TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Tutoring & Test Prep

Posted July 18, 2016, 9 a.m. by Gwyneth Findlay | View Comments
4 Things I Did In High School That Made College Easier

AP courses, year-round extracurriculars and community service look good on college applications. Incidentally, those activities also help you prepare for the demands of college. But some parts of college take a different kind of preparation. Sometimes, you’ll help yourself by doing things that colleges aren’t looking for specifically. Sometimes, the best ways to prepare won’t be visible on your college application or in your college essays at all. When I was in high school, I didn’t check off every box on the list of college preparation courses or join a new club every season. I did, however, take up some ...

Posted May 24, 2016, 10:16 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How to Write the Best College Admissions Essay

The college admissions essay is perhaps the most dreaded part of the college application process. The essay creates frustration for students, stress for parents, and an overall feeling of dread as the deadline for submission approaches. The essay, however, doesn’t have to be an insurmountable project. With the right information, realistic time management and good proofing and editing, it should be easy to write the best college essay you can. These FAQs about the college application essay should help you tell your story with an end goal of making a good impression on a college admissions officer. What do admissions ...

Posted May 23, 2016, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Why Test-Optional Colleges are Too Good to Be True

Not every student tests well. Some excel in completing tests and others struggle with the time constraints and stress, even if they take a college test-prep course or have a tutor. But standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are often one of the key components of a college application, so it would stand to reason that students who struggle would welcome the option of not including test scores in their application. In the last few years, with the uncertainty of standardized tests and the inconsistency in grading, test-optional colleges have become more appealing to students and their parents. What ...

Posted May 20, 2016, 9 a.m. by The College Board | View Comments
Start Planning for College This Summer with BigFuture

Ahh, summer. Time for swimming, barbecuing, and … college planning? If you’re heading into your senior year this fall, summer is the perfect time to get ready for college application season. Here are a few simple ways you can make sure you’re all set to start applying to colleges this fall. Get to Know Yourself Finding the right college is all about knowing who you are and what you’re looking for. Thinking about what you do well, what challenges you, and what you’ve always wanted to try can help you better understand what kinds of colleges and universities might fit ...

Posted April 8, 2016, 9:35 a.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments
study tips high school college organization

Perhaps you will be taking one or more AP tests during the first two weeks of May. This makes April a great time to master several study hacks that can make your review sessions both more effective and more efficient. Although the best way to prepare for an AP exam is to take an AP course and to continually ready throughout the year, these hacks will help you with those final weeks of preparation. 1. Peruse a practice test. The average AP exam is two to three hours long. It typically begins with a multiple-choice section, and then continues on ...

Posted March 23, 2016, 9 a.m. by Quiana Querisma | View Comments
Take my SAT Advice: Don't Forget Your Calculator

A SAT score could be the deciding factor between you getting into the university or college of your dreams or being stuck at a dead-end job that pays you minimum wage. The infamous test can be seen as overwhelming especially since it's confusing to decide when and how to prepare for it. Today there are many more resources available to teens than ever before, which makes it crucial to utilize them and get best score possible. The new version of the test has only two sections, math and evidence-based reading and writing, and an optional persuasive essay. They’ve changed the ...

Posted March 4, 2016, 9 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
9 Reasons to Read Even If It’s Not Assigned

Not everyone likes to read, and that likely stems from being forced to read books that you don’t want to in school. But, if you read on your own and for your own enjoyment, then maybe it’ll make school reading less painful! If you find one good book that you love, it might be the gateway into the genre that you’ll enjoy best. And there are more at least nine more reasons to pick up a book on your own: 1. It’s fun! Reading is an enjoyable, free entertainment, and you get to use your singular, unique imagination! You just ...

Posted March 3, 2016, 9 a.m. by David Kim | View Comments
The New SAT IS Here and You Need to Know This

There’s no getting around it: the new SAT is officially here as of March 5. This means you need to be prepared, especially because a quirk of timing makes the March SAT more important to high school juniors than the SAT has ever been for students. Many juniors use the March SAT to prepare for the May SAT, counting on experience to help them focus their studying and achieve higher scores. But the College Board reports that in 2016, the March SAT scores will not be reported until mid-May — after the May 2016 results are analyzed. This does not ...

Posted Jan. 8, 2016, 9 a.m. by James Paterson | View Comments

The deadline is coming up fast, but if you’re a college-bound junior, you can still register for the Jan. 23 SAT – the last administration of the current version. But time is running short. The deadline for late registration is Jan.12. (https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-us-dates). A lot has been written about the new test and the changes that will make it more like the ACT: just two sections, no penalty for guessing, and an optional required essay. It draws a lot from the Common Core, emphasizing evidence-based understanding of texts, vocabulary and math skills. Not so many “gotcha” vocabulary words. But some experts ...

Posted Dec. 16, 2015, 9 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
Pomodoro: Work All Day Without Breaking a Sweat

Earlier I wrote a blog about the Unschedule – the best method to get started on your work without procrastinating. But what do you once you start working? Is there a tried-and-true method of using your time most efficiently? During my junior year in college, I discovered the Pomodoro Technique. It totally revolutionized my life. To this very day, I use Pomodoro whenever I have a big project to work on. Francesco Cirillo, the brains behind this productivity hack, decided to name his invention after the Italian word for tomato. When he first starting testing out his theory, the only ...

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