Rabu, 17 Oktober 2012

How To Study To Get the Best Score


Studying hard for the ACT test is definitely not always the best way to get a high score. When I explain that the parents, they are as shocked as their teenagers are happy! The fact is that just working hard is no guarantee of a high ACT test score and at times, working hard studying can actually lower your score.

How To Study for the ACT Test

The most common mistake students make is, when in their finest moments of dedication and self-discipline, they resolve to spend a certain number of hours and days studying for the ACT test. This is totally backwards.

No professional athlete, for example, just resolves to spend a certain amount of time training without focusing specifically on what areas need to be focused on. The dedication and self-discipline should be committed to learning certain skills that will result in a high ACT test score, regardless of the time required. The goal is a high score: not a lot of time studying.

When NOT to Study for the ACT Test

The two most important times not to study for the ACT test are the night before the test and anytime you have been at it for an hour. Studying the night before the test just stresses you out and hurts your ability to go to sleep relaxed, at the very time you need a very good night's sleep.

Studying for more than an hour is a waste of time, as your mind needs a break in order to retain what you are studying. If you covered important information during the second or third hour of your marathon study session, that is information not likely to come to you on test day.

The best way to study for the ACT is to take a look at your current score, whether it is from a practice test or a real ACT, and determine what areas you need to study first. Usually, you'll find that the best way to study is by not studying the subject matter of the test, English, Math Reading and Science, but rather studying HOW to be an efficient test taker.


Selasa, 11 September 2012

How High Do I Need To Score To Get Scholarships


Everyone who asks me to advise them on increasing their ACT score is concerned about doing well enough to get scholarships to help pay for college. It seems that this is a bigger concern than getting a score that is high enough to get them into the school of their choice.

The first thing that I tell them is that they have to be realistic. Increasing an ACT test score of 18 to a 25 is a lot more achievable than increasing a 25 to a 32, even though both increases are the same 7 point spread. That's not to say that it can't be done, but the higher your score, the more difficult increasing each point becomes.

In order to qualify for more scholarships, you generally need an ACT test score of about 25 to 27. How hard is that? Well, the national average ACT test score is 21.1, so getting 5 points above that really sets you apart.

The average test score for students of each state varies widely, from 18.7 in Mississippi to 24.1 in Massachusetts. This is also something to consider when you are setting a goal. The easiest thing to do is go onto the website of the college you are considering and, under the "Admissions" section, they will have the average GPA and ACT test score of incoming freshmen. They Financial Aid section will usually list the bigger scholarships and whether there are any minimums for GPA or ACT score to qualify.

The fact is that a lot can change between the time you are taking the ACT test and when your college admission packet is reviewed and scholarships determined. The best thing is to learn how to work smart instead of just working hard in order to make yourself a better test taker and thereby improve your ACT score dramatically.

Selasa, 21 Agustus 2012

Become a Better Test Taker to Score Higher Instead of Just Studying Harder


One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Yet when studying for the ACT test, many very bright students do exactly this. They just keep working harder and taking more practice tests without realizing that the best way to increase their ACT test score is to become a better test taker.

Test Taking Skills Provide the Edge

It doesn't matter whether you are a straight A student or have studied for weeks for the ACT test. If you haven't mastered some basic test-taking skills, you will not be able reach your potential and get above a certain score.

Just knowing the information to answer the questions is not enough with the ACT test. The test is specifically designed to make time an issue, so you must be able to arrive at the correct answer quickly. This means that the faster student will do better than the more knowledgeable student!

Test Taking Skills Stay With You

Once you are in college, the skills that you learn to get a high score on the ACT test stay with you, helping you to earn a higher GPA, which means a better future all around.

What you do to prepare for the ACT, if you are studying smart, can help you not only get a high ACT score, but can also make college a lot easier for you and make you able to get a lot more out of it!

This is not to be confused with "studying the test" to take a shortcut and game the system. Learning test taking skills just enables you to perform to your full potential. And this is something that will put you well ahead of the majority of students out there, giving you the competitive edge!


Rabu, 18 Juli 2012

3 Tips to Getting Your Best Score


Every parent and student that comes to me for advice on the ACT exam wants to know the same question; what are the easiest things I can do to quickly raise my ACT score? The question doesn't come from laziness at all, but rather frustration. So many students put in long hours studying and don't seem to get results.

Why Student's Have Trouble Increasing Their ACT Score

The biggest problem that students face when trying to increase their ACT score is that they are doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. A focused plan makes all the difference. Otherwise, you may just be spinning your wheels and wasting time and energy.

You need to learn to quickly answer questions, manage the clock and know what to study.

Learn to Quickly Answer Questions

Simply retaking practice tests to "become a better test taker" isn't going to do much more than get you comfortable with taking tests. That helps some, but not an enormous amount. There are specific test-taking skills that have to be learned, such guessing, saving time answering questions, how to read the Reading / Science passages and more.

Time Management is Key for the ACT Exam

Every student struggles to get all the questions answered in the time allotted. There are two time-management skills that help tremendously, and they do not merely include "go as fast as you can." As a matter of fact, some students make the mistake of thinking that the "easy" questions are first, so they just hurry through them, costing valuable points.

Know What To Study for the ACT Exam

Knowing what NOT to study can be just as important as knowing what TO study to get a high score on the ACT exam. For instance, studying Trigonometry is not a good use of your time unless you are hoping to score above a 32. Memorizing the periodic table for the Science portion is also a big waste of time.

The key to a good score on the ACT exam is to be strategic and have a well thought out plan, dealing specifically with your strengths and weaknesses. This normally requires a study course that is designed to teach you "how" to take the test, as opposed to teaching you more of the same curriculum that is on the test.

Selasa, 12 Juni 2012

A Parent's Guide to Getting a High ACT Test Score


So many parents ask me what they can do to help their students get a higher ACT test score, and so many of them are doing the wrong things, that it can be discouraging. However, at least they are asking and can get the right information.

There are two categories of advice I give parents about helping their students get a high ACT test score. What to do and what NOT to do.

What NOT To Do:

First and foremost, don't ramp up the pressure on your student unintentionally by well-meaning, but misguided tactics. Spending a lot of money on tutoring or an ACT prep course may seem like the right thing to do, but that just puts more pressure on the student to make sure the money is not wasted. They need a confidence booster, not fear of increasing consequences of failure.

The other thing is not to nag. So many students plan to study and then, when their parents remind them, they choose not to study because they are feeling forced. Sometimes the best thing a parent can do is nothing; let them take the test the first time and do poorly, and then they will be more responsive to some gently suggestions.

What TO Do To Help Your Student Get a High ACT Test Score

The things that you want to do are to be supportive, but in a way that builds confidence. A quiet, reassuring "I know that you'll do well" goes a long way to reducing the Test Anxiety that can cause students to bomb on tests.

Also, involve your student in selecting an ACT prep course that is simple and not intimidating. If it is too long or too expensive, they will just feel more pressure to perform and anxiety over how they will complete the course.

Sometimes, it is a better idea to have them complete two shorter ACT prep courses, because after the first brief course, they may see results and opt for a second. It's much easier to climb a mountain by thinking one step at a time. Faced with a 10 week, 20 hour course, few students feel enthusiastic.

Selasa, 22 Mei 2012

ACT Test: What If I Bomb the ACT Test? What Do I Do Next?


I often get calls from parents and students panicking after a bad ACT test score. I tell them all the same thing; it's not time to worry yet! The good news is that when you really bomb a test, the fix to significantly increase your score is usually a lot simpler and easier than turning a pretty good score into a great score.

Step #1: Stop and Analyze

Before you panic looking at a low composite score, take the time to analyze what caused the poor performance. Ask yourself these questions:

Did you do poorly on all four subject tests or did just one or two drag down your overall score?
Did you have time to finish all the questions when you took the test or did you run out of time?
How were you feeling when you took the test? Sick, tired, full of anxiety?
Was this your first ACT test? Had you taken a practice test before this one?
Step #2: Figure Out a Game Plan

If you just did poorly across all four subject tests and you were full of anxiety or not feeling well physically, then the easy answer is that it may have just been a bad day. If you don't have a history of bombing tests, this is the most likely reason. Set aside 3 1/2 hours next Saturday morning and do a full practice test to verify that it just wasn't your day.

If you had trouble answering all the questions on time, then you need to hone your test taking skills in order to get through the test with time to spare. Any time you are feeling rushed, your score will suffer.

Step #3: Retake the ACT Test

Once you have figured out what happened and develop a strategy to address those issues, you will want to retake the test. Most students take it more than once, so don't feel bad.

If you need help putting a strategy together, get a good, inexpensive online course to help you.

Sabtu, 28 April 2012

Where To Find Free ACT Practice Tests and Videos


Smart parents will ask me where they can find free ACT practice tests. They are smart because they know that there is a lot of information out there for free and spending more money doesn't guarantee that you will get the best outcome.

Most people just assume that to get ACT practice tests they will have to spend money, usually on a 'big thick book' that has several full-length tests in it.

The Problem, Beyond Spending Money

Even if you have money to burn and no matches, spending money on practice ACT tests is usually a bad idea. The reason is that most of them are not official ACT documents, so you never know for sure how accurate the mixture is of the type of questions you are getting.

The other problem is that most of the practice tests in books at the bookstores do not break your scores for Math and English down into sub-scores the way the real ACT test does. Without analyzing the sub-scores, it is very difficult to quickly assess where you need to study in order to raise your score.

Get The Tests For Free

Every year at least one ACT test is "retired" and made available to the public. (There are always several in use so that nobody can memorize the questions) Each year these are made available as PDF files on the official ACT website and as printed workbooks sent to high school guidance counselors.

Since the ACT hasn't changed substantially in years, a practice test from last year or the year before is just as good as the current one. So go online and download the current free ACT practice test and ask your guidance counselor if there are older ones available.

You'll save money and also time diagnosing which areas you need to focus on by getting these free ACT practice tests.


Kamis, 12 April 2012

Test Dates and Deadlines


The 2013 ACT test dates and deadlines are as follows, along with important information on how to study and get a high score:

February 9th, 2013 ACT Test

Registration Deadline: January 11, 2013

April 13th, 2013 ACT Test

Registration Deadline: March 8, 2013

June 8th, 2013 ACT Test

Registration Deadline: May 3, 2013

Probably the most important thing to remember about the ACT is that you can take is more than once, and you should. Ideally, you should take it the first time at least three to four months before you retake it, so that you have plenty of time to get an ACT study course to zero in on your weak areas.

The easiest and quickest way to increase your score is by targeting only the areas that you need the most improvement on, generally in the Math and English portions of the test. However, if you scored below a 23 on either Science or Reading, there are some very simple ways to bring those scores up as well.

The most important key to increasing your test score is that you spend enough time on learning the simple test-taking skills that will get you through the questions quickly and easily. Most students make the mistake of spending all their time studying the content; that is, the Math and English and Science and Reading.

With good test taking skills, you will be able to save a lot of time and not feel so rushed during th test. Then you will be less stressed and make fewer "stupid" mistakes, which brings up your score. Add to that, the test-taking skills will help you guess much better and get even more questions right.

So when you are looking at the 2013 ACT test dates and registration deadlines, consider that you need to also look into a simple ACT study course that will teach you those skills.


Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

What Is the GRE and Who Cares


Now that you have finished your undergraduate degree, its time for grad school. There is a good chance that the school you will apply to will require that you take the GRE. This test will have a lot to do with your chances for admission and how you score on it will be part of what determines your future. Short for Graduate Record Examination, the GRE measures your various cognitive abilities including reasoning, critical thinking, and your ability to write effectively.
The GRE is not of course the only thing that is considered for admittance, but it is an important factor. Schools also consider your gpa, undergraduate degree, and so forth, but depending on the situation, they may care about different parts of your GRE more than others. For instance, if you are applying for a graduate program in writing, schools will likely put more weight on your writing scores rather than math. Nonetheless, other parts are important too, such as considering applicants for a program in mathematics. Since many students will naturally score very high on the math section of the GRE, the school may look more critically at other non math portions of the test.
The verbal section you will be tested on your reading comprehension and analogy skills. The quantitative portion tests you on your math skills, but only at a high school level. In the analytical writing portion, you will write a total of two essays on various subjects. Part of the test includes experimental questions too. You are not told where these are, but they will just be part of the test in one of the sections.
The final section is a specialized section that may be in Chemistry, Biochemisty, Biology, English Literature, Computer Science, Molecular Biology, Psychology, or Physics. Of course this section will be specifically related to the graduate program that you are applying for.
A very unique portion of the GRE is found in a few multiple choice sections that are taken on a computer using a Computer Adaptive Testing mode (CAT). The system analyzes your answers and adjusts according to your skill level. This increases the level of difficulty as you successfully answer questions.
When you apply to take the GRE you will be sent some software to help you including two practice tests, but this is not enough if you wish to excel. There are many different options available for taking practice tests, many of which are online for free, but practice makes perfect, and practice is the name of the game. Knowing what is the GRE going to do for you is only half the battle. You must also prepare and practice, practice, practice, so you can get the best score possible and make your higher education dreams come true.


Rabu, 14 Maret 2012

How Do I Get Certified As a Certified Coding Specialist


A Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based or CCS-P describes a medical coding practitioner certified by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These individuals are specialized in physician-based settings such as offices, practices, clinics, or specialized medical settings. They are responsible for reviewing patient's records and also assigning numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. Coding practitioners have an in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and are experts in health information, documentation, integrity, and quality. Since the coded data from patient's is submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement, coding specialists play a critical role in the healthcare field. There are many certifications available such as the AAPC CPC, but many coding specialists are also CCS-P certified.

By becoming certified, the employment for these coding specialists is highly favorable. Health professionals who perform coding in a healthcare setting should consider obtaining this certification in order to testify to their abilities. This certification exam assesses a mastery-level proficiency rather than an entry-level skill.

There are several eligibility requirements that must be passed in order to take the exam. Any candidate for the exam must have a high school diploma from a school in the United States or have achieved an equivocal education. There is also a list of requirements and candidates must meet one of the eligibility requirements on the list in order to take the exam. They must have completed a coding training program, have had two years of experience, are credentialed, or be credentialed and have one year of coding experience. These are the basic requirements and it is unlikely that a candidate who is not eligible to take the exam would be unable to pass it.

While these are not requirements, there are some training and recommendations for exam candidates. They are recommended to have six months of coding experience where they have directly applied codes. It is also recommended that individuals have completed an AHIMA approved coding program or that the individual has completed another coding training program that covered similar material.

The AHIMA CCS-P exam is a fairly basic test. For members of AHIMA, it costs $299, and for non-members, the cost is $399. The test has a multiple choice section with 88 single response items. It also contains a multiple select section of 8 questions. This is followed by a fill in the blank section of 13 medical record cases. This section of the test requires examinees to perform diagnostic and procedural coding. The time limit for the test is four hours without any breaks.

After testing, immediate scoring is available if enough candidates have taken the exam. The passing score will vary slightly and the Angoff procedure is used to set the minimum passing score. The passing scores are published after enough candidates have taken the exam.

After completing the application materials, all candidates will receive a document saying that they are authorized to test, or ATT. After receiving the letter, the candidate has four months to take the exam and will have to reapply if they do not complete the testing within that window. If the candidate does not pass the exam, they must wait 91 days before being eligible to take the exam again. These are the basic requirements and specifications for the CCP-S exam.


Senin, 23 Januari 2012

How Much Does a Certified Medical Coder Make


If you're wondering how much does a certified medical coder make, especially in these challenging times then do read on. Joining the industry of medical coding may be the right one for you because it offers great career opportunities with high salaries. Medical coding is on the rise, and there is a healthy demand for certified professionals. The increased need to provide universal access to health care and the increased use of electronic means makes medical coding a growing industry in the years to come.

The figures and analysis here are from the 2012 AAPC Health Care Salary Survey, and they reveal that people in the health care industry continues to be well compensated from the work they do. The list of professionals that responded to this survey includes educators, auditors, practice managers, billers and coders.

According to the survey, the recession in 2008 may have affected this industry like any others, but the years that have passed brought back new opportunities. From the recession, professionals in this industry have reported not only an increased opportunity for growth, but better decision making skills in their workplace.

Average salary for a medical coder

According to the 2012 survey, the average medical coder can earn $47,870 annually. This average medical coding salary involved both the non-certified and certified medical coders, but if you break down the actual earnings of non-credentialed and credentialed medical coders, you will get a significant difference on medical coding salaries. The figures below shows the salaries of medical coders according to their certifications or credentials.

1. A Certified Professional Coder or a CPC gets to earn $47,796 annually. 
2. All coders holding AAPC credentials get to earn $48,033 annually. 
3. Those with specialty credentials can earn $54,145 in a year. 
4. A Certified Professional Coder-Payer or CPC-P earns an average of $55,255, which is $3,800 higher than last year's average. 
5. A Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatients or CPC-H, on the other hand, earns $56,466 with an increase of $1,800 from last year. 
6. A Certified Professional Medical Auditor or CPMA earns $59,365 with an increase of $3,200 from last year.

Salary for certified medical coder

Based on the figures, you can clearly see that those who are credentialed get to have higher salaries although there is a slow and steady growth of medical coding salaries from previous years. This means that those who have credentials get the most advantages out of their work from financial to professional development.

The medical coding salaries not only differ by the credentials, but also by the workplace. All workers have an increased salary by 9.7% as compared to last year's statistics. Those who worked in facilities earned more, but have the least salary raises. Those working in solo practice may have lower salaries, but have the most increase from $40,290 in 2010 to $45,312 in 2012.

The job responsibilities of the medial coders also dictate the amount that they get. More so, education and credentials greatly affects the rate of medical coders. Also, there are more jobs today that need medical coders with credentials than before. This means that credentialed medical coders are more in demand as years pass by so getting one for you is beneficial.

There are a lot of factors that affect the medical coding salaries, but one thing is sure, getting credentials, choosing your work setting and getting further education will place you at the top of the highest paid medical coders.


Selasa, 10 Januari 2012

Registration Strategy and Tips


When you register for the ACT test date held in February each year, there are a few tips that you need to keep in mind. I am constantly asked by parents what is the best month to take the ACT and what is the strategy for taking it more than one time. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Do's and Don'ts.

Why the February ACT Test Dates are Ideal

The biggest advantage of taking the ACT test in February is that you have the Christmas break to study and you have plenty of time after getting your score report to study for a retake on the June test date.

If you are taking the ACT for the first time in February, you should really prepare yourself by at least taking a full-blown practice test before that date. Just the familiarity with taking the full 3 1/2 hour test once before will help improve your score.

Retaking the ACT Test on the June Test Date

About three weeks after you take the ACT in February, you will receive your score report. The thing to do is to look past your "composite score" and focus on the English and Math sub-scores.

These will tell you exactly where you can focus your studying efforts to quickly bring up your score. "Just studying everything" is a very poor strategy that ensures you will work a lot harder than you have to.

Consider an ACT Prep Course

A very good strategy to increase your score over what you got on the February ACT test is to find a short, economical ACT prep course that will allow you to zero in on the exact areas where you need the most help. This will give you the quickest boost to your score.