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.

How to Utilize Your High School Counselor

Many students travel through their high school years without ever making use of one of the best resources available–their high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors can be a wonderful resource for students and it’s worth finding out early on all of the ways that they can help. By the very nature of their job, high school guidance counselors wear many different hats and can help you with a number of different things.

Information at High School
Guidance counselors can be your one-stop for information as you plan out your high school years. They can answer questions about scheduling and classes, suggest activities, and help you to manage your schedule. One of the best things you can do is make an appointment to meet with your counselor just to get to know each other. The more your guidance counselor knows about you and your interests, the better equipped he or she will be to offer you assistance and make you aware of opportunities.

College Information
Your guidance counselor can be a big help in your college search process–from the very beginning through the day your acceptance letter arrives in the mail. He or she can help you to narrow your college choices and identify top schools, contact admissions offices and arrange for visits and interviews, and provide assistance answering questions as you prepare your applications. The guidance office can also be helpful when it comes to finding financial aid opportunities. They can help to answer questions about eligibility, help prepare applications and paperwork, and suggest things you may miss. High school guidance counselors have the benefit of experience–many have helped class after class of seniors to find their perfect college. This can be a great way to quickly learn about the process and feel prepared as you move through the application process.

Counseling
Guidance counselors can also provide counseling and help you with any number of challenges during the high school years. They can help to mediate conflicts, be there for you to talk through problems at school or at home, and refer you to a psychologist or specialist outside of school if you need more assistance than they can offer. Guidance counselors are experts at the high school age group and familiar with the many challenges facing young people today. Taking advantage of this resource can help you learn coping skills, work through problems, and enjoy a healthy and happy high school career.

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Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

Going back to school after having time off for the holidays can be a tough readjustment for many students. Going back to the school day schedule and back to responsibilities like homework and SAT preparation can be overwhelming after vacation. A few simple tricks can help you to better segue way back into your routine.

Readjust Your Time
Try not to get too far off your normal sleep schedule over winter break. This means trying to wake up no more than an hour later than you normally would for school. Keeping yourself close to your routine will prevent the shock to your system when you have to start waking up at your normal time again. If you do get off schedule, start the transition a couple days before you go back to school, waking up a little earlier each day to help you adjust to the hour.

Think Through Your Schedule
It’s smart to spend some time working out a schedule while you’re on break and have some extra free time. Map out your planner for the next few months, setting goals and filling in all of your information. If you use a calendar on your computer and one on the wall or in a planner, be sure they are all up to date. Take an afternoon to clean your room, clean out your backpack, and organize your school files. This will help you to go back to your school routine feeling prepared for another semester.

Cross Some Things Off Your List
Whether its finally finishing up the last of your college applications or getting through some extra SAT prep work, winter break can be a time to get ahead of schedule. Having some things checked off your to-do list will make the transition back to the school day a lot easier. Plus the extra time is a great way to devote extra hours to your study plan. Anything you can do over break to help relieve some stress later on is well worth the time and effort.

Plan Some Fun
Make plans to get together with friends the first weekend after you go back to school or plan a shopping trip or dinner for one night during the first week. Having some things to look forward to in that first week back to school will make the last few days of break a lot less painful. You can focus on schoolwork again while knowing you have fun things planned on the horizon.

2011 SAT Test Dates and Registration Information

For high school students planning to take the SAT in 2011, it is time to start thinking about testing dates. To register for the SAT, students should sign in to the College Board’s Web siteĀ and complete the necessary steps.

There are three deadlines to keep in mind for each testing date: the original registration deadline, the late registration deadline, and the changes deadline. The main reason to register by the original deadline is to avoid extra fees for taking the SAT. Registration by the original deadline is $47. Registering after the deadline, but before the late registration deadline will cost an additional late fee of $24. Making changes to your testing date or location before the changes deadline costs an additional $24. Each deadline is at midnight Eastern Standard Time on the date indicated.

Preparing well in advance with a solid plan for SAT test prep and a schedule of when you will need to take the tests will ensure that you can register on time and go through with each test without changes. Be sure to choose the right test location the first time to avoid having to make changes after registering for the SAT.

Registration deadlines for each of the 2011 test dates are as follows:

For the January 22 test, students should try to register by December 23 or late registration by January 7. Changes are due by January 5.

For the March 12 test date, registration is due by February 11, late registration by February 25, and changes by February 23.

For the May 7 test, registration is due by April 8, late registration by April 22, and changes by April 20.

For the June 4 test, registration is due by May 6, late registration by May 20, and changes by May 18.

For students with religious observances on Saturdays, Sunday testing is available the day following each SAT testing date. To get a Sunday test date, students must use the code 01000 on their paper registration form. It is also necessary to submit a written explanation from the cleric on letterhead from the student’s religious organization.

Registering for the SAT early is also a great way to give students a firm deadline to design their studying plan. For some students, having that set date will help them to organize their SAT test preparation and stay on track in the months ahead.

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The SAT Exam Unveiled

The SAT exam is a student aptitude test which has selected the mediums of math and English in which to test intellectual ability. The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute test, however, only three hours and twenty minutes count towards your test score, since the practice section takes twenty five minutes and is not graded.

The SAT exam is broken down into ten sections. The reading part encompasses three sections of the exam. In the reading section, there are nineteen questions of sentence completion problems, and forty-eight reading comprehension questions, which is a total of sixty-seven questions in all. The writing part is also three sections of the exam, and includes forty-nine grammar questions and one essay. Discounting the experimental section, the math section encompasses the last three parts of the test. In it are forty-four multiple choice questions and ten grid-in questions, making a total of fifty four questions. In short, the sections are as follows:

- Reading
1. Completing the sentence (19 questions)
2. Reading comprehension (48 questions)

- Writing
1. Short Essay
2. Identifying sentence errors*
3. Improving sentences*
4. Improving paragraphs*
* In the writing section there is one short essay question. The other three sections can be divided up as the test writer sees fit, but all are focusing on grammar.

-Math
1. Multiple choice, encompassing basic math and equations (44 questions)
2. Grid-in, such as plotting graphs and lines (10 questions)

-Experimental section
The experimental section can be contained within any part of the test, on any subject. It usually contains harder questions, but these questions aren’t scored. They are being considered for use on next year’s SATs. So if you run into questions that are especially harder or more confusing than the others, don’t worry- they may be the experimental ones.

The three sections of the SAT test are scored independently, which means that students will receive a reading score, a writing score, and a math score. Each score can range from 200 to 800 points, with a total test score of 600 to 2400 points. The total average score for students is 1500, or about 500 on each section.

But how do you achieve these scores? The key is to pace yourself and to practice. Pacing is important on the SAT because, though time is strictly limited, many of the questions require careful analyzing and consideration. Many students make the mistake of reading too quickly in hopes of gathering the gist of the question. They answer confidently, but are startled to find later that they answered incorrectly because they have misunderstood the directions or missed subtle points within the question. This of course means that it is important for students to take as much time as possible and to be confident in their answers before moving on to the next problem.

In order to perform to the best of their abilities, it is crucial for students to undergo SAT test preparation. Test prep is proven to raise test scores because students will be prepared not only for the type of questions listed within the SAT exam, but they will also be comfortable answering a large amount of questions in a seemingly short time limit. SAT practice books are readily available, but the most cost effective way for a student to practice is to visit an SAT test preparation website and practice taking the test online. Bline Test Prep is an excellent website for test preparation- it is affordable, easily accessible, and chock full of up-to-date data and questions for the SAT test preparation courses.

Taking the SAT can be an ominous task. However, it is of vital importance to any student wishing to be accepted into the majority of colleges. With the proper practice and resources, the SAT is not as foreboding as it may seem upon first glance. All it takes is a little practice and a bit of knowledge about the test and the sort of questions found therein. Online SAT test preparation sites such as Bline Test Prep will give students the confidence they need to do their best on the SAT test and succeed at getting their best possible scores.


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