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Q: My daughter is a high school junior this year and I noticed the ACT test is offered multiple times throughout the year. When is the best time to take it? Is there a limit to the number of times she can take it?

A: The ACT is offered in February, twice in April (in Illinois), June, September, October and December. Students at public schools in Illinois must take the test at the end of April. I recommend students take either the December or February test, before preparing for the April test. This gives them practice with the testing situation, helps alleviate anxiety and allows strengths and weaknesses to be assessed. Test booklet and answers can be requested for the December, mid-April and June tests for an additional fee of $19 and can be helpful in determining the types of errors made and developing a plan for improvement. The test can be taken as many times as a student chooses. The student has control over which scores are sent to colleges. Some colleges accept a "super score" which takes the highest subtest (English, Reading, Math, Science) from each test taken and averages them to obtain the overall score.

Q: Is there really a 'best' time to put my house on the market?

A: Typically the housing market picks up and is most saturated in the Spring. Though, much less inventory in the Winter months provides greater odds and less competition!

Q: Are there any specific measures one should take when preparing their home for fire safety in the Winter months?

A: Mark Pukanitis, Naperville's Fire Chief, has helped us out with the answer

  • Have your furnace cleaned and checked
  • Ensure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly and has fresh batteries
  • Do not use space heaters
  • Avoid the use of candles and open flame
  • Use extreme caution when using a natural fireplace, be sure the vent is opened to allow for gases to be released
  • Do not burn anything other than wood logs in the fireplace
  • Ensure that smoke detectors are functioning properly and have fresh batteries
  • Avoid the use of extension cords for holiday decorations
  • Use a surge protector when plugging in multiple electrical devices into one outlet
  • Inspect appliances and electrical items for frayed and defective wiring

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