Road Trip: Preparing for Spring Break College Visits

 

Using your spring break to visit colleges is a great idea, but be aware of spring break schedules for the colleges you wish to visit. It’s best to see a college when students are on campus. Here are a few tips to prepare for your spring college visits.  

  • Create a College Visit Itinerary. Using a map, look at college locations and decide on an itinerary that fits within your given time.  Don’t worry if you can’t see all of the colleges on your list. Focus on some of your top choices and then plan other school visits that are within the same geographic area. 
  • Register for college visits online. Once you have a list of colleges to visit, register for campus tours online with the admissions office.  Resist the urge to plan “drive through” visits. An official campus tour takes more time but gives you a better feel for the...
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Seven Tips for Acing the SAT

 
  1. Test Day Checklist. Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST. Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch, and an approved calculator.
  2. Consider Using Score Choice. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see them. You can send them to selected colleges later.
  3. Guess. There is no penalty for wrong answers on the SAT or ACT meaning that the most important strategy is to answer as many questions as possible.  Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score.  If you see that time is running short on a section use the last minute to fill in as many bubbles as you can – you can add a few points to your score by simply guessing one more right answer.
  4. Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2. The SAT emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry. Not much Geometry. The math section...
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It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking About Your Essays

 

Last week, the Common Application announced that the essay prompts for 2019-2020 will remain the same as they were in 2018-2019 application.  So, what are you waiting for?  Now is a great time to start brainstorming topics for your Common App essay.    

2019-2020 Common Application Essay Prompts 

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an...
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Student Spotlight: Zoe West

tips for underclassmen Jan 18, 2019
 

Play The Video To Find Out About: 

  • North Carolina School of Math and Science
  • Zoe's tips for underclassmen
  • Much More
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Underclassmen: Looking for an Exciting Summer?

 

What are your plans for summer? Now is the time to find programs for next summer to participate in. Do it this month! Many programs fill up early. Many have deadlines as early as February. 

What types of summer programs are there? 

Educational
Want to take an AP government class or a Biology AP class in the summer? Or be on a college campus? Or are you an international student needing to brush up on English. Several options exist for you.  

Research
Take advantage of opportunities to do research in an area of interest.  Local colleges may have programs for high school students to assist with faculty research, or take the time to investigate your own interests.   

Sports
Hone your sport skills by participating in a camp or program on a college campus. Check with your coach for summer opportunities. 

Test Prep
Ready to take the SAT or ACT? Want to improve your score and get ahead in...

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Underclassmen Mid-Year Checklist

 

Welcome back from winter break!  Now is the time to review your MID YEAR CHECKLIST. January is a great time to get organized and jump-start your college search.  

1. Meet with your high school counselor 

  • Review your PSAT scores with counselor and parents (if you took it in the fall) 
  • Ask for recommendations for summer programs 
  • Schedule next year’s courses 
  • Schedule your standardized tests for spring 
  • Discuss any school based standardized testing (AP, IB, other) 

2. Gear up for next year 

  • Explore summer programs 
  • Prepare for spring standardized tests using PSAT test scores as a guide 
  • Ask teachers about their recommendation policies (for summer programs, scholarships, or college applications) 
  • Job shadow or intern to learn more about potential careers 
  • Plan college visits
  • ...
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When Should You Take the SAT or ACT?

 

When should you take the SAT or the ACT?  Identify which statement below applies to you to help determine the best timing for the test.  

Juniors

Using the test dates for your personality type, plan your testing schedule for the next year.

Sophomores and Freshman

You will have the opportunity to take the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT later (11th grade)- so you will get lots of exposure to taking a standardized test. But, taking the real test is always a benefit! Which of these approaches works for you?

To Do:

Use GuidedPath to view test dates and create a testing schedule based on your personality type.

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5 Ideas to Guide You on Selecting a Major

 

Many college applications require you to select a major or state that you are “undeclared”. But what is the best way to choose a major? Here are 5 ideas to guide you. 

  1. Start early.  It’s never too early or too late to start exploring your interests and connecting them to majors or careers.  
  2. Learn about yourself. Take advantage of career surveys, interest inventories or other questionnaires or resources available to you. The more you understand yourself, the better prepared you are for next steps.  
  3. Research.  Use the Internet and other research tools available to you to explore what majors are needed for careers you are interested in.  Taking classes in subjects required for a major or profession helps you learn more too. 
  4. Try it on. Arrange to do a job shadow or to interview someone in careers you are interested in.  
  5. Make a short list. Once you have done your research and talked to...
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5 Tips for Making College Applications Easier

 

You are on the home stretch!  Only a few more weeks and your college applications will soon be done. Here are 5 ways you can keep sane during these last few weeks! 

  1. Set up Application Plans. Know what is needed to make a complete application at each college you are applying to.  Need recommendations? Transcripts? Essays? Make a list to keep track of. 
  2. Check Application Deadlines.  How many Early Action, Early Decision or Priority applications are you submitting?  Don’t forget – you can only apply to one school as an Early Decision applicant.  
  3. Organize your calendar.  Create a calendar with due dates for applications and other tasks you need to complete for your applications. 
  4. Track Progress. Feel a sense of pride and relief as you check off each task, knowing you are one step closer to getting in to college. 
  5. Keep in touch with an advisor or teacher.  Enlist the help of others. Your school or advisor...
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How Do You Measure Your Chances for Admission?

Uncategorized Oct 19, 2018
 

How competitive for admissions will you be at a given school? This is based on several factors. Some factors are more objectively measurable in the college applications process than others. The easily measured factors include: 

  • Your GPA 
  • Your tests scores on ACT, SAT, Subject Tests and AP.   

 Less measurable, but equally important in your college application process are: 

  • The quality (rigor) of your course schedule 
  • Your resume of activities, work, and other experiences 
  • Contributions you made to your community 
  • Your love of learning 
  • Your life’s experiences 

 Using Measurable Factors 

Check admissions data for each college on your list.  Look at the range of SAT or ACT scores, and GPA’s. Your test scores will put you in one of three zones for the college: green, yellow or red. 

 What puts a school in your GREEN zone? 

  • your test scores are in the top 25% of...
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