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Who’s watching your social media posts?
  Alan Katzman is the founder and CEO of Social Assurity . Alan is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  Alan is a sought-after speaker for high school and college students, parents, and educational professionals while frequently participating in education-related events nationwide.  Alan and his work have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, ABC News, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, Business Insider, and Social Media Today. Here are 4 reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning: Reason #1: Admissions Officers Are Looking at Applicant Social Media Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admissions officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants.   Reason #2: Since They’re Looking, Why Not Give Them Something to See? College admissions officers have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject qualified applicants. If and when colleges look, logic dictates they are looking to learn more about the applicant, opening the door of opportunity for the prepared applicant to make a strong impression and set themselves apart from other qualified applicants.   Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense Almost all colleges now have a prominent social media presence and encourage applicants to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  By optimizing social media to showcase their activities, interests, accomplishments, and service, applicants can freely and safely interact with colleges and may very well impress the right people as a result.   Reason #4: Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character and credibility assessments made by colleges, scholarship committees, and employers. Today, a thoughtful, transparent, and reflective digital presence across social media networks can help students achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.   Take action Review your social media accounts.  What would you like colleges or others to see about you?   ...
What is your status - Junior checklist?
  There are multiple steps to getting a COMPLETE application into the college of your choice.  Use the following checklist to see where you are in the process.  College Applications Filling out the college application is only the first part of the process. Common Application Coalition Application State colleges/universities Application Individual colleges/university applications Transcripts Check transcript requirements for each college you are applying to. Transcript required with application Transcript required after application Transcript required after enrollment You may need to send another transcript in January.  This is known as the “Seventh semester transcript.”  It shows your grades from your first semester in senior year. Test Scores Be sure to request the following test scores to be sent to all your colleges.  Be sure to include both past and future test scores: ACT SAT SAT Subject Submit your AP test scores after you graduate, unless requested otherwise. Recommendations Check to be sure your counselor and teachers have completed any recommendations you have requested. Financial Aid forms College is expensive. Work together with your parents to get your financial aid forms completed. FAFSA- ALL colleges use the FAFSA CollegeBoard Profile- some private colleges and other programs use an extra financial aid form. It is quite involved and takes a lot of time to complete.  Watch for deadlines. Special applications Some special programs (such as honors programs) or scholarships require additional applications.  Check college website for additional applications and deadlines.     ...
How do you create the ultimate activities list?
Doing pep rallies? Preparing for Academic competitions? Playing a sport?  Colleges care about how you have spent your time while in high school.  Here are 3 steps to create the Ultimate Activities List. 1) WRITE down all the activities you have been involved in during high school.  As you get this information down, include: Name of the organization or activity you were involved in. Don’t use abbreviations. The reader may not know what ASB or DECCA is. A description of the activity or organization. What is the focus of the activity or organization? All activities. Don’t forget about other groups or organizations you belong to outside of school. Youth groups, club or recreational sports, performing arts, talents (such as music) or hobbies count too. Grade level(s) participated in. Include whether you did an activity 1 year or all 4 years. Occasional activities. Doing a food drive once a year counts. Include those once or twice activities. 2)  DETAILS needed.   Be sure to go back and include this information on your activity list: How many hours per week you participated in the activity or organization. Don’t be stingy with your hours; give yourself credit for all hours. How many weeks per year you participated in the activity or organization. Count 1 week for activities you did once. Your level of involvement. Especially include any leadership role you may have held.  Show your growing level of involvement too. If you moved from participant to team leader; or held an office. 3)  PRIORITIZE now. When you apply to college, the Common App only has room for 10 activities. Give priority to the following items on your activity list. Activities with lots of hours.  Hours count. Make sure the activities you spend the most time are listed at the top. Activities with leadership. This is what colleges are looking for. Highlight them! By organizing now you will stand out on your college applications.  Make copies of your Ultimate Activity List to send to the teachers and others you have asked to be a recommender. ...
What should I expect on the PSAT when I take it in October?
  Guessing allowed . Remember, no deductions are made for incorrect answers on the PSAT.  So guess away! Prepare to read for content . PSAT uses longer reading passages, with questions based on content, not words. So prepare to read and understand the passages. Same score scale as SAT.   The PSAT  scale is the same as the SAT- almost. The scale ranges from 160-760 for each section: 320-1520 for 2 sections. The SAT score range is 200-800. Prepare for a long test.  The PSAT  test is 2 hours 45 minutes. Be prepared for the long haul. Remember your formulas and history. Don’t be surprised to find questions about science or the founding fathers. PSAT  test questions are evidence-based. Scores, scores and more scores.  The PSAT has multiple ways to look at what you were tested on and how you fared on the test.  Go over test scores with your school counselor.   Practice Made Easy The College Board offers different types of practice.  Select the one that works best for you. Sample Questions Practice PSAT Test Practice the Khan Academy Way   ...
What did you get on your AP's?
` Anxious to see your AP scores? Wait no longer! AP tests come out next week. Scores come out by physical location. View the date and location schedule on the College Board schedule . Go to www.apscore.org to view your scores. What is the AP exam score scale? There is no “pass” or “fail” on the AP tests.  It’s important to understand the definitions of the AP scores. 5 = extremely well qualified | This will get you  college credit at some universities 4 = well qualified  |  This will get you college credit at some universities 3 = qualified   |  This can get you college credit as some universities 2 = possibly qualified   |  You will not get college credit at a university 1 = no recommendation   |  You will not get college credit at a university   What if I have other scores? Go to www.apscore.org to view scores on tests you took in previous years. What if I have other questions about my AP test scores? Check out the College Board’s AP Student Top Questions page for answers to viewing and sending scores to colleges, payment, and more. Sending Scores to College If you just graduated, be sure you send your scores to the college you are attending in the fall.  The college needs your official AP scores.` ...
Do activities matter?
Many colleges use activities to understand you more as a person. Remember this goal when you make your list. Tips for getting an edge in your application with activities: Make a master list of all your activities in high school, starting with 9th grade. Write down everything - you can prioritize later. Ask parents and friends for input.  They will remember something you forgot. Be sure to include one time events, like a blood drive or fund-raising event. List things you are involved in, like babysitting, cooking classes, music, sports, reading. They don’t need to be organized activities.   ...
Looking for an exciting summer?
What are your plans for summer?  Now is the time to find programs for next summer to participate in. Do it this month!  Many programs fill up early.  Many have deadlines as early as February. What types of summer programs are there? Educational Want to take an AP government class or a Biology AP class in the summer?  And be on a college campus?  Or as an International student brush up on English. Several options exist for you. Research Take advantage of opportunities to do research in an area of interest of yours. Sports How better to hone your skills in your sport on a college campus. Check with your coach for opportunities for summer camps. Test Prep Ready to prepare for the SAT or ACT? Want to include study tips and tools? Many choices exist, ranging from 1 week to several weeks. Travel Do a homestay in Switzerland or visit Latin American country to learn Spanish or study a subject you are passionate about. Other Performing arts, music camps, internships, the list of options is endless. Here is a list of websites to get you started in looking for summer programs. Teenlife ARCC Pathways to STEM Concordia Language Villages   ...
7 Tips for Acing the SAT
  How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you: Test Day Checklist.  Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST . Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch and an approved calculator. Consider Using Score Choice.. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see the scores. You can send them to selected colleges later. Guess. SAT has eliminated the ¼ pt deduction for guessing and given you only four answers to choose from- just like the ACT. Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score. Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2.  The SAT now emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  Not much Geometry. The math section includes many word-based problems. Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Math. The essay is now at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours 50 minutes, including the essay. It is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section.  The essay is offered at the end of the exam. Prepare for Analytical Essay.  The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing. Relax.  This is just a test. It shows your ability on this Saturday in March. It does not define the rest of your life.  You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize. Registration links : ACT SAT ...
GPA or Rigor-Which trumps in your college applications?
When applying to colleges, which is better? To have the honor of Valedictorian at your high school (perhaps taking less hard classes to make that happen), or taking the hardest classes possible and sacrificing the chance to be valedictorian?  Does GPA trump rigor in your class schedule?   Rigor is the Trump Overwhelmingly, the first criteria colleges use to compare students for admissions is the rigor of their high school coursework. More important than GPA is how far you have stretched yourself academically when in high school.  Of course, having good grades AND rigor in your courses is the best goal!   Go competitive Use the following guidelines when choosing classes in high school to be competitive when applying to colleges. Be sure to check class requirements in different states. (For example, California public colleges require 1 year of Visual or Performing Arts.) 4 years of English 4 years of Mathematics 3-4 years of Science (lab science) 3-4 year of a Foreign Language 1-4 years of a Fine Arts (includes visual or performing arts classes. Any number of years of electives, as they fit into your schedule Special classes that are not college prep, such as Student Council, Mock Trial, etc. can be counted as activities on your college applications.   Dual Enrollment Taking college classes online. or at a local college or community college while in high school, is an additional way to add rigor to your high school courses. Colleges like to see you strive academically.  Often 1 semester of a college school class = 1 year of a high school class.  Transferable college classes often count the same weight in a gpa calculation as an AP. ...
Seniors: Do you fear the ACT or SAT writing?
  Tip: The essay portion of the SAT is not to be feared, nor, does it need to receive an inordinate attention in the preparation process.  It counts for only part of the score on the SAT Writing.  The bulk of the score is in multiple choice questions.  These questions cover improving sentences, improving paragraphs and identifying sentence errors. When you register for the ACT, register for the writing section.  Set a task to study for the writing sections of your tests, with an emphasis on the multiple choice questions.  Plan to finish all your tests by December at the latest.          `   ...
Do I get docked for guessing on the PSAT?
Tip: Don’t be afraid to guess on the PSAT.  The penalty for guessing (deleting a ¼ of a point for each wrong answer) has been taken away. The SAT is taking a leaf out of the ACT book, which has been testing students for years without a penalty for guessing. Scores Ranges Differ The PSAT 8/9 will have scores from 120-720.  The PSAT/NMSQT test scores will be 160-760. The SAT will keep the 200-800 scores.   ...
What did you get on your AP’s?
Anxious to see your AP scores? Wait no longer! AP tests come out this week. Scores come out by physical location. View the date and location schedule, and your scores on the College Board schedule . What is the AP exam score scale? There is no “pass” or “fail” on the AP tests.  It’s important to understand the definitions of the AP scores. 5 = extremely well qualified | This will get you  college credit at some universities 4 = well qualified  |  This will get you college credit at some universities 3 = qualified   |  This can get you college credit as some universities 2 = possibly qualified   |  You will not get college credit at a university 1 = no recommendation   |  You will not get college credit at a university What if I have other scores? Go to www.apscore.org to view scores on tests you took in previous years. What if I have other questions about my AP test scores? Check out the College Board’s AP Student Top Questions page for answers to viewing and sending scores to colleges, payment, and more. Sending Scores to College If you just graduated, be sure you send your scores to the college you are attending in the fall.  The college needs your official AP scores. ...
Is Standardized Testing Stressing You Out?
Standardized testing can be daunting!  Follow these tips to reduce your stress and help you do best on your tests. 1. 3 Times is Enough Plan to take the SAT/ACT no more than 3 times each. You should be done testing by fall of your senior year. 2. Try both the SAT and ACT Take a diagnostic test or take the official ACT/SAT tests to see which one you prefer and/or do best on. 3. Start to Study Immediately Don’t waste one of your tries before you’ve even cracked open your prep book.  Know what to expect on the test and be familiar with the format. Practice test taking strategies. Practice your weaknesses. Don’t waste time practicing your strengths. 4. Pick One Test and Stick to It Take a diagnostic test to find which test- ACT or SAT – would be best for you to take. Once you know which exam you find more manageable, put all your energy into it. 5. Know which other standardized tests you have to take. Do you have to take SAT subject tests to be admitted to your school of choice? 6. Treat the SAT for what it is….a small piece of the picture. Colleges use a holistic admissions process. They evaluate all parts of your application, including your test results.   ...
When am I taking what test?
There are lots of tests and testing dates to keep track of. Knowing what tests are offered when, and the months of registration deadlines are important for scheduling. 1. Plan your test schedule for taking the ACT, PSAT, SAT and SAT Subjects. 2. Schedule tests with time in between to get your scores back, so you know what to study for. 3. Register early for your test. 4. Allow 45-60 minutes to register. There are lots of questions! 5. Upload a picture for your ACT or SAT / SAT Subject Test Registration. 6. Take the personality survey in the ACT registration.   ...
What is your “student” style?
What is your “student” style? Each student has a certain style of learning or performing in class and on the high school campus.Think about your three favorite classes on campus. Answer the following questions about yourself and how you have performed in each class: What have you demonstrated in class that this teacher could praise?   Describe ways you have made learning in class better. Focus on specific contributions, including: Discussions Presentations Projects Essays What positive character traits have you displayed in this teacher’s class? Which of the following character traits have you demonstrated in class? Integrity Independence Initiative Responsibility Maturity Respect Perseverance Attention Punctuality Going above expectations How have you used your intellect in this teacher’s class? Describe ways you have demonstrated your love of learning in this class. Can you describe how you have demonstrated each of these intellectual traits in class: Curiosity Connections Creativity Solutions What was challenging for you in this class? Don’t just focus on the “easy” classes. Think about some of your more challenging classes. What was most challenging in this class? Tests? Assignments?  Course content? How did you overcome the challenge? How did your (or how can you) improve your performance? Answer these questions for each of your top three favorite classes.  Reflect on your answers.  What can you do to change your “student style”.  How can you grow as a student and get more out of your classes?  Where can you ask teachers for help?   ...
How do you survive finals or AP tests?
Surviving Finals and AP Tests Worried about your upcoming finals or AP tests? Reduce stress and ace your tests by using these study tips from a graduate student. 1. Find a study space that suits you. For students who need a bit of chaos while they work, coffee houses usually have the perfect amount of chatter and noise while also having private study nooks. For students who need isolation and quiet, a bedroom with the door closed and simplynoise.com (a white noise generator) playing is ideal. (Serious studies should consider the private study rooms in the school library. Make sure your surroundings are comfortable to you before settling in for studying. 2. Enjoy your favorite beverage and some snacks while you study. It might be a long night - treat yourself. I suggest something like cheese and crackers, granola bars, vegetables with dip, or peanut M&M's. 3. Never study where you sleep. As it gets later in the evening, and you begin to read your notes in an exhausted, monotone drawl, it will be too easy to slip into sleep. Sitting upright in a chair will keep you in study mode much longer than lounging on your pillows. Your bed will beckon you at one some point in the evening, resisting will be much easier if you aren't already on it. 4. Don't try to learn anything new the night before. This tip is directed especially at those who take part in study groups or work with study buddies. If one of your peers uses a different approach to get their answers and it helps you - good. However, if you force yourself to learn their approach because you are not confident enough in your own too close to test day you could ruin your chances. Stick to what you know. 5. Don't put all of your time into one area. It may be tempting to spend 3 hours on science, and 1 hour on everything else because you feel that science needs your attention most, but this is a huge gamble. You run the risk of not preparing well enough for an entire cluster of subjects because you were in a panic over one. Attack the chapters and the problems where you struggle most so that you use your time well. Spending some extra time here or there is not an issue, but give every subject the attention it is due. 6. Avoid thinking "I should have" and "I would have." It is useless to have an emotional breakdown about how you should have asked that question or met with that study group the night before the test. Your notes and the knowledge will have to do, and if you study right they'll be enough. You can waste time if you are getting upset over things you cannot affect. Do your best, that's all there is to it. 7. Beware the allure of "study buddies." Contacts are important for when you are feeling stuck, but committing to a study buddy is not always clever. Everyone studies differently. Your friend may enjoy going over Brown v. the Board of Education with his Pandora station all the way up and a case of sugar-free Red Bull, but if you are the type of student who needs calm and quiet to absorb the information you will be completely lost. Be certain that your study buddy works in the very same way that you do before agreeing to give up your focus time. 8. Take breaks while you study to stay sharp. Study in blocks of 60 minutes with 10-minute breaks in between. If your focus is especially weak, start with study blocks of 30 minutes with 5-minute breaks. Set alarms on your phone to let you know when to start and stop, and stick to them. During your study block you should only be studying - don't pet the dog, don't check your e-mail, don't text, just hit the books. Find apps to help you stay focused and on task. 9. Do something enjoyable before you go to sleep. Don't study up until you go to sleep, it will make actual sleep a challenge. You'll lay there questioning whether or not you will remember things tomorrow, and if you learned them correctly. Instead, give yourself at least 30 minutes before you go to bed to do something completely unrelated that makes you happy and takes your mind off of things. Watch an episode of your favorite show. Click around on Facebook. Play a video game. 10. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. This tip will give you a serious advantage. The student next to you may have studied their notes 6 times over, but with only 2 hours of sleep they aren't likely to remember as much. Monster or Red Bull will keep you alert, but the same cannot be said for your mind. Get some real sleep and your nerves will thank you.   ...
What do you do in the summertime?
Summertime!  Dreaming of sleeping in, hanging out with friends and producing youtube videos?  Time is precious!  Plan now to use your summertime to explore careers, build upon your extra-curricular experiences, learn new skills or have new experiences. Here are some summertime ideas. 1.       Take up a new form of exercise (swimming, biking, running, etc.). 2.       Volunteer to help in a political campaign. 3.       Take a college class. 4.       Do a job shadow. 5.       Explore your creative side through a class or project. 6.       Take a first aid class. 7.       Volunteer at a children’s summer camp. 8.       Take a class at the local arts center or theater group. 9.       Volunteer to coach or be an assistant coach for a sport. 10.   Do an internship. 11.   Take a study skills class. 12.   Take a speed reading class. 13.   Learn how to take notes. 14.   Take a computer skill or keyboarding class. 15.   Do a summer exchange program. 16.   Start a business. 17.   Participate in a simulation program like Mock Trial or Model United Nations. 18.   Do a language immersion program. 19.   Do a trek. 20.   Teach a new skill to children or senior citizens. 21.   Organize a family reunion. 22.   Volunteer at a community event. 23.   Write articles for your local newspaper. 24.   Volunteer for the city or other parks in your community. 25.   Write a family history. 26.   Create and publish a photo book. 27.   Organize and create a mural in your community. 28.   Organize a local youth event. 29.   Write and produce a video to support local conservation. 30.   Start a blog on a topic you care about.   Summer will fly by quickly - make a plan now to explore some of these options! ...
Killer Study Apps Students Must Have
Do you dream of spending less time studying and still getting great grades?  Turn your phone or device into a study machine. With finals just around the corner, now is the time to learn how to use some of these great resources.  You may find a favorite that you’ll continue to use in college! Here are some killer apps to use to be a better student! 1.   Evernote : place to keep and record notes (desktop, online and mobile app) 2.   Trello: create and track projects (online and mobile app) 3.   Cornell Notes : study faster and easier (iOS app) 4.   Dropbox :  create and access files from any device (desktop, online and mobile app) 5.   Khan Academy : lots of subjects covered in a way you can relate to (online) 6.   GoConqr :  create mind maps for projects, make flash cards, create your own quizzes, (online and mobile app) 7.    Wunderlist : Organize and share your to-do, work, grocery, movies and household lists (online and mobile app) Many of these resources are free or offer a free basic version you can try out! ...
Which SAT Subject Tests Can You Take in May?
  Deadlines to Register for SAT Subject Tests Soon! Deadlines to register for SAT Subject tests are in early April. How do you know if you need to take College Board SAT Subject tests?  Make your decision by: Reviewing the test requirements of the college you are interested in or plan to apply to. Planning to take the Subject tests when you finish that class in high school. You can take a Subject test at any time in your high school career. Plan to take Subject tests after you finish a class with an SAT subject test. Plan for each year you are in high school   May Subject Tests You can choose up to 3 subject tests to take on one day. Note which subjects, such as Math or Biology, with options. Check the College Board website to learn more about what content each subject covers. Literature US History Mathematics Level 1 (many schools will not accept Math Level 1- so check requirements) Mathematics Level 2 (a better Math subject test to take) Biology (Ecology or Molecular) Chemistry Physics French Spanish   June Subject Tests Busy in May? Or need more tests? You can choose up to 3 subject tests to take in June. Literature US History World History Mathematics Level 1 (many schools will not accept Math Level 1- so check requirements) Mathematics Level 2 (a better Math subject test to take) Biology (Ecology or Molecular) Chemistry Physics French German Spanish Modern Hebrew Italian Latin   Language Tests Note there are many more language tests in June that May.  Make your choices of test dates based on the availability of tests. These are not the “with listening” language tests, with the exception of Korean. Most other languages with listening subject tests are only available in November.   Register NOW Register NOW for your SAT Subject tests. You need a College Board account to register. If you don’t have one yet, create one .     ...
How can I get to know my teachers better?
How do you get to know your teachers or counselor better? Here are 3 tips to building relationships with your teachers and counselors. Show up!  Make sure your counselor or teachers know you personally by showing up for class, for appointments and for school activities.  Drop by the teacher’s room or your counselor’s office during lunch, breaks or after school.  Get to know your teachers/counselor and let them get to know you. Speak up! Make your voice heard by asking questions in class. Share thoughts and ideas.  Be an active participant in class or on campus. Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts or opinions. Stand out! Make yourself known. Be involved in a club or student body activity.  Each activity has a faculty advisor. Get to know that faculty advisor. It is not recommended you do everything. Pick 1-3 things you are really interested in or passionate about and commit your time and energy to those activities. Volunteer to lead committees or to be a leader in the activity.   ...
How to Become a College Athlete
Many colleges offer the students the opportunity to play sports - either at the varsity level, or in clubs and intramurals.  Do you have what it takes to play sports in college? Student athletes often report more stress than non-athletes.   They have more responsibilities and may not get enough time to sleep. But they are more likely to be happy socially.  Each athletic division has their own academic eligibility requirements.  As you evaluate schools that offer your favorite sport, make sure to keep your education and future career in mind. More competitive divisions may want to see videos of your events.   It’s a good idea to keep a record of all your stats, awards and accomplishments.   Fill out the athletic questionnaire on each college website & call or email the athletic director/coach.  Game on! Varsity Sports  1.  NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association The NCAA includes schools in Div I, Div II, and Div III.  They follow academic eligibility and recruiting rules. Div I and Div II schools can provide athletic scholarships, but full ride scholarships are rare and most athletic scholarships will not even cover the cost of tuition.    Div III schools do not provide any athletic scholarships.  Don’t rule them out because their college offered merit scholarships may make up for the lack of athletic scholarship money. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center , if interested in a Div I or Div II school.  2.  NAIA - National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Made up of smaller 4-year colleges across the US and Canada.  The competitive level is described as being equivalent to the NCAA Div II.  The NAIA offers athletic scholarships. Register with the NAIA Eligibility Center   3.  NJCAA - National Junior College Athletic Association The NJCAA's mission is to promote and foster two-year college athletics in an affordable and competitive environment. Many scholarship opportunities are available, Club and Intramurals Sports Students who can’t make the varsity team or who don’t want the intensity of varsity-level sports can join clubs and intramural leagues. Students take part in these teams to compete, have fun and stay fit. Take Action: Evaluate the difference between the different athletic divisions.   Visit the following sites: NCAA NAIA NJCAA   ...
7 Tips for Acing the New SAT
How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you: Test Day Checklist.  Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST . Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch and an approved calculator.   Consider Using Score Choice.. Consider waiting  to send your scores until you see the scores. You can send them to selected colleges later.   Guess. SAT has eliminated the ¼ pt deduction for guessing and given you only four answer to choose from- just like the ACT. Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score.   Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2.  The SAT now emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  Not  much Geometry. The math section includes many word based problems.   Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence based Reading and Writing, and  Math. The essay is now at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours 50 minutes, including the essay. It is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section.  The essay is offered at the end of the exam.   Prepare for Analytical Essay.  The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing.   Relax.  This is just a test. It shows your ability on this Saturday in March. It does not define the rest of your life.  You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize.   Registration links: ACT SAT Ask at your school about taking a practice SAT or ACT test. ...
What can you learn from your PSAT scores?
New PSAT Scoring system = Alignment with SAT scores A test for sophomores (the PSAT 10) will be offered by some schools between the end of February and early March.  On January 7, now your PSAT/NMSQ   scores were made available online. Take Action: To make the most of the PSAT, here are your next steps: Click here to set up your free, online student account to access your PSAT/NMSQT test scores. Click here to set up account with Kahn Academy. Use this account to view recommendations for studying for the SAT. Click here to learn more about the National Merit Scholarship that is a part of the PSAT. (The test is  the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) Click here to read College Board article on score calculations, score ranges, percentiles and college readiness benchmarks.   Viewing Scores The new PSAT score reports are different from the ones in the past. The College Board has finally aligned the PSAT scores with the SAT scores. You can use your PSAT test scores to learn more about how you might do on the upcoming SAT tests.  Because now there are a LOT of scores on the test, how do you know which scores to pay attention to? Here are some tips for you. When viewing Using your score report, focus on: Raw scores.  Look at your Reading/Writing score, your math score, and total score. Ignore percentiles.  This is a new test- the percentiles are research based only. Don’t worry about the percentiles. Check your NMSC Selection Index . Is there an asterisk (*) next to it?   College and Career Readiness Benchmarks Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about where you are on the benchmarks.  Make a count of how many you have in the following benchmark areas: Green (meets or exceeds benchmark)   Yellow (approaching benchmark)   Red (need to strengthen skills)     Get Advice from the Experts on Benchmarks Talk to your counselor or advisor about recommendations to move your red and yellow benchmarks into green. Using Sub Scores Find the section of your score report, Your Scores: Next Steps . This is a great resource for you, showing what you are already able to do. It also includes suggestions for improving your skills. These suggestions become the beginning of the Kahn Academy personalized preparation plan.  The scores are broken into: Reading Test Writing and Language Test Math Test   Study Smarter, not Harder If you use your PSAT scores for preparation for the SAT, you will be studying smarter, not harder. It will save you hours of study to know from your PSAT scores what you already know, and what you need to focus in preparation for the SAT.  Go over your PSAT scores with parents, counselors and teachers. Use this to create a personalized, study plan for the SAT.  `   ...
What is your status?
  January equals the mid-point of your school junior year. NOW is the time to review your MID YEAR JUNIOR CHECKLIST . This is an exciting but busy year for you.   1. Meet with High school counselor ⬜  Review PSAT scores with counselor and parents (if you took it in the fall) ⬜  Ask for recommendations for summer programs ⬜  Set next year’s senior year course schedule ⬜  Set standardized testing schedule ⬜  Discuss any school based standardized testing (AP, IB, other)   2. Gear up for Next Senior Year ⬜  Explore summer programs ⬜  Set up plans to prepare for all spring tests, using PSAT test scores as a guide ⬜  Talk to teachers about recommendation policies (for summer programs, scholarships or college applications).. ⬜  Do some job shadowing or internships to learn more about potential careers ⬜  Plan college Visits   ...
What do I need to focus on in my second semester?
Now that your first semester is under your belt, it is tempting to take it easy during your second semester. Why does it matter if some of my grades slip this semester? What You Do Now Matters Colleges are going to ask the following questions of you: Did you challenge yourself?  Did you take the hardest classes you could! Did you get the best grades you could?  This includes both first and second semester. What did you do extra in your classes?  Are you contributing to the class?  Will your teachers discuss your contributions in your recommendations? Finish Strong Keep your grades up and your enthusiasm going as you start in your spring semester.  You will be glad you did! ...
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