Should You Retake the SAT’s to Improve Your Score?

Your target university’s or colleges admissions and aid policies may make it worthwhile to aim for higher scores.

This month, the University Board debuted its much-discussed redesigned SAT test. As you update your test-taking strategies, also consider the situation in which you would retake the SAT exam. Though retaking the exam involves a second infusion of money and time, it is worth it in these three instances.

Woman In Assessment Center

SAT’s

Your score falls below the average mark for your prospective colleges-

Your SAT exam scores should not define your university choices, but they should inform them. If you took the SAT test early in your junior year, you might not have had a list of target colleges in mind yet. Or you might have realized that your SAT score put your first-choice college into the “reach” category if you were 50-100 points below the admissions average.

Having a actual score in mind can be a powerful motivator. It is always more hard to work with a poorly or vague defined goal, and if you set out to just “get better” it can be hard to gauge whether you are making important progress. Recognizing that you must add 200 points to your score provides you with a measurable target, and it can turn that coveted reach college into reality.

On the redesigned SAT test, the essay part is optional. If you skipped the essay the first time you took the exam, you may need to retake the whole examination if you later realize that your prospective university requires it.

A higher SAT score will qualify you for additional financial aid

Perhaps your initial scores on the redesigned SAT exam are enough for admissions purposes, but they fall just short of merit-based scholarships. The University of Arkansas, for instance, uses a sliding tuition scale for students who aren’t state residents. As few as 70 additional points on the SAT can mean an important tuition reduction.

Of course, scholarship plans differ across colleges, and your target score may change accordingly. Thus how do you decide when to retake the SAT test? If you are within 100 points of a definitive target scores, as in the University of Arkansas example, it is good working toward that goal.

For more nebulous situations, where the criteria shifts with each incoming semester, pay attention to trends and aim to score in the top 10 percent of test-takers nationwide. According to the University Board’s data for the previous version of the SAT exam, this represents a score of 660 in critical reading, 650 in writing and 680 in math.

It can be very difficult to earn additional points if you are already got good score, but if you were to gain 110 cumulative points, you would move from the 90th percentile to the 95th percentile. The payoff, in turn, could be astonishing: up to four years of considerably discounted tuition.

New coursework will enhance your ability to earn a competitive score-

The redesigned SAT exam, when compared with its predecessor, is oriented toward knowledge and analysis assessment rather than memorization. While there is still value in strategy, the gaining of new knowledge and skills is more significant.

If you did poorly on the math part of the SAT exam, for example, it may be wise to retake the exam after you complete a class of trigonometry and data analysis. A rigorous International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement course in history or English could also increase your score, as the skills and content in these subjects directly apply to the evidence-based writing and reading portion.

By sitting for the examination early, you will be able to know skills useful to the SAT exam in your later classes. For example, as you analyze texts in your English course, you will be reminded of questions or problems you encountered on the SAT test. When you eventually retake the SAT test, you will have had a class or semester and more of practice with evidence-based textual analysis.

Important Tips to Help Students How to Prepare for a PreACT Exam

Beginning in September 2016, the PreACT examination will be available to high school sophomores for the first time. Much like the PSAT, the PreACT provides a realistic glimpse of the ACT university entrance examination, which plays a important role in university admissions and scholarship eligibility.

The PreACT exam also includes the ACT Interest Inventory  to assist students begin thinking about college careers and majors and the steps they should take now for future goals and success.

If you decide to take the PreACT exam this year, consider these given important tips or ways to prepare to make sure you have the most important experience.

PreACT Exam

Prepare for a PreACT Exam

Investigate the PreACT’s availability-

Individual high schools and districts rather than testing centers will administer the PreACT. Each district or school can provide the exam at any time between Sept. 1 and June 1.

As such, the dates won’t be uniform across all high schools in the United States that will offer the examination, or even in a specific district. Speak with your guidance counselor to determine which exam dates are available to you.

Keep in mind that an earlier test date will give you more time to prepare for the ACT exam. A later PreACT exam date will give you more of your sophomore-year coursework to complete; your exam results then may offer a more perfect prediction of your future performance on the ACT exam.

Both scenarios are useful, but memorize the effects that timing can have on your ACT readiness and PreACT scores.

Familiarize yourself with the exam format-

The PreACT is an completely new test, rather than a revision of an existing test.

You may be confusing between the ACT Aspire and the PreACT, since the former examination was also available to high school sophomores. Yet, the ACT Aspire is proposed to track student progress through multiple grades, while the PreACT is strictly a college-readiness assessment.

As with any new examination, you may have a complex time initially finding great preparation materials. Until PreACT exam particular materials are developed, use ACT preparation resources.

Individual problems or questions on the PreACT will be comparable in format, content and difficulty to problem on the ACT exam. The primary differences between the two examinations will be the test length and the number of questions.

Take a balanced approach-

With time always at a premium, it can be complex to determine how many hours to spend on PreACT exam preparation. Sadly, there is no easy answer to this question.

On the one hand, since the PreACT exam has no direct implications on university scholarships or admissions, you might be tempted to take the test without reviewing it first. On the other hand, you might be tempted to neglect all the other parts of your life to study.

Both approaches obscure the test’s diagnostic purpose. You need to do the best such that the results give you an exact idea of where you should focus when preparing for the ACT exam. However, don’t allow your schoolwork to suffer as you are over preparing for the test exam.

Remember your test results may vary-

Remember that the PreACT exam is very new. Its intent is to give a diagnostic tool that can assist students prepare for the full ACT test.

However, there is not data yet that demonstrates whether students who do well on the PreACT exam will perform equally well on the ACT test. This matters because a high PreACT score may lull you into a fake sense of security regarding the much more consequential ACT exam.

You may find the greater length of the full examination exhausting, or you may receive a series of questions that perfectly match topics you studied extensively. In short, study for the ACT test regardless of how well you score on the PreACT examination.

Conversely, a poor result on the PreACT exam doesn’t guarantee a poor result on the ACT. If you don’t perform as well as you had hoped to on the PreACT exam, take it as a call to action, rather than a forecast of doom.

When you take the ACT – or its rival, the SAT – you will have had 6 to 12 months of additional learning and studying. If you suffer from examination anxiety, you will have ample chance to find potential solutions to overcome your challenges with standardized examinations.

Remember that the PreACT exam is another potentially useful tool when readying for university. Take it seriously but stay balanced.

Some high schools will begin offering students the new PreACT college-readiness examination this fall. Study for the ACT exam regardless of how well you score on the PreACT examination.

An Almost Foolproof Way for achieving success on the day of exam

Every person has moments of self-doubt. For some, these thoughts are quickly pass and fleeting. But, as Shakespeare puts it, others find that their “doubts are traitors” which hold them back from fulfilling their potential. Elite athletes have long known the significance of a pre-performance routine. It allows them to focus on what is significant, helping them concentrate on the task at hand and execute their knowledge and skills to the best of their abilities.

Could the similar concepts work for students before exams? With the scrapping of modular exams, more than ever students have to be able to do under stress. Unluckily, more and more of them are reporting that they feel unable to cope, let alone thrive.

success on the day of exam

Way for achieving success on the day of exam

Here are simple tips and ways students can follow on the mooring or lunch time before the examinations to make sure that crucial time are used to their best effect:

Eat breakfast-

Breakfast is the most significant meal of the day; the gap between breakfast and dinner is the longest your body goes without refueling. Studies have shown that eating a typical breakfast of cereal, made up of difficult carbohydrates, that helps enhance concentration and memory over the course of the morning.

Still, researchers have found that those who eat a cereal breakfast regularly are “less emotionally distressed and have lower levels of perceived stress” compared with those who don’t.

Arrive at school or college with plenty of time-

Examinations are stressful enough without the added worry of running late. Lateness tends to magnify everything; if people are a bit nervous and stressed, when running late they become more so. Follow the old maxim “if you’re not early, you are late” and you will be on the right path to starting your exams confidently and calmly.

Avoid people who stress you out-

When it comes to college, the old maxim “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” seems to ring true. Research suggests professors positive comments directly affect how students feel about themselves.

On the day of your exam, think about that who makes you feel confident and calm and actively seek them out. Avoid spending the time before your exams surrounded by people (friends or otherwise) who stress you out or who are particularly negative.

Remind yourself of all your preparation and hard work-

This can be a great way to improve your confidence going into the examination hall. Taking a moment to reflect on all the hours of hard work and preparation you have put in will reassure you. This way is often used by athletes in the build-up to pressurized competitions to help them perform. Also using this time to reflect on your past successes should help enhance your confidence.

Pause for a minute and take some deep breaths-

When people are feeling pressure, they often misjudge how much time they have. This leads to them rushing and making casual mistakes that cost marks.

Focusing on taking deep breaths can act as a prompt to slow you down. Physiologically, this assists to reduce tension and lower your heart-rate. By pausing or slowing down for a moment, you let yourself time to fully assess the situation, come up with a plan and decide the best course of action.

Remind yourself of your exam strategy-

Legendary American football coach Bill Walsh wrote a great book, The Score Takes Care of itself, in which he write about his leadership philosophy. His approach was to concentrate on executing a game strategy and not concern about the number of goals. If you apply this, he says, the result will often take care of itself.

The same is true during examinations. Focus less on what marks you might get, and more on executing your exam plan. This might mean the amount of time you should spend per question or problem, reading each problem first, writing four to five minutes of rough notes before solving the long problems and any other technique. If in doubt what your exam tactic should be, ask your teachers; they will almost surely have some helpful advice for you.

Final thought-

When you have spent so much time for revising and working for exams, it’s a mistake to leave the last hour or two to chance. Nothing can ever promise success, but by executing the tips above, you give yourself the excellent chance of representing your knowledge when it actually matters.

When you have worked so hard revising, do not leave the last few hours before entering the exam hall to chance. Here’s how to make sure you are ready.

Some Important Revision Tips to Success in Exam

Revision is unluckily or unfortunately necessary part of college, school and even university life, therefore follow this selection of quirky and classic revision tips to get you through your all-important exams.

SLEEP-

The undeniable link between memory formation and sleep in the brain makes getting sufficient sleep the greatest advice for studying students. Despite the stress surrounding the examination time, try to get as much sleep as possible as it will enhance your quality of concentration and revision afterwards.

TAKE BREAKS-

Also linked to enhancing concentration and memory, taking enough normal breaks is a must for revising students. Each student is different, so take regular breaks when works best for you.

START REVISION EARLY-

It is called revision, not learning, thus aim to have read everything through weeks before you start really revising. If you are learning new topics and material on the run up to an examination you will have much less chance of remembering it.

Woman studying at the library

Revision Tips to Success in Exam

PAST PAPERS-

Doing past examination papers in a controlled time and then marking your own work is a excellent way to judge your progress and get your timing correct. It is also a great way for you to think about what you are revising, rather than just reciting facts over and over. Most examination board offers past papers and mark schemes for free on their sites therefore check whether these are available for your examination.

CHEW GUM-

Chewing gum has been scientifically proven to enhance concentration, and often allows students to work for much longer time without getting diverted or distracted. Memorize to not chew for too long though as some gums, mainly sugar free and mint flavored ones are not especially healthy or easy on your digestion.

WORK WHEN IS BEST FOR YOU-

Everybody has their own niche of optimal working time period during the night or day. If you prefer to work late then do not shy for waking up later in the mornings. Similarly if you work good in the mornings do not be afraid to go to bed before 10pm.

EAT AND DRINK SENSIBLY-

Almost 85% of your brain is made of water therefore keep hydrated to aid concentration. Try to keep away from energy drinks as they are packed with chemicals which are not doing your body or brain any favors. If you actually feel you need some caffeine try some coffee or tea instead? When it comes to food try to stay healthy too. Students use to take either stress-eat junk food, or forget about eating when it comes to lengthy revision, thus try to find a balance which works for you.

THE ‘POST-IT NOTE TECHNIQUE’-

The premise of this is like any ‘to do list’ but for every chore you need to do, for example a timed past paper write it on a post it note and stick it on the wall. Do this for all tasks you think you will need to do before you sit your examination. Once you have completed a task you can remove the post it from the wall. This method is great as you can visualize exactly what has to be done and found that will be helpful than a generic revision schedule.

TEACH-

The greatest way to memorize something is to teach it to someone new. Even if your parents and family member have no knowledge of the Second World War or organic chemistry, explain a concept to them so they understand. This will assist improve your memory as your brain can recall that information in additional ways.

DON’T TAKE PERFORMANCE ENHANCERS-

The stress of exams gets to each and every student, and more and more academics are expressing concern for growing marks of students taking performing enhancing drugs to give them an edge during exams and revision. Drugs like Modafinil and Ritalin are presently the main culprits but their hypothesized benefits are however counteracted by a huge list of side effects which students specially need to be very wary of. To name just a few: disrupted sleep, vomiting, anxiety, headaches, dizziness, odd toilet habits, heart palpitations, and even psychosis. In addition they come with a price tag and some colleges are allowing for drug testing to catch students on performance enhancers. Stick to old fashioned revision and leave the drugs out.

Some Important tips for parents to help your Child for Scholarships

Paying for a university or college education is a daunting task for each and every family, and like finding the right university, finding the right scholarships requires effort and time. Parents can and should play and dynamic role in assisting their children secure these scholarships; students are often too busy to give the scholarship search the time it is due without support.

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

By following the easy tips below, you will not be let the perfect scholarships slip by unnoticed.

Start early and organize:

Like applying to universities, if you do your research early, you will find scholarships that your kid will be competitive for. I advise students to research scholarships at least one year before applying. This way, students can obtain a head start on meeting the scholarship’s requirements and bolstering their credentials to be a competitive applicant.

Use multiple resources to find scholarship information:

There are $32 billion in scholarships available. With that in mind, the real question seems to be not whether one can secure a scholarship but whether one can get an appropriate scholarship. While the internet is a helpful resource in tracking down scholarships, it is not the only resource. Ask colleagues, as well as members of philanthropic organizations, civic groups and churches. Have your kid let his guidance counselor know that he is excited about applying for scholarships. This way, when opportunities present themselves, these folks will share them with you.

Motivate your child to apply

Unlike admissions decisions, where admissions counselor are looking for students to meet certain non-academic and academic criteria, scholarship committee members are free to select applicants whom they feel would benefit and help from the scholarship. So, even if you feel that your kid might not be qualified, scholarship committees could potentially find something endearing in his admission application, interview, or essay that would make him a valuable recipient.

Make it easy to apply:

While most scholarships have deadlines at the beginning of each and every month, there are bound to be times when you will find a prefect scholarship with a deadline in just a few days. Do not get discouraged! Instead, have the following ready to send at a moment’s notice:

Official copies of your kid’s transcript. Once your kid has received his fall semester grades, have him ask his guidance counselor or teacher for at least ten copies of his college transcript and keep them in sealed envelopes.

Non-specific letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselor. Have your child ask his guidance counselor and one teacher to make ten copies of a non-specific letter of recommendation. They will generally need at least two weeks’ notice for this, so it is significant that your kid let them know that he is applying for scholarships and may ask for these letters on short notice period. Provide recommenders with self-addressed stamped envelopes thus they can send these letters to organizations whenever needed.

A strong personal statement that truly reflects your child. As with college essays students should have a outline of a personal statement that reveals their unique traits. Once they have this foundation, they can simply tailor it to particular scholarship organizations.

Commit one day a week for scholarships:

Memorize, a scholarship committee cannot award a scholarship if your kid doesn’t apply. Of course, it is overwhelming to complete twenty scholarship applications the day before they are due. Like a marathon, applying for scholarships is something that takes nonstop effort. I advise students to save themselves the stress of last minute applications by committing one day a week to apply and research for scholarships.

As adults, we can support our high school students through this long process just by giving them a little push whenever they are feeling discouraged. The effort will definitely be worth it when they receive a Scholarship letter that reads, “Congratulations! The Scholarship Committee is happy to award you a scholarship!”

Awesome ways to save on textbooks and learning material

Beyond buying a home, financing a college or university teaching can be one of the most expensive investments a person ever makes. As college costs expensive and student loan debt receives increased media attention, it is easy to overlook the unadvertised expenses associated with required university textbooks and other teaching materials, even when pursuing an online degree program.

In fact, the average cost for books is estimated at $1,200 per year for a full-time student – a 74 percent increase in just the past decade.

Online Students

Awesome ways to save on textbooks and learning material

Her are six considerations to assist online students access, budget for and work well within the changing and potentially expensive landscape of college text books.

Don’t assume:

Just because your classes are online does not mean the program won’t require traditional textbooks. Dan Darnley, an online Expert of Music Education candidate at SUNY—Buffalo State, says he was stunned when he learned that some of his courses required purchasing physical workbooks or textbooks.

“I assumed all the required resources would be embedded in the LMS,” Darnley says.

Several online programs still need purchasing either printed e-texts or text books. Southern New Hampshire University has an online book store where prospective students or students can browse by course, sell or purchase back books.

The checkout cart adds shipping costs just like Amazon. This is an excellent resource for all online students to use to estimate a text book budget for each class or semester.

Choose textbook format wisely:

Despite research that says students choose traditional print books when cost is not a factor, Darnley says, “As an online student, e-texts are considerably easier to work with than printed textbooks. I would prefer a printed textbook if I was physically attending classes, but as an onliner, I prefer digital.” He says he uses cloud-based storage to have access anywhere to e-texts, assignments, notes, citations, videos, articles and other data.

Inquire about textbook costs prior to enrolling:

Some colleges will factor a textbook allowance into tuition, while some forward-thinking colleges have built textbook expenses directly into a fee.

Ginger Bidell, an instructional designer at Western Governors University, wrote in an email, “To make sure that Western Governors University students have access to all of their learning materials, we charge students a $145 Resource Fee for each and every sixth-month term. This fee covers the use of the online library, e-textbooks, and lots of other learning resources like web-based tutorials, simulations, practice quizzes, simulations, and assignments. Through the online library, students have access to tutorials as well as journals, magazines, newspapers, videos and e-books.”

Leverage open educational resources:

In response to spiraling text book costs, entities such as OpenStax, Lumen Learning, MERLOT II and Saylor Academy provide high-quality, peer-reviewed text books and other learning materials at little or no cost to students. These open educational resources are rapidly gaining favor among faculty and students.

If online courses use open educational resources, students will usually save considerably. It also worth browsing through these curated collections to see if whether you can access some of your recommended or required course readings for free.

Turn to the public or university library for help:

As an online learner, it is worth investigating whether you can place library books on reserve or access library subscription databases – such as JSTOR or Elsevier – online.

Beyond the university library, local public libraries also provide patrons vast databases that are accessible online. A library card may also permit you to access your $300 business text books for free.

Be a shrewd consumer:

Inquire with the college books store about renting instead of purchasing text books. Students can also purchase text books at any book store – not just the college bookstore.

Online students might save money on shipping costs by shopping the local college campus or any other book store, even if they attend a different online university. Also, send mail to the professor prior to the semester to ask if the edition of the textbook actually matters is worthwhile. In some cases, the difference between the older edition and the latest edition is hundreds of dollars.

Last, when selling back printed textbooks after the semester, shop around. Students do not need to sell textbooks back at the store in which they were purchased.

The takeaway: College text books costs can be considerable. While some online programs are regularly working to manage textbook costs, others haven’t yet fully leveraged the learning management system, open education resources and online library databases. Online learners require being informed, planning to manage text book costs and seek and secure the best textbook options available to enable their own success.

Some Important Money saving tips for Financially Struggling Students

If you’re a college student you already know how tight finances can get. After tuition, books, fees and other expenses related to your education materials are met, you likely find yourself limited on money. This is, if you are not already living off negative balances in your account.

The good news is there are various ways or tips you can try and counter your money struggles to put yourself in a goof financial position. To decrease your financial burdens it takes some positive planning and some work, but with this effort you can successfully ease the burden of your money struggles, keep a positive balance in your account and not end up carrying too much debt.

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Here are some important tips and ways for Financially Struggling Students-

Apply for financial aid and work study programs:

This is a smart move even if you think you won’t qualify due to your parents’ income, or if you’re working, your own salary. Several students pass up the opportunity to file for financial aid for several reasons and this is one of the biggest oversights students make. Even if you do not qualify for full tuition, you might be granted some money which may at least cover partial tuition or even some books, but you will never know unless you apply!

If you are denied financial aid, by at least filing you are also generally eligible for low interest loans which will save you in the long run. Several students are also offered work study chances which also relieve financial distress as you are given a job without having to pound the pavement looking for one.

Apply for Scholarships:

Several foundations and corporations generously give away thousands each and every year, but lots of students aren’t aware these wonderful opportunities exist. If you take the time to ask your college’s financial office about scholarships and do some extra research on the websites, it is probable you will find numerous scholarships you can apply to. It is a lot of work, but worth the effort.

There are various excellent sites dedicated to scholarship searches. Most will ask you to register first, but stay away from sites which ask you for any sort of payment as most reputable scholarship search engines will never ask for money.

Buy used text books:

The required and important textbooks for classes can result in severe sticker shock if you buy books at the university bookstore, but you can simply cut these costs in half if you buy used books. Several students are extremely happy to sell their used textbooks to you at a fraction of what you’d pay for new. Another good avenue is to search online; the Internet is a superb opportunity to comparison shop and finds good prices for used books.

Sell your text books:

Once you are finished up for the semester, place your textbooks up for sale while they still have some value before new textbook editions come out. Place flyers at your college, network with other students and organize a swap, or put them up for sale on website which facilitates used book sales.

Eat on the cheap:

Food is a huge area many students spend money on and if you are not playing it smart, you are probably throwing money away. Take-out, vending machines and pre-made foods are more costly than if you were to just make it yourself. If you live in the dorm, stick to a purchased meal plan or/and create a small pantry area to keep food; preparing your own snacks and foods is cheaper and more nutritious too.

Students who live at house or are a returning non-traditional student with parents, it is easier to prepare your own foods from home. One trick is to reserve few hours a week to cook several meals and stock up in the freezer; this makes homemade meals a snap on those days where you are tempted to order-in or go out to eat. By avoiding purchasing take-out, this will save lots of money. It is healthier for you too.

Don’t shop on credit and pay cash wherever possible:

It is common for students to get stuck in the abyss of credit cards when so many are offer tempting low introductory rates or free gifts. Do not fall for these ads! Several students find themselves severely in debt once they start opening many accounts because it is much harder to keep track of spending when you use plastic. Instead, keep one card for emergency use only and make every effort to pay it off monthly when the bill arrives.

Live within your means:

Maintain a running balance of what you are spending money on and how much, even for the small things you usually wouldn’t account for like a bag of chips, a bottle of your favorite beverage and some gum. You’d be stunned how much you spend and if you keep rightful track of your money, you will quickly discover where your limitations are. This is where you can cut out wasteful spending. Once you see where your money is really going, you can create a budget which will assist you keep better track of unnecessary spending and then you can put that money back in your account.

Keep an eye on your monthly expenses:

Do you actually need those extras on your mobile plan? If you have your own account, do you need all those cable channels which cost additional per month? Gas can be a huge expense, are you taking your car when you can walk? Can you take campus transportation instead? By examining where your money goes each month for regular essential expenses, you can simply pinpoint ways you can cut back and save money.

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Financially Struggling Students

Research student discounts:

Many programs or/and companies provide student discounts on books, computers, travel accommodations, electronics and even movie tickets for the occasional night out. Look for shops that offer student discounts. Most of the time all you will need is to have your student ID on you for verification.

Money struggles are tough when you are in college, but by taking a proactive approach to money and plan your expenses, it will be a lot easier to manage your money and keep away from coming out of college in massive debt for unnecessary expenses. Some of these above tips for financially weak students should increase your cash flow, at least a bit.