Not to AP: Controversy & Considerations - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 19 • 38 min
The national average of number of AP classes taken by students admitted to top universities is five to eight total. That’s a lot! Deciding whether to take (or not take) Advanced Placement classes is more complicated that simply taking as many tests as…
203: Don’t Overlook These Seven Surprising Study Techniques - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 12 • 25 min
Sometimes small study tweaks can make a difference. In this episode, Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests. We’re listing them here, though…
202: Course Selection: How to Develop a Four Year Plan - The College Prep Podcast
Mar 5 • 22 min
“Make time visible” is a favorite refrain of Gretchen’s, and it’s equally as true for college planning as it is for daily time management and organization. In this episode, Megan walks students step by step through how to make the next four years…
201: How to Let Kids Fail “Small” Earlier On - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 26 • 27 min
Students need to become familiar with failure earlier than their parents often let them. Megan and Gretchen discuss why it is important to let student fail small in the younger grades, and provide tips for how parents might back off as students transition…
200: How Lapses in Judgement Impact Graduation and Admissions - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 19 • 35 min
Teenagers often have lapses in judgement.But when these lapses go too far, how might it impact high school graduation or college admissions? Megan lays out 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in and analyzes how that behavior might get in the way of…
199: How to Make a Family Nag Plan - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 12 • 27 min
Sometimes nagging is necessary! So how can parents do it in a way that will make teens receptive to their reminders and prodding? In this episode, Gretchen tells stories about how 3 different clients made agreements with their parents about how and when…
198: Rock Your College Visits With These Advanced Strategies - The College Prep Podcast
Feb 5 • 24 min
College visits are a time consuming part of the college search process, so how do you make sure you are getting helpful information when you are on campus? How do you look past the college’s marketing messages to see what […]
197: Three New Academic Coaches Talk Candidly About Starting Their Biz - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 29 • 46 min
Thinking about starting your own academic coaching biz? Maybe you’ve already started, but you’re frustrated with how slow moving it is? Maybe you’re a parent curious about hiring an academic coach? Listen in as these 3 newly minted academic coaches […]
196: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 22 • 21 min
How do we motivate teens to take little actions that offer big results? Megan reports in about a book she read recently that has lots of great advice for teens: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and […]
195: Watch Out for Fake Practice Tests for the SAT & ACT - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 15 • 25 min
Did you know that many of the practice SAT & ACT tests offered by companies to help you study — are fake?! Don’t fall for fake tests! Megan walks you through how to make sure the practice tests you are […]
194: Research Reveals the Three Best Ways to Teach, Learn, and Study - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 8 • 45 min
What does research teach us about the best ways for teachers to teach and students to study? Guest experts Yana Weinstein and Megan Sumeracki, otherwise known as The Learning Scientists, school us on what research shows is is the best […]
193: What’s REALLY Important in College Admissions? Myths and Realities. - The College Prep Podcast
Jan 1 • 32 min
Many families are confused about where to start with college admissions, and Megan has noticed there is a lot of faulty information out there. In this episode, she lays out, in concrete terms, what’s important when prepping for college and […]
192: Seven Types of Students and Their Study Blind Spots - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 25, 2017 • 33 min
There are seven different types of students, in Gretchen’s experience, each with different approaches to school and studying. As final exams approach, it’s a great opportunity to explore each type of student’s weaknesses in regards to studying,
191: Strategic Extracurriculars – Make Your Activities Work for You in College Admission - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 18, 2017 • 20 min
Do you worry whether your high school student has the right kind of activities to impress the colleges to which they’re applying? Megan lays out an easy way to think about extracurriculars to help teens make the most of their […]
190: 12 Skills We assume Students Know (But They Don’t) - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 11, 2017 • 34 min
There are some basic life and school skills that adults assume teens know how to do — but they really don’t! Gretchen and Megan break down 12 seemingly simply skills they’ve observed in their practices and urge their adult listeners […]
189: How to Make an Anti-Cram Plan for Final Exams - The College Prep Podcast
Dec 4, 2017 • 41 min
You’ve heard it’s bad for your brain to cram for finals, but what should you do instead to get ready for semester exams? Make an Anti-Cram! plan, of course! During this episode of the podcast (which is a reprise of […]
188: Important Distinctions Between Scholarships and Financial Aid - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 28, 2017 • 31 min
Families often mistake financial aid with scholarships, which can lead to confusion, disappointment, and wasted time as seniors choose their college and figure out how to pay for it. In this episode Megan breaks down how to think about the […]
187: How to Stay on Track with a Mid-Semester Tune Up - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 20, 2017 • 20 min
It’s time for a mid-semester tune up! Take a couple hours this Thanksgiving Break to organize yourself, clean up any broken systems, and assess your study skills. Gretchen will teach you how, including: How to tune up your organization systems, […]
186: Should Your Teen Take Online Courses? - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 13, 2017 • 26 min
Have you ever taken, or considered taking, online courses as a high school students? Megan describes her daughter’s experience taking on online course through the Duke Talent Identification Program and delivers her final assessment about whether these …
185: Two Note Taking Strategies Every Student Should Master - The College Prep Podcast
Nov 6, 2017 • 28 min
How many note-taking techniques do you consciously use when learning from a textbook? Gretchen describes two specific strategies that you can use now in school, and the rest of your life too. Tune into this episode to find out: how […]
184: When Weather Interrupts Your College Application Plans - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 30, 2017 • 23 min
From hurricanes to snow storms, sudden massive weather can disrupt your college application plans. Megan shares her personal experience of how the Houston area SAT, ACT and school calendars were disrupted by Hurricane Harvey.
183: How to Help Students Interrupt Self Sabotage - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 23, 2017 • 25 min
All the study and time management tricks in the world won’t help students if their minds are filled with damaging self-talk. Gretchen and Megan break down how the thoughts you think can sabotage your success. During this discussion they touch […]
182: The Crazy High Costs of Applying to College - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 16, 2017 • 31 min
Everyone knows how much it costs to go to college, but there are some surprising hidden costs of applying to college too. Tune in to hear Megan tally the numbers and help you budget for the college application process. She’ll break […]
181: How to Calendar the Entire School Year in One Sitting - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 9, 2017 • 20 min
For juniors and seniors, there are so many important dates to remember and plan around related to academics, extracurriculars, and the college search. Megan walks you through how to sit down for a few hours and map out the year […]
180: How Notifications are Changing Students’ Brains - The College Prep Podcast
Oct 2, 2017 • 24 min
We are draining our brains of much needed energy and attention, thanks to social media and the way new communication technologies work. Tune in to discuss a single act that all families can do to help preserve parents’ and students’ […]
179: Success in Admission Starts with the Right List of Schools - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 25, 2017 • 32 min
Most admission disappointment start now, with families who don’t take time to create the right college list. Listen in as Megan walks you through the 6 kinds of schools you should definitely apply to, to make sure that you get […]
178: Understanding the PSAT & National Merit Scholarships - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 18, 2017 • 26 min
The PSAT is practice for 95% of test takers. But for the other 5% it is an important test that qualifies students for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Learn more during this episode about how to tackle the PSAT, whether […]
177: 7 Tips for For Taking Your First Test This Semester - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 11, 2017 • 22 min
The first tests of the school year are happening now for many students! Check out these 7 tips for how to get prepped to take your first assessments: 1. Understand the study cycle. We explain it in this episode, or […]
176: Beginning of the School Year Challenges - The College Prep Podcast
Sep 5, 2017 • 21 min
There is so much stress at the beginning of the school year! In this episode Megan and Gretchen normalize how hard the transition from summer to academic life is for educators, families, and students. Tune is as they discuss: Some […]
175: Set Up Your Study Space for the School Year - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 28, 2017 • 25 min
The right study space can make or break a student’s ability to follow through, beat procrastination, and get high quality work done at home. During this episode, Megan and Gretchen detail six things to think about when designing a study […]
174: Habits for Parents to Develop Now That Reduces Anxiety Later - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 21, 2017 • 27 min
Parents, do you often feel a lot of anxiety about your kids grades and academic habits? Do you suspect that your student feels anxious too? Or maybe it makes YOU anxious that your kiddo doesn’t seem anxious at all. There […]
173: Should Students Really Review Their Notes Outside of Class? - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 14, 2017 • 27 min
Parents often expect their students to spend time outside of class reviewing lecture notes. How effective is this habit? Should students do it? And if so, how do parents motivate students to spend extra time studying? In this episode Megan […]
172: The Perfect Planner for Your School Year? - The College Prep Podcast
Aug 7, 2017 • 39 min
Are you searching for the perfect planner to help you organize your due dates and assignments for the next school year? One that is oriented towards a student’s real-life needs? Lesley Martin of Class Tracker joins Gretchen to describe her […]
171: Megan’s College Visits — Notes as a Mom & College Consultant - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 31, 2017 • 33 min
Megan is looking for the perfect college with her daughter and has just returned from a five day campus visit trip. Find out some insider tips for planning visits, asking the right questions, limiting your choices, and evaluating schools. Tune […]
170: Wise Budgeting Advice from a Teenager - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 24, 2017 • 32 min
How the heck do you teach teens to budget their money? Eighteen year old Jason Esguerra is a budgeting enthusiast who Gretchen first met in a Facebook group for YNAB (You Need a Budget), a unique budgeting software that has […]
169: Requests for Teachers that Create Big Returns for Students - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 17, 2017 • 31 min
Teachers — you are powerful people in students’ lives! There are a few simple tweaks you can make that will help students be better and less anxious learners and time managers. Now is a great time to plan. Listen in […]
168: College Admissions Essays — How to Get Started - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 10, 2017 • 25 min
Summer is a great time to get started on college admissions essays. However, many students start their writing in the wrong order! Megan breaks down exactly what to do to set yourself up to write essays that contribute to a […]
167: 10-Minutes a Day Will Keep Teens’ Brains In Gear Over the Summer - The College Prep Podcast
Jul 3, 2017 • 22 min
Are you worried your kid will lose their summer to video games and YouTube? There are activities that students can do this summer — in 10 minutes a day — to help them get a jumpstart on the new school […]
166: Is Self Control a Myth or a Must-Have? - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 26, 2017 • 18 min
So often parents wish their students had more self-control. However, it turns out that “effortful restraint” (which is one word researchers use for “self control” is hard for the best of us, students and adults alike During today’s episode, Gretchen […]
165: How to Help Students Budget Their Money Before College - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 19, 2017 • 27 min
Budgeting is a skill that many adults don’t have! However, it’s a super important skill to teach your students before they go off to college. On today’s episode, Megan and Gretchen discuss some tips for how to get started helping […]
164: Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate – Should We Do It? How? Why? - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 12, 2017 • 27 min
Advanced Placement courses can provide a huge advantage to students when they hit college, but they can also be a huge drain on a high school student’s schedule and sense of balance. Recent a mom named Tamra wrote in with […]
163: Why Perfectionism in Teens Is Not Always Healthy - The College Prep Podcast
Jun 5, 2017 • 33 min
Although perfectionism can seem like a good thing, students with perfectionist tendencies can struggle with exhaustion, poor self-esteem, and unhealthy habits related to school/life balance. Guest expert Ann Marie Dobosz sheds insight into how perfecti…
161: Advice Parents and Students Don’t Want to Hear - The College Prep Podcast
May 29, 2017 • 31 min
Sometimes educators have to dish out advice that families simply don’t want to hear. In this episode, Megan and Gretchen detail their most unpopular advice for students and parents. The advice folks don’t want to hear includes: Course Selection: You […]
162 – Summer Programs, Study Guides, Improving Vocab & More - The College Prep Podcast
May 22, 2017 • 32 min
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers! Join us as we discuss the following questions: Summer Programs for College Prep: We are looking at the Stanford University “High School Summer College” program for our son. The classes are interesting,
160: Why Parents Should Resist Scheduling Extra Events in May - The College Prep Podcast
May 15, 2017 • 23 min
May is a crazy month for parents and students! Families often have the habit of thinking that May will be an easy month because school is winding down. Actually, May is worse than December in terms of scheduling a multitude of […]
159: Perfection Paralysis and How to Get Unstuck When Writing - The College Prep Podcast
May 8, 2017 • 19 min
Do writing assignments take you longer than necessary because you often feel stuck? Join Gretchen as she shares an interesting tool she created with a client to help him with his perfection paralysis. Specifically,