Back to School Tips for High Schoolers

Back to school is a time of mixed feelings for most high school students. Summer is coming to an end, a new school year is just beginning, and, for most students, everything about their schedule is changing. For students preparing to take the SAT this year, back to school can seem even more overwhelming than usual.

Taking the SAT is an exciting time and as students prepare for the test and look at their options for college, it is often easy to be excited about back to school. For other students, all the anticipation of planning for life after high school can be stressful. Talking with friends and family members about this can help relieve stress and help students to feel prepared and excited for all of the changes in store.

Preparing for the SAT doesn’t have to be a stressful thing. When you have the right SAT course, preparation can seem like the easy part of back to school. Finding an SAT tutor that is a good fit for your study habits can be an essential part of SAT preparation. The right tutor will be conscious of your trouble areas, study habits, and motivations. An SAT tutor can give students the added push when combined with a good SAT course.

An online SAT prep course will help students schedule their test prep around their busy academic schedules and allow them the flexibility to make their own schedule for test prep as the school year gets underway. An SAT course can often be viewed as a comprehensive SAT preparation program, or it can be paired with a tutoring schedule to enhance the study program. One of the most important elements of test prep will be taking practice tests and getting familiar with the breakdown of the SAT. Feeling in control and well informed about the test will help calm students’ nerves and allow them to enter test day feeling prepared.

For most students, the biggest challenge of back to school will be getting back in control of their schedule. After the summer, being back into the classroom can be challenging. Staying organized and setting aside blocks of time for homework, SAT preparation, extracurricular activities, and social activities can help students get their schedules back under control. Putting together a schedule can help students get everything in order and feel like they are well prepared for a new school year to begin.

Senior Year Planning

Senior year of high school can be an extremely busy time. Many deadlines and decisions are on the horizon and it can be overwhelming for students to balance all of their responsibilities. Developing a solid plan for senior year can help you to avoid stress and assure that everything is done on time.

Fall

The fall of senior year is often the time students choose to devote to taking the SAT. Schedule the test and begin to devote time to studying and preparing for the test. Online test prep is one good option to help SAT test prep fit into an already busy school schedule.

The fall is also the time to seriously narrow down college options. Once you have a list of the schools where you will be applying, organize important dates and deadlines onto a master calendar.

Researching financial aid is another important task for the fall. This involves researching student loan options, scholarships and grants, and options available at each of your colleges.

Winter

Winter of senior year is the time to focus on completing college applications. Many will use the same common application supplemented by some additional questions and information. Take time to write your essays and be sure they are a good reflection of your strengths. Be sure to ask for letters of recommendations early on in the process so that you give your teachers, guidance counselors, and employers plenty of time to write the recommendation.

Once everything is complete, be sure to double check that all parts of the application are there and send them in. Most high schools will provide resources to help students prepare the final application packet.

At this point, many colleges will also want to schedule a personal interview. This is both a time for the college to speak with you and gain additional insight into your application and also a time for you to ask questions about the selection process and why you should choose their college. Viewing the interview as a conversation will keep you from being nervous and help you get the most out of this experience.

Spring

By spring of senior year, you will have heard back from your colleges and it is time to focus on making a decision. If you were accepted to multiple schools, it is often worthwhile to visit these colleges once again. These campus visits can help you to make a confident decision. While on campus, you will want to take another tour, sit in on a class, and talk to current students about their college experience. Be sure to ask plenty of questions of students, staff, and representatives in the admissions office.

Before making a decision, you will also want to discuss your plans with your family, particularly concerning financial aid and how you will be paying for college. Once you have reached a decision, send out your acceptance and rejection letters to all the colleges that accepted you. Your school will soon be sending you more information and you’ll be busy planning for next year. You can now proudly announce your college plans and enjoy the conclusion of your high school career.


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