LP Brazil News

LogicPrep Ranked on Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures List 2018

LogicPrep was recently ranked on Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures list, a comprehensive ranking of U.S.-based businesses exhibiting high-performance cultures created in partnership with employee engagement platform and service provider Energage. The Top Company Cultures list has placed LogicPrep as number 36 in the small company category. LogicPrep is recognized for creating an exceptional culture that drives employee engagement, exceeds employee expectations and directly impacts company success.

At LogicPrep, we pride ourselves in being a radically different brand of college test prep, and our team members are what set us apart. LogicPrep strives to creates an entrepreneurial, intellectually curious, joyous, and compassionate environment for learning and self-discovery. This tone is set by our brain trust of tutors and advisers, whose EQs are just as high as their IQs. We are so proud of the entire LogicPrep team for being recognized for this award!

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“Great company cultures don’t happen by accident. They happen because leaders understand how to create excellent working environments, and how to make everyone share the same mission,” says Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “Our 2018 Top Company Cultures list is a great celebration of companies that are doing it right, and should serve as inspiration for everyone who leads a team."

The full list, presenting a total of 150 companies categorized as small, midsize or large companies—with 74 or fewer employees, 75-299 employees and more than 300 employees respectively— is available on Entrepreneur.com. Core insights, behaviors and attributes that have helped to shape the high-performing cultures presented by the top companies are shared alongside practices to help other companies develop their own workplace environments.

“Becoming a Top Company Cultures winner isn’t something an organization can buy,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “It’s an achievement organizations have to work for. Based on our decade of research, we have come to view workplace culture is the only remaining sustainable competitive business advantage. Great strategies can be copied, but culture cannot.”

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Employees took online surveys, and the honorees were determined and ranked based solely on their survey feedback scores. Each company was measured in response to 24 questions on subject matters such as connection, alignment, effectiveness, leadership and management, as well as basics such as pay, benefits and flexibility.

To be considered for the ranking, the companies must have had at least 35 employees, have been founded before Jan. 1, 2016, must be founder led (at least 10% ownership of the company),and be headquartered in the U.S. There was no cost to participate in the survey. Individual employee responses were anonymous.

To view LogicPrep in the full ranking, visit https://www.entrepreneur.com/top-company-culture.

LogicPrep Welcomes Eight New Instructors

 Gretchen trains new instructor Fausto at LogicPrep Miami

Gretchen trains new instructor Fausto at LogicPrep Miami

We are so excited to announce that our team of exceptional instructors is growing! Starting this month, we're welcoming EIGHT new instructors, and we'd like to introduce them to you.

 

Cosmo

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Cosmo graduated from the University of Chicago with a double major in public policy and Latin American studies. At Chicago, he served on student government, competed with the Model UN team, and worked as a consultant for a number of local non-profits in the education sector. Fascinated by cities, he wrote his honors thesis on contemporary and historical approaches to urban planning in both Bolivia – his father's country of origin – and Brazil, where he studied abroad in 2017. When he's not trying to perfect his Portuguese, Cosmo enjoys going to the beach, riding his bike, and compulsively shopping for books.

 
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Eric graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Political Science. During his time as an undergraduate, he explored the practical application of comparative politics with internships at non-profits in Argentina and Chile and at an embassy in France. Out of the various activities in which Eric participated, one of the most meaningful and engaging was his time as a tutor for a local middle school education program. This experience exposed him to the joy of teaching students and fostering their academic development.

 
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Fausto was born in Honduras but grew up in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Duke University with a degree in Public Policy and a certificate in Journalism and Media. He studied abroad in Brazil and fell in love with Portuguese ever since. Upon graduating, Fausto worked at Duke's Office of Undergraduate Education managing programs that pushed students to explore their identities and values inside the classroom and beyond. He especially loved facilitating student-faculty connections.
Fausto enjoys singing, dancing, reading, NPR podcasts and binge watching Netflix crime documentaries.

 
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A native of Texas, Jacob graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Earth Science and a concentration in Urban Teaching. He split his time at Columbia between studying air pollution and teaching and found a way to combine those two passions in a thesis project on urban air quality and student achievement. After teaching science in Harlem, the Bronx, and Hartford, Jacob took his skills to the world of museum education, where he worked to bring science education and hands-on programming to students across North Texas. When he's not poring over practice questions, Jacob can be found in the kitchen, trying out a new recipe, or on the couch, tasting those recipes and bingeing on Netflix.

 
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Jacqueline graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Psychology and minors in Dance and Computer Science, completing two theses: a set of empirical psychological studies on mind-reading, and an original choreographic work, for which she also designed the soundscape. While at Princeton, she was actively immersed in the dance community and served as a tour guide for the admissions office. Jacqueline loves being able to use her backgrounds in both psychology and dance to better understand herself and those around her, and channels her passions for empathy, communication, and mentorship into helping students learn. When she isn’t at LogicPrep or working on her dance career, Jacqueline enjoys wandering bookstores, unpacking her mind into a journal, and baking vegan treats.

 
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Jake graduated from Dartmouth with a major in government and a minor in psychology focusing on decision-making processes. He wrote his honors thesis on international refugee governance policy. In Hanover, Jake was a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Dartmouth Law Journal, a Vice President of the International Business Council, a four-year tour guide for the Admissions Office and Historian for the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club. A strong believer in combining practical and theoretical education, Jake has explored his interest in international relations by living and working in places like Zagreb, Washington, D.C., and Rome.

 
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Born in Montevideo, Uruguay and raised across three continents, Nico K. is an educator and director now living in New York City. Nico graduated Cum Laude from Princeton University, where he created an independent concentration in Performance Studies, focusing on the ethics and politics of social performances across cultures. At Princeton, he was entrenched in all areas of the arts, making work across theatre, dance, music, creative writing, sculpture, and performance art, building a deep respect for well-roundedness and collaboration. He is also an avid swimmer, improviser, and tea-drinker. Nico has always loved to learn and to teach, working to develop confidence in students – no matter what their learning style might be – so they feel empowered to achieve their best.

 
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Originally from Los Angeles, Shadi is currently living in Miami where she's earning her Masters in Business Analytics. Shadi has many years of experience supporting students, and her favorite subject to teach is geometry. Shadi believes that math is all around us, even in nature! When she teaches, she likes to take the time to point out the real-world usefulness of every topic. In her free time, Shadi will take any chance she gets to be in the outdoors or listen to live music.

 

How Reading Can Help You Overcome Culture Shock

We work hard to prepare our Brazilian students for the cultural shock of starting college in the US. But what happens when our US team works with Brazilian students or comes to visit us in Brazil? 

Our experience shows that reading helps people to understand some of the cultural nuances that might not otherwise be obvious. We usually recommend a list of ten books that were written by accomplished Brazilian writers. The first book is always the same: Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. The purpose of my blog post is to write about this book and explain the importance of reading it to understand Brazilian culture.

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands was written in 1966 by Jorge Amado, one of Brazil’s most accomplished novelists. It tells the story of Dona Flor, a young woman living in the northeast of Brazil and married to
Vadinho. The plot begins with the sudden death of Dona Flor’s husband, known for being irresponsible and a great lover. Dona Flor remarries with pharmacist Teodoro, a well-respected man and described as being the exact opposite of Vadinho. The story evolves and Teodoro, Dona Flor and the ghost of Vadinho end up sharing the same bed and living together as a triplet.

This novel can be interpreted in many ways. My favorite version is the one that describes Brazilian culture as the perfect blend of formality and informality. In Brazil, the stiffness of behavior (Teodoro) and relaxed and unofficial style (Vadinho) walk together, hand-in-hand, in a balanced and yet chaotic way. Brazilians love to overlap work with social life; we exercise rule-setting but praise flexibility. In day-to-day life, Brazilians can have the most respectful manners towards their coworkers and yet call them by their nicknames. In addition, we talk to people on the streets with proximity regardless of being strangers.

There is no moral judgment here. It is what it is. When it comes to overcoming the cultural shock, there is no good or bad, worse or better. I feel strongly that understanding these cultural idiosyncrasies and ambiguities is an important step toward overcoming the cultural shock and emphathizing better with students.

International ACT Registration Now Open!

Calling all LP International Students!

Registration for the 2018-2019 ACT tests is now open. As we mentioned in our earlier articles (here and here) about the new computer-based ACT, you’ll want to sign up AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for these tests. Because there are fewer test centers (for example, there are only two in Rio and two in São Paulo) and potentially fewer seats per testing center, it is likely that these test centers will fill up quickly. We highly recommend that you sign up early (aka now) to ensure that you are able to reserve a seat at your preferred testing center.

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A couple of things to note:

You will need to set up a new MyACT account to register for the upcoming computer-based tests (even if you’ve taken the ACT before). For all international tests going forward, the ACT will use this new and separate system for test registration and score release. Eventually, they’ll likely merge the two systems for international students, but for now, all ACT scores before August 2018 will be accessible through the US System, and all non-US registrations and scores after August 2018 will be accessible only through the MyACT (International) System.

To create an account, register, and to find more information, just follow this link to the ACT’s Non-US student registration page. After you create an account, the registration process is pretty straightforward and user-friendly, but if you need any help, just ask one of our admin team members to assist you.

Any questions? As always, reach out to us and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Even More Information on International Computer-Based ACT

NEWSFLASH: We now know more about the Computer-Based ACT, which will be the only form of ACT administration offered internationally beginning this September.

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Some of you may remember from my April post that the ACT will officially be entirely computer-based at all international test administrations beginning this September.

Some of you may also remember that there were a number of questions still unanswered at that point -- what the testing interface would look like, whether the timing would be the same, what testing centers will be available, etc. -- and that you could expect more updates released by the ACT (and delivered by yours truly) coming sometime in June/July.

And so, here we are!  The ACT has recently released a more detailed picture about what exactly the Computer-Based Testing (CBT) will look like, which answers quite a few of the questions that we were left with in April:

What will the testing interface look like?

Generally, the testing window will be split into two parts -- the passages will appear on the left side of the screen, and the questions will appear on the right.

Although you won’t be able to write on the screen (meaning that some of your strategies will have to change), you will get scratch paper to work on, and there are some neat tools on the testing interface that will help you adjust to the CBT format (see the ACT’s infographic below).

Among the features that caught my attention:

  • The Test Timer in the upper right-hand corner is a built-in way for you to ensure that your pacing is on track within each section.
  • The Navigation Bar allows you to see how many questions you have left in the section, to flag questions to come back to and to see which sections you’ve flagged.
  • The Highlighter allows you to highlight words and phrases in the passages. I’m super excited that you have the ability to do this, especially for the Reading section, and I think it will make the transition to the CBT format much easier.
  • The Line Reader allows you to zero in on a specific block of text (or figure), which could be a really helpful tool to help you avoid getting distracted from unnecessary or unrelated information.
  • If you’ve ever had a Reading lesson with me, you know that one of my favorite strategies is to “answer the questions in your own words first, then look for the choice that best matches.”  The Answer Masker allows you to mask the answer choices and then reveal them one at a time, so you can do just that!
  • Or… if you’re trying to use the process of elimination on a question, the Answer Eliminator allows you to keep track of the answers that you don’t like.

Will the timing be the same?

Yep!  The same timing that you’ve been practicing all along will still apply.

What about the Writing section?

This is actually one of the sections that I think will be easier with the CBT format.  You’ll now get a text field that does not have a spell-check function but that does give you the ability to copy and paste.  This will allow you to plan out the skeleton of your essay, then elaborate on each point, and then even decide to switch the order of your points if you wish (not to mention, allow you to type instead of writing by hand, which is much faster for most of us!).

What testing centers will be available on what dates?

We have this question half-answered so far:

The 2018-2019 International Test Dates have been released (see below, or check out the ACT's website).  You may notice that there is now a February test offered internationally (there didn’t used to be!) and that both Friday and Saturday are offered for each of the testing windows.  The ACT also reports that “for each of the two days within a testing window, there will be morning and afternoon sessions offered,” which could potentially give you more opportunities to make a test work with your schedule (and your body clock).

However, registration hasn’t opened yet, so there’s still no information available about where the tests will be offered.  Because of the increased technical requirements for test centers under the CBT format, we expect that seats might be limited.  My personal recommendation? Sign up for a text or email alert on the ACT's website to be the first to know when the September test registration opens, and then sign up as soon as possible to ensure that you get a seat in your preferred location.

Still have more questions?

Check out our original "Digital ACT" post - there’s a lot more information there.  And if you have any dúvidas that haven’t yet been addressed, reach out to your instructors and Academic Advisors.  They’ll help you come up with some CBT-specific strategies for the new testing format and make sure that you’re well prepared come September!

Changes to the ACT Coming September 2018

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In September, the ACT will be making two changes to the test, one of which affects students with accommodations, one that does not. 

Students receiving an accommodation of 50% extra time will be required to have the time divided proportionally among all of the sections rather than having the option to allocate the additional time as they choose. 

Students without accommodations will see a new 5th section of the test appearing. This will be a short, 20-minute section that will "contain the same sorts of questions as the rest of the test" according to the ACT, although they were not able to say what the topic of the questions would be. This section will be experimental and will not impact students' scores.

These changes will be appearing in the US in September.

As always, if you have any question about this announcement or wish to speak with a LogicPrep advisor, we are more than happy to discuss. Click the button below to reach out today!

The International ACT Goes Digital - For Real (...We Think)

The ACT has talked about it forever, but it looks like it’s finally happening -- starting in September 2018, the ACT will be completely computer-based for students outside the US.

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At least, all signs point that way. The ACT still hasn’t put out an official press release on the matter, but it did recently post a set of Frequently Asked Questions for international students, parents, and counselors. According to that document (posted in March 2018), “the first administration of the computer-based ACT to international examinees is planned for September 2018.”

Further specifics about the computer-based test can be difficult to find through the ACT’s website, so we did some background research for you to answer some of the questions you might have as test-takers:

So wait - you mean the paper ACT won’t be offered internationally anymore?

That’s right. If the ACT rolls out international computer-based testing as planned, the paper test will no longer be available internationally after the September 2018 launch.

But don’t panic! Aside from the administration format, the test itself will still be the same test that you know and love (well… the same test that you know, at least). The content will be the same, the sections will be the same, the scoring will be the same, the score reporting process will be the same, the timing will likely be the same…

Wait, wait - what do you mean the timing will likely be the same?

The FAQs state that the “ACT is currently conducting research studies. At this time, it is not anticipated that there will be a significant change in testing times.” The ACT seems reluctant to say anything definitively, but a representative that I spoke with on the phone expressed the same sentiment as the document. They’re not making promises, but they suggest that timing will probably be the same as what you’re used to from the paper test.

Okay, okay - so how is the ACT going to look?

It gets a little tricky here. The ACT’s own resources point to two different websites for you to test out sample testing interfaces.

  1. ACT® Academy™ (which is referred to in the FAQ document), has a pretty simple view with not too many bells and whistles. The screen is split into two sides - the left shows the passage and the right shows the question (or, in the case of the Math section, the left shows the question and the right shows the answer choices). You can select your answer choice or skip to move on to the next question, but that’s pretty much all the interface has to offer.
  2. TestNav, on the other hand, which the ACT refers to on its Online Testing Information for Examinees, has a lot more tools for test takers. The general view shows you not only what question you’re on out of how many questions in total, but also how much time is left. There’s also a five-minute warning that pops up right on your computer screen, so you don’t have to worry about your proctor forgetting to give you a heads up when the section is almost over. You can skip questions, bookmark ones to come back to, and pull up a Review Questions view that allow you to easily go back to those dúvidas before time is up.
    Some other cool tools on the TestNav interface include an answer choice eliminator (which allows you to cross off answers that you know are incorrect), an answer masker (which allows you to hide the answer choices when reading the question), a line reader (which allows you to display only one line of text at a time), and a magnifier (which allows you to - you guessed it - magnify the text or figure within the magnifying window). In the English and Reading section, questions that refer to specific lines also highlight the relevant text in the passage, making it easier for you to find and go back to that information.

So which site is more similar to the one that you’ll see in September? The representative I spoke with informed me that that ACT was still “putting the final touches” on the test-taking interface for students and that it would release more information about what the actual format looks like (along with practice resources for students) “later in the summer.” So basically, stay tuned until more information is released.

What does this mean for me as a test taker?

Well, some of your strategies will need to change. You won’t be able to write on the physical test, for one, which can make the Reading and the Science passages harder (since you can’t underline the text or draw on the tables and figures). It’ll also be slightly more difficult to scan through questions in a given passage to quickly identify which ones look easy or which ones have line references since each question is displayed individually. That means that any strategies involving the order in which you answer the questions may be somewhat less valuable time-savers than they would be on the paper test.

On the other hand, there are some things that the computer-based test might actually help you with. I find that some of my math students are more accurate when I put math problems on the screen and ask the students to solve using either the table or scratch paper in front of them. These students actually end up writing out more of their work when the question is on a surface they can’t write on, which leads them to make fewer careless mistakes. The lesson to learn here is to use your scratch paper - a lot.

The Writing (aka Essay) section is another section where the computer-based format will actually be helpful. I know that most of you reading are with me in that you also type significantly faster than you write on paper, so timing will probably be less of an issue with the computer-based test. As far as other features go (such as the ability to cut and paste text from one section of your essay to another)… they might be available to you, but don’t count on them. The ACT representative I spoke with seemed to think that the word processor in the testing interface would not include these abilities, but I know that other standardized computer-based tests, such as the GRE, do. If I were to venture a guess, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ACT were to follow suit.

Long story short, when you take the ACT on a computer screen, some things will be easier and some will be harder -- practice will help you to smooth out the challenges. I had some experience with computer-based standardized tests when I took the GRE a few years ago. I definitely found some things frustrating - like not being able to mark up the physical test - but with practice, you do learn to adjust.

So how do I practice? 

Number 1 - keep doing the paper tests. The most important thing about the test - the content - is not changing, and all the same preparation you’ve done (and will do) on paper will still be relevant to the new format.

Once the ACT finalizes the computer-based format, it promises to “provide a tutorial and practice questions” in the style of the real test. Like I said before, this will probably be released in late June or July, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, the ACT does have some practice resources you can play around with -- they just might not be the exact format that you’ll see in September. The ones I mentioned before -- ACT® Academy™ and TestNav -- are free, and there’s also ACT Online Prep, which is available for purchase through the ACT website.

And rest assured -- we’ve got you covered. Those of you who have already worked with LogicPrep know that we have always been dedicated to the continuous development of our proprietary software to support our students’ growth. We'll guide you through the new strategies every step of the way.

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Are there any other implications? 

Yes. First of all, register early. At least in the first year, the ACT will not allow students to bring in their own laptops to use for the test. This means that testing centers will have to limit the available seats based on how many computers they have for students to use. The ACT promises to use a combination of existing test centers and new commercial testing centers to meet demand, but to ensure that you have a seat at your desired testing center, we recommend that you sign up as soon as registration opens in July.

The flipside of the potentially limited seats on a given test date is that there will likely be more test dates to choose from. Currently, there are five international test dates, with one in September, October, December, April, and June. With the switch to computer-based testing, there could be as many as six testing windows (in September, October, December, February, April, and June) with four test sessions for in each (Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon). It’s not clear whether you can select your preferred time, and the ACT has not promised that all sessions will be available at all testing centers, but one way or another, there will likely be more than five sessions opening for registration in July.

Another implication - this one’s a good one - is that you’ll get your scores sooner! Multiple choice scores will be delivered as early as 2-3 days after the exam, so no more agonizing waits of 3+ weeks for your results!

Phew - that’s a lot of information. Let’s recap!

tl;dr (parents, this stands for “too long; didn’t read”)

  • DON’T panic. The content of the test (which is the part you need to study) is staying the same. The computer-based format will make some things easier and some things harder-- but you’ll adjust with practice.

  • However, if you’re applying at the end of 2018, DO try to get your ACT out of the way before the change, if possible. If you can avoid having to rework some of the strategies that you’ve practiced with the paper-based test, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in September.

  • If you are taking the test in September, sign up EARLY once registration opens in July. Testing centers will probably be switching around a little bit, and you’ll want to make sure you get a seat reserved in your preferred location!

  • Finally, stay tuned. There’s a lot of information that the ACT still hasn’t released, and more will definitely be reported later this summer (i.e. June/July). Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted, and as always, we’ll be prepared to support you through all the changes in the test-prep world.

LogicPrep São Paulo Grand Re-Opening 2018 (PHOTOS!)

LogicPrep São Paulo has a new home!

We recently opened a brand new, expanded office and celebrated by having a Grand Re-Opening party! Enjoy photos from the celebration below!

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.

We've Expanded! LogicPrep São Paulo Has a New Address

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We moved this weekend! All future lessons will be held in our new, expanded space.

Rua Oscar Freire, 530 1º andar
Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP
Brazil

Details on our grand re-opening party coming soon!