Getting College Credit Before College

You can improve your chances of graduating on time and may even save money on college costs if you earn college credits early. There are several ways to do this. These include testing out of college classes and taking college-level classes while in high school.

Taking college-level classes can help you graduate from college on time or early.

Ways to Get College Credit Early

Below are some options for earning credit before starting college.

Take AP Courses and Exams

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) offers college-level study in a wide range of subjects and allows you to earn college credit if you score high enough on AP Exams. AP courses stress deep learning, critical thinking and the application of knowledge.

Take CLEP Exams

The College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities, lets you earn college credit for the knowledge that you have already acquired. By passing any of the 33 CLEP exams, you can earn 3 to 12 credits toward your college degree and move to more advanced courses. The amount of credit you earn depends on the exam subject and the policy at the college you attend.

Participate in the IB Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers college-level courses that provide students with an in-depth, culturally diverse, global education. Certain colleges offer credit to students who earn high enough scores on IB exams or who complete the IB diploma program.

Take College Classes While in High School

Some high school students start their college studies while still in high school by taking day, evening or weekend classes at a local college. The rules for who can go and who pays the tuition are different in every state.

Benefits of College-Level Study in High School

Taking college-level classes in high school can introduce you to new academic passions and the excitement of exploring interesting subjects in depth. It can also help you:

  • Learn the time-management skills, study skills and discipline you’ll need in college.
  • Improve your chances of getting into the college of your choice.
  • Improve your chances of qualifying for scholarships.
  • Free up enough time in college for you to take part in programs like study abroad or to double major.
  • Graduate from college on time or early, which will save you money.

Your Next Move

Talk to your school counselor, principal or teachers to find out which options for earning college credit may work for you. And make sure that the colleges you want to attend will accept your credits.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs/getting-college-credit-before-college

20 Ways to Boost Your Baby’s Brain Power

At birth, your baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons (as many as there are stars in the Milky Way)! During their first years, they will grow trillions of brain-cell connections, called neural synapses.

The rule for brain wiring is “use it or lose it.” Synapses that are not “wired together” through stimulation are pruned and lost during a child’s school years. Although an infant’s brain does have some neurological hard wiring (such as the ability to learn any language), it is more pliable and more vulnerable than an adult’s brain. And, amazingly, a toddler’s brain has twice as many neural connections as an adult’s.

When you provide loving, language-enriched experiences for your baby, you are giving his brain’s neural connections and pathways more chances to become wired together. In turn, they will acquire rich language, reasoning, and planning skills.

  1. Give your baby a physically healthy start before he is born. Stay healthy while you are pregnant, and be aware that certain drugs can be destructive to your baby’s brain in utero. Many children who were drug-abused in the womb struggle with severe learning problems and suddenly act with unprovoked aggressive behaviors. Studies have also revealed that cigarette smoking during pregnancy causes lower fourth-grade reading scores.
  2. Have meaningful conversations. Respond to infant coos with delighted vocalizations. Slowly draw out your syllables in a high-pitched voice as you exclaim, “Pretty baby!” This talk is called “parentese.” The areas in the brain for understanding speech and producing language need your rich input.
  3. Play games that involve the hands (patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy). Babies respond well to learning simple sequential games.
  4. Be attentive. When your baby points, be sure to follow with your gaze and remark on items or events of interest to her. This “joint attention” confirms for your baby how important her interests and observations are to you.
  5. Foster an early passion for books. Choose books with large and colorful pictures, and share your baby’s delight in pointing and making noises — say, the animal sounds to go along with farm pictures. Modulate the tone of your voice; simplify or elaborate on story lines; encourage toddlers to talk about books. Remember that building your baby’s receptive language (understanding spoken words) is more important than developing his expressive language (speaking) in infancy.
  6. Use diaper time to build your baby’s emotional feelings of having a “lovable body.” Stroke your baby’s tummy and hair. Studies have shown that babies who are not often touched have brains that are smaller than normal for their age. Also, when diapering your baby, you are at the ideal 12 to 18 inches from her eyes to attract attention to your speech.
  7. Choose developmentally appropriate toys that allow babies to explore and interact. Toys such as a windup jack-in-the-box or stackable blocks help your baby learn cause-and-effect relationships and “if-then” reasoning. If a baby stacks a big block on a smaller one, the top block falls off. If he successfully stacks a small block on a bigger one, he “wires in” the information.
  8. Respond promptly when your baby cries. Soothe, nurture, cuddle, and reassure him so that you build positive brain circuitry in the limbic area of the brain, which relates to emotions. Your calm holding and cuddling, and your day-to-day intimate engagement with your baby, signal emotional security to the brain.
  9. Build trust by being attentive and focused. Babies who are securely attached to you emotionally will be able to invest more life energy in the pleasures of exploration, learning, and discovery.
  10. Use body massage to decrease your infant’s stress and enhance her feelings of well-being and emotional security. Loving touches promote growth in young babies. Research has shown that premature babies who are massaged three times daily are ready to leave the hospital days earlier than babies who do not receive massages.
  11. Enlist help from your toddler at clean-up times — a good way to practice categorization. Toddlers learn that stuffed animals have one place to go for “night-night” time; cars, trucks, and other vehicles also have their special storage place. Children need to learn about sorting into categories and seriation (placing things in order; for example, from littlest to biggest) as part of their cognitive advancement in preschool.
  12. Set up a safe environment for your crawling baby or toddler. Spatial learning is important, and your mobile child will begin to understand parameters such as under, over, near, and far. He will be able to establish mental maps of his environment and a comfortable relationship with the world in which he lives.
  13. Sing songs such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Ring-Around-the-Rosy.” The body motions and finger play will help your baby integrate sounds with large and small motor actions. Songs also enhance your child’s learning of rhythms, rhymes, and language patterns.
  14. Match your tempo to your child’s temperament. Some children adjust easily to strange situations, some are bold and impulsive, and some are quite shy. Go with the flow as you try to increase a shy child’s courage and comfort level. Help a highly active child safely use his wonderful energy while learning impulse control. Your acceptance will give him the comfort he needs to experiment and learn freely.
  15. Make meals and rest times positive. Say the names of foods out loud as your baby eats. Express pleasure as she learns to feed herself, no matter how messy the initial attempts may be. This will wire in good associations with mealtime and eating. Battles and nagging about food can lead to negative emotional brain patterns.
  16. Provide clear responses to your baby’s actions. A young, developing brain learns to make sense of the world if you respond to your child’s behavior in predictable, reassuring, and appropriate ways. Be consistent.
  17. Use positive discipline. Create clear consequences without frightening or causing shame to your child. If your toddler acts inappropriately, such as by hitting another child, get down to his eye level, use a low, serious tone of voice, and clearly restate the rule. Keep rules simple, consistent, and reasonable for your child’s age. Expecting a toddling baby not to touch a glass vase on a coffee table is not reasonable. Expecting a toddler to keep sand in the sandbox and not throw it is reasonable.
  18. Model empathic feelings for others. Use “teachable moments” when someone seems sad or upset to help your toddler learn about feelings, caring, sharing, and kindness. The more brain connections you create for empathic responses and gentle courtesies, the more these brain circuits will be wired in. This helps not only with language and cognitive learning, but with positive emotional skills, too!
  19. Arrange supervised play with messy materials, such as water, sand, and even mud. This will teach your toddler about the physics and properties of mixtures and textures, liquids and solids. During bath time, the brain wires in knowledge about water, slippery soap, and terry towel textures. Sensory experiences are grist for the learning brain.
  20. Express joy and interest in your baby. Let your body language, your shining eyes, your attentiveness to babbling and baby activities, and your gentle caresses and smiles validate the deeply lovable nature of your little one.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/thinking-skills-learning-styles/20-ways-to-boost-your-babys-brain-power

The New SAT One Year Later

Saturday, March 11 will mark the one year anniversary of the redesigned SAT. So, how has the test fared one year later? Are the results what we all expected or is there still work to be done?

“Students prefer the new SAT by a 7 to 1 margin, saying it’s “easier,” “more straightforward,” and “way more applicable to what we’ve been learning in school,” according to a recent release from the College Board. But is an easier test properly measuring the students’ ability to showcase what they learned?

As a refresher, the changes include:

  • A focus on the areas of math that matter most.
  • A move away from obscure vocabulary words to the use of relevant words in context.
  • No science section. Science concepts are tested in the context of the reading passages.
  • Students now have 43% more time per question on the SAT than on the ACT.
  • No penalty for guessing.
  • A focus on command of evidence.
  • Scoring scale was adjusted from 2400 to 1600, and the essay is now optional

It appears that these changes have increased the students’ overall confidence going into the SAT. In fact, the release states that 80 percent of students feel more comfortable with taking the new SAT and 59 percent of students who have taken the exam in the past believe that it is easier that the original version. The results also show that a majority of students are seeing a correlation between what they are learning in school and what appears on the new exam.

In 2016, after the first batch of results revealed higher SAT test scores, critics began to question the validity of the test and whether these changes were just an easy way to increase scores. Critics like Dan Edmonds of Noodle Education “speculate[d] that the College Board may be intentionally inflating scores to attract more students” in an attempt to overtake the ACT as the most popular college-admissions exam, according to The Atlantic’s 2016 assessment of the new exam.

However, The Atlantic article also identified a number of likely explanations for the higher test scores, such as students “no longer [being] penalized for picking a wrong answer” and “also hav[ing] more time to answer each question on the test.”

Students have been receptive to the new changes, especially removing the penalty for guessing. Knowing this as a student may take some of the pressure off of guessing an answer you don’t know. Though, some would argue that it encourages students to guess more on the SAT. Despite questions that surrounded the SAT, the new exam is definitely receiving strong support from students, teachers and even parents.

“I felt comfortable answering the questions. The vocabulary was perfectly moderate, which helped since it was my first time! I’m very grateful it wasn’t as difficult as expected!” said Valentina of Florida, according to the release.

Meanwhile, results from the College Board’s survey finds that parents are six times more likely to prefer that their children take the new version of the test over the previous version. Also, six out of 10 teachers are in support of the new exam over the older format.

For students who are looking for a practice test, Khan Academy and College Board have joined forces for an online test that 70 percent of students find helpful.

“Unlike traditional high-priced test prep that focuses on strategies for taking the test and quick cramming, Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy supports and reinforces what students are learning in class by helping them focus on the knowledge and skills essential for college readiness and success,” according to the release.

The new SAT is still gaining positive traction one year later. While some may still need convincing, these numbers speak to the overall success of the exam.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: www.educationworld.com/a_news/new-sat-one-year-later-798413613

S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps

Omega Learning® Center

Tutoring K-12  by Certified Teachers  •  AdvancED Accredited System

Educators across the world are thinking S.T.E.A.M…. with the “Arts” playing a critical role.  Traditionally, S.T.E.M. has represented the academic areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  Recent studies have led educators nationwide to the conclusion that it is crucial to provide our students with an interdisciplinary education that brings the arts and sciences together, especially at an early age. Hence, the term S.T.E.A.M. has become the latest educational focus. The concept of S.T.E.A.M. (and not just S.T.E.M.) is becoming a household name as more parents and educators are learning the importance of nurturing both sides of the brain and creating the critical-thinking skills our youth will need in their economy.

Problem-solving seems to have a new definition as students are encouraged to look at a problem through different perspectives to find a solution through varying means. Parents have expressed agreement that our students must understand the growing “creative and innovative” economy represents America’s future.

As S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps are being offered by early adopters means there is an increased demand for the Arts in education, and Omega Learning® Center is leading its competitors in this educational surge. It is clear our students are challenged by technology. For American students to stay competitive in a global environment, S.T.E.A.M.-based skills will need to be strengthened. More teachers are focusing project-based learning and that’s where S.T.E.A.M. camps are a great place to start.

Numerous types of S.T.E.A.M. summer camps represent a new approach to learning curriculum. “K-12 education is being reinvented through the integration of sciences and arts, creating a stronger, more intuitive foundation for our students,” says Kimberly Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Omega Learning® Center. With tutoring centers across the U.S., Omega Learning® Center partners with up to 15 public and private schools per franchise territory and sees the challenges our schools, teachers, students and communities are experiencing.

“Today, students need to think more creatively, express themselves with confidence, and understand the real world application of the math and reading concepts they are learning in school,”  Kimberly Smith continues.

Omega Learning® Center is launching S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps in 2017 to help students jump start their education for the school year. Omega’s summer S.T.E.A.M. Camps will provide fun, hands-on learning activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Students will develop new skills, expand creative thinking, foster team building, and meet new friends. In Omega’s AdvancED® accredited learning environment, summer camp students benefit from small-group instruction led by certified teachers.

Depending on the student’s grade in school, activities may include Math Games, Hands-On Science Activities, Art Projects, Speech/Presentation, Creative Problem Solving as well as learning about Robotics and Computer Technology.  Omega campers are placed into grade clusters to better tailor activities, instruction and curriculum content for a more engaging and fun experience!  Upon completion, each student will be presented a certificate of Omega Learning® Center’s S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp, which builds confidence for a lifetime of success.

To stay competitive our students need a S.T.E.A.M.-based education by exploring concepts like “divergent thinking skills” and “intuitive instructional plans.” Both terms represent more creativity from both teacher and student. Environments that promote S.T.E.A.M.-based learning include tutoring centers, small-group classrooms, hybrid schools, and academic camps.  It is believed that our global competitive edge will be our ability to solve real world problems and emerge from the proficiency our students develop in S.T.E.A.M.-based skills.

Omega Learning® Center believes this way of teaching and learning is an inherent part of the company’s mission statement, “to provide customized instruction that achieves each family’s educational goals.” Leading this educational trend since 2005, Omega Learning® Center has supported enrichment-based curriculum by implementing intuitive, multi-sensory instructional materials in the small classroom.

“A child’s experience is limited, yet their abilities are boundless,” says Kimberly Smith. “At Omega Learning® Center, students thrive when they are given the tools and encouragement to think creatively. When you combine that with our tutors who provide the flexibility to creative an intuitive instructional path, the possibilities are limitless.”

“A modern education is rigorous, but takes the student into context in development. A student may simultaneously, as opposed to solely, be a scholar, athlete, artist, and public speaker,” Kimberly Smith adds.  “In addition to seeing a trend towards project-based learning in public schools, the problems themselves are beginning to revolve around the context of S.T.E.A.M. to provide a broader, more meaningful learning experience.”

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Moving Ahead in Math and Science

When it comes to mathematics, middle schoolers continue to develop proficiency in computing with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages. They also delve more deeply into geometry, probability, and statistics, and start honing their algebraic reasoning skills. Data analysis is a major focus, with students recording and analyzing information in tables, charts, and graphs.

The idea is to help students identify patterns of change and linear and non-linear relationships — a crucial component of algebra and other advanced forms of math and science. Other things that middle-school students will work on:

A Push Toward Algebra

A movement to make math more rigorous in the middle-school years has resulted in an increased emphasis on algebra, and a push to integrate it with geometry and other topics in the curriculum. The reason: as a “gatekeeper” to more advanced studies, algebra provides children with a clear advantage. Consequently, many schools push pre-algebra and algebraic reasoning at an earlier age. In 6th grade, for instance, children will solve word problems using graphs, tables, and equations. They will also work to solve simple equations containing a variable, such as 27 = 4x + 3. Eventually, students will become more adept at translating word and geometric problems into equations, and solving them.

 

Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences

Middle-school students delve into more sophisticated hands-on science activities and experiments, and material that continues to deepen their understanding of these three disciplines. Concepts, skills, and terminology become more advanced, laying the groundwork for high school biology, chemistry, and physics.For example, students might examine the structure of cells, atoms, and molecules, study the periodic table and various chemical reactions, learn about the tectonic plates, and examine the hows and whys of earthquakes and volcanoes. Students will be expected to do more research, using outside sources such as reference books, magazine articles, and the Internet. And they’ll be asked to share their work in written, oral, or multimedia presentations.

 

More and More Math

Math will play a larger part in science during the middle-school years, as students measure, weigh, calculate, and record data in graphs, charts, and diagrams.They learn to become more systematic in how they control variables, make observations, collect evidence, and record data. Middle-school students may get additional opportunities to plan, conduct, and showcase their own experiments at science fairs. Fairs, which can be classroom-based, school-wide, or regional, require students to conduct an independent-research project on a subject of their own choosing, then exhibit and defend their findings.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you. http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

 

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/what-to-expect-grade/moving-ahead-math-and-science

The Anatomy of College Application

The pieces of your college application add up to give admission officers an idea of who you are. Not every college requires every one of these elements — for example, some colleges don’t ask for admission test scores — but this list shows the most-common requirements. Be sure to find out from your school counselor or principal which of these items you have to send and which items your high school will send.

Application Forms

To fill in all the blanks on the application form itself, you may have to dig up documents or get answers from your parents. Most students use online applications, but paper applications are usually available too. There are also services that let you complete one application online and submit it to several colleges.

 

Application Fees

College application fees vary, but generally it costs from $35 to $50 to apply to each college. Fees are nonrefundable. Many colleges offer fee waivers (that is, they don’t require the fee) to students who can’t afford to pay. If you need application fee waivers, speak with your college counselor or principal.

 

Your High School Transcript

The record of the classes you’ve taken and your grades is one of the most important parts of your application. Your high school should send your transcript, along with a school profile, directly to the colleges you are applying to. Ask your counselor or principal how to arrange for this. And be sure to check the transcript for errors before it’s sent.

 

Final Transcript

At the end of your senior year, your high school will send a final transcript to the college you’ve decided to attend. This shows your college what classes you took and whether you kept your grades up during your last year in high school.

 

Admission Test Scores

Some colleges require or recommend that you send scores from tests such as the SAT or ACT. Colleges accept scores only from the testing organizations themselves. Visit the testing organization’s website for more information. And learn more about the role of testing in college admission.

 

Letters of Recommendation

Many colleges require letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know you well. Ask your references well in advance of the deadlines to write you a recommendation. You may want to give them a short written summary of your achievements to help them write about you.

 

Essays

Your essays are a chance for you to give admission officers a better idea of your character and strengths. Remember to proofread your essays carefully before you send them in.

 

Auditions and Portfolios

If you’re applying to music, art or theater programs, the colleges may want to see samples of your work. This means you may need to audition or send portfolios or videos showing your artistic ability as part of your application.

 

Interviews

It’s a good idea to ask for an interview, even if it’s not required. It shows you’re serious and gives you a chance to connect with someone in the admission office. Even if a college is far away, you may be able to interview with a local alumnus. Read What to Do Before and After Your College Interview to prepare.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/quick-guide-the-anatomy-of-the-college-application

Staying Motivated in High School

To succeed in high school and college, you have to do your best at all times. But sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, even when you really care about the work you’re doing. Here are five ways to stay on the right track.

1. Focus on High-Impact Activities

The key to success in school is staying focused on your course work. Make a list to get an overall picture of your workload before you start to tackle any of it. Then, make a plan. Although it’s tempting to do the simplest assignments first, those that take more time and effort to accomplish are probably the ones that you’ll learn the most from.

To determine what your priorities are, rank your assignments in the order of their importance. Then rearrange your time and devote more energy toward those that have the greatest impact on your course work and grades. For example, even though all homework assignments are important, studying for a midterm exam takes priority over writing a paragraph for English class. As you complete each task, think of it as another step on your way to college success.

You can handle any project in small chunks.

2. Create New Challenges

Changing your approach can help you stay interested in what you’re doing. If you’ve been given an assignment similar to one you’ve done in the past, think about it in a different way. If you wrote an essay for a creative writing assignment last year, try a poem this time. For book reports, pick a history book instead of another biography.

3. Set Attainable Goals

If you’re having trouble writing a 25-page paper for class because it seems like such a big job, don’t focus on that final number. Break the paper down and consider each section of your paper individually. You can handle any project in small chunks.

4. Find a Social Support Network

Create a group of people around you who want to help you succeed. Mentors can be teachers or family friends who can give you guidance and help you develop new skills. Counselors can help you with planning your courses and starting to explore colleges. You can also reach out to friends and peers who can motivate you by listening and sharing ideas.

5. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

Give yourself a quick reward when you complete an assignment or task. Take a walk, send an email, get a snack — whatever works for you. Then move on to the next project.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/inside-the-classroom/tips-for-staying-motivated

How to Beat State Test Stress

Losing sleep over standardized tests used to be something college-bound teenagers did. Now kids as young as 8 get panicky. All this agita stems from a federal law requiring public schools to give their students in grades 3 through 8 tests in math and English to make sure they’re reaching certain educational benchmarks. While some students don’t think twice about test days, others get seriously rattled. The pressure can affect their scores, and many kids complain about headaches, chest pains, and stomachaches.

These tips can soothe test-day jitters and help every child feel calmer, sleep better, and perform their best on the big day.

ONE MONTH BEFORE:
  • Put it in perspective. To gauge your child’s state of mind, ask how they are feeling about the test, suggests Dr. Bailey. If they are fine, move on. But if they are jittery, say, ‘”This is just a way to see if the kids in your school are learning everything they need to know.” You can also point out that the test score is just a small piece that makes up who they are, along with their sense of humor and drawing chops.
  • Tweak bedtime. For your child to get a full night’s sleep the night before the test, they have to have a good routine going now. If not, “make sure homework gets done right after school, and move dinner to an earlier time,” says Grolnick.

 

THE WEEK BEFORE:

  • Pump up the energy. Add some fun physical activities, like a family bike ride in the late afternoon or some drop-in karate classes. They’ll help your child snooze better at night. Plus, they will produce feel-good endorphins that can relieve stress and boost positive energy, notes Dr. Bailey.

 

THE NIGHT BEFORE:
  • Relax and have fun. Cramming vocab or practicing division problems isn’t going to calm your kid down — or even help them do better, says Dr. Bailey. Instead, plan something that will take everyone’s mind off the test, like family game night or a pizza party. A healthy snack an hour before bedtime and a soothing bath will help them nod off.

 

THE MORNING OF:
  • Fill her up. Start the day off right by serving up a morning meal of complex carbs and protein, says Dr. Bailey. Greek yogurt with fresh (or frozen) fruit and honey or oatmeal with nuts are way better than sugary cereals, which can just cause your child to crash when they need energy the most.
  • Be on time. Kids can get anxious about arriving late and then having to rush to prepare for the test, so set the alarm ten minutes early to get everyone out the door without last-minute chaos.
  • Connect with a friend or teacher. Talking about pre-test jitters with a teacher or a close pal can be a good way to chill. “Not only will it make your child feel less isolated, but it’ll release some of the nerves they may have,” says Dr. Bailey.

Omega Learning® Center offers State Test Prep customized program offers your student an initial evaluation test, completion of practice test sections, review of missed questions, strategic remediation, and validated test-taking strategies. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/study-skills-test-taking/how-to-beat-test-stress

High School Classes Colleges Look For

If you’re in high school and you’re thinking about college — you should know that the courses you take now matter. That’s because college admission officers want to see a solid foundation of learning that you can build on in college.

To create that foundation, take at least five solid academic classes every semester. Start with the basics, and then move on to challenging yourself in advanced courses. The courses listed below should prepare you for success in college and beyond.

English (Language Arts)

Take English every year. Traditional courses, such as American and English literature, help improve your writing skills, reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Math

Algebra and geometry help you succeed on college entrance exams and in college math classes. Take them early, so you’ll have time for advanced science and math, which will help show colleges you’re ready for higher-level work.

Most colleges want students with three years of high school math. The more competitive colleges prefer four years. Take some combination of the following:

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus

Take at least five solid academic classes every semester.

Science

Science teaches you how to think analytically and how to apply theories to reality. Colleges want to see that you’ve taken at least three years of laboratory science classes. A good combination includes a year of each of the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry or physics
  • Earth/space science

Schools that are more competitive expect four years of lab science courses, which you may be able to get by taking advanced classes in these same areas.

Social Studies

Improve your understanding of local and world events by studying the cultures and history that helped shape them. Here is a suggested high school course plan:

  • U.S. history (a full year)
  • U.S. government (half a year)
  • World history or geography (half a year)
  • An extra half-year in the above or other areas

Foreign Languages

Solid foreign language study shows that you’re willing to stretch beyond the basics. Many colleges require at least two years of study in the same foreign language, and some prefer more.

The Arts

Research indicates that students who participate in the arts often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help you recognize patterns, learn to notice differences and similarities, and exercise your mind in unique ways.

Many colleges require or recommend one or two semesters in the arts. Good choices include studio art, dance, music and drama.

Challenging Course Work

To ready yourself for college-level work, enroll in challenging high school courses, such as honors classes, AP courses or IB-program courses. You may even be able to take college courses at your high school or a local college.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/your-high-school-record/high-school-classes-colleges-look-for

State Test Preparation

Schools require standardized benchmarking “high stakes” tests to determine each child’s level of curriculum comprehension. Most states administer the standardized tests yearly in the spring for students in 3rd through 8th grade. These standardized tests can have a significant impact not only to the school but also to your student. The state test results are vital and may affect your student’s academic placement in future years, and even prevent promotion to the next grade level. No matter how you feel about this controversial assessment tool, it’s important for your child do their very best.

Now your student can take the state test before it counts! Omega Learning® Center administers a free State Test Evaluation to help students better prepare for their upcoming state test. Omega’s free State Test Evaluation is an an initial state-specific test administered in a proctored testing environment. Omega’s State Test Evaluation also includes completion of practice test sections, review of missed questions, strategic remediation, and validated test-taking strategies. Students benefit by taking Omega’s initial evaluation test to help our certified teachers customize each student’s test prep program.

Schedule your free State Test evaluation today! Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school.