Archive for the ‘High School Tips’ Category
The end of the yet another semester is quickly approaching, meaning many students are bound to begin to feel the pressure of final exams and projects. Whether you’re in high school, college, or graduate school, it’s easy to succumb to distractions or become completely overwhelmed. Don’t let finals get the best of your mind; it should be the other way around! The following tips will help you stay energetic, alert, and stress-free.
Take a break from focusing nonstop on your books, move around, and get fresh air. Try hitting the gym for a quick workout to clear your head. Other than the more obvious health benefits, exercise can affect certain chemical levels in the body that can reduce stress. Regular exercise also releases endorphins, which can boost your mood. So get moving with running, jogging, dance, or yoga. Even walking can give your brain the boost it needs.
The key to reducing stress can be as easy as making more nutritious food choices. Put down the pizza, chips, and energy drinks and instead fill yourself with more fruits, vegetable, and water to give yourself energy and keep your mind sharp. It might be near impossible, but make an attempt to cut back on caffeine; too much of it might make you jittery.
Procrastination and all-night cram sessions pave the way for sleep-deprivation, a common and unpleasant side effect of finals week. On average, students may only sleep three to four hours a night. Make an effort to manage your time to allow for you to study in the daytime and aim to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep to feel well-rested. Come exam time you’ll be ready to think more clearly and creatively.
Catch Up with Family and Friends
Nothing will clear your mind better than taking some time to talk with friends and family about anything unrelated to school. It’s good to take yourself out of the college exam bubble and realize that life still exists outside of finals. Share summer plans with one another or any exciting upcoming events.
Relax by doing activities that you consider fun! Listen to your favorite music, watch funny videos or a movie, play video games, eat a yummy dessert, or any other uplifting activities. The pressure from exams you’ll experience is only temporary, so do your best to stay upbeat and lighthearted.Sources: http://www.cengagebrain.com/blog/2012/12/top-10-ways-to-relieve-stress-during-and-after-finals-week/ http://teens.webmd.com/benefits-of-exercise?page=2 http://www.ehow.com/how_2154911_sleep-before-final-exams.html Photo credit: http://edudemic.com/
The end of the semester is in sight! But you’ve taken a look at your grade so far and you aren’t pleased. You don’t want to fail, so how do you salvage your grade before it’s too late? Here are some tips that will help you bump up your grade.
If you haven’t already, the first thing you must do is get serious about your school work. Part of the reason why students’ grades start slipping is because they lose focus. It’s easy to get distracted by the end of the year approaching and other commitments like clubs and sports, but with a failing grade on the line, you need to re-prioritize and make school your top priority.
Meet with Your Professor
Talk to your professor. This should be at the top of your to-do list. Visit your professor during their visiting hours or try to catch him or her before leaving after class. Discuss your performance on your past tests and assignments and let him or her know that you are aware you haven’t done your best work. Your professor may help you identify what exactly you need to improve upon and can help you work on it. He or she can also recommend tutors who can assist you.
Seek Outside Help
Seeking out a tutor or going to a place that offers essay services, such as a writing center, can help you. A writing center can help you with your essay skills. A tutor that specializes in your subject can help you as well. The library is another good source to work on improving your essay and research skills.
Two Heads are Better than One
You don’t have to work alone on improving your grade. Ask your friends for their help. You can form a study group in your class. The more help you receive, the better chance you have of improving your grade. If you don’t like working independently, working with a group will help you study better.
Go the Extra Mile
If it’s possible, check with your professor to see if there are any extra assignments you can do to earn extra credit. If you did badly on a past exam or essay, ask if you can re-write it for a better grade.Photo credit: changefromwithin.org
Senioritis – there’s no doubt that every high school senior knows the feeling. With classes winding down and the start of college quickly approaching, you might be experiencing a decreased sense of motivation. Overcoming it involves the right balance of studying and fun. Bring your attention to a few of the following cures for some of the most common senioritis symptoms:
Lack of Motivation
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you apply to college, you’re free to slack off for the rest of the year. Even after college acceptance letters arrive, it’s required for most students to send final transcripts at the end of the school year. Admissions decisions can be revoked if your GPA takes a significant dip. Keep going to classes and remain focused!
With all the end of the school year excitement, studying sounds like the least appealing item on your list of to dos, but it will only become more intimidating the longer you procrastinate. Set a certain amount of time to study each day and stick with it. Keep your head clear by taking short breaks; go for a walk, have a quick snack, or exercise. Partnering up with a classmate for study sessions may also help. You can keep each other motivated by quizzing each other, creating flashcards, or comparing notes.
You’ve had a long four years, and now it’s time to celebrate! With prom and graduation parties, dresses, dates, and dancing on your mind, don’t forget that you actually have to be on track to graduate to fully enjoy these festivities. Create a schedule so you don’t lose track of major assignments that are due. By getting work out the way first, you will have more free time.
College Over/Under Excitement
It’s common to feel one or both of two extremes before you start college: (1) You’re more than ready to move on and already have your bags packed for new adventures, or (2) you’re feeling nostalgic and will miss high school friends and memories. Look forward to all the new possibilities of college while making the most out everything before it starts by spending time with friends and family. If you’re worried about losing touch, schedule time between breaks to hangout.Photo credit: sharkattackol.com
It’s 10 pm and the prompt for that ten page paper is staring you in the face. You have six pages written and approximately two hours before the paper’s deadline. Reading it over, you realize that you can’t think of anything else to write, but terror washes over you as it sinks in that you’re not done yet. In fact, you need four more pages in order to call this paper quits.
Before you curse your procrastination, we have some tips to help you crank out the rest of those pages.
What Not to Do
You might think your teacher doesn’t know everything, but your teachers do know when you make the font a few sizes bigger, make the margins smaller, or increase the spacing. So don’t take that route. Don’t mess around with long-winded sentences and titles that often detract from your argument. They don’t help you or your paper.
So, since you can’t think of anything else to write, you’ve probably already written everything you know on your topic. Let’s say the topic is a dog. You’ve written about the dog’s fur, diet, play habits, breed origins, everything. Take these topics and branch out a bit. Yes, it’s a risk to go a little off topic, but sometimes the risk is worth the reward, no? Fluff your topic a bit by talking about why the breed of dog was important to the people who bred it. You can easily elaborate on your ideas for at least a page and then tie them neatly back into how the dog is viewed today. See how that works?
Argue With Yourself
Three more pages and you have no idea where to go. Read over your paper again and pick out your arguments. Then, spend some time thinking about the other sides of the argument. Flesh these out and write about them. By taking other viewpoints into consideration, you not only add length to your paper, but strength to your argument when you refute these other ones.
If you really need to, add a few sentences that aren’t quite necessary. Elaborate a little more on minor points that you made. Just make sure that these sentences don’t detract from the flow of your paper.
Conclusion and Intro
A good intro will grab your attention, introduce your topic, and state your argument in a clear and engaging way. Some people find it easiest to write the body of the paper first, and then go back to writing the intro and conclusion. Personally, I like to state my argument (or thesis) first, as it helps remind me what I’m writing about. Pick the way that works best for you. The conclusion might seem daunting, but never fear—it’s a great way to add length with ease. Don’t introduce anything new in the conclusion; it should be a reminder of your points and your original argument. Just reiterate these and there you go!
Ten pages, and it’s only 11:30…just enough time to proofread and send that baby in. Now, that wasn’t that hard, was it?Photo Credit: hercampus.com
Attention high school students: your guidance counselor can be a great resource in your college application process. As a large part of a guidance counselor’s job is helping seniors get into college, they can usually give you answers to every question you might have, or have the connections to find the information you need to know. When you do meet with your counselor, it is important to be prepared with questions to help the appointment run smoothly and ensure you cover all the bases to make yourself an ideal applicant.
1. What core classes do I need to take?
College admissions offices like to see a certain number of years of core classes on your high school transcript. When starting your college search, it will be very helpful to know what the admissions team may be looking for. Some colleges only consider applicants who have studied a foreign language, have four years of English classes, or have an array of AP classes on their transcript, among other requirements. Knowing what you need will influence what classes you register for in your senior year and help you pick your reach, target and safety schools.
2. Where can I look for financial aid?
Your guidance counselor will have very valuable information on the different financial aid options including FAFSA grants and other scholarships you may qualify for. Cappex is also a great resource for researching college scholarships.
3. What information do you need for my recommendation?
Many universities require one or two recommendations from teachers or guidance counselors, and if you go to a big high school, you may not know your guidance counselor on a more personal level. To make sure you get the best recommendations possible, ask your guidance counselor what would be helpful to know about you that they can’t find on your transcript, including clubs, sports teams or other organizations you may be affiliated with, community service projects you’ve completed, awards you’ve won, or your future education goals.
4. How does our school compare to others with test scores and reputation?
Depending on where your high school ranks with test scores, AP classes offered and other indicators, you may have a better or average chance of getting accepted to a certain college. Knowing more about your school’s reputation will help you get a more accurate feel of how this affects your admissions chances.
5. Are there any college fairs nearby?
Your guidance counselor will have important information on local college fairs and which ones you should attend to meet with representatives from your prospective colleges. Some high schools also host their own college fairs and invite university representatives to come from colleges that have historically been popular with your school’s students.
Beginning your senior year of high school is a whirlwind of emotions–excitement, fear, exhilaration, happiness, and maybe even a little sadness. It’s a very bittersweet time, and that makes focusing on schoolwork more of a chore than a thrill. Senioritis grips even the most diligent of students. Here are five ways you can avoid this dreaded “illness” and make your senior year count.
1. Know your enemy. Senioritis is a dramatically decreased sense of motivation towards homework, classes, and school in general. It makes sense, considering the number of years you’ve been in school and the amount of busy work you’ve completed. You’re over the mundane high school classroom scene. You’re ready for real life! You’re ready for fun. Essentially, your enemy is your impending acceptance to a more interesting establishment (college). You’re bored.
2. Find your enemy’s weakness. Senioritis cannot survive when you become more powerful than it is. Your creativity and imagination have the ability to conquer the hallways of boredom that are destroying your motivation. Get innovative. Gather study groups on a friend’s porch instead of preparing for the SAT alone. If you always take the essay route, choose the video production option for a final group project.
3. Make a plan of attack. Senioritis is sneaky and creeps up on you slowly. Fight back! Try the tips featured in Beat Senioritis! Beat Senioritis! Among other proactive things you can do, there is a bucket list option. How can anyone be bored and unmotivated when there’s a bucket list to be completed?! Making these sorts of plans will motivate you in other ways, too.
4. Get REAL. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like a cold shower. Nothing breaks your bout of Senioritis like a reality check. Take a look at tuition costs at your college and find a fun scholarship application to complete. Knowing you’ve got a more exciting and fulfilling future awaiting you at school will spark a fire under you to get moving! Don’t let these tuition reminders get you down. Yes, college is expensive, but there are tools to help you achieve your goals.
5. Make a peace offering to your enemy. Senioritis probably will not disappear completely. It is hard to stay focused when there are fun senior events and everyone seems to be finding a way to make this final year of high school memorable. Give in to that sentimentality – you’re only a senior once. Make time for the fun, relax after your final applications are sent, and embrace your stage in life. Then perk up! Because college is right around the corner, and pretty soon you’ll be a freshman again!
Today’s high school students are smart, and they dream big! Over the last ten years, more and more students are taking advanced placement exams in a variety of different areas, and more of them are scoring a 3 or higher! For those who are not familiar with AP scoring, students can score between 0 and 5, with 3 being the score needed to count the class for college credit. Not a bad deal!
According to the infographic created by Teach.com, 18% of high school students who take this test score a 3 or higher, with Washington D.C. having the lowest average (6.6%) and Maryland having the highest (27.9%). The data also indicates that the majority of test takers are women (66%). It may be surprising to learn that these exams aren’t only in typical high school subjects such as chemistry and U.S. government. AP courses include what many consider to be electives–computer science, calculus, music theory, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and psychology, just to name a few. In addition to more students taking and “passing” these exams, the subjects offered for AP exams are becoming more plentiful, with Chinese, Japanese, studio art 2-D design portfolio, studio art 3-D design portfolio, and world history having been added in the past decade.
Not all students who are recommended to take an AP class actually take it. Possible explanations are concerns that the class may be too difficult, not enough time to dedicate to studying, or a lack of confidence that they can pass a college-level test. After all, students as young as fifteen and sixteen can begin taking AP classes. That’s a lot of work for a high school sophomore, but students may be surprised to learn some of the advantages to taking these tests.
What could taking an AP course in high school do for you? Well besides bragging rights, having a class count for college credit is very useful! It often means you don’t have to use your tuition money on a general course that everyone else has to take. It might mean that you have met a prerequisite that allows you to take a course you have more interest in! If you have taken many AP courses in high school and had them all count as college credit, you could actually start your second semester as a freshman as a first semester sophomore, which is a big deal when sophomores get to pick their classes first! Taking AP classes in high school will also better prepare you for your college career. When your fellow freshmen are struggling with their studies, you will have already learned the ropes. You’ll know how to handle your workload and how to take a college level exam before you even take your first steps on your college campus. Talk about a jump start to your degree!
The Rise of the AP:
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