Learning a Second Language in School

Learning a Second Language

Learning a second language is often a process that takes an investment of a significant amount of time and energy, as students focus on learning the complicated nuances of another tongue. For high school students, this investment may seem to be a waste of time or an unnecessary complication to be juggled with an assortment of other challenging subjects demanding one’s attention. In fact, learning a second language before pursuing post-secondary studies often gives students an edge over their peers, while also improving job prospects in the future. Furthermore, the personal growth and enlarged perspective such learning opportunities provide allow students to become better rounded individuals, benefits of which can be demonstrated in several different areas of life.

For students who have already determined that post-secondary studies at an accredited college or university are the right path for them, foreign language knowledge is often a graduation requirement. The vast majority of these academic institutions require at least two years of foreign language study, whereas some schools may require as much as four years of study. Meeting these requirements before graduation from high school means students will not need to take language courses while pursuing an advanced degree. This leaves students with more time to focus on the core curriculum for their chosen degree path, while also eliminating an additional obstacle towards obtaining one’s diploma.

In addition to the many benefits that foreign language study can present in the field of continued education, students who have mastered another language often secure better positions within their chosen industry following graduation. An increasingly competitive job market that has been dramatically impacted by the effects of globalization means job candidates with strong foreign language abilities are in great demand across a wide assortment of different industries. Individuals who can demonstrate proficiency in a particular language have a myriad of options open to them, some of which may come with higher salaries.

Another reason language learning should be encouraged in the high school setting is for the many advantages young language learners have over those who attempt to master a second language later in life. Linguistic experts have confirmed that individuals given the opportunity to become familiar with a second language at a young age demonstrate higher levels of proficiency and greater comprehension than their counterparts who began studying the language after their formative years. While high schoolers have already missed the crucial period during which their brains formed an understanding of how language works, they nevertheless have a unique advantage over adults who long ago closed the chapter on learning the ins and outs of verbal and written communication.

As students continue along the path of language learning, many are surprised to discover the desire to see another country or experience life in another part of the world. Some of these students opt to spend vacations traveling through foreign lands, while others may instead live abroad for a period of time. Not only can students benefit from being immersed in a culture where the foreign tongue is the dominant form of communication, but the perspective and world view many are left with starkly rivals those of individuals who have never seen how other parts of the world function. This perspective can be an invaluable resource for those hoping to work in an environment that places an emphasis on reaching customers dotted throughout the globe.

While the different benefits of learning a language could be extolled for days, ultimately language learning also proves to be an overwhelmingly fun experience for the majority of students who choose to embark on this adventure. Learning to express oneself through foreign words and embracing concepts that may be different to those accepted within one’s native culture forces individuals to reflect upon their own personal identities and how they have been shaped by the world around them. For many language learners, this phenomenon is a cathartic experience that allows one to obtain a more nuanced grasp on human societies in general, in addition to a greater appreciation for the academic process.

 

Be Your Best for the SAT

It can be tough not to become overly stressed about an upcoming SAT exam. Many students find themselves feeling overwhelmed as their test day approaches. But these pressures are often self inflicted and self defeating. To reduce this stress, it is helpful to place the SAT exams in perspective. While the score is an import aspect of the college admissions process, it is not the only factor.
College admissions administrators consider other aspects of an application as well, including letters of recommendation, academic grades, extracurricular activities and admissions essays. Also, students can retake the test as many times as they like. Many individuals find themselves choosing to retake the SAT because of a low score. And it is true that a high score can only be a positive for a student’s record.

While it is understandable that the last thing a student is thinking about on test day is eating, being on one’s best means preparing physically as well as mentally. A part of this physical preparation involves eating a healthy meal before taking the test.

It is wise to avoid junk foods that can give provide short-term boost of energy. They often leave a student feeling tired and drained mid-way through an examination. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in bread or potatoes, are a better bet. These foods will provide energy that lasts longer than candy or other sugary snacks.

Staying motivated and energized leading up to the test is crucial to success. A little exercise, such as taking a brisk walk or playing basketball, can help to calm the nerves and enforce mental alertness. Exercise is known to help reduce stress under a variety of different circumstances. Of course, the student should not have too much of a good thing. Excessive exercise can lead to physical exhaustion or simply being too tired to fully concentrate on the questions asked on the SAT exam.

Students about to take the SAT should also keep in mind the difference between effective, diligent studying and over-studying to the point that the information learned becomes garbled. The student studying for the SAT should learn what is needed for the exam and nothing more. Learning to approach studying in a focused way that still leaves time for relaxation is key to retaining information and using it during the exam.


SAT prep

 

begins with organizing the various resources and materials required for the subject matter presented on the test. One way for a student to improve his/her chances of doing well on the SAT examination is to ask instructors to help in developing a list of resources and supplemental materials that can be used while tutoring for the different sections of the SAT.

Studying with friends or family members can make studying not only a more pleasant experience, but also a more productive and effective one. For example, creating or purchasing flash cards on the SAT prep topics which friends read out could be an excellent way to retain information that is being studied. It can also be useful for several students at the same school to form their own SAT study club so they can prepare as a group. Other students are also more likely to find the time to help if they are preparing for the exam too.

There are numerous free SAT online resources available for those doing SAT prep. B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online resources offer practice tests that will offer feedback on a test taker’s performance. When taking these tests, it is vital to carefully examine the resulting scores to see where the weak areas are so they can be addressed during future studying.

Some high schools, community centers and community colleges offer assistance to those wanting to study for the SAT.

 

Choosing the Best High School Senior Year Schedule


Choosing College

Senior year of high school can be an exciting and challenging time in a student’s life. Many students are enjoying their last year with their childhood friends, doing SAT prep and looking at colleges. For college bound students, picking the right courses is essential in order to be accepted into favored schools. Students should take courses in which they can do well but are not too easy. Picking the proper courses can prepare students for college level courses, and they can help give them time to look at SAT online prep.
Free SAT online prep is available to students across the country from B Line Test Prep. Some students spend lots of money on expensive SAT prep books, but finding the right sources can save students time and money. SAT online prep often focuses on preparing students for certain sections of the SAT. Free SAT online prep can give students practice SATs, give them real past SAT questions and provide them with time saving tips for the big test. The SAT is generally broken down into three parts: writing, critical reading and math. Critical reading and math are the two parts at which most colleges look, so students should certainly focus on doing well in those sections.

Aside from the SAT, students need to choose good classes for their senior year. There are many classes that can provide college credit in high school. For example, dual enrollment courses allow students to take part of a class at their high school and part of that class at a local community college. The class usually gives some college credit hours to the student upon completion. Doing well in dual enrollment classes is a sure way to save time and money once students reach college.

If dual enrollment is not a viable option, students can look into taking advanced placement (AP) courses. AP courses are fast-paced courses taught around a college level of difficulty that end with the taking of the AP test. An AP test is scored on a scale of 1-5, and generally, if a student scores a four or a five on the AP test, he or she is eligible to receive credit for the course once in college. However, students should only choose AP courses in subjects at which they excel to ensure good grades and a good score on the AP test.

For students who may not be up to the challenge of AP or dual enrollment courses, honors courses are available. Honors courses look very good on transcripts, and they are essentially high school courses taught at a slightly faster pace than standard level courses. If students pick a healthy combination of honors, AP and/or dual enrollment courses during their senior year, they can coast through the college application process and be prepared for anything that college courses may throw at them.

 

Top Five SAT Writing Tips

Sat Writing Tips

Many students preparing for the SAT feel lost when they begin to study for the writing portion of the exam. Most SAT prep programs and books try to cover this section, but it is by far the most difficult to study for. The following five tips should help you prepare:

1. Don’t panic. If you allow yourself to become too anxious, your thoughts will get frantic and your essay score will suffer. Taking the time for SAT prepwell before your exam date will make you feel more confident and less nervous at exam time.2. Know how to structure an essay. Graders want to make sure you know how an essay is structured, so write four to five well-organized paragraphs with both an introduction and a conclusion.3. Show off what you know. Using more advanced words properly will help your score, as will citing examples from your knowledge of history or literature to strengthen your argument.4. Be tidy and organized. You don’t want your poor handwriting, punctuation, or paragraph separation to distract your reader and grader from what you’ve actually said. Write in print instead of cursive and be sure to leave an indentation before a new paragraph.

5. Use all the time and space you are given. Take your time and don’t rush. Your essay will benefit from extra time for outlining and editing. Also, research shows that SAT essay graders consistently give longer essays higher scores, so try to use every line on the page.

Master the SAT Setup…Master the SAT

Sat Setup

The SAT is more than 100 years old and has been studied to the point that it’s become almost a science. It’s also perhaps the most important exam a high school student will take, having far-reaching impact on one’s life. It would be unwise to not fully prepare for something so important, and even basic understanding and casual knowledge from free SAT prep can have a big impact on test scores. The SAT is split into three sections: critical reading, mathematics and writing.

Critical Reading
Split into three sections: two 25-minute and one 20-minute, with questions about reading packages and sentence completions. In there are a total 19 sentence completion questions and 40 reading comprehension questions. What some aren’t aware of us the fact that question sets tend to become more difficult as the test progresses, therefore be sure to allot time to later questions. While reading the sections, don’t worry about memorizing details and focus on the first and last sentence of a paragraph. As a rule, skip questions you deem difficult and come back to them later; leaving a question you aren’t sure of blank isn’t as bad as not having a chance on questions you might have gotten.

Mathematics
The math required for the exam isn’t so advanced, but it must be done quickly and with clear thinking. The time frame, two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute, is the biggest problem for most students. Working efficiently is key: answer easy questions first and come back to hard ones. Easy questions usually precede hard ones. Practice will help with working efficiently – the test doesn’t repeat questions from exam to exam, but you will recognize the types of questions asked. Over time you will improve at those types.

Writing
The essay is quite standard, but basics can be forgotten when writing a rushed essay. Throwing in some big words is said to really help. Write neatly and use as much space as you can without going over. It’s a fine line, but don’t ramble as well – you won’t get another sheet of paper. Basic essay structure applies: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Don’t waste time worrying about whether your examples are perfect, but do be sure your examples support your thesis.

 

Breaking Down the SAT: Sentence Completion

Sat Sentence Completion

The sentence completion portion of the SAT is designed to test your vocabulary and reading comprehension through the use of contextual clues. The section will provide you with a series of incomplete sentences where the test taker is responsible for filling in the missing word or words from the choices provided. A multiple choice consisting of five potential answers will be supplied for each question.

Approximately one-fourth of the critical reading section of the SAT is comprised of sentence completion questions. Furthermore, each of these questions must be answered within the span of a minute in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. As a result, it is vital that students familiarize themselves with the format so they can answer as quickly and competently as possibly.One strategy for answering these types of questions is to fill in your own words to complete the sentence. This allows your mind to quickly understand the context of the sentence and the type of word that would be appropriate. Once you have selected your own word, you can also answer the question simply by locating the proper synonym. If there are multiple answers that seem synonymous with the word you chose, read the sentence with both words and confirm which makes more sense. Another tactic is to pay close attention to specific words or phrases that alter the context, such as “however” and “in addition.” These words serve as clues to whether the word contrasts or complements the preceding statement. For instance, the following is an example of a common type of sentence completion question taken from B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course:Although H.P. Lovecraft wrote many of the world’s most influential horror stories, during his lifetime he was ____.A) famous
B) unrivaled
C) obscure
D) renowned
E) masterfulExamining this sentence, we can see that there is a clue at the very beginning. The word “although” indicates there will be a contrast or unexpected outcome at the end of the sentence. As the first portion of the sentence lauds Lovecraft as an influential writer, we can surmise that during his lifetime he was anything but. Using the stratagem listed above, we can fill in the blank with the words “not influential” or “not very good.” Shuffling through the potential answers, all seem to imply the opposite save for C) obscure.

Like most sections of the SAT, the sentence completion section is ordered from the least to most difficult question. Therefore it is imperative you move quickly through the early portions in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. You can take advantage of an SAT prep to further acclimate yourself to the questions and time constraints in order to better prepare you for the actual exam.

SAT Preparation for Sentence Error Questions

Sat Preparation

Everyone who takes the SAT exam must do their best to pass the sentence error section of the test.

Were you able to catch the error in the above sentence? Try again.

The pronoun “their” does not agree with its antecedent “everyone.” If you were able to discover the error, you have demonstrated a thorough understanding of what the sentence error section of the SAT exam will ask of you.

The New Writing Section
The new writing section of the SAT exam is comprised primarily of Identifying Sentence Errors questions: 20 questions at the beginning of the multiple choice portion and another 10 at the back, for a total of 30 questions. The basic concept of these questions is to determine whether the provided sentence contains a grammatical mistake and to identify from four underlined options. If there is none, select the fifth option titled “No Error.” Basic in theory, this section of the writing section can be challenging for students and requires practice and a thorough understanding of agreements, sentence mechanics, and grammatical proofing.


Sat Preparation Strategies and Tips

 


The best way to begin your SAT prep for the writing section of the exam, is to tune your “inner ear,” or rather, developing an innate ability to detect mistakes by sound. Just as our eyes can signal that we have misspelled a word incorrectly, our ears can also alert us to sentences structured incorrectly. Repetition is one of the best ways to strengthen your aural response, reading sentences similar to the ones found on the SAT aloud. You can also select authoritative sources such as The New York Times or other quality publications to read from. This can be a lengthy process and for students coming up on the SAT exam date, there are other strategies and tools available to help prepare for the writing section.

Online SAT prep courses can help increase your confidence and boost your test scores by providing the essential ingredient of practicing questions in an actual SAT test format. Free SAT online prep courses vary in regards to what they offer but researching your options in advance will help you determine which SAT preparation exam will be most beneficial to you.

Check out B Line Test Prep’s SAT online course and other free resources to prepare you for test day.

Overcoming Testing Anxiety

Testing Anxiety

Testing anxiety is a problem faced by even the best of students. Performing well on tests is more important today than ever. This is why it is important to find effective strategies to overcome testing anxiety. Overcoming testing anxiety means doing better in school and scoring higher on important tests such as the SAT.

Most testing anxiety stems from a fear of poor performance. Students, worried they haven’t studied enough, become anxious preceding the test. Procrastination leaves many students cramming at the last-minute. The best solution to this problem is becoming comfortable with test material far in advance. Being confident that you will do well provides anxiety relief. This is even more important when preparing for a test, such as the SAT, which impacts a student’s future. A solid SAT test prep schedule is essential to help you be as ready as possible. Given the availability of free SAT onlineprep materials, there is no excuse for not being prepared.Test taking is like any other skill; it takes practice to master. Taking practice tests is essential to any SAT test prep schedule. There are many online free SAT prepresources available. You can also review textbooks with practice tests and questions to help prepare for a test. This is one way to help anticipate potential test questions and find areas that need extra attention. In addition, this is also a good way to feel more confident going into a test. If you have any questions be sure to talk with your teacher. If you experience severe anxiety before a test, talk with a parent or guidance counselor. They can help you find ways to cope with your anxiety.Don’t study hard the day before a test. Read over summaries of the material and then put your books and prep work away. Take time to relax, go to bed early, and get plenty of sleep. Not spending the evening cramming and being well rested will leave you feeling confident. Being rested, calm, and confident the day of an exam will help you prevent anxiety, recall information, and follow test directions.During the test, if you feel yourself getting anxious, take deep breaths and remind yourself of how ready you are for this test. Knowing how to calm yourself down before and during a big exam is a valuable skill that will be useful throughout your entire academic career.

Is My SAT Score Good Enough?

Sat Score

For many high school students taking the SAT for the first time, looking at your scores can be puzzling. It’s not easy to know if your scores are good enough for the colleges you are applying to or if you should retest in the hopes of raising your scores. A “good” SAT score is different for every student and depends on your plans for the future, your career of choice and your college goals.

While going through the process of searching for your college of choice, you’ll want to take a look at the numbers in the area of college ranking and admissions. A good rule of the thumb when it comes to the SAT scores for each college is to look for the 25 – 75th percentile. This is a good way to get a feel for where most students rank. There will always be exceptions on both ends of the scale, some with very high scores and others who may have entered with other qualifications but lower scores, but this is a good general rule to follow. Something you can ask about is if the college offers bonuses for those with higher scores which may include things such as the possibility of testing out of certain classes during your first year of college, merit based grants or other such perks.

To give some examples, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Stanford University are 2000 – 2310 and the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Harvard University are 2100 – 2380. For another example, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for the University of San Diego are 1700 – 2030. As you work on translating your scores, identifying these numbers will help you greatly in understanding where your scores should be in order to apply to and attend the colleges of your choice. Having specific goals in mind will make it much easier for you to see and know if your SAT scores are good enough as your final scores or if you may want to work on improving your scores and retake the test a second or third time.

In the event that your SAT scores fall in the average range of those of your school of choice, you might still want to work on them in order to increase your chances of being accepted. One tried and proven way to help you in your SAT prep in through online SAT prep courses. On the other end of the scale, if your scores are way above the ones you need, you may be just fine and use those SAT scores and choose not to retest.

Another thing worth taking a look at are the different subject areas and how they breakdown. Usually, colleges like to see students with well-rounded scores, in other words, not having very low scores in some areas and very high scores in others. It’s normal to have a bit of variation between your scores, especially in the areas of your interest and talent where you may excel. If, however, your scores are too uneven, it may be good to do further SAT prep whether through personal study, tutoring or online SAT prep courses. Take some time to work on the subject area you are weaker in and then retake the test to up your scores.

For more information on B Line Test Prep’s SAT prep, check out their free SAT online course.

How to Succeed on the SAT

How to succeed on the sat

The SAT, also known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is one of the primary requirements for students looking to get into college. If you are a student who is invested in furthering their scholastic career or you are a parent who has a college-bound child, SAT prep is going to be an integral part of the college application process. The test consists of three sections, including critical reading, math and writing, and the test itself takes three hours and forty-five minutes to complete. While it is acceptable to take the test several times, it is an endurance trial, and ideally a student should only take it once.

When you are looking for SAT prep options, classes immediately become one of the first options on the table. However, the truth of the matter is that classes are not absolutely required; as a matter of fact, free SAT prep resources can keep the student grounded and in control of the situation. For example, one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT is to take sample tests. Sample tests not only give you an idea of what to expect, you’ll also find that they teach the student to pace him or herself. One of the major criticisms of this type of testing is that it penalizes students who do not operate well under pressure, and taking practice tests helps you eliminate that.

One thing that someone taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test should be aware of is that it rewards people who react well to testing in general. If you are a student who has a knack for understanding the way testing works, this test will be comparably easier for you than it is for someone who tests poorly. However, even students who test poorly can get a good score if they drill in the time frame that is given to them. Practice doing timed versions of practice tests; use B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course so that you can do them in a timely fashion.

Another way to ensure that you succeed is by understanding a few basic pieces of information regarding the test. While each of the three sections are weighted equally, the math section is considered easier than the writing or reading sections. Consider your own strengths as a student and think about where you need to do work. If you are strong in math but weaker in writing communication, use this information to focus your studies.

When you are looking at cramming for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, remember that you should always focus on vocabulary. The written section is extremely focused on words and word choice, and one way to study for the test is to memorize the word lists that are available. However, more important than learning the words by heart, is being able to use them. Students demonstrate their mastery over the words by using them correctly. Instead of just memorizing the word meanings, you’ll find that it is very easy to simply remember the words by memorizing them as they appear in sentences. This not only cements the meaning but allows you to figure out what the word means from context.

Also consider what your test taking mode of operation is going to be. For example, one way to take the test is to go through and answer all the questions that you are relatively sure about first. This allows you to get all the way through the test. One problem that many test takers have is that they do a few questions and then they get bogged down. This can be disastrous if the slowing down happens early in the test. Instead, get through all the easier questions and then go back and answer the more difficult ones, taking your time.

Finally, when you are considering preparing for this test, remember that it is not the only one that you can take. The ACT is set up differently and most colleges that accept one will accept the other. Consider what your strengths are and which test plays to them.

Taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test can be quite daunting, but remember that you can do well with the right preparation.

 


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