Plan for College
How To Eat For The SAT Or ACT
3 Tips To Get Your Head In The Test Game
Breaking The College Code
AP, IB, SAT, ACT, oh my! So many acronyms, so little time. Understanding all the different means can leave you feeling dizzy. Our friends at Girls Life wanted to make you feel at ease. They have provided a break down of each term.
Er. What’s an “AP” class?
An AP class is an upper level Advanced Placement class. The AP program is administered by the College Board, which also oversees the PSAT and SAT (more about those two later). APs are supposed to be college-level courses you take for a year in high school, rather than the typical college quarter, trimester or semester, though if your school is on a block schedule, this may be different. There are tons of AP classes—from biology to art history to Chinese—but not all schools offer all the classes.
Got it. So, what’s an IB, then?
The International Baccalaureate or IB program offers upper-level coursework, but it requires students to take a full diploma, or array of classes, rather than only picking the subject that interest them. Students across the globe enroll in the IB program, whereas the AP system is more of an American thing.
OK. Let’s talk SAT.
The SAT used to stand for “standardized achievement test.” Now, however, it doesn’t stand for anything. Yep, weird, we know. The SAT an admissions test administered by the College Board (the same folks who maintain the AP program we talked about earlier). It’s the most widely recognized test in the U.S., and is used in part or whole in admissions decisions for many colleges and universities. Some schools are becoming “test optional”, which means you don’t have to submit SAT (or ACT—see below) scores to apply or be accepted.
One more thing. What’s the deal with the ACT?
Good question! The ACT is a “college readiness assessment” meant to more completely test a student’s preparedness for college. Subjects tested include English, math, reading and science, with an optional writing test. The highest score you can get on the ACT is a perfect 36. You can take the ACT as many times as you want, though like the SAT, twice is probably the average.
For more details for each abbrivation, head over to Girls Life for the full article.
Get The Most Out Of Accepted Students Days
The long wait is finally over! College decision letters are trickling in, runs to the mailbox are ridiculously frequent and high school seniors are increasingly jittery.
If you've already gotten your acceptance letters, congrats! After you celebrate and do a couple of victory dances, what's a pre-collegiette to do now?
One thing to keep an eye out for is when admitted students days are. Most colleges and universities hold an open house day or weekend event in March or April for accepted students and their families to visit the campus before making their final college decisions. This is a great opportunity to celebrate with fellow accepted freshmen, get to know the school better and gain some much-needed clarity. Check out these 11 tips for navigating this important event and getting the most out of your accepted students day!
1. Pack wisely and prepare lots of questions
This is the first time you're going to meet your potential future classmates and a lot of other important people, so of course you're going to want to look cute and make a good impression! However, it's probably better to ditch your heels and restrictive clothes for a pair of good walking shoes. "Be comfortable and dress for the weather," says Marla Platt, consultant at college consulting service Achieve Coach College Consulting. "Plan on a lot of walking and standing and talking."
Also, make sure to bring a notebook and pen so you're prepared to take notes. With so much happening in such a short amount of time, your brain will thank you later for writing down your reactions to all the scheduled activities you attended, as well as things that you and your family decided to do and explore on your own.
Notes, of course, can't replace photos. Make sure to pack a camera or check that you have enough space on your phone for lots of photos. "Snap some pictures... to capture photos of the school, the surrounding area, etc.," Platt says. "Images can do a lot to evoke remembered feelings that go beyond scribbled notes."
Lastly, but most importantly, come with a ready mind. Think about what you want to get out of this experience and what you want to learn about the school. Platt says it’s important to go prepared with specific questions related to what’s important to you, such as academic advising or the classroom vibe. For example, how does the academic advising system work? Are there any extracurricular activities available in the areas that you're interested in? How accessible are the professors? Preparing lots of questions will make it easier for you to see if this is really the right college for you!
Freshman Dorm Life: Choosing a Roommate
You're about to embark on a life beyond high school. You're ready to leave your parent's house and into the dorms. Do you want the comfort of a familar face or take a chance on meeting new people? Cliff's Notes can help you pick the right roomate.
How To Ace The ACT Like A Boss
With the ACT only days away, are you feeling nervous? We understand the how pressure and time can mess up your mojo. Thanks to our friends at Sparknotes, we have 7 basic rules for you to ace your ACT like a boss!
1. Know the Instructions for Each Subject Test
Since you’ll need all the time you can get, don’t waste time reading the Subject Test instructions during the actual test. Learn the instructions beforehand by taking practice tests and reading our chapters on the Subject Tests.
2. Use Your Test Booklet as Scratch Paper
Some students seem to think their test booklet has to look “pretty” at the end of the test. Don’t be one of those students. A pristine test booklet is a sad test booklet. 3. Answer Easy Questions before Hard Questions
3. Answer Easy Questions before Hard Questions
This is a crucial strategy for the ACT. Since all questions within a Subject Test are worth the same number of points, there’s no point slaving away over a difficult question if doing so requires several minutes. In the same amount of time, you probably could have racked up points by answering a bunch of easy, less time-consuming questions.
4. Don’t Get Bogged Down by a Hard Question
This rule may seem obvious, but many people have a hard time letting go of a question. If you’ve spent a significant amount of time on a problem (in ACT world, a minute and a half is a lot of time) and haven’t gotten close to answering it, just let it go.
For the rest of the tips, make sure you head over Sparknotes. Once you get all the tips down, you’ll walk out of that test like a boss! Good luck!
Taking the SAT?
Taking the SAT? If you're heading to college next soon, it's definitely on your to-do list. Trust us when we tell you that you want to read this ENTIRE article before you go take the SAT. Just trust us!
The SAT is coming up and rather than give you another list of things to bring or ways to study, we thought we'd give you something you could really use. We present to you our list of songs to play to get you pumped up for the SAT! So put on your earphones and get ready to get hyped to take the SAT like a boss!
The Black Eyed Peas - Pump It
Katy Perry - Roar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us
Jennifer Hudson - I Got This
Flo Rida - Good Feeling
Pharrell Williams - Happy
YOLO: Drake Gets Grad Speech Makeover
College Visit Checklist
- Take part in a group information session at the admission office.
- Interview with an admission officer.
- Pick up financial aid forms.
- Sit in on a class that interests you. If classes aren’t in session, just see what the classrooms are like.
- Meet a professor who teaches a subject that interests you.
- Talk to students about what they think of their classes and professors.
- Get the names of the people you meet and their business cards so you can contact them later if you have questions.
- Take a campus tour.
- Talk to current students about life on campus and the college.
- Check out the freshmen dorms and stay overnight with a student, if possible.
- Visit the dining hall, fitness center, library, career center, bookstore and other campus facilities.
- Talk to the coaches of sports that you may want to play.
- Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
- Listen to the college radio station.
- Read the student newspaper.
- Read other student publications, such as department newsletters, alternative newspapers and literary reviews.
- Scan bulletin boards to see what daily student life is like.
- Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
- Browse the school’s website and any campus blogs.
- What are the best reasons to go to this college?
- What’s it like to go from high school to college?
- What do you do in your free time? On the weekends?
- What do you love about this college?
- What do you wish you could change about this college?
- Why did you choose this college?
- What is it like to live here?
For Sophomores and Freshmen
Can 10 questions really help you discover your future? We guess you'll just have to answer them to find out! Get started on your road to discovery now!
For Middle Schoolers
You're probably thinking, "College is way too far away for me to be thinking about it now!" Oh, but you're wrong! Middle school is the perfect time to start exploring your interests and what you might be interested in studying in college.
10 Signs You Found the Right College
Our friends at Sparknotes know a lot about choosing a college. We thought we'd share this great story with you about the 10 Signs You Found the Right College!
How to apply to college for free
Take a trip to the guidance counselor
The school guidance counselor can help you schedule your courses, balance your workload, and plan for college. If you’ve never visited the guidance counselor, make an appointment this week! But before you go, here are a few questions to ask!
8 Things College Admissions Counselors Want You To Know
Whether you are applying to a small, private college or a large, public university, there are some universal missteps that can affect your chances of getting admitted. Read these helpful tips from college admissions counselors.
Big Test Coming Up?
Sometimes, making a few changes to your study strategy can make a huge difference in your test scores. Check out these 4 easy tips for doing better on your next test!