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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)

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

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)

How Should You Prepare For The S.A.T.s?

sat test How Should You Prepare For The S.A.T.s?

It's time for the SAT. You've been hearing about this test for years. You've been dreading the battle with the exam like the test is a three-headed dragon spewing fire and poisonous venom. You know how important the test is towards getting into a good school. You want to do your best to slay the dragon. 

Have confidence in your skills. You'll do just fine.

Just like with anything in life, if you're amply prepared, success will inevitably arrive.


An 11th grader shouldn't have to deal with such stress. It's not fair. But guess what? Life is filled with challenges and this is just one challenge among many you will face. The best way to prepare for the SAT is to take practice SAT tests.

A practice SAT exam will allow you to know in what range your score will likely land. This hypothetic score is the perfect place to start with the goal being to increase your score. You will be able to increase your SAT score by focusing on the areas that give you the most problems, whether math, verbal, or the essay section.

Practice SAT exams will also allow you to strategize how you are going to slay the dragon. There are certain test taking tips you want to be aware of when practicing for the SAT. For example, keep track of time when taking the practice test. Make sure you will be able to finish a section of the exam within the allocated time.

Answering the easy questions first is a good approach to the exam. It will allow you to save time. In other words, skip over the questions that bog you down. You can come back to them later, after you answer the ones you feel more confidant about.

Develop a strategy for guessing. On the SAT exam, the worse thing to do is leave a question blank. Even if you have to guess, do it, just don't leave a question blank. Develop tactics for guess work. Guess smart. Eliminate the multiple-choice answers you feel have no chance of being correct, then isolate what's left and take the best possible guess.

alg dragonage How Should You Prepare For The S.A.T.s?

The more practice tests you take, the better you will do.


Another great way to prepare for the SAT is to take a course with a tutor who is trained in helping students prepare for the SAT. Students who take a SAT prep course will usually score higher than if they didn't take the course.

Find out where a SAT prep course is being offered and register for it. If you need help finding a prep course or tutor, talk to your guidance councilor at school, or do an Internet search and see what you come up with.

Good luck preparing to slay the SAT dragon!

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Finishing H.S.,Getting Accepted,Strategies for Success,Studying/Test Taking and have Comment (1)
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