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The ACT: A Standardized Test That's a Sprint to the Finish

 

In the real world, we tend to make important decisions deliberately. Especially when we’re doing things that may be considered “academic” – like figuring out the amortization on a mortgage or reading through the terms of an automobile lease agreement – we are encouraged to do so with careful thought, and for good reason. Do we want to agree to terms we haven’t fully processed? Should we make financial decisions based on first-time, blitz-like math calculations? Certainly not. Yet there is one roughly four-hour period in many high school students’ lives that demands the sort of rapid-fire, no-second-thoughts action that, by and large, is discouraged in life after school.

Extra, Extra! Old Guy Takes the ACT!

 
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A few years ago, I took the SAT for the first time in 18 years, as a 35 year old. I wrote an article about the experience and the article ended up appearing in newspapers around the country.

6 Goal-Setting Tips for Teens

 
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As the new year approaches, lots of people are preparing to set resolutions and goals for 2014. As a teenager, you’re in the best position to set goals and keep them compared to adults.

Why? Setting goals and keeping them as a teen will help you carry those good habits over into adulthood and set you up for success in your life. Here are 6 tips for helping you set and reach goals this coming year:

  1. Be specific.
    When you’re first setting goals for yourself, understand that if you make large, sweeping goals, you’re just going to set yourself up for failure. For example, don’t say, “I want to do better in school.” Instead, pick something specific like “I want to get an A in math class.”
     
  2. Be realistic.
    Along these same lines, your goals need to be realistic. If you’re not good at math and hate it, you might not be able to get that A you want. You’ll avoid putting unrealistic pressure on yourself by picking a class you know you can work hard at and actually get a good grade in.
     
  3.  Determine individual steps.
    Once you’ve chosen your goals for 2014, figure out what steps you’re going to need to take to achieve those goals. Then focus on those, in sequence, one at a time. Using your attention this way makes you more likely to achieve each step and therefore your overall goal.

  4. Learn to say “no.”
    During the next year, you’ll have lots of demands on your time and attention, especially as a teen where you have to deal with friends, school, and maybe even a job. If any of these threaten your progress at achieving your goal, you shouldn’t feel bad saying “no” (when appropriate) if it’ll benefit your life in the long run.

  5. Reward yourself.
    If you can reward yourself every time you reach a checkpoint that you set, you’re more likely to keep going and meet your goals. Just got three out of your five steps done? You’re over halfway there and should feel free to reward yourself! Just remember to keep moving forward after you’re done celebrating.

  6. Learn from slip-ups.
    As hard as you work at achieving your goals, you may make mistakes and not be able to meet them all, or you might encounter rough patches in your journey. That’s okay – you’re human and it’s natural for these things to happen. The important thing is that you learn from problems, figure out how to work past them, and keep moving toward your end goal.

Following these goal-setting tips should help you meet your goals this next year as a teenager. And the more you practice these tips now, the more likely you’re going to successfully do the same thing in years to come.

















4 Holiday Foods That Are Actually Good for Your Brain

 
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One of the best parts of the holiday season is the food. The aromas wafting out of the kitchen are impossible to resist, and any treats that get set out are quickly gobbled up by your children.

Are You a Military-Connected Family? You Need SchoolQuest.org!

 

guest post by Suzanne Schumitz, SchoolQuest Social Media Specialist

Here's an English Guide for SAT: 3 Keys to Remember

 
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With the SAT on your horizon, you're starting to study about what you need to know for each section of the test. Once you start studying for the English portion, you'll need to pay special attention to study skills that will help you succeed in this area.

The reading and writing sections of the SAT can seem difficult at first, but with the right preparation and study tips, you'll be able to approach them with confidence. Follow this English guide for SAT study preparation to get you started.

Know the level of difficulty for the questions.

All SAT questions can be placed into one of three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. You're usually given the easy questions first, then the medium, then the hard. The writing section of the SAT will follow this approach when you're answering questions that help improve sentences, paragraphs, and sentence errors.

However, the reading section of the SAT doesn't follow the difficulty levels. None of the questions you're given will increase in difficulty (or decrease, for that matter). The questions will instead focus on the logic and message of the passage you just read, so don't be fooled into thinking as you work through the questions that they should be getting harder for you!

Pay attention to specifics.

A lot of English is about being careful with your words and writing, and it's no different on the SAT. When you're working on the reading portion of the SAT and you're confused about a question, remember to look for things like:

- subject-verb agreement
- pronoun problems
- key words and phrases
- surrounding context
- related words/meanings

Keeping all these grammatical and structural keys in mind will help you better eliminate answers that are wrong.

Also, when you're taking the writing portion, remember to keep your essay clear and flowing. Use strong verbs to explain your meaning, and avoid putting in unnecessary words. And if you need to give any examples, don't ramble on; instead, think of one specific example that supports your position, and write that only. Less is more in the writing section!

Manage your time wisely.

Out of all the tips in this English guide for SAT, this is likely the most important one. You may know all the information you need for the reading and writing portions of the SAT, but none of it matters if you don't learn how to properly use the time you have to take the test.

When you're taking the reading section of the SAT, you should focus on the sentence completion questions first because they usually take the least amount of time to do. That will leave you more time for everything else. And when you're on the writing portion of the SAT, make sure you measure out enough time for you to complete your essay so you're not scrambling to finish at the end. 

Hopefully this English guide for SAT has given you some tactics and tips to help you succeed on these two sections of the SAT. Make sure to practice beforehand, and always look for more support and tips if you need it!

























3 Reasons to Use an ACT Study Guide

 
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Preparing for the ACT is one of the most important steps you can take to further your academic success. Even though there are many different ways you can get ready for the test, you may want to consider an ACT study guide, and here’s why:

What Are the ACT English Section Rules?

 
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By now, you probably know that there are 4 sections on the ACT, and you're starting to put a study schedule together for them. But the more you start looking into the English section, the more daunting it becomes.

3 Benefits of SAT Prep Programs Online

 
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The internet's made everyday life much easier, and tasks that now used to be a pain no longer are. But should you look for online solutions for everything, even your SAT test prep and studying?

How to Select ACT Prep Classes for Your School

 
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Hosting online ACT prep classes at your school is one of the easiest ways to prepare your students for their upcoming exams. However, with so many options on the market today, how are you supposed to pick which online ACT class is right for your students? 

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