SAT Tips for Your Freshman Year in High School

Online Sat Tips

If you are a freshman in high school and want to go to college, now is the time to start preparing.  It’s important to plan ahead so that you are prepared when the time comes to start applying to college. While the SAT test isn’t the only thing that colleges look at when you apply to study there, it sure can help to make you look good. Before you take the SAT test, it is important that you participate in some type of SAT test prep. There are free SAT prep programs that you can do online, or you might find a prep class at your or another local high school. As part of your SAT test prep, you might want to learn some ways that you can be prepared for test day.

Sat Tips Steps:

1.            Take the test early and retake it later. As a freshman, you are one step ahead of those who are juniors and are taking the SAT for the first time. You can take the SAT test as many times as you want. If you end up with a lower score the first time you take the test, you can take it again in hopes of getting a higher score. Of course, if you plan to take the test again, you should probably enroll in the free SAT prep class again so that you can actually improve on your score. Taking the test as a freshman gives you an advantage because you can get a taste of what it is like and still have time to improve.

2.            Relax. Many people consider themselves “bad testers.” If you are one of those people, this would be one test where you might want to take some time to relax beforehand. Listening to classical music on the way to the school, doing yoga before you leave the house, or drinking a glass of warm milk might just calm your nerves. You know yourself better than anyone else, so if there is something that you know will help you relax, be sure to give yourself enough time to do it before you take the SAT test.

3.            Eat a nice breakfast. Not only will your breakfast fuel your mind, but you will not have hunger pains during the test. It is important that you have a full stomach so that you can concentrate on the SAT test and not on the gurgling in your stomach. Food fuels the body and the mind and having a good breakfast will give you what it takes to endure the test and have an open and clear mind. Sugary cereal isn’t exactly the idea here. Fruit and eggs would be more like it!

4.            Don’t over-study or under-study. As you do your SAT test prep, be sure that you are wise about the amount of time you study. You might feel like you need to cram your brain full of all the information that might be on the test. If you find yourself getting confused because there is just too much information that you are trying to remember, you might want to take some time and give your poor brain a break! On the flip side, it is important that you actually do study. Rather than just risking it, you should enroll in a free prep program, do practice tests at school, or study with a friend. If you really want to take the SAT tips multiple times, not studying at all is a great way to ensure that you will be retaking the test!

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Make the Most of Your Junior Year

Despite all of the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the senior year, it’s actually the junior year of high school that is the defining moment in most students’ academic lives. Generally, you’ll be sending off college applications well before you’ve completed your senior year, so it’s essential that you do as much as possible in your junior year to make yourself an attractive candidate to colleges. The following are some of the most important things that you can do in your junior year to start preparing for college.

 

Research Colleges
Because of the amount of time and money involved in submitting college applications in your senior year, you’ll want to have your list of colleges more or less set by the start of your final year of high school. Consult a reference like the US News and World Report college issue to get detailed information about schools. Some questions that you’ll want to consider when looking through info on colleges include: Do you want to attend a public state school or a private university? How far away from home would you like to live? How selective of a school would you be able to get into? In order to answer these questions, you’ll need to think seriously about how much money you or your parents can afford to spend on tuition (or how many student loans you’re willing to take out) and you’ll need to evaluate your own academic performance in terms of your GPA and test scores.

Prepare For and Take the SAT
SAT scores are one of the most important elements of a college application and are one of the most common “minimum” criteria that schools use to indicate what they require from applicants before further considering their applications. Thus, it is very much in your interest to prepare for the test as thoroughly as possible. There are a variety of SAT prep courses and methods available, including free online SAT prep. In addition to finding a test prep program, you’ll also want to check online for test dates and registration deadlines to make certain that you stay on track with your schedule. While you should make certain that you leave appropriate time for prep, you should try to take the test during your junior year. The sooner you know your score, the sooner you’ll be able to make informed decisions about which schools to apply to.

Build Up Your Extra-Curriculars
College admissions committees have to look through hundreds or even thousands of applications every year and, while your GPA and test scores are important, having a diverse swath of extra-curricular activities can help set you apart from the crowd. Choosing to join a club or play a sport in your junior year insures that you’ll have an extended affiliation with a group on your application. Generally, this looks much better to an admissions committee than a few activities that appear to have been “tacked on” at the last minute in your senior year.

By setting a few simple goals in your junior year, you can insure that you’re doing everything possible to set yourself up for a successful senior year and a great college career!

 

I am a Freshman in High School, Now What?

So you are going to be a freshman in high school–this is a milestone in many ways. You are entering an important part of your life, arguably the first in which your actions have direct and long lasting ramifications and consequences on your future. The life choices and decisions that you make now will dictate the direction in which your life will go after your secondary education is over and done with. While all of this may sound intimidating and perhaps even a little scary, it really is not. In fact, it is exciting. You are slowly becoming an adult. So with that in mind, here are some pointers and advice about what you should do during your freshman year of high school.

It goes without saying that it is incredibly important to stay on top of academics. The grades that you receive your freshman year set the stage for your entire high school career. They, in large part, will dictate where you will go to college. Getting good grades during the first year of high school will determine what kinds of classes you can take in later years. Higher level classes such as interesting electives and Advanced Placement courses require superior academic performance from day one, so make sure to hit the ground running. Even if you do not think that college is the path for you, employers and especially the military still place a particular importance on grades.

One more point on academics, while paying attention in class and developing good study skills are key, do not dismiss the importance of time management. No amount of class participation will make up for evenings spent ignoring assignments or homework hastily finished on the bus ride to school. That sort of behavior will only lead to missed work, and playing catch-up in high school is no easy task, in fact it should be avoided. Just stay on top on assignments as they come.

Success in high school is not just based on academic however; it requires a balance. Therefore it is critical to get involved in a sport, club or other school activity and to have a positive group of friends who will be there to help and support you when you face some kind of adversity.

So as you begin high school in the coming months, remember to strike a balance between academics and everything else. You will be glad you did and, in four years, will surely be pleased with the results.

 

Sorting Through Acceptance Letters: Which to Choose?

It may seem like having a few acceptance letters to choose from would be a great problem to have in the spring of your senior year. While it is an honor and an exciting time, it can also be stressful to make the final decision, especially when faced with several excellent choices. It is important to put in the time to make the best decision possible and end up at the perfect college for you next year.

Refer Back
Be sure to hold onto the brochures and materials you collected during interviews and campus visits. These things, along with any notes you made at the time, can help to jog your memory and make the decision a little easier. Think about how you felt on each campus, which ones stand out and which made you feel at home from the beginning?

Additional Research
If you come up with additional questions or feel like you still need more information, don’t be afraid to contact the admissions office or to follow up with contacts you made on campus. These people can help you to feel confident about your decision and ensure you choose the right school for next year.

Practical Considerations
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. Similarly, 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.

Talk it Over
It can sometimes be helpful to talk through your options with a parent, teacher, or guidance counselor as you make your final decision about college. Just the simple act of talking about your schools with someone else may help the top school to become clear. 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.

When one school ends up the clear front runner, it’s time to send in your acceptance, announce it to your family and friends, and celebrate the end of your college search process.

Landing That First Job

With summer fast approaching, many high school students will be looking for a summer job. Summer jobs can help you to gain work experience, earn money, and learn some skills that can translate into jobs in the future. Landing a first job can be tough and knowing where to start and how to put together a first resume is the initial challenge.

The Resume
What do you put on a resume when you don’t have any work experience? It’s important to think about experiences that could translate into skills for the job. Leadership in extracurricular activities, academic honors, or volunteer work can all translate into skills and experience for a job. Organize your past experience, education, and skills into a resume that highlights your strengths and what you’re looking to gain from a summer job.

Finding Jobs
An important step when starting any job hunt is to ask around, ask family members, neighbors, teachers, and friends if they know of anyone looking to fill openings during the summer months. You can also look at websites like CareerBuilder and Craigslist for potential openings in your community. You may also want to ask your guidance counselor, many counseling offices will have information available about summer jobs and be able to help with your resume too. If there are companies where you are particularly interested in working, call or email to find out about any potential openings, showing initiative may be what sets you apart in the process.

The Interview
Showing up for your first interview can be a nerve-wracking process. It’s important to remember that if you’ve landed an interview, chances are you are a serious candidate and the company is devoting time and resources to finding out more about you. Dress professionally and be courteous when you arrive for your interview. This is a chance to show them why you are right for the job and to find out more about the position itself. Be ready to answer questions and also to ask questions when given the opportunity. Bring along another copy of your resume to give to your interviewer and a pad of paper and a pen to take down any information. Follow up your interview with a thank you note.

Landing a first job isn’t an easy process, but getting the job search skills down pat will help you to fill out your resume, make important connections, and find jobs for the summer and in the future.

Creating a SAT Prep Plan

Most high school students planning to attend college still take the Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the SAT. The test is usually taken during the junior year of high school, which can be a hectic time for most students, so creating time to study can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are some options for SAT prep.

The easiest way to sign-up for the SAT is to go to the College Board website. Students can search for the nearest testing location, which is usually at a local high school or university. The sign-up process is simple and only requires that the student give some basic personal information. College Board then provides instructions for testing day, including tips for a healthy breakfast and a good night’s sleep.

Many students know about existing weaknesses- a student who does not perform well in math generally knows this before it is time to take the SAT. However, to better determine areas needing improvement, sample tests can be used to identify particular sections that could use refreshing. For students wishing to sit through the whole testing experience, some high schools will provide the option of taking the PSAT, but this does not allow review of items missed. Sample tests can be purchased at most major bookstores. Additionally, online test prep materials are available via the College Board website and sites such as ePrep. Online and bookstore SAT test prep options allow review of items missed, and some online programs offer explanations for why the correct answer is the best choice.

When establishing a schedule for studying, the best option is to start early and work in small increments. Working through a practice book each day will get exhausting and expensive in no time at all. Devote no more than 15-30 minutes 3-5 days per week to do SAT test prep. This does not necessarily mean using an expensive practice book every day. For example, a student with vocabulary difficulties can generate a list of words and create flashcards, and practice like this is quite mobile, so practicing on the bus or during a break between classes is easy. When it comes to using practice books or online SAT prep, try to do just one section at a time. Also, alternate what is being practiced to prevent burnout. Finally, as the time to test draws near, start doing the full length practice exams. If possible have someone time you so that you can prepare for time constraints.

The SAT can be daunting at first glance, but success is not out of reach. With practice and confidence, a good score can be earned.

Should I be Taking AP classes?

Taking AP classes during high school can give students an opportunity to earn college credits and often fulfill core requirements before ever arriving on campus. For exceptional students, AP classes can also provide a challenge and a great fit for their abilities. AP classes can challenge students and help to prepare for the SAT by helping you to learn new ways to work through information and preparing you for college level course material and test strategies.

Make a Commitment
While taking AP courses can be a wonderful choice, you should stay honest about how many classes you can manage in your academic schedule and how much work you have time for outside of the classroom. Studying for an AP test is time consuming and it is better to score well on one or two tests than to score poorly on four tests. In most cases, you will need a minimum of a three or four in order to be eligible for college credit.

Get All Your Information
If you can, talk to the teacher of the AP class before you enroll to learn about the course load, expectations, and how your teacher will prepare you for the exam. If you have a top college or top couple colleges, you may also want to find out their policy on AP credits so that you know how well you will need to score and also what classes the credits can replace in core curriculum.

Choose Classes Wisely
Choose AP classes in subject areas that you are interested in studying. You will be devoting large amounts of time to studying this material and may become frustrated if it’s not a subject you enjoy. Chances are, your high school offers AP classes in many different subjects, from environmental science to your foreign language. Choosing the right classes will help you to make the most of going in-depth in a college-level class.

Be Prepared for a Challenge
AP tests can fulfill college credit for a reason — they are college-level work. If you have a busy schedule and struggle to keep your grades high in regular classes, you may want to think twice about AP classes. It’s important to maintain a high GPA at the same time. You can expect to do more writing, learn how to better synthesize information, and learn to think as you would in a college class. If you’re up for a challenge and willing to work hard, AP classes can be great preparation for college.

Book vs. Online: Best Way to Prep for the SAT

The SAT is a huge test for every high school student preparing for college, and many students worry about doing well enough to get into their top colleges. Preparing for the SAT can be a daunting task, but there are many different SAT test prep options available. Students should carefully consider the right method for preparing for the SAT, to ensure they do well. Many colleges expect good scores on the SAT, and take SAT scores into consideration before admitting a student into the college, so it’s very important that a high school student takes the test seriously and prepares for it well.

Traditional SAT test books are common ways that high school students get themselves ready for the big test. There are many different types of books available, and there are different options to meet different studying and learning needs. Students can use these books to study on their own, or can work in groups and cover the material together. Traditional study books offer students the freedom to study anywhere they’d like, as long as they have the book. Some students are uncomfortable using other newer methods of study, and traditional books are a good option.

Online test prep has become more and more popular with the advance of the internet. There are many different online studying options, too. Some options are free, like free vocabulary flash cards, and others cost money and may involve online books or even an online tutor or teacher that leads prep courses. Online test prep provides a wide variety of options that can help engage students fully and offer many different learning methods in order to do well. Many students enjoy studying online because it offers more variety and is easier to stay involved and engaged. However, online studying for the SAT can have its drawbacks, such as tutors that are only available at certain times, and students are limited in their studies to only when a computer is available to them.

Some students may study best with traditional SAT books, and others may do well by studying online. There are certainly benefits and drawbacks to both methods, but each has its own way of offering strong methods to prepare for the SAT. For most high school students, the best way to study isn’t necessarily to strictly stick to just traditional books or online methods, but instead to incorporate some of both methods, as suitable to the student. Spend some time looking into different types of studying methods, and students, parents, and teachers should work together deciding on a studying routine that best meets the child’s individual needs. This is the best way to pick a study method and ensure high achievement on the SATs.

Memorization Tips and Tricks

Knowing how to quickly and effectively memorize information can make life a lot easier for students. Memorization techniques can help when it comes to studying for tests, quickly processing information, and learning how to learn better for the future.

Word Games
Many students find that creating acronyms or acrostics can be a useful tool to memorize sets of information. Acronyms are words created from the first letter of a series of terms to help jog your memory. The goal is to memorize the word and be able to write it down to help you to remember the rest of the terms. Acrostics are sentences created from the first letters of a series of terms, memorize the sentence and them fill in the correct words when you need to recall information. Which works best for you is a matter of personal preference and whether or not the terms you’re memorizing lend themselves better to a single word or a memorable sentence.

Recopying and Repeating
Two easy ways to help information stick is to recopy and repeat. Some students learn well by rewriting the important parts of their notes. Even if you generally use the computer for note taking, writing out information by hand often helps it to stick in your mind a little better. Similarly, reading through notes or sections of a textbook aloud can help to solidify the information. You may feel silly reading to yourself aloud, but you also may find it helps the information sink in better.

Pace Yourself
Spending time studying at a steady pace is typically a better way of memorizing information than trying to cram for a test the night before, or even just a couple days before. Reviewing information over time and going back over information on separate occasions can help to commit it to memory.

Work with a Friend or Group
Memorizing information with a friend, classmate, or study group can be helpful to many students memorizing information. The group can work together to come up with ways to memorize information and share their own tricks for studying and memorizing terms and information. Working as a group and then going over information alone can help students to learn information and memorize for the test.

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The Benefits of Personal Goal Setting

Setting personal goals is an important skill to develop as a student and continue to hone throughout college and your career. While everyone’s goals are different and what works for one person may not work for everyone, there are some basic tips that can help you to follow through on your personal goals.

Write Your Goals Down
Take time to think about your goals and put them down on paper. This will help you to focus and identify priorities, isolating your top personal goals for the next week, next year, and next five years. Being able to see these mapped out can help many students to focus and feel good about meeting their future personal goals.

Break Your Goals Down Into Manageable Steps
A big life goal, like being a lawyer, can seem overwhelming when you’re in high school and looking just at that end goal. When you break it down into pieces, it seems a lot more manageable. For example, you could set a goal to keep a certain GPA in high school and perform well on your SATs so you can get into your first choice college with a great pre-law program. At that point, your goal becomes doing well and studying for your LSATs so that you can get into your first choice law school. Then your goal will shift to law school and passing the bar. Broken down into steps, your goal will help you track your progress and keep your dream in sight.

Make Yourself Accountable
Sharing your goals, whether big or small, with a trusted friend, teacher, or family member is a great way to keep yourself on track. Knowing that someone else is aware of your goals and rooting for you to make them happen can provide a great dose of encouragement. When you feel that you have someone to update on your progress, it makes it more exciting as you make progress.

Continue to Adapt
While goal setting is important, it’s also a good idea to revisit your goals every so often and make sure they’re still a good fit. There’s no shame in adjusting your goals as you grow and learn more about yourself and who you want to be as a student and as a person. Changing goals is a natural part of goal setting.


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