…from GuidedPath Edge Guru

  • Standardized Test Stress

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    Standardized testing can be daunting!  Follow these tips to reduce your stress and help you do best on your tests.
     

    3 Times is Enough  

    Plan to take the SAT and/or the ACT no more than 3 times each.  You should be done testing by fall of your senior year. 
     

    Try both the SAT and ACT 

    Take a diagnostic test or take the official ACT/SAT tests to see which one you prefer or do best on.  Applerouth test prep created a comparison guide illustrating the differences between the two tests – one may suit your style more.  Once you know which exam you prefer, put all your energy into it.  
     

    Start studying. 

    • Don’t waste time taking the official test before you’ve studied.  At the very least, take a look at a prep book or take a practice test online.  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. 
    • Take advantage of test prep resources.  There are many free resources available from CollegeBoard (for the SAT) or from ACT.  You can also find great online or in-person classes from companies like Applerouth or Method Test Prep

    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? 

    Treat the SAT for what it isa small piece of the picture. 

    Colleges use a holistic admissions process.  They evaluate all parts of your application, including your test results.
     

    Take Action 

    Check out the study aids included in GuidedPath: Test Prep Resources Here are just a few examples:   

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  • End of year checklist

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    Senior Checklist

    You are almost there!  What are your next steps? 

    • Finish strong!  Strive to get your best grades this semester.  All college acceptances are CONDITIONAL.  They are based on the expectation you will finish strong.  If you do not, your admissions offer can be rescinded. 
    • Plan your room and board.  Complete the forms to request a dorm, select a meal plan and make a housing deposit.  Do this as early as you can.  
    • Schedule placement tests.  Many colleges require you to take Math and/or other placement tests Find out the requirements and get it scheduled.  Sometimes your SATACT, or AP scores will suffice, and you will not need to take the test.  If you have questions about placement test requirements, contact the college. 
    • Schedule new student orientation.  Is your new student orientation in the summer? Or just before you start school?  Don’t miss it – this is often when you register for classes and get other valuable information. 
    • Plan for graduation.  Plan to make this a memorable and safe graduation celebration.  Tell family and friends what you need for college: books, computer, dorm gear, etc. as a suggestion for graduation gifts. 
    • Say thank you.  Tell teachers, counselor, coaches and others that have helped you, “Thank you”.  Give special thanks and appreciation to parents and family for support. 
    • Make summer meaningful.  Plan to work, do community service, improve study skills or other meaningful things over the summer.  Save any money you earn for when you start college in the fall. 
    • Get your shots.  You need to have all your vaccinations up to date before you enroll in college. 

    Take Action 

    Use GuidedPath to record all your college decisions.  Mark the schools you applied to with admitted, waitlisted or not accepted.  Add in your financial aid awards too.  Turn each of the checklist items into a task in GuidedPath.  

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  • What’s in a location?

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    How do you describe where you live?  City?  Suburb?  Country?  As you explore colleges, one thing to consider is the location of the college.  Location can make a significant impact on your college experience.  Think about where you want to go to school.  

    Here are terms and definitions used in college “locations”: 

    • Major City: Population 300,000 or more: or within a 25mile radius of a metropolitan area. 
    • Small-Medium City: Population 75,000-299,999 or within 15 to 25mile radius of its metropolitan area. 
    • Large Town: Population 25,000-74,999 or within 10mile radius of a large town. 
    • Small Town: Population 5,000-24,999 or within 5mile radius of a small town. 
    • Rural: Population under 5,000, in or near a rural community. 

    How do you know what will be best for you?  Search for: 

    • Nearest airport. 
    • Nearest large city. 
    • Nearest outdoor experiences (beach, mountains, etc.). 
    • Popular student gathering places on campus. 
    • Popular student gathering places off campus. 
    • Activities available on weekends at the school. 
    • Activities available on weekends in the community. 
    • Nearest tourist attractions. 
    • Movie, bowling or other recreational activities nearby. 
    • Employment opportunities. 
    • Your faith communityon or off campus. 

    Be sure to explore all the options.  Look on the college website.  View the college facebook pages.  Most importantly, look it up on a map. 

    Take Action 

    Use the Guided Search to explore the location of colleges you are interested in.  GuidedPath offers search on location types.  Also check out: 

    • How many freshmen live on campus? 
    • Fiske Social Rating 
    • Fiske Quality Rating 

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  • Spending money in college

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    Enrollment decision made? Check!  

    College housing selected? Check!  

    Credit card for college – What?!  Should I get a credit card? 

    Before you leave for college, you be prepared to budget your money.  This could mean having a credit card – or not.  Here are 6 money management tips for you to consider as you prepare to go off to college in the fall. 

    • Open a bank account and get an ATM card (if you don’t already have one).  You may want to even research the local banking options at the school you will attend.  Many colleges have a bank or credit union on campus.  Make it a joint account (you and a parent) That way you can access your money when away from home (in college). 
    • Learn how to check your bank balance from your phone It is a good practice to check your bank balance before you get gas or stop by Starbucks, to be sure you have money in your account for the purchase. 
    • Learn how to deposit checks.  New technology allows you to deposit checks right from your phone.  Great for those graduation checks you will receive. 
    • Create a budget It is essential to have a spending plan.  Know how much money you will have each month from your financial aid or from parents.  With your parents, create a realistic monthly budget.  Then, your biggest task will be to stick to your budget. 
    • Learn how to schedule & pay bills from your account.  You might have phone bills or other bills you are responsible for.  Learn how to pay on time and keep within a budget. 
    • Decide with your parents and if you choose, open a credit card account BEFORE leaving for college Credit card companies will offer many promotions for new students on campus – free shirts, new tech gear, etc.  Don’t be tempted by free stuff!  Open ONLY oncredit card and use this card as a “backup” (if you don’t have cash) to help establish good credit. 

    Start developing good money management skills now, and you will have a great start to your freshman year in the fall. 

    Take Action 

    Use the Cost of Attendance in GuidedPath to calculate your college budget.  Here you can find the amount listed as “Personal Expenses”.  Use this to calculate your college budget.  Divide the number by 9 months to determine your monthly budget. 

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  • Saying Thank You

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    It’s May 1!  Congratulations!!  Today is the deadline for college enrollment decisions and it also marks the end of the application process.  And although senior year is not quite over, at least you can feel relaxed in knowing where you will be in the fall.     

    As you wind down in your last few weeks of senior year, take time to acknowledge the people who have made a difference in your life with a card or note.  Often these people are unsung heroes.  Many teachers, counselors, coaches and others have been leading and guiding, and at times, pushing and prodding you to be your best.  Let them know the impact they have made.  Here are the top DO’s for saying “Thank you”. 

    DO: 

    1. Say “Thank You” the oldfashioned way.  Use a card or paper. 
    2. Handwrite the note yourself.  Make sure it is neat and easily read.  Don’t let your parent write these notes.  They should come from you. 
    3. Make it personal.  Use Dear …., with first or last name. 
    4. Be specific in your expression of gratitude.  Tell this person how they made a difference in your life. 
    5. Deliver it yourself, the oldfashioned way.  Put a stamp on it and mail it, or put in a teacher’s or counselor’s box.  
    6. Set a deadline and write your notes before graduation. 
    7. Think of all the people you can thank.  Don’t leave someone out.  

    Your teachers, counselors and others who have helped you through high school, rarely get a thank you from the students they served.  Make their day by remembering and acknowledging their contributions.  

    “None of us got to where we are alone.  Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance saying thank you.”  Harvey Mackay 

    Take Action 

    Create a task and deadline for yourself to get your thankyou cards completed.  Use your Letters of Recommendation or Course Plan (in Surveys) to review all your teachers, counselors and community people who might need a personalized thank you. 

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  • What to do in the summer?

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    Summertime!  Dreaming of sleeping in, hanging out with friends and producing YouTube videos?  Time is precious!  Plan now to use your summer time to explore careers, build upon your extra-curricular experiences, learn new skills or have new experiences.  Here are some summer 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 skills 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! 

    Take Action 

    Be sure to add your activities to your course plan in GuidedPath.

     

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