Study Strategies for Final Exams

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and exams are on the horizon. Final exams. AP exams. SAT and ACT exams. With so many impending tests, it is important to prepare yourself for success. Remember, your GPA is one of the most significant factors in college admissions, so take control in these last weeks of school. Here are some study strategies and techniques to ensure you can perform to the best of your ability.

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How to Approach the Fiction/Literature Passage on the SAT & ACT

The first passage on both the ACT and the SAT Reading tests is the fiction/literature passage. For some students, the fiction passage is the most interesting one on the test because it offers a change of pace from the others, which tend to be fact-based and straightforward. However, when teaching these passages, I often hear collective groans from my students because many of them fail to grasp what actually happens within these stories. To reduce confusion, here are some suggestions on how to approach fiction and literature passages on the ACT and SAT:

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Making Summer Count for College Applications

Now that spring is officially underway, it’s time to start thinking about and planning for the summer. While summer can offer a nice reprieve from school, it also offers boundless opportunities to bolster your college applications. Ideally, you want to use the summer months to pursue and deepen your passions and potential career interests. When it comes time to fill out your college applications, these experiences can demonstrate initiative, dedication, and responsibility. Here are some potential avenues to explore for the summer…

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Emailing College Admissions Officers and Professors

As communication technologies change, so too does digital etiquette. There are ever-evolving, unspoken rules, for instance, to the art of liking or commenting on a friend’s Instagram post. Periods, exclamation points, and no punctuation at all can communicate a wide range of emotions and inflections in a text message. Most teenagers seem to know these rules intuitively.Yet many teenagers are clueless when it comes to emailing professors and college admissions officers. If you’re a college-bound high school student, you need to master the intricacies of email etiquette—or risk offending the wrong people.

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When Should I Take the SAT?

Although you have considerable freedom regarding when to take the SAT, being strategic could help you achieve your best score, not to mention save you some money. The decision of “when” depends mostly on two things: your academic situation and your preparedness. Here are some considerations to help you optimize fitting the SAT into your high school timeline. 

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What Should I Do if I Got Waitlisted?

Now that the majority of college admissions decisions have been released, it’s time for students to explore their options and make a final choice. But what if your situation isn’t so clear-cut? What if things didn’t quite work out as you expected and instead of deciding between letters of admission, you find that you’ve been waitlisted at one or more schools?

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The Problem and Appeal of the Slippery Slope

For nearly as long as I can remember, I have heard media pundits, teachers, and peers mention the slippery slope by name—not as a logical fallacy, but as the basis for an argument. As it happens, the slippery slope is one of the best-known and least-understood logical fallacies. What follows is devoted to explaining what the fallacy is, how it is erroneously deployed, and why it all matters.

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How Important is Vocabulary on the SAT?

The SAT is known for testing difficult vocabulary, or so-called “SAT words,” so studying for the SAT tends to evoke images of long lists of definitions and teetering stacks of flashcards. However, the latest version of the SAT (updated in 2016) no longer tests high-level words in isolated vocabulary questions (i.e., sentence completions or analogies). So the logical question is, how important is vocabulary on the SAT? Are lists of vocabulary words outdated?  

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