Going To College For Free: How To Get A Full-Ride Scholarship

The long awaited day has come and you’ve graduated from high school.  Although the stress and drama of high school is now over, it’s time to look toward the future and decide if college is right for you.   With the growing expense of tuition

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

these days, many people simply cannot afford to attend college.   Likewise, with some of the tests that are required to even apply to college (such as the SAT test), it can be expensive just to prepare for them.  Luckily, there are ways to get a full-ride to college, where you don’t have to pay a penny.  In fact, with some programs, you can actually get money for living expenses as well as your tuition and books.  While getting free tuition may take some work, there are a few helpful tips that will assist you through the process.

Academic Performance

There is a good reason to maintain those outstanding grades during high school.  If you have a great academic record, you may be eligible for a full-ride scholarship.  This is where a school or organization funds your education.  When applying for a scholarship, the scholarship committee will consider certain areas of your educational background, such as:

  • Grade point average:  While every scholarship will have different qualifications for applying, many require a minimum grade point average of 3.2.
  • SAT score:  With a perfect score being 2400, many colleges require a score of at least 1500 on the SAT test for you to be considered.  Scoring high on the SAT exam can give you a huge advantage over the other scholarship applicants.
  • Community service:  Schools like to see a well-rounded individual receive the scholarship award.  Participating in community programs shows that you care about the area in which you live and the world around you.
  • High school activities:  Participating in several diverse activities during your high school years looks great on a scholarship application.  Universities love students that are willing to try new things and get involved in the school.

Athletic Performance

Many students can also receive a scholarship based on their athletic performance.   A university or college will award the student a free education in order to have them play on one of their athletic teams.  Being a strong player, as well as a great academic, can help you score that full-ride scholarship.

Federal Aid and Grants

Federal grants can also help you get that college education for little or no money.  The federal government reports that they have $227 billion available to award to qualified college students.  By filling out a FASFA, or free application for student financial aid, the federal government will determine if you are qualified for federal grants to pay for your schooling.

Experts agree that taking an SAT preparation course may help you to increase your SAT score by up to 480 points.  There are many free SAT preparation courses online available to help you maximize your SAT performance and score.   SAT preparation courses will allow you to take an actual SAT practice exam so that you know what to expect on the big day.  The online test preparation makes it easy and convenient to complete.  Take the SAT practice exam as many times as you want.

Applying for various scholarships can take a lot of time and persistence; however, getting a letter telling you that your college education is paid for makes it worth all the while.

 

 

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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.

Top 10 Ways Twilight Relates to the SAT

Presumably, it’s been a while since Edward Cullen took his SATs. But Bella and Jacob may still have them looming over their heads. If they do, hopefully they’ll use some of the lessons they’ve learned from their recent adventures to increase their scores. Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight characters learned everything they need to know to ace the test. Here is a guide to using the Twilight series for SAT prep.

#1 Know Your Weaknesses 

Edward’s family can’t survive without blood. Rather than denying this, they choose to consume animal blood, preventing tragedy. Ignoring your own weakness will lead to disaster. Brush up on every section of the test, but put special emphasis on your worst subjects.

#2 Consult a Trusted Authority

When Bella is confused, she consults her father. Likewise, you should consult B Line Test Prep, which contains examples of real tests for practice. Bella didn’t blindly follow her father’s advice, however, and you shouldn’t, either, leading to tip number three.

#3 Take a Different Viewpoint

Bella hears rumors about the dangers the Cullens pose, but doesn’t make assumptions. She has a different viewpoint and Edward’s true nature becomes clear to her. Sign up for free SAT prep for a slightly different viewpoint that will help you prepare. Bella’s careful reading of Edward’s situation leads to tip number three.

#4 Carefully Read the Situation

Carefully read the test questions. Silly little errors in comprehension will trip you up and whittle away at your score.

#5 Make Careful Decisions

Jumping at the first choice presented would have derailed Bella’s relationship with Edward before it began, and guessing at wrong answers is actually worse for your SAT score than skipping the question altogether.

#6 Spot the Fakes

James was as charming as he was evil. Fortunately, Bella wasted no time on this particular fake, and weeding out the false answers is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your test score.

#7 Know When You are in Over Your Head

It took Jacob’s pack and Edward’s family together to defeat Victoria. Sometimes a task is too much for you. Math questions get harder as the test goes on. Once the problems become too difficult, stop. Review the questions you answered so that you get full credit for the things you do know.

#8 Don’t Waste Time

Bella instinctively knows that although time is kind to Edward, for most beings it is short. She weighs her options carefully but doesn’t waste time. Don’t re-read directions or spend time obsessing over questions you just can’t answer. Don’t be late coming back from breaks.

#9 If You are Offered a Second Chance, Take It

Bella snatched her second chance when she prevented Edward’s suicide. If you can hit the books and be reasonably sure of a better score next time around, take it. Most schools will only look at your highest score.

#10 Relax

Even Bella and Edward are eventually left in peace by the Vulturi. Hopefully, they take this time to relax, and if you are wise, you will too. Study, get plenty of sleep, eat a good breakfast and relax.

 

10 Parallels Between Harry Potter Stories and the SAT College Entrance Exam

1. The Ordinary Wizarding Level exam (O.W.L) and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (N.E.W.T.s) require the use of a wand. The SAT requires the use of a #2 pencil and allows the use of approved calculators.

2. At Hogwarts the Sorting Hat separates students into Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. Colleges use entrance exam scores to sort students for admission offers and scholarships.

3. Putting an enchanted egg underwater helps Harry meet the challenges of the Triwizard Tournament. Taking an SAT prep class can help you maximize your entrance exam score.

4. Harry and other Hogwarts students can take O.W.L. exams in up to twelve areas: charms, transfiguration, herbology, defense against the dark arts, study of ancient runes, divination, potions, care of magical creatures, arithmancy, astronomy, history of magic, and muggle studies. The college entrance exam covers critical reading, math and writing. Twenty different subject tests are also available.

5. Fred and George Weasley often complete each other’s sentences. On the Critical Reading section of the SAT you have to complete sentences.

6. Hermione’s extra studying often helps her gain points for Gryffindore. A free SAT prep course can help you gain points on your college entrance exam.

7. A game of Quidditch ends when the seeker catches the golden snitch. A test session ends when you run out of time.

8. O.W.L. exams have a score range of T (troll) to O (outstanding). SAT exams have a score range of 200 to 800 for each segment, giving a total score range of 600-2400.

9. Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock, freeing the house elf from servitude. The college entrance exam has no tricks, but a good score help you get into a good college, which can free you from years of low-paying jobs.

10. Harry faced the Avada Kedavra killing curse and survived; you can face the college entrance exam and survive, especially if you prepare by studying and/or taking a free SAT prep course.

SAT Prep Courses Help Boost Test Scores

The college admissions process can be highly competitive and brutal. Every Spring, colleges across the country get a flood of applications for a few freshman class spots. Many well-deserving students get rejected and miss out on the chance to attend the school of their choice. When it comes to college admissions, give your high-schooler every advantage possible. Choosing the right SAT prep for your child is the first step in helping them get into the college of their choice.

Why does my child need SAT prep? You’re not the first parent to wonder this. Even if your student is a high-achiever, taking the SAT can be daunting if he/she is not prepared. SAT testing procedures have changed in recent years, casting off the paper and pencil test in favor of electronic testing methods. In addition, many students’ use of technology have given them a false sense of security about the testing process, and these topics are explored in SAT test prep.

In keeping with the trend of technology, online test prep is a viable resource to become well-versed in the subject materials and familiar with the testing process. Many students get tripped up when they are not aware of the testing instruction requirements, causing them to have scores below their actual capabilities. B Line’s SAT prep will consist of dry test runs and answer questions common to students taking the SAT test.

In addition, SAT prep will help students review any subjects that he/she may be struggling with. Your child will be able to review any confusing subjects with animated review sections and feedback after every question answered. They will also be given practice tests that allow them to focus on their weak subjects before test day. In addition, your child will not be forced to review topics that he has already mastered. With specialized SAT test prep instruction, your student will be able to focus solely on the topics that matter most.

Don’t leave your student’s SAT score and college admissions opportunities to chance.

Tips for Retaking the SAT

Colleges and Universities schools rarely consider students with scores below their standards, so getting as close to their school’s average or above puts an applicant as an advantage. Unfortunately, not everyone receives their ideal score after taking the SAT just once.

Maybe the first time you took the SAT you didn’t prepare. You told yourself you were going to and maybe even bought a book to help you review but just never put in the time. Maybe you were the exact opposite and enrolled in a prep course, spent every weekend studying and carried vocabulary flashcards around with you and all of that work still didn’t amount to the score you wanted. Both are common scenarios and there is an answer for you if you fit into one of these two categories.

The SAT is not like the usual test you will face in high school, so it makes sense to utilize a strong SAT prep course that fits into your schedule. The idea is to get comfortable with the format and learn strategies to maximize results. Timing is very important throughout the SAT. Each of the three main sections has three subsections, each with its own time limit. In general, the easy questions are at the beginning and harder questions come at the end, but this is not always the case. One strategy you can explore and practice online is to blitz through an entire multiple-choice section, answering the questions that you’re at least somewhat sure of but marking some for review later. Just skip questions that are confusing or too difficult, but leave a few minutes at the very end to go back and guess at the answers. A blank counts as a wrong answer, so don’t leave any question blank.

By not even knowing what to expect on the test, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You won’t be nearly as confident and probably won’t get through as many questions as you would have hoped. On the other hand, by studying too much, you’re essentially drowning your brain with an overload of information so when it comes time for common sense questions, you’ll end up overanalyzing and probably miss questions that you shouldn’t.

By enrolling in a free online SAT prep course, you can move at your own pace and take breaks as often as possible. Unlike a classroom, you won’t get left behind on questions you don’t understand or stay stuck on skills already mastered. You can track your own progress and create a study plan that works for you. The course includes as many as eight timed practice tests. Taking these will help you get comfortable with the SAT format, which can do a lot to help you reach your best score. After taking the test twice, you’ll know for sure where your strengths and weaknesses are; which sections you score highly on, and which give you trouble.

Breaking Down the SAT: Sentence Error

Everyone who takes the SAT must do their best to pass the Sentence Error section of the exam.

Can you spot the error in the sentence above?

If you recognized that the pronoun “their” does not agree with its antecedent “everyone,” then you are probably well on your way to becoming a pro when it comes to identifying sentence errors for the SAT.

Identifying Sentence Errors questions are what comprises the bulk of the new Writing section of the exam with 20 questions at the beginning of the multiple choice portion and another 10 at the back, making 30 questions in all. You will be presented with a series of sentences like the one above that may contain a grammar mistake and asked to identify it from among four underlined options, or if there is no mistake to choose the fifth option, “No error.”

These types of questions test your “writing sense,” or your ability to identify errors based on the way sentences sound and on grammar rules. Because of this, in order to do well on this section it is helpful to have a solid “reading” background: the more you read sentences like the ones presented on the SAT, the more attuned your “inner ear” will become to mistakes that sound wrong. However, even if you are taking the SAT next week and don’t have time to read the New York Times everyday, there are a few strategies and things you can do to boost your confidence and your score for this section of the test, including online SAT test prep.

One important thing to remember is that these identifying sentence error questions are not going to test you on your knowledge of punctuation conventions. While it is probably helpful to be familiar with things like comma rules or where to place apostrophes, what these questions really probe is your understanding of grammar and syntax within the context of sentence structure.

The best method of approaching these questions is to read through the sentence quickly, “listening” for what sounds wrong. This often yields an obvious error. If there is more than one possible answer that you think sounds wrong, look at each option within the context of the surrounding sentence and apply your grammar knowledge to eliminate those without errors.

If upon reading the sentence you cannot “hear” anything wrong, go through each underlined option and eliminate those that you are sure do not contain errors. After that, if you cannot identify an error, mark “No error” and move on.

The sentence errors you will be asked to identify can have to do with a variety of topics such as subject/verb agreement, parallel structure, pronoun/antecedent agreement, verb tenses, infinitives and gerunds, adjectives and adverbs, and prepositions. You’re not going to be asked to name or correct these errors, only identify them, so don’t worry too much if you cannot remember exact definitions. In the example above, for instance, you may not remember what an antecedent is, but if you remembered that singular subjects do not go with plural pronouns, you probably spotted the error anyway.

To prepare, do your best to familiarize yourself with grammar principles. Online SAT test prep can be very helpful in giving you a quick refresher on concepts you may have forgotten.

If you keep these tips in mind, you can breeze through this section and concentrate on others that may be more difficult for you.

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.


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