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Tips For Improving Your Standardized Test Scores

test Tips For Improving Your Standardized Test ScoresStandardized test taking can be a very stressful experience. Don’t freak out. Standardized test scores are important, but they are not the primary factor in deciding whether or not you get accepted by the college of your choice. If tests make you cringe, you can compensate for less-than-stellar test scores by having a solid GPA, volunteer work, well-rounded abilities and a heavy amount of extra-curricular activities.

Even though your standardized test scores aren’t the sole deciding factor in your application, you should still make every effort to ensure that your scores are up where they should be. Here’s a few suggestions to help you improve your standardized test scores.

Take the PSAT. The PSAT is offered to juniors in high school during the month of October. The PSAT is just a Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. It does not count toward your real SAT scores. The PSAT is optional, but you should really take it. It’s like a trial run that will familiarize you with the format and process of taking a standardized test. These tests take hours and have different sections, so you can practice your test taking stamina and see what subjects you score strongly in and what subjects you still need work on. Because it’s not the real thing, you’ll still have time to improve the areas that you need to work on, before you sit down and take the real test. There’s also a preliminary ACT test known as the pre-American College Test.

Consider getting a tutor, buying a study guide or enrolling in a test-taking course. The more you prepare for your standardized test, like the SAT or ACT (most colleges accept both), the less surprised you will be come test day, and the better you will be able to perform. These tests are marathons of scholastic output, and the more familiar you are with the format, the better you’ll be.

If you work well in a one-on-one environment, get a tutor before you take the test. If you learn better on your own, just buy a study book with sample tests and familiarize yourself with the format at your own pace. If you require a more structured approach, consider enrolling in a professional test taking course. These courses can be pretty expensive, but they can teach you valuable tricks and strategies that’ll give you noticeably better scores.

Get a good night’s rest before you take your test. Don’t show up late, don’t forget to eat a good meal and make sure you have a water bottle, some snacks, some headache medication and extra pencils handy. Practice controlling your stress. Try meditation, massage your temples or do whatever it takes to stay relaxed, calm and focused on the task at hand.

If you prepare properly, your standardized test taking experience will be a breeze. You will not be surprised or confused by particular sections or questions. If you invested your studying time accordingly, then you will not freak out. If you just have a crippling fear of multiple choice questions, that’s okay. Spend time developing your other application attributes (like grades, activities, an award winning personal essay, etc). Make every effort to improve your scores, and if your quantitative scores are not up to par, then overshadow them with your superior qualitative features.

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posted by qualitypatrick in Finishing H.S.,Studying/Test Taking and have No Comments

10 Tips On Surviving Senior Year

memory book 22 1 10 Tips On Surviving Senior Year1.Take college application seriously.

If you didn't start your junior year, the beginning of senior year is when you need to decide which schools you will visit and which schools you'll apply to.

2.Make an appointment with your guidance counselor.

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of schools to which you could apply, you're not alone. The good news is that your guidance counselor is sitting in his or her office right now with stacks and stacks of materials to help you develop a list of schools to apply to.

3. Get Rid of What You Don't Need

If you're not already inundated with marketing materials from every college in the land, you will be by the end of your visit with your guidance counselor. Do yourself a favor. If you know a school does not appeal to you, don't take the brochures. If they get mailed to your house, throw them away. Though you should probably consider some schools that aren't you're magically perfect ideal, there are also some that you will know just are not right. For example, if you have no intention of moving to Maine, then you don't need to hang onto that Bowdoin brochure any longer.

4.Keep Track of What You Do Need

You've met with your guidance counselor; you know which schools you want to investigate if not apply to. Your guidance counselor has probably sent you home with some materials, and probably more are on the mail. It's not a bad idea to set up a filing system for yourself so that when you are ready to work on your applications, you know exactly where each one is.

5.Don't Procrastinate.

Applying to college can be a very scary thing, but don't hide from it. The sooner you get to work on your applications, the better off you'll be.

6.Don't fall prey to senioritis.

This terrible condition strikes many students in their last year of high school. You have been working really hard. Don't put the brakes on now.

7.Stay rested.

To do your best in school and on your applications, make sure you're getting at least eight hours of sleep a day. To accomplish this, you will also have to pay particular attention to Tip #5.

8.Don't stay home on Saturday.

Go out and have some fun. People work more effectively when they mix it up with some downtime.

9.Spend time with friends and family.

Without getting too schmaltzy, you might be moving away next fall. Now is the time to make memories that will last a lifetime.

10.Don't take college application too seriously.

Yes, college is important. But, no, applying to it should not take over your entire life. Don't let the stress and pressure get to you.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Finding Your Degree,Finding Your School,Finishing H.S. and have Comment (1)

Strut Your Stuff! Make Yourself A Great Scholarship Candidate!

scholarships Strut Your Stuff! Make Yourself A Great Scholarship Candidate!Going to college with scholarships can greatly ease the burden on yourself and your parents. Scholarships are free money to pay for your education, books and room and board. There are scholarships everywhere and for almost anything, and the winner of the scholarship will be the candidate that best presents themselves in their application. Take these ideas under consideration when considering how to make yourself a great candidate!

Academics are the deciding factor on many scholarship awards. Most will have a grade point average (GPA) requirement. Demonstrating your ability to handle your course load and maintain a strong GPA will speak volumes about your aptitude and possibilities for success. When scholarships are awarded based on academics you have to demonstrate your desire to succeed in higher education. This starts with studying hard and doing well in your high school classes. This does not always require a 4.0 or perfect grade point average. SAT/ACT test scores can also give an indication about the possibilities for your success. Dedicate yourself to study time, focused classroom presence and maintaining a healthy balance to do your best and increase academic scholarship eligibility.

Going beyond academics, extra-curricular activities are also important to your profile as a scholarship candidate. Being a member of the drama team, debate team, band, national honor society, foreign language club or Explorer club will demonstrate that you are committed not only to your academic career. It will show that you are a well-rounded individual, and that you can handle academic studies along with social activities that will benefit y our community.

Speaking of benefiting the community, scholarship awards seem to find their ways into the hands of those with a strong sense of community service. Knowing that there is much more beyond yourself and understanding that there are people in need around you is important. Recognizing that need and feeling compelled to volunteer your time and energy to those less fortunate sends a message to scholarship committees that they are spending their money wisely on individuals who care not only about making a difference and succeeding academically, but helping others do so as well. After all, isn't that what scholarships are about?

Being a strong candidate does not depend on the type of scholarship you are applying for, it depends on the type of person applying for the scholarship. Present yourself in the best possible way by showing off your academic success, along with your desire to learn and be a vital part of your community.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Scholarships and have No Comments

Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses. What Works For YOU?

weak link Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses. What Works For YOU?Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will help you learn about yourself. Evaluating these skills is a step in the right direction. The more knowledge you have of your capabilities, the better you are to make decisions about your future.


Examining your hobbies is a good way to determine your strengths. If you lead a busy life but still find time to cultivate a hobby, then there is something about that hobby that interests you. When you’re interested in a hobby, you tend to be motivated in developing your skills. Take a look at your hobbies. What kind of skills do you use for that hobby? Does your hobby require you to use your hands? Does your hobby require you to calculate math problems? Finding the skills that are needed in your hobby helps you understand your strengths.

Also examine subjects that interest you. Ask yourself why you are interested in particular subjects. Do you love to read about modern art? Do you enjoy watching historical movies? Do you like to play sports? Determine what aspects of these subjects keep you interested. When you identify your interests, you will begin to gather information about your likes and dislikes.


Identifying your weaknesses is another way for you to identify your strengths and skills. First find out what you’re not good at. Be honest with yourself here. Are you horrible at math? Do you hate to read? Ask yourself these types of questions.

There are two types of weaknesses: weaknesses that should be improved and weaknesses that are dislikes.

After you identify your weaknesses, figure out if they are skills that you need to improve. Just because you are not good at something doesn’t mean you’ll never have to learn those skills. If those skills are needed for the path you want to follow, then by all means spend some time improving those skills.

You will find that some weaknesses are just dislikes. Maybe you’re not good at working in an office environment. This is not necessarily a weakness that needs to be improved. This shows a lack of interest in being cooped up working in an office all day. Don’t force yourself into situations that you don’t like. You may be the type of person that needs to work in the outdoors or in non-office environments such as hospitals or warehouses.

Finding your strengths will help you make decisions about your direction in life. Finding your weaknesses will help you improve your skills but will also help you find your dislikes. You will be much more equipped to make decisions when you have identified these aspects about yourself.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Developing your Strengths and have No Comments

Going Greek: Is it Right For You?

greek Going Greek: Is it Right For You?Depending on the college your enrolled in going Greek may be anything from a major lifestyle change to few extracurricular activities. It makes a difference what kind of a presence Greek life has in your school as to whether or not it is right for you.More prevalent in the south, some northern fraternities and sororities are simply small clubs that gather for occasional parties and get togethers. It may make you somewhat of an oddity to join one if they don't have a persuasive effect in the schools social and academic scene. There are benefits, however, to living the Greek life in a school that has a powerful Greek presence.

This is not to say that smaller schools have no prevalent Greek life. It may be the only choice to have any social life at all. Larger schools with bigger student populations offer other possibilities for friendship and outside school activities. Variations in Greek life are so wide it is best to consider the most basic pros and cons and then apply them to your own situation.

Housing is most often a big pro in the Greek life. Rushing (or joining) a fraternity or sorority can provide you with a large dorm house full of all the comforts of home. While not all schools have housing for the frats it can be a great alternative to dorm rooms. You share housework and responsibilities with your house brothers or sisters and get a general feeling of family that is hard to find away from home.

The Greek system has established itself to build better people through athletics, leadership building activities, community service, scholarship and most widely publicized – social life. They spend as much or more time on charity and community events as on socializing and partying. Membership in Greek organizations offers students opportunities to develop strong leadership potential by heading up various charitable projects for school and community. Membership can also provide students with lifetime friendships and future professional connections because Greeks have a reputation of staying loyal for years after graduation.

The Greek system offers fantastic ways to help students in their academic careers. A major goal of Greek life is to help and encourage pledges and members in achieving their absolute highest academic potential. Greek organizations give academic support programs such as national and local scholarships and grants, personal incentives and awards, workshops, tutoring and study sessions.
The social life of Greeks has been widely publicized in movies like Animal House, and although it's not all fun and games there is a fair amount of fun. Greeks are active in their schools and communities and never have a drought of events to attend.

Consider your alternatives and the presence and character of the Greek life in your school before rushing a fraternity or sorority. But chances are, you'll find something you like.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Campus College,College Life,Going to College and have No Comments

5 Ways To Get Into The College Of Your Choice

acceptance letter1 300x225 5 Ways To Get Into The College Of Your ChoiceCollege is all about personal preference. You need to pick the school that’s right for you and nobody else but you. If you have a particular university that’s high on your list, there are certain measures you can take that will improve the likelihood of you getting accepted.

Here are five tips that’ll help you get into the college of your choice.

1. Have good grades and test scores

To make the first cut, you got to have the numbers. Most universities start sifting through applicants based on minimum GPA and test score requirements. These requirements can be found in publications that rank different programs, and you can also find these minimum figures on the admissions page of your prospective college’s website. If your GPA is less than stellar, then you need to compensate with high tests scores. If your standardized test scores are below the minimum requirements, then you’ll have to pick up the slack with excellent grades.

2. Write an award winning personal essay

The personal essay is the most customizable part of your application. It tells the admissions office who you are as a person, how well you can communicate and what you will bring to the table as a potential student. Tout your successes in your essay, and use the essay as a forum to explain any anomalies in your application. Whatever you choose to write on, make sure you have a tightly organized, well-argued composition that avoids clichés and sounds original.

3. Send in quality letters of recommendation

Don’t underestimate the impact of quality letters of recommendation. If you know a teacher who would gladly take a bullet for you, then have them voice their enthusiasm in a written letter. Follow carefully when including your letters of recommendation. Some colleges require letter writers to fall under specific categories (i.e. your letter must be written by someone who has taught you in the past year). Try to collect praise from multiple enthusiastic sources, so that you appear like a well rounded student. Letters of recommendation can also be written by employers, coaches or religious leaders.

4. Don’t slack off in high school

Your high school performance, both in and out of the classroom, are vital to your application’s success. You need to have plenty of extracurricular activities, but you also need to illustrate dedication, leadership, responsibility and achievement. It’s better to excel at a few things than try and overload your schedule with fleeting tasks. Be sure to explain why you chose a specific activity, and what benefits you derived from it.

5. Apply early, and if you don’t get in at first, appeal the decision or plan to transfer

Applying early can increase your chances of getting in. Don’t wait until a day before your deadline; send your application materials in as soon as possible. There are more spots and fewer applicants at the beginning of the admission process. As the deadline draws closer, there are more applicants and few spots to fill. If you don’t get in to the school of your choice, then consider appealing the decision. If that doesn’t work, you can always go to a junior college, complete your general education requirements and the transfer in two years.

If you plan ahead and dedicate yourself to achieving your goals, then there’s nothing to prevent you from getting into the college of your choice. Whether you succeed or fail is entirely up to you.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Getting Accepted and have No Comments

Determine What’s Important While You’re In School

Higher Education Determine Whats Important While Youre In SchoolThese days, a huge emphasis is being placed on the importance of education. But, as everyone knows, a lot more happens in school than just learning. School plays an important role in shaping the social lives of students, which could determine future adult relationships. But do you know how to determine what's important while you're in school?

The first step of learning how to determine what's important while you're in school is to think about where you want to go after school. Will you go on to further your education, going to a different school for higher learning? Will you join the work force? Will you pursue goals of having a home and family? Knowing where you want to go is very important when deciding where you want to end up. Know where you want the future to take you to know how to determine what's important while you're in school.

If you have an idea of where you want your future to lead, you can focus on how to determine what's important while you're in school. The school life you lead now will have a direct impact on the future life that you make for yourself. If higher education is in the picture, it's important that you focus on getting good grades, passing your courses, and making good test scores at the end of the school year. Knowing this, set aside some time after school every school night to devote to homework and study. Don't just work on assigned homework, but do a little extra studying every school night, reviewing things you've already learned. This will help you get good test scores, and help you maintain a high grade point average that will help you get into institutions of higher learning, like colleges and graduate courses.

If you know how to determine what's important while you're in school, you'll get the most out of the time you spend in school. Getting good grades and good test scores is important if you plan to join the work force when you graduate, as well. When you lack experience but have a strong background education, you can use your school record to impress potential employers. You'll have a better chance of getting hired if you can show employers good school attendance records and a high grade point average. Your school life can have a direct impact on you well after you have already graduated — so present the best possible picture to future employers who will be interested in your past scholarly achievements.

The most important thing to learn from school is that your past schooling and schoolwork will set a foundation for you that you can rely upon for the rest of your life. When you know how to determine what's important while you're in school, such as getting good grades and maintaining a good attendance record, you will have a better chance of succeeding in all your future endeavors. Forming study groups is a good way to socialize with other students while still staying ahead of your school work. Determine what's important while you're in school and stick to your plans for the future. There's no telling where you might end up, or how high you could potentially go.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Careers,College Life,Going to College and have No Comments

How To Pay For College If Your Parents Can’t

empty hands How To Pay For College If Your Parents CantIf you come from a limited financial background, that's no reason that you shouldn't go to college. In fact, the less financial support you have, the easier it may be to secure financial aid. Financial aid is only given out to the neediest students. That being said, there can be stiff competition for financial aid packages, so you should apply early.

If you are looking to save money on tuition, state schools are much cheaper overall than private schools–especially if you can prove residency. This is not true across the board, however. In special situations, you could potentially get a higher scholarship for a private university than financial aid at your local university. It's important to weigh all of your options. Obviously, the school with the lowest tuition is a good first bet, but there are other factors to consider as well.

A good financial aid or grant program should be able to help with tuition, room and board, and supplies. If the latter is not included, cut costs by buying and selling used textbooks. Room and board can be a huge chunk of expenses–if you can cut costs by living in a shared living space, instead of a dorm, this is recommended. The trade-off is that you will have to make your own meals, but you can save hundreds of dollars a month on rent.

Getting a job is an absolute necessity–and may be mandatory as part of your financial aid package. Many financial aid packages require that you get a job on campus–a sort of pay as you go student loan. This may be preferable to other types of student loans, as you won't be saddled with payments after you graduate. The problem is that your work study paycheck will go right back to the school, which doesn't provide money for other expenses.

Student Loans

Student loans are by far the most popular form of tuition payment: borrow now, pay later. If you get a job during the school year, much of your paycheck will be going in pocket. At the same time, it is important to start paying off your student loan early on. Defaulting on student loan payments after you graduate can have long-term consequences. As you are trying to get footing in the workforce, it can be difficult to have to spend a large chunk of your paycheck on loans.

All that said, there is no reason to not go to college just because your parents cannot afford it. They may be able to meet you halfway by fronting some of the money if you are able to find a loan from somewhere else. Even if they don't help out at all, you can still pay off tuition and other expenses through government loans, private grants, school scholarships, work study programs, and more.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Paying for School,Reducing Cost/Tuition,Scholarships and have No Comments

When Should You Start Planning for College?

MPj038725100001 When Should You Start Planning for College?It doesn't matter how old you or your child is, there's never a better time to start planning for college than today. I'm certainly not suggesting asking your three-year-old to take the SAT, but you could at least beginning planning for the financial aspect of college while your children are still young.

Educational Savings Plans

The government and various companies now offer educational savings plans. You can receive tax benefits for saving for your child's college even right after your child is born. These savings plans offer a lot of benefits and allow your child the guarantee of being able to go to college. Plus, you'll help keep them out of debt as many students leave college with $20,000-$30,000 in debt.

Sophomore Year

In my opinion, tenth grade is the defining moment in a teen's life. Although they can get away with fooling around freshman year, they can't bring up two years of bad grades as easily as they can one year's bad grades. Starting with the sophomore year, students really have to kick it in gear and begin focusing on their studies. I'm certainly not saying they should never have fun with friends, but their grades from now on will have a huge impact on their GPA and can affect which colleges they can consider.

Also in tenth grade, students should begin exploring career opportunities. If there is a shadowing program at their school, they should be involved in it. They should try to visit with professionals who are successful in their careers. A student's potential career choice will have a lot to do with the schools they visit and finally the school they choose, so you want to encourage them to take the time to explore lots of options.

One other thought on career exploration. If your student can drive now, this may be the time to push them to get an after school or summer job. Even if they are just working retail, at least they'll realize a little more about the consequences of not going to college. Spending three afternoons a week filing papers or working retail is a great way to get interested in college and careers.

Junior Year

During junior year, students should begin taking the ACT and/or SAT. Most students will take these more than once, especially if they are trying to get a scholarship, so encourage your teen to start early. They should also begin narrowing down their school choices and visiting colleges.

Senior Year

Senior year is all about applications. Your child will spend lots of time applying to schools, but convince them to apply to no more than five schools. Any more than that will leave open too many stressful decisions and will require a lot of paperwork. By Christmas, all the paperwork should be finished for both college and scholarship applications. Then, your child will be able to spend most of the Spring semester relaxing and choosing between the schools.

Start Today

The best time to start planning is today. Put together an educational savings plan and help your child develop the basic skills needed to succeed in college. Then, in high school, provide them with the support they need when making some of the biggest decisions of their lives.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Finishing H.S.,Paying for School,Strategies for Success and have Comment (1)

Do Employers Mind If My Degree Is From An Online University?

Maybe you're considering getting a degree from an online university. Maybe you've just earned one and in preparing to apply for new jobs that will make the most of it, you're wondering whether or not prospective employers will see your resume and have bad associations with your online degree. In a word, the answer is no.

Employers who require employees to have a college degree care that you have one from somewhere. Traditionally, there are about 20 colleges in the United States (the Ivies and a handful of other prominent schools) that make employers sit up and take notice about where your degree came from. If you did not attend one of these places, you are like most people, who find that the name of their school is less important to their employers than how they performed academically, and what they studied.

In fact, your online degree may set you apart in a positive way from the rest of the pack of applicants. Successfully obtaining your degree online tells prospective employers that you are a person who will get the job done even when no one is looking. Online degrees testify that their recipients are self-motivated individuals who are capable of managing multiple priorities. And whatever job you're applying for, rest assured that those are two qualities all organizations prize.

Furthermore, online universities are becoming more and more popular. While your online degree can set you apart in the aforementioned ways, you should have no fear that it will stigmatize you. Each day, it becomes more and more likely that the person you sit down to interview with may have attended the same online school that you did!

Another benefit of the online university experience in the eyes of employers is that it is designed in large part for working professionals. The fact that you've made it through an online degree program tells your prospective employer that you have had intense exposure to the types of collegial interactions you will face in the working world. Online universities emphasize and develop the ability to work with others, to manage and meet deadlines, and to be responsible for learning on your own. When you consider all of the things a degree from an online university says about you, you should realize that you're more of a proven commodity, a "safer" hire than recent graduates from brick and mortar universities.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Careers,Finding Your School,Making the Decision,Online College and have No Comments
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