TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Sarah Good

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Sarah Good is a journalist who has covered everything from small town elections to international financial fraud. She is also private tutor with more than 10 years experience unraveling the mysteries of standardized tests and college applications.

Posted May 3, 2019, 10:38 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Summer Programs

It’s May. And soon enough it will be June, then the last day of school, and then… what? If studying and sports and community service have taken up so much of your attention that you haven’t given a thought to summer yet, you needn’t worry. Yes, you’ve missed the deadlines for some of the more competitive summer programs, and a few others may be close to selling out. But if you start researching and applying now, there are still lots of great options for summer programs that can take you into depths of the human brain, the details of architectural ...

Posted April 30, 2019, 10:25 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Teenager shaking hands

High school is a great place to learn about congruent triangles, the Battle of Bunker Hill, or the differences between DNA and RNA. And when it’s going well, you can also learn a lot about analytical thinking, teamwork, and study skills. But there are some things that are better learned outside of the classroom: Professional etiquette, money management, resilience, and a whole host of other life skills can best be practiced and developed out in the real world. Develop life skills over the summer Summer, when sports practices and homework are on hold, is the perfect time to work on ...

Posted April 19, 2019, 3:42 p.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Essay Writing

You’ve studied the math, grappled with grammar, and worked on your reading comprehension. But then there’s the essay, looming over all your test prep, so uncertain and subjective. So what do you need to know about the essay? And how much does it even matter? We’re here to help. What you should know about the SAT essay 50 minutes to complete Your mission: Read a nonfiction, persuasive passage and write an essay analyzing the strategies and techniques the author uses to build an argument. Think structural elements, reasoning, data, and emotional word choice. How you’re scored: You will receive three ...

Posted April 9, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Taking the ACT

The ACT has a science section. It’s a simple fact that many high school students find puzzling and even daunting. While the SAT sticks to math, reading, and writing, the ACT adds an additional challenge -- and an additional dose of anxiety. The good news: You don’t really need to memorize the periodic table or be able to regurgitate the steps of meiosis. The science section is actually designed to test students’ knowledge of the skills that go into doing science, not the detailed facts of physics or anatomy. As the ACT people themselves put it, “The ACT science test ...

Posted April 2, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
residential treatment centers

Just about every high school student goes through some hard times, grappling with insecurity, anxiety, and relationship issues. For some teens, however, there is nothing standard about their adolescent challenges. When your student is more than moody -- when they are self-harming, sunk in depression, or abusing drugs, for example -- it is time to seek outside help. There are a range of options available, from outpatient therapy to in-patient treatments. For the most serious cases, a residential treatment center might be the most appropriate option. What is a residential treatment center? A residential treatment center, or RTC, is an ...

Posted March 22, 2019, noon by Sarah Good | View Comments
Test Prep Tutoring

Testing season is upon us. As high school students begin to study for the SAT and ACT, many will turn to private test-prep tutors to help them tackle the test with confidence. Tutors can help familiarize you with the format, teach you new material, and help your get your mental game ready for the stress of test day. There are, however, a lot of tutoring options to sift through. How can you choose the test-prep tutor who is the right match for your learning style and personality? Try asking potential tutors these seven questions to help determine if they are ...

Posted March 15, 2019, 11 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Community-Service-Project

If you’re planning to apply to college, you’ve already thought about community service. Admissions offices love it and some high schools even require it for graduation. So maybe you’ve volunteered at a local food pantry or have been researching opportunities at a nearby hospital. (And if you’re looking for more opportunities, we’ve got plenty to inspire you.) But there’s another option: You could create your own community service project. Why create your own community service project? First, it allows you to tailor your volunteer experience very precisely to your strengths, goals, and passions. Also, self-directed projects look great on college ...

Posted Feb. 28, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Gap Year Big City

So you’ve decided to take a gap year. Now it’s time to consider your options: Are you looking for a service project in a rural village? A few months of studying at a foreign university? A wilderness trek? If you find yourself drawn to the idea of immersing yourself in the culture, bustle, and personality of a new city, there are plenty of options to consider. From domestic destinations like New York City and Chicago, to adventures abroad in places like Berlin or Cape Town, your choices span the globe. Planning A Big City Gap Year Here are six programs ...

Posted Feb. 15, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
STEM summer program

Whether you’re completely set on pursuing an engineering degree, wavering between biology and art history, or just curious what oceanography is all about, the summer is the perfect time to turn your STEM daydreams into a reality. But why should you skip the summer job or the chance to hang out with your friends for a STEM program? Consider these benefits: 1. Have an adventure Many summer STEM programs give students the opportunity to explore with the eyes of a scientist. So you won’t just be going somewhere new, you will be learning to see it in a new way. ...

Posted Aug. 31, 2018, 11:40 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
high school girl wearing striped shirt worrying over a test.

Preparing for a big exam is always a daunting proposition. And that goes double for college admissions tests like the ACT. The ACT, as you probably know, is one of the two major tests colleges accept with applications. The other is the SAT. The ACT is divided into four multiple-choice sections plus an optional essay. The English section tests grammar, punctuation and syntax. The math section tests math, of course, with the most advanced questions hitting precalculus concepts like trigonometry and imaginary numbers. The Reading section is a pretty basic reading comprehension test. The Science section assesses your ability to ...

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