Taking The Next Step: Information On Applying To College

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Being a senior in high school is exciting and bittersweet.  Although you may have mixed feelings about finishing up your final year of school, the thrill of going to college is right around the corner.  At times, this academic transformation may seem a little confusing.  Applying to various colleges, participating in SAT preparation, filling out scholarship applications, and making living arrangements can get quite overwhelming. While some schools recommend beginning the application process during your senior year of high school, it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible.  No need to stress.  In order to find the perfect college, there are a few key items to keep in mind.

Where Do You Want To Go?

Take a step back and consider which colleges you are interested in attending.  Perform some online research to find which colleges are right for you.  While the USA has over 4,000 institutions of higher learning, it may be hard to narrow the search.  By selecting your top ten favorites, you will be able to look at these colleges more clearly.  While browsing through the colleges you may want to consider:

  • Academic success rate:  While some colleges accept every applicant, you want to be choosy on the reputation of the school, as well as their record for graduating students.
  • Living accommodations:  Whether on-campus or off, decide if the living arrangements match your particular needs and lifestyle.
  • Programs that are offered:  If you have a certain area of interest, make sure that the college offers a degree in that area.

Do You Qualify?

As you may know, there are several qualifications that a school board will consider as they are looking at your application.   While your grade point average and high school involvement will be highlighted on your application, your SAT test scores will play a large part in making your application stand out.

How You Can Better Your Chances

Over 85% of colleges require an SAT score to be submitted with your application.  Since your SAT test score can weight heavy on your application, it is a good idea to take an online SAT preparation course.  This SAT course can be instrumental in helping you prepare for the real exam.  Studies have shown that taking an SAT preparation course can actually increase your SAT score.  The good news about online test preparation is that it is free.  By taking an SAT practice exam, you will be able to become familiar with the format and the content that will be given on the SAT test.  The better your SAT test score, the better your chances are for getting accepted.


Now that you have chosen your colleges and taken your SAT test, you can begin the process of filling out your applications.  Organizing your information before beginning can make the process easier.  Make sure to take your time with each application and do your best job answering all of the questions.  Most important, make sure you read the deadline for entering your application as each college will have a different application deadline date.

Congratulations!  You have made a wonderful decision to better your future and attend college.  Instead of stressing about the application process, enjoy it.  College is exciting and you are entering an amazing time in your life.

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The Different Ways Students Learn

One of the fascinating facts about human nature is that we all learn differently. Some of us may find that we can listen to a speech and remember every detail. Others of us may hear the same speech, but only remember what we saw on the handout sheets or slides. Yet another group of us may listen to the speech, read the materials, but remember the details about an incident that directly relates to our own past experience. These variations may not seem critical in normal activities, but the importance of understanding learning methods becomes evident during test preparation and study sessions for an exam.

There is not a right way to learn or a wrong way, just different methods that work in a unique way for each person. The key to better learning is to evaluate each process and consider which technique will improve individual study habits.

Auditory Learning

A person that learns best through auditory methods demonstrates superior speech skills, listens closely and enjoys interactions with others. They learn test materials best by listening to audio and video presentations. Test tips for auditory learners include recording notes, repeating questions out loud and communicating with others about the materials.

Visual Learning

Visual learners need to have a clearly defined picture in their mind to understand the material. They prefer charts and graphs and study well through independent reading. Test tips for visual learners include taking written notes, watching videos of the subject and creating lists and explicit diagrams that provide a memory aid.

Experiential Learning

Someone who excels in experiential learning prefers a hands-on approach and responds well to material that makes a personal connection. They enjoy laboratory experiments, active learning with others and creating realistic models. Test tips for an experiential learner include developing quick memory tools such as flash or note cards, models and notes, that bring the material to a personal level.

Which Type are You?

Being able to identify the most effective learning method will be an aid during online test preparation. A good way to determine your learning strength is to review the characteristics of each type, see which one is the best fit and focus on that method for an upcoming exam. We all learn at some degree from each method, but normally one type dominates our ability to easily retain material.

Try an experiment by first listening to an oral presentation of a specific section of a practice test. See how much you can remember of the material. Then try it again watching a video that clearly describes the subject and retake the practice exam. Third, think of ways to personalize the material and create a model that relates to the subject. Take the exam again and compare which method was most effective in helping you through the learning process. Be sure to allow time between each session to fully evaluate the method. Being able to analyze each learning style and apply the method will benefit both study habits and test results.

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