Simply Smarter

Simply Smarter

Welcome to the Simply Smarter Podcast hosted by College Prep Expert Caleb Pierce and Marketing Director Jill Purcell. On this show, we’ll help families navigate some of the areas surrounding the college prep process by providing college and ACT related advice for students and their families. Listen each week to find out how students can score better on college placement tests, with techniques and methods that build confidence, beat test anxiety, and identify strengths within each student.


October 17, 2023 20 mins

On this episode, Caleb and Jill dive into the controversial topic of whether you should take the ACT/SAT, or if you might be better off without it? They'll explore scenarios in which taking a standardized test is beneficial for you or not.

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College Counseling

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In today's episode, Jill has the pleasure of interviewing one of our Standard-Level Tutors, Meredith Vaughn.  Meredith opens up about her high school experience, her college prep process, and the honest truth about trusting yourself.

Listen to Meredith's interview to learn more.

Meredith Vaughn

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May 10, 2023 29 mins
It's a question we hear often and there is a lot of talk surrounding the topic. Should students take the ACT or SAT? Caleb and Jill chat about which schools require it, which schools are test optional and which schools are test blind. Plus, within colleges which programs require an ACT/SAT.

Free ACT/SAT Practice Test

ACT Private Tutoring 

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October 26, 2022 32 mins

What are the current trends in college admissions? Caleb and Jill tackle some of the effects Covid-19 has had on students and learning as well as their mental well-being, stress level and test anxiety.

Free ACT/SAT Practice Test

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September 7, 2022 37 mins

The GRE General Test is a computer-delivered test that features question types that features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in today's graduate school programs. Caleb and Jill break down who takes the GRE, the timing of the test, where and when to take the test, and what the test covers.

For GRE Test Prep visit our website.

To check out the 1,300 business schools tha...

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April 20, 2022 23 mins

Today we sit down with one of our Premier-Level Tutors, Audrey Hazzard, who has been a tutor with Get Smarter Prep for over ten years. Audrey talks about the changes she has seen in the tutoring industry over the past ten years and offers advice to high school students who are taking on more than they can handle.

Free Practice Test every Saturday morning.

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April 13, 2022 14 mins

We're back! After taking a few months off, Caleb and Jill are back to talk about a few updates surrounding Get Smarter Prep as well as what current Juniors should be focusing on right now. Of course, we don't want to leave out Sophomores or Seniors, so we have some guidance as to what those students can do as well.

Also, Caleb is traveling to Austin for a big birthday celebration! Can you guess how old he is tur...

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A Decade of Changes with Stephen Heiner: Part Two continues.  Season Five of the Simply Smarter Podcast kicks off with a look back at all of the changes within the past 10 years, featuring Stephen Heiner.  Stephen was the President of Get Smarter Prep from 2006-2012. He turns the tables on Caleb and Jill and asks them questions about how Get Smarter Prep has adapted within the decade. 

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Season Five of the Simply Smarter Podcast kicks off with a look back at all of the changes within the past 10 years, featuring Stephen Heiner.  Stephen was the President of Get Smarter Prep from 2006-2012. He turns the tables on Caleb and Jill and asks them questions about how  Get Smarter Prep has adapted within the decade. 

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December 1, 2021 22 mins

On this episode, we take a look at the approaching deadlines students need to look at in the next few months. Caleb and Jill break down what students and parents will need to accomplish in December, January, and February including essays, FAFSA, letters of recommendation and more.

We've also teamed up with Tamara Day of HGTV's Bargain Mansions! We are currently helping her family with Academic Tutoring and ACT P...

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November 17, 2021 22 mins

On today's episode, we break down just how many times students need to take the ACT. Here's a's different for everyone. From scholarships to Honors Programs to college admittance, your ACT will have an impact.

Listen to find out how many times you should take the ACT.

 ACT Prep 

Free Practice ACT Test

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October 5, 2021 34 secs
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September 22, 2021 24 mins

On today's episode, Caleb and Jill break down the newest changes within the reading section of the ACT called "Visual and Quantitative Information" questions.  These new questions were recently released on the July ACT. We talk about how these VQI questions will negatively or positively affect students' scores.

Plus, stay tuned for a new program we will be releasing next summer! As always, sign up for ...

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June 30, 2021 19 mins

On today's episode, Jill gets to know Get Smarter Prep's new Director of Enrollment, Stacey Jacks. We get to know about her background, her favorites, and more about what her role at Get Smarter Prep will be.  If you don't know about her interesting food choices, now is the time to enlighten your senses.  Listen now wherever you get your podcasts. 

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May 19, 2021 25 mins

Today's Simply Smarter episode will  cover what high school students should be thinking about between their Sophomore Year and Junior Year. What can students start doing now to prepare for college during the summer before their Junior Year? 🌞 Hint, it's not all work!

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College Handcrafted

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Do I need to take the ACT or not? Do I really need an ACT score to get into college? On today's episode, Caleb and Jill tackle a few of the questions surrounding college admissions. We seem to be hearing the same questions from different parents and we wanted to clarify what colleges are looking for, specifically for the class of 2022 and beyond.

Get Smarter Prep

Free ACT Practice Test 

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April 21, 2021 29 mins

On today's episode, Caleb and Jill discuss the difference between Academic Scholarships and Athletic Scholarships as well as the divisions among athletic scholarships. They also point out different scholarships that may not be very common, but are available.  

If you're ready to find scholarships for college, make sure to listen to today's show! 


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March 30, 2021 31 mins

This month, Get Smarter Prep celebrates our 15-Year Anniversary! To commemorate this milestone, Caleb and Jill look back over the last fifteen years to where Get Smarter Prep started. They walk through the history of Get Smarter Prep from the founder, the tutors, the partners, and to the future.

15 Year Anniversary blog

Caleb Pierce & Jill Purcell

ACT Prep Services

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January 27, 2021 41 mins

On today's episode, we have two very special guests from The Future of Us joining us, Brenan Latimer and Precious Awopetu.  The two of them identified a disparity in the amount of college opportunities as well as support for students from more affluent communities than their own.  Caleb and Jill dive into what their experiences were and discuss how they are now helping high school students achieve college success.


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November 24, 2020 19 mins

On today's episode, Caleb and Jill wrap up what's left of 2020's school year and move onto 2021. They also talk about potential ACT dates that are fitting for students, creating realistic goals, and ending the year on a positive note.

If you know of a well-deserving student who would benefit from an ACT Scholarship through Get Smarter Prep, please nominate them! Moving into 2021, GSP will be awarding a stud...

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