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Taking College Courses in High School

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If you’re planning on going to college after graduating high school, you may want to consider getting started early. Many schools allow students to take advanced placement courses for college credits. While these classes will certainly be more challenging, and possibly more time-consuming, than your regular classes, there are also some benefits to taking them.

  • Strengthen your resume. College admissions officers will look very closely at your academic record when they review your application. Taking college courses in high school shows that you challenge yourself and take your academics seriously. Succeeding in a college-level course shows that you are academically prepared for college. In addition, if you take a course that relates to your intended major, it shows you are serious about that as well.
  • Save time and money. Taking classes in high school – before you arrive at college – can save you both time and money. Taking classes ahead of time means you’ll have some required courses out of the way and can possibly graduate early. These advanced courses are also usually offered to high school students at cheaper rates than standard tuition, so you’ll also be saving money. However, another route you could take is to complete some advanced courses in high school, and then use the extra time in college to take more electives or maybe even earn a minor in a second subject.
  • Develop college-level skills. Taking advanced courses in high school will most likely be a challenge for you, but this is a good thing. High school and college differ in many ways – even ways you may not expect. Classes are structured differently and study is much more independent than in high school. More is expected of you. Taking these classes in high school will help you develop vital skills for college and allow you to arrive on campus a few steps ahead.

Taking college courses in high school will definitely be a new and challenging experience for you. However, there are several benefits to choosing advanced courses. Once you have decided to take some advanced classes, schedule a meeting with your advisor or guidance counselor so they can help you plan and prepare.

Test Prep Academy is the premier SAT/ACT services company for high school students. e offer instructional programs and curriculum for students preparing for the PSAT,  ACT, and SAT. Learn more about how we help prepare students for the SAT.

Retaking the SAT: Is it a Good Idea?

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Writing the SAT

Writing the SAT is difficult and stressful, so it is no surprise that many students find that the pressure of writing the exam and the challenging questions lead to a disappointing result. Luckily, the College Board, the organization responsible for running the SAT, allows students to retake the test. Many colleges also will either take a student’s best SAT result, or will average the two to obtain a composite score. A second SAT attempt is an excellent opportunity to obtain a more desirable result.

Many students writing the SAT for the first time find it an unpleasant experience, to say the least. In my own experience, frantically writing the sections of the exam, retrieving snacks during the ridiculously short breaks, and trying to cram an entire essay into 25 minutes was an exhausting experience. On the second attempt, many students find that the situation is a bit less difficult, since they know what to expect going into the exam. Many people find the extra experience very useful when it comes to forming an exam writing pace, and maintaining effective mental concentration. The familiar surroundings also lead to greater comfort in the environment of the test, which leads to reduced stress, and usually a better result.

Will a Second Attempt Make a Difference?

Since most people first write the SAT as a junior or even younger, it is possible to make very significant academic improvement during the period of time between the first SAT write and the second. The first result often exposes weaknesses in a student’s academic performance, which can be rectified through tutoring, independent SAT study, or additional schoolwork in the subject. According to the College Board, 55% of juniors taking the test improved their scores as seniors, and 10% had no significant change. These figures may seem underwhelming, but in reality, the higher an individual’s first score, the more likely it is to drop, and the lower an individual’s first score, the more likely it is to increase. This means that many of the drops in score are due to a failure of preparation, since people become complacent in their ability to perform well. Also, on average, juniors repeating the SAT as seniors had on average a 40 point increase in their total score.

So, is it worthwhile to retake the SAT?

If a student is not happy with their score, the answer is most definitely yes. However, if a student already has a strong result, it is most likely not necessary, but if they are willing to put in a great deal of work to increase their result, it could still be beneficial. One in twenty-five students manage to increase their score by more than 100 points on their second attempt, according to the College Board. These students put in a great deal of work to succeed, but they are proof that it is possible to make huge improvements!

This article was written for you by Tobias, one of the tutors with Test Prep Academy.

How to Prepare for SAT Testing

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The SAT is a standardized test designed for college admission in the United States. Taking the SAT (or ACT) is required for freshman entry to many universities in the United States. A student’s performance on the SAT is crucial to admission and scholarship decisions. Preparing for the SAT is an important factor in how well a student performs on the test. Preparation involves time, effort, and extensive practise.

1. Plan early

Studying one week ahead of your test is never a good way to get ready. Know when you will be taking the test, how many times you will take it, and plan ahead. Give yourself months to study. For each topic, set a specific date and goal.

2. Identify weaknesses and seek help

Focus on your weaknesses while studying. It is essential that you evaluate how good you are with the concepts. Try a few sample tests and find the topics that you often get stuck on. If necessary, seek tutoring through companies and from your school.

3. Practise, practise, practise

Never say that you’ve done enough problems. Students often succeed on the SAT because they have reviewed not only the concepts but different types of questions. Make sure that you are equipped to eliminate answers, narrow choices and effectively guess on concepts you do not know. This will increase your chances of gaining a higher score on the SAT.

4. Find study groups

You can motivate yourself by joining study groups. Many schools offer SAT workshops so that you can review key concepts and do some problems with other students. Build a good relationship with other students. You can help each other and improve together. You may achieve much more than a high score through this experience.

5. Build confidence

It is quite normal that you don’t perform well on some practise tests. You might get anxious, but never give up. You should be happy because every time you make a mistake, you can learn from it so that you won’t make the same mistake when you take the actual test. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one will.

6. Sleep early, and relax!

Do not let anything negative distract you on the test day. Sleep early the day before, and don’t drink too much water. Take a deep breath, and you will nail it!

This article was written for you by Stanley, one of the tutors with Test Prep Academy.

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