How to Choose a College Once You’ve Been Accepted

College Decision

Though it probably feels like getting accepted into several colleges or universities of your choice would be a great problem to have in the spring of your senior year, it will end up being more of a curse than a blessing. Making the final decision about where to spend the next four years, which program best suites you and dealing with the financial aspect is nothing short of overwhelming, especially when they are several good choices.  Remember, make a decision based on you and your needs rather than what your peers are doing or not doing. An undergraduate degree plays a major role in a person’s career.

Look at the material
When you visited college campuses on a college tour or trip, refer back to any handouts of brochures you were given. Jot down as many notes as possible to help make an informed decision.  It will help to lay out any material you have to visually see what you like and dislike about each school. It’s nearly impossible to be objective without having all of the facts. Try to remember what you were thinking and feeling while you were standing on each campus or speaking with an admission’s officer. Decide which ones immediately stand out in your mind.

Do some additional research
While thinking about your final decision, write down any questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to surf the Internet to get answers or simply call the campus to ask away. An admission’s officer will have the answer to most concerns you will have. These people can help you to feel confident about your decision and ensure you choose the right school for next year.

Be practical
For many students, cost is an important factor in making your decision. If you are being offered a particularly generous financial aid package or scholarships from one of your top school — it may help to bump it ahead of the competition. Similarly, an acceptance from a good state school with a great deal for students in the state can be tough to pass up if cost is a big component of your choice. Also, you may want to consider other practical matters, like the location of the school and how far from home you would be while attending college.

Chat with your parents
By talking to someone you respect like a parent, sibling, professor or counselor, you will be able to bounce off ideas in regards to pros and cons. Getting advice from people who know you the best can help when trying to pick the “right choice” out of many options. Simply talking about it with others will help in the long run to be the perfect balance between objective and emotional. A guidance counselor may also be able to help you to narrow your options and a parent may have insights from going along on the process with you.

Once a college becomes your number one pick, tell your family and friends the good news and then immediately let the school know you’re accepting their invitation to be part of their college. The best part of all of this will be the ending to the college search process and knowing SAT prep is long behind you.

10 Steps To Help You Pass the SATs

Sat Help Steps

If you are like many high school students, you will be looking to enter college to continue your education. You will have to choose which university would best suit your needs and you will have already started looking at how you will finance this next step in your life.

However, have you taken your SATs yet?

Many students will start in their junior year, preparing for that important test. They know that it is important to get a high grade. Some will study endlessly and some will suddenly cram only weeks ahead of the testing date. But what is the best way to study for this exam.

Slow and steady, gets the job done. Make sure you have planned for enough time to completely and thoroughly review and study for each and every section. Don’t try to take this exam unless you have given yourself at least several months.

Below are ways to help you learn to study, to get your mind ready for preparing for the SATs. Some will be so simple you will wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier.

Also, remember that you can use B Line Test Prep’s free online SAT tests, and sites to aid in your SAT preparation.

So, what are some of the ways you can start studying?

Sat Tips

Tip one: Dust off that old library card. You’ll need it when you start this first tip. Reading. Go on, read a novel, or two. It doesn’t matter what the novel is, whether it is some romance novel, or the latest sci-fi thriller. There will be many questions that will test if your reading and comprehending skills are sharp. The more you read, the more you will be training you mind so that when you begin the verbal test, you will not be left out in the cold.

Tip two: Its time to break down and bookmark an online dictionary. Many of them have a “word for the day.” You must have a firm grasp on words and their meaning.

Tip three: Go out and buy yourself a notebook. Now, write in it every single day for at least 15 to 30 minutes. It might seem silly or awkward but the time you spend honing your writing skills will pay off when you reach that section of the test.

Tip four: Don’t throw away your daily paper after you skim through the sports or entertainment section. Dig around, find that crossword puzzle and work it completely. There are also sites online where you can work a puzzle a day. This will help sharpen your skills, reading comprehension and deduction. As in writing in your journal, doing a crossword puzzle can be another tool to make sure you are ready to take the SAT.

Tip five: Admit it–you only skim through the paper for the headlines. Stop as of right this moment. Tell yourself that from this moment on, not a day will go by that you don’t read the newspaper. Take a story that interest you and give it a new title or go through and find a way to change a word or phrase. Do this every day. This is still training your mind to think quickly and cohesively.

Tip six: And here you thought that it would be boring to do anything to prepare yourself for the test. While you are making sure to read, write and do crossword puzzles, go on and try a hand at logic problems. Each logic puzzle has every bit of information you need to solve it correctly so take your time and pay attention to what is said.

Tip seven: Got a box or crayons? How about markers? If not, go out and get them and start drawing. You don’t have to be a good artist, but here’s why drawing is a good idea. Once you get to the math section, you will run across questions dealing with geometry. Sometimes a question will have a shape and other times it will not. With a couple of months, building your skills at drawing, you should be able to handle the geometry questions a lot easier.

Tip eight: Sign up for a SAT question a day. Try to work the problem out yourself. Do a quick search, using key phrases like, free SAT online, or SAT prep. Find one that you are comfortable with and sign up. The more you practice, the less likely the SAT will seem to be intimidating.

Tip nine: Make sure you can do fraction to decimal conversions. If you need someone to help, look for a tutor in your area. Don’t let this part of the test frighten you.

And finally, tip 10: in the words that are printed on that now famous book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in warm friendly letters, “don’t panic.” If you take your time, practice the steps above, you will find you will be much more comfortable in taking the SAT test for your next educational step.

Get to work now. Don’t hesitate or keep putting off studying. The more you procrastinate, the more likely you will not be ready for the test. But with time, with effort on your part, you should have no problem with the exam. You should pass it with little or no problem.

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.

 

The Effectiveness of the SAT in Predicting College Performance

Sat Prep Effectiveness

While SAT scores correlate very strongly to an individual’s performance in college and thereafter when they enter the workforce, they do not give the full picture. There is much more to success, both in college and in the wider world than the scores of one test. Various studies have shown that while some kids perform poorly in high school and still manage to pull out of their tailspin in college, this is not the case in the vast majority of scenarios. Factors that may make a student change course include taking SAT prep seriously and also finding subject majors in college that they enjoy.

Family Background, High School Grades and College Performance
Several studies have shown that students who come from homes with educated families tend to perform better on the SAT than students who come from less-educated, working class backgrounds. In families with a tradition of education, both high school performance and test scores tend to correlate with the student’s collegiate grades. This may be due to the possibility that parents who are themselves educated may be more inclined to participate in their child’s learning experience than parents who have had limited schooling. It may also be due to these students having access to educational resources that poorer students do not. This, of course, does not mean that the students from backgrounds without the tradition of education do not sometimes work hard and do well despite being their disadvantages. In fact, in some cases students who do poorly change course in college and wind up improving their grades. In other cases students take their SAT prep seriously and get a good score on the test even after having poor grades throughout high school. There are exceptions to the rule, but such stories, however, are not the norm.

Controversial Aspects of the Test
One accusation launched at the test’s makers has been that there is a bias inherent in the test. This bias is said to be against poorer people. Critics say that wealth is a factor in test performance as some students are able to pay thousands of dollars on coaching to pass the test whereas others are not. As a result of the criticism, College Board, the SAT’s administrators, have revamped it to include a writing section along with other changes. The idea is to reduce the advantage of coaching by making the test less easy to coach. The other changes include raising the point totals. Previously, students were able to score as many as 1,600 points, after the changes this rose to 2,400 points. The writing section has also made the test longer. The total time to take the test was raised to three hours and forty-five minutes, up from three hours. Still, critics say that the writing section is not enough as it is both overly simple and students may still be coached to pass it.

How Colleges View the New Writing Portion
Many colleges choose to ignore the writing section when assessing students for acceptance. The perception is that it does not do enough to reflect the writing skills of those taking the test. Some of the colleges who are skeptical of the writing section’s value, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University, are quite well-known. The writing portion of the test consists of a set of multiple choice grammar questions and an essay. The essay portion requires students to read a quotation, and then write an essay to support their position with regard to the quotation. While some critics remain doubtful of the writing test’s efficacy in predicting which students will do well and which will not, some have responded positively to the changes made by College Board. The University of California is among those who have accepted the test after threatening to discontinue its use.

College Board’s Response to Criticism
College Board’s senior vice president, Lawrence Bunin has defended the writing section and the test as a whole, saying that the writing section has proven to be both “highly reliable” and “valid.”

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.

Is Texting Good For Students?

The Student Texting

First, we have to admit that texting is here for the long haul. Today, the average 13 to 17 year old sends more than 2,500 text messages per month, according to recent research. While this may be a problem for most schools, some educators feel that texting has educational value in that it can teach beneficial language skills, according to the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. The consensus is that when teenagers’ text often, they are more likely to confuse text language such as LOL and OMG, with traditional syntax, and this unconventional grammar will sneak into their schoolwork. In spite of this, teachers say this issue is nothing to worry about, and is not based on actual proof.

Progressive thinking teachers feel that the relaxed writing style of text messaging can be integrated into class lessons. A new study carried out by the California State University has discovered that texting can increase a teen’s writing in informal dissertations and numerous other writing coursework. A teacher in Orange County, NC asked students to decode passages from classic literature to text-speak in order to express language conception in various contexts. Another study found from the CSU study backs-up the idea that, “text-speak is not some type of English language gibberish, but is a type of second language with its own style, and it expands teens’ language skills.” However, research does admit that too much texting can damage student’s performance on most conventional types of essay inscriptions.

In addition, there are health concerns as well with texting. New reports have acknowledged psychiatrists’ and physicians’ concerns that texting could eventually damage children’s sleep patterns and their competence to think for themselves. There is also a bit of uneasiness about texting and driving. It has been noted that texting and driving can be a more serious problem than drunk driving. On the other hand, civics teacher Ms. McCanless states “texting has evolved into an established part of teenager’s lives. It can be utilized as a genuine tool as opposed to a means of conflict.” Students questioned by a North Carolina newspaper stated “they regularly text their friends at nighttime whenever they have questions concerning homework or about when assignments are due.”

Many ask “what is the real issue with texting in school? Are there ways to balance the technology to increase students’ learning?” While face-to-face discussion is better than texting, especially when it comes to important matters such as drugs, intimacy issues and grades; if a teen spends a lot of time texting, it is time to take advantage of this growing phenomena. A one-year study by researchers at a prestigious university in England discovered that, rather than tarnishing teen’s ability to read, write and speak proper English, texting appears to assist them in recognizing rhymes and speech patterns, granting them increased literacy skills more than children who rarely use mobile phones.

Abbreviations such as “CU 18r,” “OMG,” or “TTFN,” and similar text speak are really helping to develop kids’ reading and writing ability which also leads them to subconsciously practice spelling. This study was conducted in this area to initially notice if there was any link between text abbreviation and literacy skills since there was so much negativity about this subject in the media. In the final analysis, it was discovered that not only was the link powerful, but that text usage was in fact escalating the development of phonological responsiveness and reading skills. Furthermore, texting seems to be an important form of contact with written English for countless children, which in turn enables them to rehearse reading and spelling day after day.

It seems that teens are smarter than some adults will give them credit for. They are able to acknowledge the difference between school and texting that require certain linguistic skills along with utilizing the correct conventions in the appropriate circumstances. Then again, there is no denying that there are dangers linked with texting too frequently. Sleep deprivation, cyber-bullying and information overkill are all serious issues that face kids who have access to mobile phones 24-hours a day. Illiteracy is another question altogether though, and everyone is still waiting for the answer. Until then, researchers will “C U 18r” with the results.

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

Knowing Which SAT Questions to Skip

Which SAT Questions to Skip

On the SAT, each question will fall into one of three categories: questions you can answer, questions you can’t answer, and questions you could probably answer if you had enough time. This last category is where the right strategy can really help you to improve your score.

When to Move On

For starters, you need to recognize when it’s time to move on to the next question. If you spend too long trying to solve any one problem, you run the risk of not even making it to other questions that you definitely could have answered correctly.

Additionally, if you spend too much time on a question that’s too hard, you waste time that you could have spent correctly figuring out a harder, but still solvable, question.

If, on first read, you can’t eliminate even one answer choice, skip the question entirely. Your time is better spent on questions where you are more familiar with the material.

If you can eliminate one or more answer choices quickly, but narrowing the choices down to just one correct answer is taking too much time, come back later. You should make your way once through the entire section and answer every item that you can solve with minimal effort first, then go back through a second time to tackle the more challenging items.

When to Guess

Understanding when it’s in your favor to guess on the SAT, versus when it will hurt you, comes down to mathematics. Remember, each question has five answer choices. An incorrect answer reduces your raw score by 0.25, while a correct answer is worth 1 point.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you don’t even look at any of the questions and just randomly select bubbles on your answer sheet. Odds are that you would be correct one-fifth of the time — but you would be wrong four-fifths of the time. For each 1 point you gained, you would lose 0.25 points, four times. 4 * 0.25 = 1, so this cancels out the 1 point you gained, leaving you with a net score of zero.

However, if you can eliminate just one answer choice, the odds are now in your favor to guess. Now, random guesses would give you a correct answer once every four times, and an incorrect answer three out of four times. 1 point – (3 * 0.25) = a net gain of 0.25 raw points.

The bottom line: if you can confidently eliminate just one answer, you should guess instead of leaving the answer blank.

 

Create a Code Language

So, you’ve made your way through the entire section once and answered all the questions you knew you could. You have seven minutes left, and it’s time to make your way back through the section a second time to take a stab at some of the questions you left for later. But…which questions were those, again?

Make the most of those precious last few minutes in each section by clearly marking each question in your test booklet, so you can see at a glance which questions — and which answer choices within that question — are still in need of your attention.

Circle questions to which you want to return. These items are the ones to which you want to draw the most attention, as you’ll need to be able to spot them quickly during the last few minutes of the section. When you go back through, you’ll have no trouble spotting the circled items. Don’t be afraid to make big, bold circles — remember, you want to catch your attention when you’re flipping back through the test booklet.

Draw a large question mark over questions that seem too hard. You don’t want to spend your valuable time on these items instead of easier ones, but there’s always the chance you’ll still have an extra couple of minutes at the end to give these a second look. Remember, if you can eliminate even one answer choice, you make it worth your while to take a stab and guess.

For answer choices, cross out choices that you are confident are wrong. This will save you from having to look again at choices that you’ve already ruled out.

Having trouble deciding between two answers? Lightly circle them to indicate they’re your preferred answers. When you come back, you’ll know immediately that you think you found (or narrowed down) the answer, but that you should still consider the other options.

 

 

Leave Yourself Hanging

When you realize you have to move on and leave a question unanswered, make it as easy as possible to pick back up where you left off if you have time at the end to return to it. While the next step in the equation may seem obvious to you in the moment, the memory won’t be as fresh by the time you make your way through the rest of the test.

Before starting the next question, jot down a quick phrase or note reminding yourself of what the next step should be. If it’s a math problem, write the next equation if you can–but don’t solve it.

Not sure what the next equation is? Erase the last answer that you did calculate, leaving the calculation itself. While moving back a step might seem strange at first, when you come back later, being able to jump right in will help jog your memory, and can shave precious seconds off the time it takes to finish.

College Search Feature Allows Access to More Than 4,000 Colleges

When listing the best colleges to apply to, would the average high school student base their decision on academics and geography alone? Probably not.

It’s become common to travel to several different colleges around junior year of high school and even ask older brothers, sisters or friends for advice on where to apply. The reason isn’t because colleges don’t have Web sites with information, but rather; students want to know more than the basics like tuition cost and average size of classes that colleges and universities post on their Web sites.

B Line Test Prep, an eLearning company offering a free online SAT prep course, has teamed up with College Prowler to provide in-depth, unbiased, relevant information on any given college’s Greek life, nightlife, parking, athletics, campus housing, off campus housing and the top 10 ten best and worst qualities of the school—to name a few.

High school students, through B Line Test Prep, have full access to resources such as free SAT prep, articles with tips on high school and the college application process and now, with a click of a mouse, information about more than 4,000 colleges and universities.

For access to all the information you need for college, check out http://collegesearch.blinetestprep.com/

 


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