Category Archives: College

Parent Action Plan 12th Grade

Senior year is a whirlwind of activities. This is a big year for your child as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Use the suggestions below to help you and your child successfully navigate this important time.

Summer

  • Visit colleges together. If you haven’t already, make plans to check out the campuses of colleges in which your child is interested.
  • Ask how you can help your senior finalize a college list. You can help him or her choose which colleges to apply to by weighing how well each college meets his or her needs, for example.
  • Find out a college’s actual cost. Once your 12th-grader has a list of a few colleges he or she is interested in, use the College Board’s Net Price Calculator together to find out the potential for financial aid and the true out-of-pocket cost— or net price—of each college.
  • Encourage your child to get started on applications. He or she can get the easy stuff out of the way now by filling in as much required information on college applications as possible.
  • Help your child decide about applying early. If your senior is set on going to a certain college, he or she should think about whether applying early is a good option. Now is the time to decide because early applications are usually due in November.
  • Gather financial documents: To apply for most financial aid, your child will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your most recent tax returns and an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA, which opens Oct. 1.

Fall

  • Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor. This year, he or she will work with the counselor to complete and submit college applications.
  • Create a calendar with your child. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. Your child can find specific colleges’ deadlines in College Search. If your child saves colleges to a list there, he or she can get a custom online calendar that shows those colleges’ deadlines.
  • Help your child prepare for college admission tests. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT, in the fall. Learn more about helping your 12th-grader prepare for admission tests.
  • Help your child find and apply for scholarships. He or she can find out about scholarship opportunities from the school counselor. Your high school student will need to request and complete scholarship applications and submit them on time.
  • Offer to look over your senior’s college applications. But remember that this is your child’s work so remain in the role of adviser and proofreader and respect his or her voice.
  • Fill out the FAFSA to apply for aid beginning Oct. 1.. The government and many colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to award aid. Now it’s easier than ever to fill out this form because you can automatically transfer your tax information online from the IRS to the FAFSA.
  • Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, if required. If your child needs to submit the PROFILE to a college or scholarship program, be sure to find out the priority deadline and submit it by that date. Read How to Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
  • Encourage your child to set up college interviews. An interview is a great way for your child to learn more about a college and for a college to learn more about your child. Get an overview of the interview process.

Winter

  • Work together to apply for financial aid. Have your child contact the financial aid offices at the colleges in which he or she is interested to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure he or she applies for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
  • Learn about college loan options together. Borrowing money for college can be a smart choice — especially if your high school student gets a low-interest federal loan.
  • Encourage your senior to take SAT Subject Tests. These tests can showcase your child’s interests and achievements — and many colleges require or recommend that applicants take one or more Subject Tests. .
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 12th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.

Spring

  • Help your child process college responses. Once your child starts hearing back from colleges about admission and financial aid, he or she will need your support to decide what to do. Read about how to choose a college.
  • Review financial aid offers together. Your 12th-grader will need your help to read through financial aid award letters and figure out which package works best. Be sure your child pays attention to and meets any deadlines for acceptance.
  • Help your child complete the paperwork to accept a college’s offer of admittance. Once your child has decided which college to attend, he or she will need to review the offer, accept a college’s offer, mail a tuition deposit and submit other required paperwork.

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/get-started/for-parents/parent-action-plan-12th-grade

What To Expect on ACT Test Day

Good sleep? Check. Good breakfast? Check. Review our Test Day Checklist and get ready to test.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

  • Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you’ll be comfortable no matter what the room conditions are.
  • If you’re unsure where your test center is located, do a practice run to see how to get there and what time you’ll need to leave to arrive by 8:00 a.m.
  • If you arrive earlier than 7:45 a.m., you might have to wait outside until testing staff complete their arrangements.
  • Bring snacks or drinks to consume outside the test room only during the break.

ARRIVING AT THE TEST CENTER

  • Report to your assigned test center by the Reporting Time (usually 8:00 a.m.) listed on your ticket. You will NOT be admitted to test if you are late.
  • Testing staff will check your photo ID and ticket, admit you to your test room, direct you to a seat, and provide test materials.
  • Be ready to begin testing after all examinees present at 8:00 a.m. are checked in and seated.
  • Please note that ACT may visit test centers to conduct enhanced test security procedures including, but not limited to, collecting images of examinees during check-in or other security activities on test day.

DURING THE TEST

  • Once you break the seal on your test booklet, you cannot later request a Test Date Change, even if you do not complete all your tests.
  • A permitted calculator may be used on the mathematics test only. It is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
  • If your calculator has characters one inch high or larger, or a raised display, testing staff may seat you where no others can see the display.
  • Do not engage in any prohibited behavior at the test center. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored. For more details about prohibited behavior at the test center, please see Terms and Conditions (PDF).  Note: For National and International Testing, you will be asked to sign a statement on the front cover of your test booklet agreeing to this policy.
  • Also remember that cheating hurts everyone. If you see it, report it.

TAKING A BREAK

  • A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. You will not be allowed to use cell phones or any electronic devices during the break, and you may not eat or drink anything in the test room.
  • If you take the ACT with writing, you will have time before the writing test to relax and sharpen your pencils.

FINISHING UP

  • Students taking the ACT (no writing) with standard time are normally dismissed about 12:15 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed about 1:15 p.m.
  • On some test dates, ACT tries out questions to develop future versions of the tests. You may be asked to take a fifth test, the results of which will not be reflected in your reported scores. The fifth test could be multiple-choice or one for which you will create your own answers. Please try your best on these questions, because your participation can help shape the future of the ACT. If you are in a test room where the fifth test is administered, you will be dismissed at about 12:35 p.m.
  • If you do not complete all your tests for any reason, tell a member of the testing staff whether or not you want your answer document scored before you leave the test center. If you do not, all tests attempted will be scored.

*ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this service.

Source: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-day.html

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

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

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

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

4 New Year Resolutions for High Schoolers

The college admissions process is both a summation of four years of high school and a fresh start. No matter what your current year in high school is, you can take steps to ready yourself.

In the spirit of the new year approaching, here are four resolutions – one for each year of high school – to help students plan ahead.

1. Freshmen Resolution: “I will set college admissions goals now, rather than waiting until I’m a junior.”

College and its complex admissions process can seem impossibly far away when you have just begun high school. Your future, however, will be built on the foundation you lay out today. Begin determining your college goals now.

Starting now doesn’t mean that you have to set your entire trajectory immediately – during the next four years, you will discover new interests and new priorities that will partially shape your path. Rather, your college admissions goals can include general timelines for the next several years.

The next three resolutions are great goals to start with. For example, you might decide to complete your admissions testing early in your junior year. Another goal might be to begin building a list of interesting colleges and universities now, so that you will have a short list ready by junior year.

Other goals could include developing a well-stocked admissions portfolio on a platform like the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success or in another centralized location for gathering documents relevant to college applications.

2. Sophomores: “I will develop an ACT and SAT testing plan now – not as a junior.”

It is no secret that the ACT and SAT are critical to admissions success. But many students wait until they receive a disappointing result to dive into test prep. You do not necessarily need an intensive study plan as a sophomore, but you should know where you stand. Discover which test best suits your goals and strengths.

Commit to taking the PreACT or the PSAT, if possible. At the very least, complete a practice exam to get an estimate of your future score and to identify areas of improvement. Don’t stress unduly over the result – you still have a great deal of learning to do.

However, do map out a schedule of practice tests to measure your progress. These are especially valuable since testing can be an effective way to build your knowledge in addition to studying.

3. Juniors: “I will begin my college applications two months earlier than I believe I should.”

You might be tempted to set aside a single month or even two for college applications. Entrance exams have specific dates, you have to wait for your recommenders to send you their letters of recommendation and your high school releases transcripts on a set schedule.

That just leaves you to write your college essay – how long could it possibly take to write a few paragraphs?

The reality is that great applications take time. Your personal statement will require reflection and revision, and it will likely benefit from the input of trusted mentors and guardians or parents. Letters of recommendation can take time to acquire, since the authors are often busy with multiple letters to write – so it’s best not to wait until the last minute.

In short, you’ll need to start earlier than you expect to. This will allow you to gather your materials with time to spare for revisions or unexpected complications.

 

4. Seniors: “I will remember that admissions decisions do not solely determine my intelligence or future.”

Although the first resolution encouraged you to begin preparing for college as a freshman, it’s important to also understand that this focus should not define you.

Remember that college admissions is an intensely competitive process. Your GPA, test scores and a small slice of your life are weighed for admission – you may feel like there are more things you wanted to accomplish.

Ultimately, this is early in your life and you have many more opportunities ahead of you, wherever you end up attending school.

Remember, too, that no one best school is out there – there are hundreds of excellent colleges and universities, and many of them will provide you with excellent opportunities to learn and grow.

Above all, remember that college is one part of a journey. Yes, you can begin preparing as a high school freshman, but the story continues well past your graduation date. Spread out the work and keep moving forward toward your goals and dreams.

Source: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/2016-12-27/4-new-years-resolutions-for-college-bound-high-school-students

Winter Checklist From Freshmen to Seniors

Freshmen

The beginning of high school is an exciting time. Your child may be adjusting to a new school, making new friends and becoming more independent. But your child still needs your help and involvement. Here are some things you can do together during the winter months.

  • Start thinking about financial aid. It’s not too early to look into types of aid that could help you cover college costs.
  • Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure your child is challenging him- or herself — and taking the courses college admission officers expect to see.

Sophomore

As your child settles into the high school experience, it’s a great time for him or her to take on new challenges. It’s also not too early to explore colleges, college majors and career goals. Use the list below to help make 10th grade count.

  • If your child was not offered the PSAT/NMSQT as a 10th-grader, they may be offered the PSAT 10 in February or March. They are the same test, just offered at different times of the year.
  • Review PSAT 10 or PSAT/NMSQT results together. Log in to the student score reporting portal with your child to learn what she or he is doing well and which skills your child should work on to get ready for college and career.
  • Start thinking about ways to pay for college. Most families get help paying for college costs.
  • Encourage your sophomore to consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course.
  • Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure your child will be challenging him- or herself and taking the courses college admission officers expect to see.

Juniors

Junior year usually marks a turning point. This is because for most students and families, it’s when college planning activities kick into high gear. Here are some things you can do this during the winter break to support your child and give him or her the best options.

  • Review PSAT/NMSQT results together by logging in to the student score reporting portal.
  • Help your child prepare for the SAT. Many juniors take the SAT in the spring so they can get a head start on planning for college.
  • Discuss taking challenging courses next year. Taking honors courses or college-level courses like Advanced Placement as a senior can help your child prepare for college work — and these are also the courses that college admission officers like to see.
  • Encourage your junior to consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course.
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 11th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.

Seniors

Senior year is a whirlwind of activities. This is a big year for your child as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Use the suggestions below to help you and your child successfully navigate this important time.

  • Work together to apply for financial aid. Have your child contact the financial aid offices at the colleges in which he or she is interested to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure he or she applies for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
  • Learn about college loan options together. Borrowing money for college can be a smart choice — especially if your high school student gets a low-interest federal loan.
  • Encourage your senior to take SAT Subject Tests. These tests can showcase your child’s interests and achievements — and many colleges require or recommend that applicants take one or more Subject Tests.
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 12th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents

SAT and ACT Test-Taking Tips

Learn how to make an educated guess, where the easiest questions are, and more.

  • Read carefully. Consider all the choices in each question. Avoid careless mistakes that will cause you to lose points.
  • Answer the easy questions first. Work on less time-consuming questions before moving on to the more difficult ones. Questions on each test are generally ordered from easiest to hardest.
  • Eliminate answer choices that you know are wrong. Cross them out in your test booklet so that you can clearly see which choices are left.
  • Make an educated guess or skip the question. If you have eliminated the choices that you know are wrong, guessing is your best strategy. However, if you cannot eliminate any of the answer choices, it is best to skip the question. You will lose points for incorrect answers.
  • Keep your answer sheet neat. The answer sheet is scored by a machine, which can’t tell the difference between an answer and a doodle. If the machine reads marks that could be two answers for one question, it will consider the question unanswered.
  • Use your test booklet as scrap paper. Use it to make notes or write down ideas. What you write in the booklet will not affect your score.
  • Circle the questions you skip in your booklet. This will help you keep track of which questions you didn’t answer.
  • Check your answer sheet regularly. Make sure you are in the right place. Check the number of the question and the number on the answer sheet every few questions. This is especially important when you skip a question.
  • Work at an even, steady pace, and keep moving. Each question on the test takes a certain amount of time to read and answer. Through practice, you can develop a sense of timing to help you complete the test. Your goal is to spend time on the questions that you are most likely to answer correctly.
  • Keep track of time. You are given one hour to complete each test. Occasionally check your progress so that you know where you are and how much time is left.
  • Remember to always use a No. 2 pencil. All answer sheet circles must be filled in darkly and completely with a No. 2 pencil. If you need to erase an answer, erase it as completely as possible.
  • Do not try to erase all of your answers. If you erase all of the answers to one of the tests you take on a given date, all of your tests you take that day will be canceled. Remember that you can choose which scores to send to colleges.

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Source: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/taking-the-test/test-taking-tips