Planning out the Application process

There are many steps and requirements in the college application process. In the beginning, you will want to be preparing for the SAT test, exploring your options, and planning for campus tours and information sessions at colleges that you want to consider. This is the time to narrow your list of colleges to a manageable pool where you will be sending applications. Once you have a list of the colleges where you will be applying, it is time to focus on completing all of the application materials for each school.

Time management and organizational skills are critical to the process. You will also hone your information-gathering skills. During your campus tour and visit with the admissions office, you may have learned about the admissions requirements. You will want to locate all of the information for each college and put together a master chart of the materials that each school will require in your application packet. Create a chart with parts that you can check off for each school and be sure to list the application deadlines for each individual college where you will be submitting an application-the deadlines will also vary between colleges. Having this master chart will help you to feel organized, manage your applications, and be confident that you are sending complete applications to each college.

Many colleges use a general application, sometimes referred to as the “common app”, but these schools may still require supplemental short-answer questions, forms, or other materials from applicants. Requirements about letters of recommendation often vary slightly as well. Other schools will have their own unique application that you will need to complete. It is important for you to have all of your information before you begin the process. This will help to avoid any problems close to the deadline. If you have questions about the requirements, you can always contact the admissions office for answers.

Your high school guidance counselor can be another source of support as you are taking the SAT test, balancing your high school course load, and completing college applications. He or she has helped many students prepare college applications and can help you to get organized and keep deadlines. Make an appointment early in the process to be sure that you are on track and ask any questions that you may have about college applications.

Planning out your college applications can be a lengthy and detailed process, but with good organization and some hard work, your applications will arrive complete and on-time. A well-planned college application is the first step towards getting into the right school for you.

Get involved!

High school extracurricular activities are much more than ways to fill up time after school and have fun outside of class. Extracurricular activities can provide you with many skills that can translate into success in college and, later on, in your career. As you balance your academics, SAT test prep, and college application schedule, it is important to continue to make time for your favorite activities too.

Team sports are a great way to stay active and have fun during high school. Athletics can also help to improve self-esteem and build good problem solving skills. Being active during the high school years is also great way to build healthy habits from an early age. This can help to ensure that you always make time for exercise and taking care of your health.

Participating in team sports also helps to build good social skills. Sports teach you the value of working together as a team, a skill that will take you far both on and off the athletic field. It’s no surprise that many high school athletes also make their closest friends while participating in team sports.

Participating in clubs can be another great way to make friends and gain valuable experiences in high school. Clubs can be built around shared interests or shared goals, allowing you to meet and spend time with people who care about the same things that you do. Other activities, like reporting for a high school newspaper or being part of a photography club, can help you to build skills that could later translate into a college major or career.

Perhaps the best thing about clubs is that they allow you to explore many different interests. Learning about many different things and exploring your interests will help to broaden your horizons and prepare you to make decisions about your major and career path.

Volunteering is a great way for high school students to make a difference in their communities. Many community organizations, including food banks, shelters, and environmental organizations, are always looking for young people interested in getting involved. If nothing seems like a good fit, get creative. Many high school students have created their own projects to serve a need that they see in their communities.

Getting involved in community service projects early on is a great way to learn about the world and how to organize projects. Volunteering is something that you can do throughout your life to always make a difference in the world.

Having a busy schedule in high school is great preparation for college. Balancing many priorities will help you to learn good time management skills. Maintaining a good schedule, making time for your responsibilities, and keeping track of deadlines is great practice for keeping up with your classes and responsibilities in college.

Extracurricular activities are also great for college admissions. These are experiences that you can talk about in interviews and write about in your application. Extracurricular activities are often the things that will set you apart and help the college admissions office to learn about your strengths and skills.

How many times should I take the SAT?

There is no limit to the number of times that a high school student can take the SAT. While it will be different for everyone, most people will want to take the SAT two or three times during junior and senior year of high school. Your highest SAT score will be the one that colleges use, regardless of whether it is the first or the third time that you took the test.

Spring of junior year is a good time to take the SAT for the first time. This will allow you to have plenty of time to study both before and after this test. Having a first set of SAT scores will help you to focus in on problem areas and also set up a senior year plan to get the best SAT scores possible.

Your SAT scores will show you exactly how well you perform on the math, reading, and writing portions of the test. Many students are surprised when they receive their first scores and find that they performed significantly better or worse on certain parts of the test than they expected. When you plan ahead and take the SAT for the first time junior year, you have plenty of time to improve your scores.

The summer before senior year of high school is a great time to focus on SAT test prep. Once you have your first set of scores, you have a guide to what you will need to focus on during your next round of prep. Taking an SAT prep course, meeting with a tutor, and taking online practice exams can all be part of a comprehensive plan to raise your scores when you take the SAT for a second time.

Focus on trouble areas during this round of studying. Think back to any questions that took you a long time to solve, or areas of the SAT where you could not answer a lot of questions. This is your chance to go into your next SAT prepared to handle these areas. Having taken the SAT once also allows many students to relax about the test-taking experience.

Plan to take the SAT again at the earliest test day in the fall of senior year. Many students will be happy with this score, while some will still have time to take the test again later in the fall. Check with your top colleges to find out when they will need your scores. Most will have a deadline in December or January.

Having a plan to take the SAT multiple times is a great way to get the best score possible. Spacing out your tests between junior and senior year will allow you plenty of SAT prep time to study and improve on your earlier scores.

Your High School Junior Year SAT Test Prep Plan

Junior year can be a challenging year for high school students. Many students will be taking challenging courses, making plans to visit colleges and make decisions about the future, and keeping a strong GPA for their college applications. Junior year is also the time to focus on SAT prep.

Juniors should begin preparing for the SAT as soon as possible so that the process doesn’t have to be rushed. For most students, SAT test prep will involve an online course or traditional class, plenty of practice tests, and time spent studying material for the test.

High school students can choose to take the SAT as many times as they want. For this reason, students may want to take the SAT for the first time in the fall of junior year so that they have plenty of time to take the test again in the winter or spring. It can be smart to use the summer before junior year for SAT test prep and focusing on what you will need to study while preparing for the SAT.

While you can continue to take the SAT during senior year, most students will prefer to complete the test during junior year. This will allow seniors in high school to turn their attention to college applications and making decisions about where they will be going to college. Students will also want to have their final scores before they begin sending out their college applications.

Once you receive your first SAT scores, you will need to decide whether you will want to take the test again to improve your scores. Colleges will accept the highest reading score, highest verbal score, and highest math score and combine them to find your final total SAT score. Due to this scoring system, there is no disadvantage to taking the SAT multiple times to improve your score.

Additional SAT prep after taking the test once can help you to focus on trouble areas that revealed themselves during the test and to increase study time on the subjects that need the most improvement. Developing a realistic plan to prepare for the SAT will help you to approach junior year with confidence. Carrying out your plan will help you to enter senior year with your best possible SAT scores.

What You Should be Asking Your High School Guidance Counselor?

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to make time to speak with your high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors can be a great hub of information and a wonderful resource throughout your high school career and college application process. The more information your guidance counselor has about you and your goals for the year and for the future, the better he or she can help you to succeed.

For underclassmen, guidance counselors can be very helpful in planning out your courses for upcoming years. Ask them what they recommend based on your past transcript and what you are interested in studying. Guidance counselors can often help you to find information about college requirements for high school courses and help you to put together the best schedule to meet your needs. They can also help you to build good study skills and be sure that you have the right tools to do well in your courses.

When it comes to SAT preparation, guidance counselors can be a great place to go for advice. They can help you to identify goals and organization skills to develop a preparation plan. A good plan for test prep will ensure that you can come away with the best SAT score possible. Guidance counselors have helped many students through the process and can be a great source of advice.

Guidance counselors are a great resource when you are applying for colleges. Not only can they help you to prepare the best application possible, but they can help you to work through the college search process and weigh the various options available. Based on your transcript and SAT score, counselors can also help you to be sure you are applying to a range of schools to provide you with good options.

If you can communicate openly with your guidance counselor about what you are looking for in a college experience, he or she can help determine if your current schools are a good match. Ask if there are students from your school who went on to your college, they can often help answer questions about the application process and the experience they have had in college so far.

Having an open and positive relationship with your guidance counselor is a great step to success in your academic career. He or she will be able to advocate for your needs, support your decisions, and help you to make good choices about college and career plans. Making an appointment and asking the right questions can make all the difference.

Should I take the SAT II?

The SAT II is made up of subject tests that students choose to take individually. Deciding whether or not to take any SAT II tests will depend largely on your academic strengths and the colleges to which you are applying. Some colleges will have requirements about SAT II exams while others will not require them at all.
Even if you are not required to take the SAT II, strong scores will only add to your college applications. Online test prep, including plenty of practice tests to get familiar with the subject tests, will help students prepare for each SAT II exam.

The Literature subject test is designed to measure how well students can read and interpret passages of literature. The test is made up of about 60 multiple choice questions in six to eight sections. The content is approximately half poetry and half prose and approximately half British authors and half American authors. Students taking the Literature subject test should know terminology used to interpret literature.

Two history tests are given: SAT II World History and SAT II US History. The US History test is made up of approximately 90 multiple choice questions covering political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as foreign policy.

French, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese are all available as a foreign language test and as a language with listening test. Italian, Modern Hebrew, and Latin are available only as exams without a listening section. The language exams are made up of approximately 85 questions that cover reading comprehension, vocabulary, and structure. The listening exam is made up of 35 percent listening section where test takers will listen to passages and answer questions based on the information.

There are two levels of SAT II math tests available. Math I is for students who have taken at least two years of algebra and one year of geometry. Math II is for students who have also taken courses in pre-calculus and trigonometry. Each math test is made up of 50 questions.

There are three SAT II science exams. Students taking the SAT II Biology can opt on test day to take Biology Ecological or Biology Molecular based on which type of biology questions they would like to answer. 20 out of the 80 multiple choice questions on the exam will be specialized towards either ecological or molecular biology based on the selection. The SAT II Physics exam covers all basic areas of physics and has 75 questions. SAT II Chemistry is made up of 85 questions covering major topics in Chemistry. Students should be prepared to recall knowledge as well as apply knowledge and synthesize information.

Each exam takes one hour to complete and is scored on a 200-800 point scale. If you excel in one or more of the subject areas that can be tested on the SAT II, it can often be beneficial to demonstrate this knowledge by performing well on the SAT II subject tests.

Changing your frame of mind

Moving from summer back into school mode can be a challenge for even the best student. Adapting your schedule and making time for all of your responsibilities will be particularly important in the back-to-school transition. Building a good structure early in the school year can help set the tone for a successful year.

For students whose summer schedules have had different hours, it can be difficult to readjust to a school schedule. It will help to start make the adjustment the week before school starts instead of waiting until the first day of school. Set your alarm for the time you will need to wake up for school and start getting to sleep earlier. This will help your body adjust to your new hours.

It is also a good idea to have your backpack or bag ready to go the night before so that everything you need for the school day is in one place. This will prevent things from being forgotten in the morning. Be sure that you have a few easy options for breakfast on hand so that mornings will run smoothly and you’ll be able to get off to school having eaten a good breakfast. For some students, protein shakes or nutrition bars can offer a good option for days when you’re in a hurry or have to eat on the go.

For some high school students, back to school means time to begin serious preparations for the SAT. Establishing an SAT test prep schedule early on can help you to plan other activities around it and maintain your ideal study schedule. An online test prep course can be a good choice for students who want a more flexible schedule that can fit around schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Be sure to choose an organizational method that works for you. Having an agenda, day planner, or personal organizer that works for you will help you to keep track of your time. Keep your calendar up to date, especially while you are still adjusting to your new class schedule. This will also help you plan after-school activities and keep track of homework assignments. Getting in the habit of writing things down will help you continue to keep on top of assignments and schedules throughout the year.

Setting aside time for homework and study time is especially important early in the school year. Oftentimes the schedule that you set from the beginning will help you to maintain good study habits throughout the school year. For many students, getting homework done immediately after school or during a specific time in the evening can help. This will allow you to complete your work and also make time for hobbies, friends, and other priorities.

Moving from summer back into school mode can be a challenge for even the best student. Adapting your schedule and making time for all of your responsibilities will be particularly important in the back-to-school transition. Building a good structure early in the school year can help set the tone for a successful year.

For students whose summer schedules have had different hours, it can be difficult to readjust to a school schedule. It will help to start make the adjustment the week before school starts instead of waiting until the first day of school. Set your alarm for the time you will need to wake up for school and start getting to sleep earlier. This will help your body adjust to your new hours.

It is also a good idea to have your backpack or bag ready to go the night before so that everything you need for the school day is in one place. This will prevent things from being forgotten in the morning. Be sure that you have a few easy options for breakfast on hand so that mornings will run smoothly and you’ll be able to get off to school having eaten a good breakfast. For some students, protein shakes or nutrition bars can offer a good option for days when you’re in a hurry or have to eat on the go.

For some high school students, back to school means time to begin serious preparations for the SAT. Establishing an SAT test prep schedule early on can help you to plan other activities around it and maintain your ideal study schedule. An online test prep course can be a good choice for students who want a more flexible schedule that can fit around schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Be sure to choose an organizational method that works for you. Having an agenda, day planner, or personal organizer that works for you will help you to keep track of your time. Keep your calendar up to date, especially while you are still adjusting to your new class schedule. This will also help you plan after-school activities and keep track of homework assignments. Getting in the habit of writing things down will help you continue to keep on top of assignments and schedules throughout the year.

Setting aside time for homework and study time is especially important early in the school year. Oftentimes the schedule that you set from the beginning will help you to maintain good study habits throughout the school year. For many students, getting homework done immediately after school or during a specific time in the evening can help. This will allow you to complete your work and also make time for hobbies, friends, and other priorities.

Online test prep vs one-on-one tutoring: which is right for you?

There are many options available to prepare for the SAT. One of the big decisions that students will need to make is to decide between one-on-one tutoring and an online test prep course. Both options provide many benefits and can be a good choice for the right student.

Online test prep can allow students to work at their own pace and review material on their own schedule. Students who choose online test prep can have the option to go back and review challenging material multiple times or skip over sections that they are already comfortable completing. Students can plan when they will work on their SAT test prep, studying at any hour of the day and whenever they have the free time. This can make online test prep a great choice for high school students with hectic schedules.  Online test prep is also a good choice for students who are self-motivated and already have basic knowledge of the SAT. These students will be able to work on their time and complete practice tests to gauge their progress. Online practice tests are one of the most important parts of SAT test prep as they allow students to experience the format of the SAT and get familiar with taking the test.

One-on-one tutoring for the SAT can be a good option for students who prefer to have in-person communication and will benefit from having someone there to push them to complete their test prep. Students who struggle in a certain area of the SAT such as math skills or the fundamentals of writing an essay may be able to use one-on-one test prep as a way to build up these skills and prepare for them on the test.

Students will need to schedule SAT prep sessions in advance and stick to their schedule in order to accommodate a tutor. A good tutor will be able to provide students with tips, build their confidence, and give them practice tests to access their skills. In-person tutors are often a good choice for students who like to have a set schedule and a live person at the desk for questions.

The choice between one-on-one tutoring and online SAT test prep is an important decision and one that is very reliant on each student’s individual study habits and skills. With the right program, students will gain invaluable preparation, test taking skills, and confidence to perform their best on the SAT.

Considerations When Applying to Your College Safety Schools

A safety school is a college where, due to your grades and test scores, you are almost certain to be accepted. For most students, it is best to incorporate a safety school into their list of colleges during the application process. A safety school can help ease anxiety about the college application process during a time when maintaining grades and completing SAT test prep are still top priorities. While many students apply to a safety school only to have a back-up option if other schools don’t offer acceptance, there are still important things to consider before selecting your safety schools.

Choose Schools That You Like
No one should apply to a college that they wouldn’t want to attend. Make your safety schools worth your time and effort by choosing schools that have something that appeals to you. Just because a school is sure to offer you acceptance, doesn’t mean its program is any worse than a school where admission is more difficult. Choose one with a good program in your tentative major or one with a lot of good extracurricular options. Plan campus visits to your safety schools and take time to learn about them. Also consider where the school is located and be sure it is a place you can actually see yourself living during college. Choosing a safety school where you can picture yourself learning and growing for four years will make it feel like less of a safety school and more of a real option.

Do Your Best Work
While it’s tempting to put more effort into applications for your top choice schools, it’s worth your time to do your best on every application that you submit. In addition to preparing your applications and writing good essays, it is critical to maintain your high school grades and make time for SAT test preparation. A good SAT test prep program will prepare you for the SAT and give you the confidence to do well. If you have a busy senior year schedule, consider online SAT test prep as a good option for SAT test preparation. It will often allow you more control over the schedule and online SAT test prep programs can prepare you just as well as a formal class.

Consider Financial Aid
Before applying to your colleges, consider what would happen if you were offered an exceptional financial aid offer to one of your safety schools. Would it be worth attending your second choice college if they were offering a full scholarship? This answer will be different for everyone and will depend on many factors. The subject of financial aid is an important thing to consider and a good conversation to have with a parent or guardian before you are faced with making a decision under a deadline.

SAT Critical Reading Tips

The SAT critical reading section is designed to test students’ abilities to read and understand material. There are important skills that can help students approach the critical reading section with smart work skills. For this reason, a solid SAT prep program is essential to performing well on this section of the SAT.

The critical reading section is made up of 67 questions total. Of these, 48 are passage-based reading multiple choice and 19 are sentence completion. The questions are broken down into two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section. The critical reading section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale that will make up one-third of the total SAT score.

The passage based reading section asks students to read both short and long passages and answer a series of multiple choice questions about the material. The goal of this section is to test reading comprehension. Many students choose to read over the questions first to get a sense of what is important. After reading the questions, go back and carefully read the passage.

It is important to remember that the questions about each passage in this section are arranged not by difficulty, but in chronological order. This means it is best to work in the order that the questions are given so that it is easier to isolate the appropriate section of the passage for reference. One of the sections is a duel-passage section that will require students to read two passages and answer questions about each individually and some that reference both sections. It is typically best to answer the separate questions about each passage first and then begin the ones that will require knowledge of both.

The sentence completion section presents students with an incomplete sentence that they will need to fill in with the appropriate word. There may only be one blank word in the sentence or there may be two that need to be filled in.

While having a strong vocabulary will certainly help in this section, it is just as important to read carefully and be sure that you understand the sentence. If you don’t immediately know the answer, see if you can eliminate possible answers until one becomes the clear choice. It is also a good idea to read the sentence to yourself with the word filled in to be certain that it makes sense.

Time management is an important factor in the critical reading section. It is crucial to read both carefully and quickly in order to answer the questions in the allotted time. A solid SAT preparation program will help students get comfortable with the format so that they can relax and do their best on test day.

Taking practice tests during your SAT test prep is one of the best ways to prepare for the critical reading section. A good plan for test preparation will also help students hone their reading comprehension skills and feel comfortable with the format of the SAT critical reading section. The more you read passages that are similar to the ones on the SAT, the more quickly and accurately you will be able to work on test day.


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