How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Writing Strategy Questions

In my experience, while students quickly become accustomed to correcting punctuation and verb errors on the ACT English section, questions about style and rhetoric can come across as much scarier. And indeed, many of the strangest questions on the ACT ask us to momentarily take on the perspective of a writer before going back to line editing comma splices and misused adverbs. Questions that ask about deleting or adding information, reorganizing the structure of a paragraph, or assessing the effectiveness of writing are all a bit foreign. But in a larger context, the apprehension that students have around acting like an author makes sense. Students are often asked in liberal arts classrooms to analyze the meaning of a passage or understand the argument of a historian. However, less time is dedicated to diving into the mechanics of how that meaning or argument is actually conveyed.

The ACT takes the opposite approach on the English section. Students will have the opportunity to show their ability to understand texts during the Reading Section. During the English section, it’s time for students to think like a writer!

How to Dominate March Madness

Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t mean basketball. 😉 I mean the madness seniors feel this month in anticipation of end of March / early April admission results; the madness juniors feel about the weight their next real ACT/SAT will have on their summer 2018 plans; the madness sophomores feel knowing they need to choose their junior year classes wisely; and the madness fresh(wo)men may not yet feel (but should) knowing that the summer ahead is the first one that really “counts.” 

We’re here to tell you that it’s going to be okay. Here are some tips to help you feel even more prepared for what’s ahead, regardless of which year of high school you’re currently in.



The time has come. (Almost). We trust that you haven’t let Senioritis take over completely and that you’ve continued to demonstrate academic excellence in all of your classes. You’re likely already taking it easy (or at least a lot easier than you have in the past 3+ years), so my primary tip to you would be: maintain an optimistic perspective, no matter the outcome. That’s true of any situation. I know it’s easier said than done, but a positive attitude goes a long way; with it, you’re bound to make the most of your college experience no matter where you end up, and will undoubtedly attract friends, professors’ respect, and job prospects’ interest in you as a result.  



Oh boy oh boy. You know what’s ahead -- taking the REAL standardized exams that matter, selecting the appropriate teachers for recommendation letters, making the most of the last summer as a high school student, writing all of your application essays, making an impact through your extracurriculars, not neglecting self-care in all the madness… It’s a lot, we know, and most people tout junior year as “the most important” in all your high school years because of all of this. Time management will be all-the-more crucial from now onward, so meet with your college advisor, craft a calendar for what the next ten months will look like, and stick to the schedule you choose. If you do, you’ll be sure to knock out all the most important action items ahead of you -- easy peasy.



You’re not quite feeling the time crunch, but standardized testing is definitely looming over your head. When do you start preparing? How do you start preparing? The time is now, and the help is here. It’s never too soon to start thinking about familiarizing yourself with the format of these exams and building strategies to tackle the toughest questions. Is reading comprehension a struggle for you? Go ahead and challenge yourself with sample reading passages and questions -- daily. Yes, daily. Is math a struggle? Review the tips shared by LogicPrep’s experienced instructors to master this section consistently. The sooner you start, the sooner you can be done with this inevitable (but very valuable) part of the application process and have room to prioritize other goals for your personal and academic growth.



It feels too early, I know, and in some ways, you don’t have too much to worry about yet. However, many schools open up higher-level advanced classes starting in sophomore year to the highest-achieving students, and you want to seize those opportunities if they’re available to you. March of fresh(wo)men year is the right time to arrange for any prerequisites to AP/IB courses your school offers, look into reputable summer opportunities to expand your academic, social, and leadership experiences, craft meaningful projects to scratch that creative itch, and make a serious impact in your community. Start brainstorming now and create an action plan just in time to implement it effectively at the end of this school year.


Truth be told, March can be an exciting time for everyone. And it’s not just because your bracket looks promising.

A Message from Lindsay

Dear LogicPrep Families,

As many of you know, the LogicPrep Family and I have recently experienced great personal loss due to the passing of my husband and co-founder, Jesse Kolber.

The LogicPrep Family was the first family that Jesse and I formed. We loved going to work together and marveled at how lucky we were to spend our days with such driven students on the cusp of one of life’s most exciting moments. These past few months, LogicPrep’s students, parents, and team members have shown me a tremendous amount of support, and I thank each of you for giving me strength, purpose, and hopeful reminders of how bright the future can be. 

Anyone who knew Jesse will attest that he was a force of nature. He was smart, passionate, creative. And he didn’t give up: not on his vision or on his students. He believed deeply in people’s potential and their ability to persevere. “Things are almost certainly going to get hard,” he’d tell families as they embarked on their journey in our office - “buckle up” - but we’ll be here for you every step of the way. 

This was, and remains today, as true as ever. 

Jesse knew how to foster resilience in each of his students, and this same resilience is part of the essence of LogicPrep. As I formally step into the role of LogicPrep’s CEO, I feel fortunate to be supported by a team of gritty, passionate, dedicated individuals - many of whom have worked alongside me and Jesse for nearly a decade. And while he will be deeply missed, I’m confident that Jesse’s commitment to helping everyone become the best version of themselves will propel each of us - students and team members - forward. We have a lot to look forward to in 2018 as we expand our Latin American headquarters in São Paulo, prepare to open our office in Miami, and continue to build our incredible roster of instructors and advisors in New York.   

Many of you have expressed interest in ways you can help, and in this vein, I’m excited to announce the launch of the Jesse Kolber Foundation, which will continue Jesse’s vision of supporting underserved students on the path to achieving their college dreams. All funds will be granted directly to students to cover tuition and other costs of higher education, and LogicPrep will provide pro-bono instruction and college advising. We will be hosting an event in the spring to officially launch the Foundation, and I hope to see you all there.

Jesse’s life was far too short, a painful reminder that there’s so much that’s simply outside of our control. We can logic our way through problems, we can prepare… we can do everything right, the way we’re supposed to. And yet that doesn’t always work out. It’s a devastating truth and one I’m still struggling to understand and am not sure I ever will. But one thing I know for sure is that we can control the impact we have on others and the meaning we find during our time here. 

I walk into our office every day and am reminded of this. For that, I am incredibly grateful.

Should you have any questions or just want to talk, my door is open. I know it can feel hard to find the right thing to say, but talking about Jesse feels good - for me, at least - and I imagine the same might be true for others as well. Also, we’re on the cusp of a truly exciting and beautiful moment for the whole LogicPrep Family: we’ll be welcoming a tiny new team member in April and I look forward to introducing you to my little girl once she arrives. So, seriously, come on by! 

After all, as members of the LogicPrep Family, you are my family.

With love and gratitude,
Lindsay Tanne Kolber, Founder & CEO

The Joys of Going to College Near a City

Whether it be Philly, Boston, or the one near and dear to my heart, Manhattan, every city has so much to offer. Going to college near a city reminds you that a learning experience is not contained within the walls of a classroom and that there are always better dining options than your cafeteria. Since I went to college in Riverdale, NY, NYC was only a few stops away on the 1 train. And yes, while the subway at times seemed more like a burden than a blessing, I never took for granted the twenty-minute ride that transported me from the stillness of Van Cortlandt Park to the liveliness of Columbus Circle.

Here are some of the many benefits of going to college near a city:

 Murilo visits a student at NYU Stern

Murilo visits a student at NYU Stern

Internships and jobs

New York City gave me the opportunity to intern at places I would have never imagined. I was able to intern at The United Nations for six months and enjoy the view of the East River and the Pepsi-Cola sign. Internships at PEN America and Penguin Random House allowed me to explore the streets of Soho. If I had not been near the city, I would not have been able to work with these organizations based in the heart of Manhattan. The city opened doors I didn’t even know existed for a college student and allowed me to network, building professional and personal relationships with people for years to come.



 A student shows Murilo where the best food is near NYU's campus

A student shows Murilo where the best food is near NYU's campus

Is there anything else I really need to say about this? When I was tired of eating chicken fingers and fries, I knew I was only a subway ride away from Korean fried chicken, halal food, or artichoke pizza. And none of these things broke the bank, either.



Sometimes all you need is to get away from campus. Whether it be a solo trip or an adventure with friends, the city always has new places for you to discover. Find your new favorite study niche, or get lost somewhere in East Village. It’s definitely a good way to get a breath of fresh air.


Cities have all of this and more. Even if it’s not Manhattan, just go out and make the most of any environment you find yourself in - you’re young, go explore!

LogicPrep Recognized as One of the "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America"

LogicPrep earns a spot on Entrepreneur 360's list of "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America" for the second year in a row! 

Thanks for making LogicPrep the wonderful community that it is.

LogicPrep Miami Grand Opening Celebration (PHOTOS!)

On Friday, February 23, 2018, we celebrated the Grand Opening of LogicPrep Miami! We already feel so fortunate to be working with so many amazing families in South Miami and look forward to being part of this great community!

Check out photos from the event below!

Books to Read: How to Be a High School Superstar

Like many of the students who walk into my office, I spent my high school years
spread thinner than a pat of butter melting on a waffle. I did theater, cross-country
(running and skiing), track, student council, math team, etc. etc. etc. When my
Renaissance Man Approach to school was rewarded with admission to the Yale class of
2008, I felt that my tendency to overcommit myself had been justly rewarded. Sure, it
was a stressful and sleepless slog through four years of high school, but that was the
only way to get where I wanted to go, right?

I used to think so. I don’t anymore. One of the biggest influences behind this 180-
shift in my thinking is the work of Cal Newport, a computer science professor who writes
about the habits and hacks of people who manage to achieve a lot in life while still living
life. Cal has a book that I’d like to recommend to any high school student who feels that
the only way to succeed is to be either (a) a natural-born genius or (b) a stressed-out
zombie. In other words, a book I’d like to recommend to every high school student ever.

His book is:

The book’s pithy subtitle sums up the approach: Do Less, Live More, Get Accepted.

And if that sounds waaaaaay too good to be true, then this book might be for you.
Newport’s core philosophy is that the key to succeeding in high school is not to study
harder but study smarter. And what does that look like? To this question, he provides an
entire book full of practical answers, derived from actual case studies with students who
manage to organize their lives so they spend less time studying and participating in
extracurricular activities every week without sacrificing overall performance. Many of the
students he profiles actually manage to perform better than their peers and get into the
school of their dreams. “The big idea,” he writes, is to find a way to become less
overloaded and less stressed without becoming less impressive.”

How to Be a High School Superstar is passionately devoted to the idea that remarkable
achievements have much more to do with your study habits and schedules than your
innate talents. Unfortunately, the one class never offered in high school is: How to
Succeed in High School. The result is that most students – including my former self –
resort to a crude, throw-yourself- at-the- wall approach, driven by the perverse logic of
more exhaustion = better. Newport exposes the flaws in this thinking, showing that
studying itself is an art form, and one that can be practiced and improved upon. Along
the way, he offers blueprints to chart your own path to a less stressed, more successful

For those looking to dip their toes into Newport’s work, head on over to his blog by clicking the button below.

How to Improve Your ACT Score: Categorize Questions

In tutoring for the ACT, I’ve found that students who can categorize questions before they do them do very well, very consistently.

To help a student develop that skill, I like to point to questions and ask the student to simply categorize them based only on the answer choices. For example, I’ll point to a question like #63 on this English section:

Based on the answers, this question would be categorized as a “verb usage” question. More specifically, the only difference between answer choice (A) and (D) is that the first is a singular verb and the second is a plural verb. Studying the answers in this way is very helpful because doing so tells us how to approach the question in a systematic way. In this case, since one answer is singular and the other is plural, we need to carefully identify the subject and figure out whether it’s singular or plural. 

Almost every question on the ACT English section can be categorized in this way. What’s more, each “question-type” has a specific, learnable approach that you can use to solve it. The more that you break down the questions in this way, the more that you’ll see patterns for how to solve them. So, the next time you see a question on the English section, take a step back, study the answers, and categorize the question. Understand your plan of attack, then execute! 

Regular Decision Notification Dates 2018


Regular decision notifications are right around the corner! Do you know when you'll hear from the schools you applied to? We've got you covered. Take a look at our list below.

American University - By April 1
Amherst College - Early April
Babson - Mid-March
Barnard College - Late March
Bates College - By April 1
Bentley University - By late March
Boston College - By April 1
Boston University - Late March
Bowdoin College - Early April
Brandeis University - April 1
Brown University - March 28
Bucknell University - April 1
Carnegie Mellon University - No later than April 15
Case Western Reserve University - On or around March 20
Colgate University - March 17
College of Charleston - April 1
Colorado University, Boulder - By April 1
Columbia University - Late March
Cornell University - Early April
Dartmouth College - Early April
Davidson College - April 1
Drexel University - By April 1
Duke University - April 1
Elon University - March 20
Emory University - By April 1
Fordham University - By April 1
George Washington University - Early April
Georgetown University - April 1
Georgia Institute of Technology - Mid-March
Hamilton College - March 23
Harvard University - Late March
Johns Hopkins University - By April 1
Lafayette College - Late March
Lehigh University - Late March
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Mid-March
Middlebury College - Late March/Early April
New School - Mid-March
New York University - April 1
Northeastern University - By April 1
Northwestern University - Late March
Oberlin College - April 1
Princeton University - End of March
Rhode Island School of Design - Third week of March
Rochester Institute of Technology - By mid-March
Skidmore College - By April 1
Smith College - March 24
Stanford University - April 1
Swarthmore College - By April 1
Syracuse University - Late March
Tufts University - By April 1
University of California-Berkeley - End of March
University of California-Davis - Mid-March
University of California-Los Angeles - By late March
University of California-San Diego - By the end of March
University of Chicago - Late March
University of Florida - March 31
University of Maryland-College Park - By April 1
University of Michigan - Early April
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill - By the end of March
University of Notre Dame - Late March
University of Pennsylvania - By April 1
University of Richmond - April 1
University of Southern California - By April 1
University of Texas, Austin - March 1
University of Vermont - February 23
University of Virginia - End of March
University of Wisconsin, Madison - End of March
University Rochester- April 1
Vanderbilt University - April 1
Vassar College - Late March
Villanova University - Late March
Wake Forest University - April 1
Washington University in St. Louis - April 1
Wellesley College- Late March
Wesleyan University - Late March
William & Mary- By April 1
Williams College - By April 1
Yale University - By April 1

Don't see the school you're looking for? Let us know below!

Why You Should Be Taking Computer Science Courses

Computer Science - aka programming/coding - is an essential skill in many key professional sectors. For example...

Want to work in product design? Chances are you’ll want to design something for a tech company, meaning you’ll need to work closely with engineers.
Want to do medical research? You’ll probably need to code to run your experimental tools, and you’ll probably need R to analyze your results.
Want to formulate public policy? It’s Stata for you.
Finance? Financiers who only know excel are increasingly second-tier with respect to those comfortable with SQL and scripting. My first job was in Private Equity, which is now being eclipsed by algorithmic trading.
Consulting? All of the major firms are majorly building up their big data teams.
Want to build a business? You’ll be completely beholden to engineers and completely in the dark about half of your company unless you have some level of software understanding.
Are you a lawyer looking for billable hours? Hopefully, you can convince all those tech companies you understand their problems.
Want to be an actor? Well, ok in this particular case you’re off the hook… for now.

So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up for your school’s computer science classes! But wait, doesn't everyone complain about computer science?

Here’s the rub: the US has a major deficit of software engineers. The New York City software recruiting scene, for example, is ruthless - even small startups with scarce resources pay independent headhunters substantial sums of money for every engineer they recruit, to say nothing of the larger ones. The software engineers, typically younger, are getting paid relatively large salaries and live in the middle of the city. Even the ones that live in more rural areas work remotely (the recruiting market for remote engineers is almost as hot at the moment as the “regular” one and is equally established). Few of these software engineers might be inclined to teach.

Combine this with a truly antiquated curriculum (the AP Computer Science curriculum still uses Java, which the world has generally left in the dust), and students who brave their school’s computer science programs spend their time using dinosaur-like tools to spin their wheels on strange mathematical calculations instead of using a modern toolkit to quickly build apps, web pages, server platforms, robots, etc. If I were a student, I probably wouldn’t want to take computer science either.

So there’s the problem, but what’s the solution? While this issue is clearly a systemic one that requires a solution at a policy level, I can speak about the individual cases I've encountered at LogicPrep. We currently tutor all ages (high school freshmen to college seniors via Skype) in all manners of computer science. With some students we focus on learning the prescribed curriculum and building the student's comfort level - coding is an entirely new mental framework which often requires a good amount of work to adjust to. With other students, we supplement whatever they’re learning in school with projects ranging from robots that track lines to machine learning.

So, consider having another look at computer science. Your future job-seeking, salary-maximizing self will be very glad you did. Here at LogicPrep we can help you cross whatever hurdles might come in your way, or learn clutch skills (all with the latest industrial tools) that you’ll eventually come to lean on heavily.