Browsing Tag:

ACT

  • School

    How to study for the ACT / SAT

    Junior year is considered the hardest year and most juniors’ biggest stress is studying for the ACT or the SAT. Now, for most standardized tests, the best way to prepare is simply to practice. This article is here to help you guide yourself for studying for the ACT / SAT and to give some guidance on preparation.

    First, assess your current situation. Have you taken the test yet? If yes, then you know your starting point and what you’re trying to build off of. If you have not taken the test of your choice yet, then take a deep breath and remind yourself that you have many times in the future to take the test over again. You probably have plenty of time to study and prepare.

    Second, sign up for your test. Most of the time, the sign-up deadline is roughly a month away from the test date. This would be a good time to either: purchase a practice test book or find a good practice program online. I know that Khan Academy provides a good SAT practice program, and many people have given good reviews with inspiring scores. Any old practice book will work also. You can easily buy one at a bookstore.

    Third, set up a practice schedule. If you don’t think you will need to study that much, then limit yourself to only 20-30 practice problems every few days. If you don’t think you’re going to do very well, then I would recommend 25 practice problems a day. With this schedule, you can easily finish a practice test in a couple of days.  If you record your answers on a separate sheet of paper, you can retake the same test and avoid buying another book after finishing it.

    Fourth, make sure to check your work. Most practice booklets have an answer key at the end of each test and explain each answer. Read the descriptions of why things are right! It helps to build connections and will strengthen your smarts on why a certain answer is right.

    Note: Standardized tests L O V E short and concise answers. If you’re in the English / reading portion of your test and it asks for a replacement statement, go with the most concise answer.

    Fifth, its the day before the test. On this day, don’t do any practice! You have been working so hard for the past month or so, and before the big day, you need a break. Make sure to print out your ticket, and have the directions for your testing center. Pack your bag with what you plan to bring to the test, eat a nutritious dinner, and go to bed early. I don’t mean wildly early, just enough so that you can get 7-8 hours of sleep.

    The next morning, wake up early enough to eat a good breakfast. Not just a pop tart. Get some protein and carbs so you have the brain energy to make it through all of the test. Leave your home early enough to reach your testing center with a few minutes of extra time to find your testing room and settle in. Before the test, take a deep breath and remember all the practice you have done. You are ready to conquer the ACT / SAT!

  • Photography

    Welcome to the College Life

    Welcome to the College Life

    To All Middle School and High School Girls:

     

    I want you all to know, as a black woman who is in her third year of college, that higher education is nothing to fear. I know it is easy to think that the more that you continue to grow in your education, the worse it becomes and that is not true. The amount of diversity and the amount of girl power that you can find in these institutions can be quite freeing and quite liberating. There is finally a chance to be able to define your life in your own terms, without anyone stopping you. You will finally learn how great you are.

    Often times, as women, we are socialized to depend on how we look to speak for who we are and that is not true. There are many intelligent women among us and in these sacred, educated spaces. Here, you have the ability to deconstruct those stigmas and be who you have always dreamt of being. If you are able to create this type of space at an even younger age then that is amazing in itself because you have an earlier start to see what it is that you are in this world. Through this, you can help other women or other girls your age to feel comfortable in who they are.

    Sometimes it is hard. The workload can be stubborn and it may feel as if you aren’t going to move far from where you are. This is not true either. The opportunities the world has for us is truly endless. I often look to my ancestors, like Lorraine Hansberry and Zora Neale Hurston, who dedicated their lives to the liberation of all people through their writing and allow them to build my confidence. I think that it is okay, during times like those (when it can be tough on the mind to deal with) to reach out and look to other women that have paved the way for us. Doing this, has helped me to be grateful for the things that I have in the moment and has allowed me to believe that anything is possible.

    Do not forget your dreams and aspirations on this journey and do not begin to start on this quest when you are a senior in high school. You are never too young or too old to make a detailed plan on these kinds of things. The younger you are, the better it is to see what you want and to build an in depth career plan off of it. Make yourself proud.

    Do as much research on your own as you can and do not let anyone steer you away from what you feel is yours. Study for the ACT early. Make a list of schools that you could see yourself being at in the next few years. Be confident in those choices and allow it to radiate. Do not give your power away to anyone else and keep a humble head because the choices are limitless.

  • Articles

    College Advice to Incoming High School Freshmen

    College Advice to Incoming High School Freshmen

    by GirlSpring intern Makayla Smith

    Being more prepared for college, ahead of my senior year of high school, would have helped a great deal if there were the proper resources there to guide me. Waiting until the last minute to become serious about topics concerning college was one of my biggest regrets. Unfortunately, I had to learn a lot of tips and tricks on my own. Below are a few suggestions I have listed would want you all to consider, even if the idea of college does not affect you right now.

    If your school offers dual enrollment, take those courses instead of wasting time in AP classes. The credits in dual enrollment courses are more likely to roll over, unlike the dice being rolled over on a chance of probably not getting the college credit during AP testing.

    Start taking the ACT when you are in the 9th or 10th grade. Do not wait until your senior year of high school to do so. This will be a huge burden on your shoulders especially since getting scholarships on the federal level is becoming a bit harder. It is important to have a high ACT score so that you can qualify for a good, hefty scholarship that will help you with tuition (at the least).

    Make a list of schools that you are interested in. Be confident in the schools that you have chosen. Look into the majors that they offer and make a choice around that. Look into the student diversity. Look into the scholarships the school has to offer, and the opportunities that could span from it after completing your degree. If it is something that you have personally gravitated towards, then take a tour of the school.

    In an article from www.grownandflown.com, they encourage students to “keep an open mind.” I agree with this because now that you are having to include elements such as finances, independence, and education it is important to keep a well versed amount of colleges and other opportunities open. There are many different ways to be successful so do not limit yourself to just one or two schools. Your parents are not tagging along with you for this experience, so work on catering this avenue to you and yourself only and build your happiness up from it.

    Become close with some of your teachers now. Improve those bonds and make sure to add some insight on class discussions and in academic performance. This is important since teachers write letters of recommendation and could spearhead you into an arena that you could have only imagined, beforehand. This boosts your chances of getting into the school of your choice.

    Most importantly, be confident. Keeping a positive mindset, throughout this process, is just as important as making sure your grades are in alignment with your ACT scores. Make sure that the support system you have encourages you to stay on the right path. And even if your support system is yourself, understand that you are not alone in that experience and that you are tougher because of it.

  • Articles

    How to Prepare for the ACT

    How to Prepare for the ACT

    The ACT can be a pretty nerve racking test to take if you have never taken it before. Thankfully, it is nothing to fear with the proper preparation and time management. Below are a few ideas to consider when registering for the ACT and taking the time out of your day to make sure you are as ready and as confident as you can be in making a high score:

    Registering for the ACT requires creating an account through the ACT website. The next thing to pop up will deal with choosing a specific location or testing center. When choosing the day in which you want to take the test, make sure that it is “atleast three months in advance”, according to blog.prepscholar.com.

    Begin to become comfortable with the format of the ACT. Familiarize yourself with the times given for each section (English, Math, Science, and Reading). Doing this will make it easier when navigating the test and could potentially heighten the ACT score that you are given in the end. ACT prep books can be a big help in showing you what could be on the test, the tests format, and the test answers in the back of the book.

    It is important to make note of the sections that you are not as strong in, in order to guarantee yourself a higher score. Because the test happens over a long period of time, you do not want to waste time on questions that could have been done in a smaller interval. Additionally, as seen in blog.prepscholar.com, you’ll “want to establish a baseline of your own skills. The most important component of this is identifying your weaknesses, so you can target them in your prep.”

    Think of a specific score that you are aiming for and stick to it! Create a study schedule that balances and encourages time management. Practice this while doing practice tests for the ACT that are offered online and focus on deeply analyzing what was right about certain answers and what was wrong about others.

    Although it can be hard to stay motivated with a test that depends heavily on your future, it is important that you prioritize these kinds of thoughts with positive thinking/ affirmations. Allow other people to hold you accountable when you fall on your own end. Make sure to get as much rest as possible. Make sure that you are eating a well balanced meal. Make sure that you have the proper number 2 pencils and the proper type of calculator to bring along with you.

    Most importantly, do not hesitate to ask for help during this time. There are private tutors that are hired to work one on one with these types of things. Check to see if your school offers ACT Prep classes or ACT assistance. Try asking close friends if they would want to dedicate a day to studying for this with you so that you won’t feel alone.

    Keep all of these reminders in your head and in no time, the ACT will be the test that you conquer.

  • College, Tips

    12 Tips for Getting into the College of Your Choice

    College admission officers carefully assess your high school grades, courses, test scores, essays, activities, recommendations, and interviews, if required. You will increase your chances of getting into the colleges of your choice by following these twelve tips:

    1. Get the best possible grades you can during ALL four years of high school. Grades are extremely important.

    2. Take academically rigorous classes ALL four years. You should carry as many challenging courses as you can handle—college prep, Advanced Placement (AP), honors, and International Baccalaureate (IB).

    3. Practice taking the SAT or ACT. Become familiar with the types of material covered and the test directions. Take the PSAT during your sophomore year. Determine what knowledge and skills you lack and master them for the actual tests. Take advantage of free online SAT or ACT materials, study guides, practice tests, tutors, and prep courses before or during your junior year.

    4. Try taking both the SAT and ACT. Colleges will accept either test. You may do better on one test than the other. This will boost your chances for admission. Take the SAT or ACT more than once if you are not satisfied with your scores.

    5. Take SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests. Competitive colleges may require you to take some of these exams and they take note of exam results. Only AP scores of five (5) are accepted by top colleges.

    6. Spend sufficient time developing your college essays. Think and reflect before you write. Write, edit, rewrite. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Convey who you are in your writing: energetic, exciting, passionate, and intellectually curious. How can you make the real “you” stand out from the rest of the crowd? Get feedback on the essays from your teachers and/or other school personnel.

    7. Become involved in your school and/or community during ALL four years and summer vacations. You need to keep track of your involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, sports, and/or volunteer activities in your community. Move up to leadership positions. Demonstrate growth. Develop a deep interest or talent in one or more areas.

    8. Ask your school counselor and teachers who know you well for recommendations. At least a month in advance of college deadlines for recommendations, jog their memories by providing them with a “personal data” or “brag sheet” highlighting your academic accomplishments, athletics, activities, and community service and leadership positions. Also, highlight anything special you did during the summer (for example, foreign travel to improve language skills, volunteer work, projects).

    9. Prepare for on-campus interviews, if required by colleges. Re-read your essays and any information you have acquired on specific colleges. Be friendly and articulate. Dress professionally, not casually. After the interviews, send thank you notes or e-mails expressing your continued interest in their institution.

    10. Decrease your stress by starting your search for colleges early—no later than the start of your junior year. This gives you adequate for researching colleges, completing applications, writing essays, and taking necessary exams.

    11. Get organized and stay focused. Make a file folder for each college that interests you and put relevant information inside of it (for example, a copy of your application and essay, any materials downloaded from the Internet). Keep focused on your ultimate goal: Getting into the college of your choice. Use these checklists to plan the tasks you should take to get into the college of your choice:

    Grade 9 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 10 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 11 College Planning Checklist [PDF]
    Grade 12 College Planning Checklist [PDF]

    12. Get on-going assistance from your school counselor and teachers. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions no matter how simple your questions may seem.

    Article From: California Career Center