Archive for the ‘High School Life & Advice’ Category

Keep Calm & Study On: 5 Tips On Preparing For The SAT

The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute exam that tests all the skills you are learning in school like reading, writing, and math. Taking the SAT exam is one of the most essential steps in the college application process that leads to eventually attending the college of your choice. It can also be one of the most intimidating initiatives. But since it’s necessary, here are five tips on how to prepare:

1. Practice Tests, Practice Tests, Practice Tests

They say practice makes perfect, right? Whether or not you’re enrolled in a SAT prep course, nothing will prepare you for the SAT as much as actually taking the SAT! So carve out some time once a week (or at least once every two weeks) to take a practice exam. Although sitting and taking a test for nearly four hours isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, it is a great idea to prepare your mind and body to be able to sit and focus for that long.

Head to the SAT College Board online for free practice tests.

2. Write Essays

The SAT exam allows you twenty-five minutes to write an essay on an assigned topic. Although it seems unlikely - it is possible to plan, construct, and proofread an essay in this short amount of time. The essay will always be the first section of the SAT exam and the prompt will touch on issues like justice, the value of knowledge, or learning from past mistakes. Practicing your essay before your exam will ensure that on the actual test day you are comfortable with this quick style of writing.

Practice with these potential essay prompts on College Board.

3. Study Up On Your Vocabulary

One word: FLASHCARDS! Brushing up on your vocabulary will be essential to succeeding on the SAT exam. No, that doesn’t mean you need to start reading the dictionary in your free time. Check out this list that Quizlet made of College Board’s most commonly used vocabulary words to sharpen up. Becoming familiar with these words will aid you during the sentence completion and reading comprehension sections.

4. Guess Or Skip?

While you’re taking the exam you will likely run into some questions that you may find confusing and others that you plainly won’t understand at all. Instead of wasting time trying to figure it out or stressing about it – just skip it. All of the questions in the SAT exam are worth the same amount of points so spend more time answering the questions you’re absolute about. One big key to SAT success is time management!

5. Difficulty Levels – Learn The Test Structure

One of the main factors in doing well on the SAT exam is understanding the fashion in which its structured. The questions on the SAT are arranged by difficulty. Basically, the questions at the beginning of the sections are easier than the ones at the end. Therefore, spending an equal amount of time on each question doesn’t really make very much sense. By answering the questions at the beginning of each section quickly, you will allow yourself more time for the difficult questions at the end.

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Social Media Profiles: Spruce Them Up!

Social Media

As a member of the Millenial Generation, those born between the 1980s and early 2000s, we know we like to share. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, and Foursquare. Did we miss any? We actively share our thoughts, opinions, photos, videos, location, and just about everything else in between with our social media friends and various networks daily. Some of our notions are simple and humorous while others can be placed in the “oversharing” or “TMI (too much info)” category.

These days, colleges and universities, recruiters, and hiring managers openly admit to scouring through our social media profiles as a part of their background check to get a better understanding of who we really are, both online and in the real world. So before you apply to a college, for an internship, or your dream job take a peek through your social media profiles and ask yourself, “Is this professional enough?”

Here are a few ways you can clean up your social media profiles:


Facebook has a wide range of privacy settings, so make sure you put them all to good use. But no matter what, your name and profile photo and cover photo are still visible to everyone who searches your name. So begin with changing your profile photo to a more professional snapshot, a family photo, or a classy group pic. Take a glance at your cover photo and past cover photos to make for certain that there is nothing offensive on display but something that showcases your interests. Lastly, take a gander through your timeline and “hide” or delete past stories, events, statuses, or photos that you think your professional network may find offensive.


Start with your Twitter name, then the avatar, and then the bio. Even if your Twitter profile is set to “locked tweets” – any user can see your username, photo, and read your 140-character biography.

The same rules apply to Twitter - your username should be something simple and nothing offensive, your profile photo should be a modest headshot, and your biography should simply state your name, location, and maybe a fun tidbit about yourself or interests.

Scroll through your timeline a few times and delete tweets that you wouldn’t want your professional network to read.

Last but certainly not least, think before you tweet.


Think of LinkedIn as your online resume. Whatever you want your future college, employer, or colleagues to know about – your volunteer work, your internships, your work experience and education – you are able to include on your profile. Keep the professional trend going throughout and you should be all set!


Check out this helpful infographic via by CareerBuilder:

What are Employers Discovering about Candidates through Social Media?

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5 People Who Can Proofread Your Scholarship Application Essays

We hope you’re finding great matches throughout your scholarship search. Deadlines are inching closer, with many scholarship applications due in February and March.  It’s tempting to wait until the last minute and submit your application quickly, but before you do, ask for feedback – everyone needs a second pair of eyes. The sooner you complete your application, the faster you can get them into the hands of someone with the capability and skill to double check grammatical and spelling errors and offer suggestions.  ”Who should review my scholarship essays and applications?” you ask? They won’t take long to find because you already know them! Consider enlisting the help of some of these everday influencers in your life:

1. Teacher

Not just any teacher, but your favorite teacher. Seek out a teacher who you’re confident will be able to take the time to look over your scholarship materials carefully. Selecting an English teacher will be an advantage because writing and grammar are their expertise and of course those need the most attention when it comes to scholarship applications.

2. Guidance Counselor

Your counselor has probably helped you find scholarships, so why not have them help you revise your scholarship application? They’re your one-stop shop for everything scholarship-related and will be able to share some insider tips on what makes a winning scholarship essay.

3. Mentor

You may not realize it, but you do have a mentor out there who’s waiting to help. This person may be your coach, neighbor, tutor, or religious leader. Whoever this person is, they’ll be pleased that you’ve come to them for help with your scholarship application. They know your strengths and can offer tips on how to personalize your essay so it stands out against the competition.

4. Manager

Aside for your mentor, if you have a good relationship with your manager or supervisor, they likely won’t mind helping out. Many managers beam at any opportunity to help their employees grow and achieve educational success. Your supervisor knows you well outside of the classroom and can thus offer important insight into how you craft your responses.

5. Parents

Don’t hesitate to ask your parents or guardians for assistance. Do tread carefully though and avoid letting them write or rewrite your essay. It’s perfectly okay, however, to have them check for grammar and spelling errors and offer suggestions that will make your essay shine.