14 episodes

Applying to college is competitive, anxiety-provoking, and potentially the most rewarding part of high school. Since 2000, Tutor Ted has been on the front lines of getting into college through his ACT and SAT prep students, and really, since he applied to Princeton himself. In this podcast, Ted talks with admissions officers, college counselors, test prep tutors, and former clients to hear their perspective on best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and more than anything, staying sane while navigating the college admissions process. Ted promises to stick to his policy of keeping it “non-boring” too, so hopefully we’ll have some fun along the way.

Tutor Ted Talks College Admissions Ted Dorsey, M.A.

    • Education for Kids
    • 4.0, 21 Ratings

Applying to college is competitive, anxiety-provoking, and potentially the most rewarding part of high school. Since 2000, Tutor Ted has been on the front lines of getting into college through his ACT and SAT prep students, and really, since he applied to Princeton himself. In this podcast, Ted talks with admissions officers, college counselors, test prep tutors, and former clients to hear their perspective on best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and more than anything, staying sane while navigating the college admissions process. Ted promises to stick to his policy of keeping it “non-boring” too, so hopefully we’ll have some fun along the way.

    Episode 14: College Essay Guy, The Sequel

    Episode 14: College Essay Guy, The Sequel

    Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy, returns to the show for Part 2 of his conversation with Ted. In this follow-up, they “get down to the nitty gritty” of writing an awesome college essay, detailing the four qualities that are essay must-haves. Ethan shares an example of an extremely well-written piece that has both guys saying “whooooaaaa.” (0:30)

    Ethan explains how to evaluate and improve a first draft of an essay using the four necessary qualities. He and Ted discuss how to delve deeper into the Big Four while keeping the composition concise. They talk about the importance of vulnerability in writing and Ethan describes three ways to tap into that vulnerability. (11:46)

    Astronomical terminology. Macroscopic verbiage. Elephantine language unit. Monolithic vocable…Big words. Whether they add to or detract from an essay depends a lot on how many are used and why they are chosen over their simpler counterparts. (26:00)

    Advice on how to evaluate and give feedback on a student’s draft of their essay; what to focus on first and what to leave until later in the process. (29:00)

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

    • 31 min
    Episode 13: Keep Calm And Test On

    Episode 13: Keep Calm And Test On

    Ted speaks with Gail Meyer, President Emeritus of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (ICEA) and an educational consultant specializing in college admissions. Before getting into college admissions she spent 17 years as a clinical social worker specializing in working with adolescents and their families. Gail brings all of her education, skill, and passion for helping students achieve their goals to her current career.

    Ted asks Gail if she has noticed colleges catering to students today more than they have in the past. She believes colleges are looking to make offers to students whose admission would be beneficial to both the student and the institution. They talk about the importance of self-assessment when a student is looking for the right match in colleges. (2:40)

    As they discuss the overlap of working in the mental health field with working in education consulting, Ted and Gail agree that a student’s anxiety can be hugely detrimental to their preparation for college. Gail stresses the importance of listening to, and truly hearing, the students they work with. (5:30)

    Gail shares insights on how the college admissions landscape has shifted in the last few years, e.g. financial planning, early decision admission for freshmen, and stauncher competition. Later, she and Ted get into more common misconceptions students and their families have about the admissions process. (13:25)

    As Ted puts the Problem of the Day to Gail, they experience some test anxiety of their own. (23:00)

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

     

     

     

    • 28 min
    Episode 12: You’re Getting Very, Very Sleepy/Good At Writing College Essays…

    Episode 12: You’re Getting Very, Very Sleepy/Good At Writing College Essays…

    Ted introduces Ethan Sawyer, the “College Essay Guy,” a nationally recognized college essay expert. Ethan has a degree from Northwestern in screenwriting and English, an MFA from UC Irvine, two certificates in college counseling and one in hypnotherapy. He utilizes all of this extensive education, as well as his own core values of connection and community, to help students uncover their potential and achieve their dreams. (0:50)

    Ted asks Ethan about hypnotherapy and how it can help people who are struggling to construct their college essays. Ethan describes his technique and some of the amazing results that have come from this novel approach. (8:40)

    The guys discuss that dreaded question: What is Your Story? Such a vague and open-ended phrase does little to stimulate one’s creativity, not to mention the reductive nature of such a query. Not to worry! Ted and Ethan have tips on thinking about this a bit differently so you can construct a successful and meaningful narrative. (13:15)

    Ethan talks about his process with students and the journey of self-discovery they need to take to take to get that perfect college essay. In the process, he challenges them to identify and overcome blocks and inspires them to stay true to themselves and their values. (15:00)

    Find out more about Ethan’s approach in Episode 13, where he’ll join Ted again and they’ll disclose the 4 qualities an essay needs to have to be successful. Also in the next episode, he puts Ted on the spot by asking him to go through the process that a student would while working with Ethan. (20:25)

    The College Essay Guy offers a range of services, from his own podcast and free materials on his website, to live online courses, boot camps, and one-on-one sessions. He has a pay-what-you-can online course beginning in September that you can sign up for now. Check out his site and come back to hear more from Ethan and Ted in Episode 13. (25:24)

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

    • 28 min
    Episode 11: Clowning Toward Infinity

    Episode 11: Clowning Toward Infinity

    Ryan Harrison returns to discuss some of the most common SAT/ACT conspiracy theories, myths, and old wives tales out there. First, though, the guys share a few of the school-themed nightmares they’ve experienced while asleep. Ryan’s range from getting in trouble with his parents to getting lost in the hallways, while Ted’s are of a more musical variety. (4:00)

     

    Myth No. 1: The tests are easier or harder depending on which test date you take them. (5:30)

    Myth No. 2: Test prep is all about learning “the tricks.” (10:10)

    Myth No. 3: Some colleges prefer scores from one test over the other. (20:30)

    Myth No. 4: The SAT was designed to identify gifted students. (24:33)

    Myth No. 5: The ACT is actually a circus put together by a band of clowns. (34:32)

    Listen in as Ted asks Ryan to determine which myths are true and which are false; the answers may surprise you! They also dive into the origin stories of the tales and whether even the false ones have a kernel of truth deep within.

     

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

    • 38 min
    Episode 10: Looking At College Admission Through Rose-Colored Glasses

    Episode 10: Looking At College Admission Through Rose-Colored Glasses

    Ted takes a field trip to Campbell Hall High School to speak with their director of college counseling, Jennifer Simpson. As a self-proclaimed “recovering life planner,” Jennifer uses her strategist superpowers to help individual students identify and prepare for their best path for after graduation. (0:43)

    Jennifer shares some of the biggest misconceptions she encounters regarding the college application and admission processes. She and Ted consider the impact of perception and attitude in the experience. (6:20)

    Ted asks Jennifer where she falls on his College Admission Cynicism Spectrum, and whether she believes students should be involved in activities as purely a means to an end. Hear her thoughts on such a singular approach and her impassioned plea for adults to guide their kids along a more inquiry-based path. (17:25)

    Jennifer and Ted discuss the growing globalization of higher education. While this movement does create added competition for potential students, it also serves to cultivate environments of diversity and learning. Ted takes a deep dive into the cynicism whirlpool but Jennifer’s optimism pulls him back into more positive waters. (29:33)

    For the Problem of the Day, Ted chooses a question from the US History SAT subject test. Jennifer, with an assist from one of her students at Campbell Hall, masterfully handles this issue of 18th century women’s rights. If you don’t have a helpful AP History student of your own, look for clues in the wording of the question to find the correct answer. (46:16)

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

    • 50 min
    Episode 9: We Like Problems, Yes We Do

    Episode 9: We Like Problems, Yes We Do

    Wes Carroll- MIT grad, podcast host, math tutor, educational coach/consultant, and Ted-proclaimed “Master Problem Solver”- joins the show for Episode 9. Wes explains how learning to problem solve is more than simply learning how to answer test questions correctly; in fact, this type of thinking is a skill that will serve students through college and beyond. Ted and Wes discuss the difference between classroom exercises and true problem solving and weigh in on which is more important to a student’s success. (0:50)

    Check out Wes’ website to learn more about his tutoring and how he can help high school students become better thinkers. Also, take a listen to his podcast for more fun problem solving practice!

    Ted and Wes chat about mathematician George Polya’s 1947 book How To Solve It, a guide to the principles of problem solving. Both are big fans of Polya’s strategy of making a plan and breaking a challenging problem into parts to find the answer. (9:00)

    Ted asks Wes if good thinking and problem solving are things a tutor can teach and a student can develop. They discuss the self-evaluative process of a successful problem solver. Ted humbly admits he has a tendency to always immediately pick the best method to solve a problem but Wes believes there’s more to it than chance. (17:00)

    After discussing the theories, quandaries, and philosophies of problem solving, Ted and Wes finally get to solving some problems! Wes has brought some interesting examples from his puzzler podcast so he and Ted work on a few to close out the show. (33:06)

    Have a question or comment for Ted and the show? Email and check out his website!

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Tblober ,

Great stuff

Very informative podcast on the importance of test prep and admissions.

WynnVegas ,

First rate advice!

So much about the college admissions process is fraught with stress and anxiety, but Ted delivers first rate advice from years of expertise in such an entertaining, even funny way that you start to actually believe that it's all going to be okay!

Jonah4352 ,

Fun and Informative

This podcast is perfectly balanced between entertaining and educational. There is so much information out there abut test and college prep, but this podcast cuts through the overwhelm and makes it feel easy. Looking forward to more

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