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Questions For: Kathleen Harbottle 

Academic Scholars Tournament (May 18 at Cal Poly) executive director

NEW TIMES What is the goal of this Academic Scholars Tournament?

HARBOTTLE The first is to motivate students to begin early preparation for their college entrance exams. Our second goal is to develop confidence in the scholars. The students are put on teams of three so it’s a positive, fun environment. The third is to reward the students for their academic success.


NEW TIMES How many competitors have signed up already, and how many are you expecting?

HARBOTTLE We already have scholars from Templeton, Morro Bay, Mission Prep, and some others. Students can register on our website, We really want to limit it to 100; I don’t want to just throw out a number, but we have a feeling the event will be very popular.


NEW TIMES What do students tend to struggle with the most when taking these tests?

HARBOTTLE Honestly, self-confidence more than anything else. A little bit of preparation can make a world of difference on test day. When they feel ready, the confidence is invaluable.


NEW TIMES Is there a prize for winning?

HARBOTTLE Yes. We are currently seeking donations from the local community or any business to donate any gift cards or items that we can give to the participants. But this is also something students can put on their college applications.


NEW TIMES Where are you getting the questions for the tournament?

HARBOTTLE The tournament questions are based on ACT/SAT type questions. We develop all of the questions and they are very similar to the questions that students will see on the test.


NEW TIMES Is there any pre-tournament practice material online?

HARBOTTLE We are sending out a monthly newsletter to the students that have already registered with some tips for vocab building, question of the day, so we suggest registering to get some tips and strategies.


NEW TIMES If you could submit a question for the ACT or SAT test, what would it be?

HARBOTTLE What is eight more than twice the greatest negative integer?


NEW TIMES What is the answer?

HARBOTTLE Six. Of course, the key here is that the greatest possible negative integer is negative 1, so vocabulary is important.

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