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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

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

10 Basics For College Preparation

day 9 189 10 Basics For College PreparationPreparing for college can seem pretty overwhelming, but if you take the time to work on your approach, you can easily get into the college of your choice. Here are 10 suggestions that will help you successfully prepare for college.

1. Get excellent grades in high school

High schools important. Your academic performance during your junior year is especially noteworthy. If you want to make sure that you can go to your number one college choice, then you need to make the grades in high school.

2. Take college prep courses

Getting good grades is important, but having excellent marks in college prep courses is truly the way to go. When you take Advanced Placement (AP) classes, then you can boost your overall GPA. If you get decent grades on your AP tests, then you can avoid taking certain classes (i.e. Writing 101) in college. College Prep courses improve your academic skills and pump up your transcript.

3. Engage in extra-curricular activities

Your college application needs to illustrate more than just academic aptitude. You need to show admissions officers that you are a well-rounded applicant. Consider joining a sports team or school club. Do some volunteer work or take an internship somewhere. Have a part time job, become a photographer or learn a musical instrument. Whatever you do for a hobby, spin it so that you look like the busiest, most productive student in the country.

4. Apply to multiple universities

Be sure you apply to more than one school. Have at least one safe pick a guaranteed sure thing. Apply to a couple of places that you think will accept you, and choose at least one or two schools that may appear out of your reach. You just never know.

5. Visit the universities that you are considering

Make sure you visit the places you are considering. Check out the layout, the student body and the surrounding city area. If you have a specific geographical requirement (i.e. you want to go to school by the beach or near a major metropolitan city), make sure that the school you’re considering can provide the learning and living atmosphere that you’re looking for.

6. Secure as much free cash as possible

Apply for financial aid early and annually, and make sure that you fill out applications for every grant that you are eligible for. Look for scholarships until you find one that caters to your specific situation. There’s so much money to be claimed out there. Make sure you collect all you can.

7. Consider the career implications of the major you’re considering

While it’s always a good idea to follow your interests, be sure that you’ve explored the career choices that your degree will open up to you. If you have dreams of being a Nobel Prize winning physicist, then Painting is probably not the major that’ll get you there. College is an investment. If you are looking for a particular return on that investment, then you need to know what you can do with the specific degree that you’re considering.

8. Consider attending a community college and transferring to a four-year university

You can save a ton of money by taking your general education requirements at a local community college. Transferring from a city college to a top-notch four-year university is solid strategy (especially if you didn’t get into the school of your choice the first time around).

9. Be true to your own education and career goals

Don’t pick a college because you like the football team, or because your parents attended the same university. Pick a school that suits your own academic and professional goals. College is an intensely personal experience. It’s a time to mature and to be exposed to new things. You are the one who is ultimately in control of you future, both in college and beyond.

10. Relax

Don’t stress yourself out too much. College is important, but it’s only a fraction of your life. Your college experience will mold your future, but it will not set it in stone. Life changes regularly. Don’t think that your entire existence hinges on where you go to get your degree.

If you take the time to prepare, you will notice the results. If you start planning your college preparation today, you will enjoy the options that you have tomorrow.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Finishing H.S.,Going to College and have No Comments

Enhance Your Resume To Exceed Expectations (Get a Killer Resume!)

young woman with resume Enhance Your Resume To Exceed Expectations (Get a Killer Resume!)In order to get a great job, you need to have a great resume. A great resume is made up of a number of different important components. Please use the guide below to help build a resume that is sure to impress prospective employers.

Education and Training

Be sure to list all degrees and training certificated that you have received. Also, note any distinction that your degree was granted. If you won any academic awards during your time in school, be sure to list this as well. If you had a good GPA in school, note it on your resume.


The skills section of your resume is a place where you can list any additional capabilities that may not be listed under the education and training section. This is a good place to note writing, communication and leadership skills. If your degree is not in the field of technology but you have technological skills, be sure to note them in this section.


The experience section should be the largest portion of your resume. Be sure to brainstorm about all of the work, extra curricular activities, volunteering, and internships that you have done that might have prepared you for the job that you are applying for. Leadership and communication experience is always helpful, so be sure to list any experience that you have that has honed these skills.


Included in your job application materials should be a list of references. Every person on this list should be willing and ready to give a very detailed and positive description of your professional capabilities and personality. Be sure to include updated contact information along with each reference. Also, contact each of your references before you submit your job application so that they will be prepared for a call from your prospective employer.

Quick Fixes

Education and Training: If you have note yet completed your degree, do not worry. Simply write the date when you expect to receive your diploma or certificate.

Skills: If, perhaps, you have been out of school for a while and feel that you need to brush up on some of your professional skills, ask your alma mater if you might take a refresher course or two.

Experience: If you feel that your amount of experience is lacking, sign up for an internship. Some companies actually offer internships that you can do by correspondence.

References: If you are having a hard time coming up with a list of good references, get a part-time job or internship and do your absolute best to impress your employer or supervisor. After at least a month of work, ask if you may use him or her as a reference.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Strategies for Success,Unemployment and have No Comments

Show Me the Money: The Growing Availability of Academic Scholarship Funds

College scholarship money is available from a far greater number of sources than most people realize. The two major types of scholarships are academic and athletic, and in the first group there are a great variety of funding sources. In fact, the availability of academic scholarship funds from a growing number of sources is one of the most underreported stories of recent times.

There are “college-specific” scholarships, where the individual institutions have money available under a variety of terms. This normally means achieving a certain Grade Point Average (GPA), participating in extra-curricular activities appropriate to the proposed course of study or a combination of similar factors. Merit-based scholarships awarded for academic achievement are often included in financial aid packages offered by colleges, as well.

Specific departments at many colleges also offer scholarships to attract or retain students in certain programs. If a student knows what his or her major will be, direct contact with the right department is the best approach, since the availability of academic scholarship funds at individual college departments is not always widely advertised.

Thousands of private scholarships are also offered by corporations, business groups, non-profit agencies and fraternal organizations. These awards range from small stipends of $50 all the way up to $20,000 per year and more. There are many sources to consider in the private category.

Corporations, for example, wish to attract and keep well-educated employees, and support the communities where they do business. To encourage entry into particular fields, scholarship funds are budgeted for every school year. For corporate scholarships, students should check with their parents’ employers, investigate other local businesses, and search the newspapers and Internet for corporate announcements on the subject. A student’s chances of receiving a local corporate scholarship is often enhanced by geographic restrictions on such awards. It is also important to remember that these are the very scholarships that go unawarded because of a lack of applicants.

Increased availability of academic scholarship funding has been noted over the last few years among both religious organizations and labor unions. They both help members and their families with the cost of college. The AFL-CIO Web site even offers a “search service” that helps students find union-sponsored scholarships. In late 2005 the amount of funds available in these specific awards exceeded $4 million.

Chambers of Commerce, fraternal organizations such as the Kiwanis and Lions and special-interest groups based on politics, culture or nationality are all excellent sources of college scholarships. The proverbial “other” category has been called “the Mother Lode of scholarship opportunities,” with educational funds offered by individuals, groups and businesses that wish to further their own missions or social agendas.

Finally, various levels of government (local, state, federal) don’t just have loans available, but scholarships as well, and of course act as clearinghouses of information for seekers of college money. The amount of money available for college today is staggering, and students need to take advantage of information available from school counselors, college admissions offices, businesses, cultural groups and all the many other sources. Fortunately, today there is a wealth of information on the Internet, too, so students with good grades can research the availability of academic scholarship funds by letting their fingers do the walking. And they won’t have to wander aimlessly either, as plenty of maps have been prepared to lead them to college tuition checks just waiting to be made out in their names.

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