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College Test Prep Tips


Mar 5, 2013

So it’s about that time (at least in my semester) for the first slew of college tests and essays...and time for stress! But don’t let it get you down - here are some tips I like to consider when I feel overwhelmed in my studies: Professors know that they all seem to schedule tests around the same time in the semester; they will take that into consideration. Find a study place. If you’re anything like me, studying in your dorm/room/apartment just leads to distraction. An empty classroom, the library, a study center or a lab might be a better option for those of you who want to stay focused. STAY OFF FACEBOOK...or at least set specific intervals. Complete ‘x’ amount of studying then give yourself five minutes of Facebook/TV/video game time. But just realize these distractions are not going to result in anything productive with your studying. Caffeine is good, but too much can have the opposite reaction: Beware the crash. Manage your time! I’m terrible at this one: I let the little things get the best of me, they add up and the next thing I know, it’s midnight and I’m just starting the important things. Get your little things (emails, Facebook, blogs, meetings, hobbies, etc.) done so you can focus! When it’s time to study, STUDY! Music always helps – slow, chill music especially. Just avoid writing lyrics in place of your essay. (Been there, done that!) It’s the first test! You clearly don’t know how a professor’s tests will be and there is always a learning curve. If you get in the classroom and are lost on test day, study how the professor tests so you’ll know how to better prepare for the next exam! [...]

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48 months ago 0 comments

Some of you may be striving to gain acceptance to an Ivy League school and that’s very admirable – they are some of the best schools in the world! – but there’s another group of universities that may interest you as well: the public ivies! [...]

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Choosing a major is quite possibly one of the hardest decisions to make in college. We all have our different stories of how we chose our major – many of my friends chose their major because it was the easiest college to get into at the university while others selected their major because their parents thought the field would yield the most opportunities after college – but what happens when you want to switch majors? [...]

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This week, I’d like to talk about something that your prospective college might have to offer. We at Wofford call it Interim but most schools refer to it as January Term (or “J-term” or “Jan-term”). Colleges, especially those focused on the liberal arts, like to give students the opportunity to explore whatever might pique their interest, regardless of their majors! Wofford’s lies between first and second semester and is a month-long class that lets students have fun, relax and dive into a hobby or passion that has yet to be discovered. [...]

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Now that the semester is well underway, now might be a good time to start thinking about next semester, especially if you're worried about paying tuition. It’s not exactly a secret that college costs are continuing to rise so it’s in your best interest to find a job which will a) help you defray these expenses and b) pay a decent hourly wage. Admittedly, I thought a job which fulfills both those requirements was too much to ask for in this economy, and so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out about Education at Work. [...]

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Show of hands, people: Who has ever applied to college or is considering applying to college by using the Common Application? As the list of schools accepting this document grows (there are currently 488 members), so will the number of college hopefuls opting to use it. It’s incredibly convenient for students looking to apply to multiple schools but future applicants should know that big changes are afoot for the next admissions cycle. [...]

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For seniors in high school, it’s about that time to dive into your college applications. The process is rather involved and has the potential to become very stressful but here’s how you can go about it while retaining your sanity. [...]

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Between all-nighters, being away from family and having to balance work and school, going to college can be trying at the worst of times. Fortunately, a variety of gadgets designed to save you time, relieve stress and make your life easier in general are available online and at a store near you. [...]

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Like many students, you’re probably wondering how on Earth you’re going to pay for another semester of college, especially if you’ve either a) missed the deadline for your school’s scholarships or b) don’t feel like writing an essay, filling out forms, etc. But fear not: There are plenty of less traditional scholarships available throughout the year. And let me tell you, some of the scholarships out there are strange. [...]

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Accidental careers occur so often now-a-days that they hardly seem accidental at all. Some people start jobs assuming that they’re only temporary or a springboard into other jobs and they become unintended careers. This could be anything from a high school after-school job to an internship gone right – we often don’t realize that we’ve developed the career until we’re already in it, hence the "accidental" moniker. [...]

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For my final Scholarships.com article, I was supposed to write about things homeschooled students can to do adjust to college whether they are living at home and commuting or moving to campus. As I sat holding my pen and staring at a blank piece of paper, however, all I could think about was how homeschooling actually helped better prepare me for college! [...]

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It’s that time again, folks: Summer is ending and we’re all lugging all our stuff back to our dorm rooms for another year of school. After reuniting with your friends, everyone asks how your summer was and how that internship went. Wait...what internship? While others swap stories about impossible assignments, "constructive criticism" and weird bosses, you sit there awkwardly and silently swear to yourself that you’re going to put your nose to the grindstone this semester. No opportunity will be passed up and your resume will look absolutely glorious. [...]

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An Olympic gold medal is the ultimate goal for many athletes but when you’ve managed to achieve this feat before even turning 18, what do you set as your next accomplishment? There are usually two options – attend college and perfect your craft or go pro and rack up endorsement deals – but figuring out the "right" choice is becoming more difficult for many up-and-coming student-athletes. [...]

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Many universities across the country offer study abroad programs for students who wish to spend a semester in another country. Every student that I know of who has ever participated in one of these programs hails it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience...but what if you can’t afford to spend an entire semester overseas or you don’t want to interfere with your planned graduation date or schoolwork? Consider seeing the world on shorter-term trips during the summer! You’ll still get the experience of traveling and seeing what life is like in other countries without taking a lot of time off from work or school. [...]

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From Twitter and Tumblr to Facebook and Google+, there are a variety of social media sites that one can use these days. Although these websites serve different purposes, there is one that everyone should have: LinkedIn. [...]

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As a returning college student myself, I’ve been thinking a lot about what tips every one of us should heed as we head into a new academic year. I’ve learned so much as an undergrad and grown in ways I never thought I could, but I’ve also come to realize that I am learning more every day. With that said, here are my thoughts on what returning students need for the upcoming year: A budget plan. You may think you can keep all your spending straight in your head or that budgets are a waste of time (like I did), but I hooked myself on a Microsoft Excel document I found online that adjusts the numbers for me. There are tons of them online – just search “college budget worksheet excel” or something similar on Google. A recreational reading book. I know this may seem silly considering you probably have so much other reading to do for class but while textbooks work your mind in one way, recreational books exercise it in another. Reading recreationally is a good way to get lost in another world for a while. It’s okay to take a break every now and then! Camera. Whether it’s your iPhone, a small digital camera or a beefy Canon SLR, don’t forget to capture these years and the moments that count because you’ll want something to look back on when you’re getting ready to graduate and move on in your life. Sometimes, it’s just nice to have another means of memory. A video game. Video games are scientifically shown to improve the brain’s critical thinking skills and reaction time...and even something as simple as The Sims Social or Farmville on Facebook counts. Pencil in a video game hour every day (or Facebook hour...if you aren’t already on it 24/7) and take the time to enjoy life – sans school work – for a moment.

As you enter this next school year, remember to make every moment count. Work hard and play hard, learn to better control your spending or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Study long nights but reward yourself with time with friends. Balancing your life benefits you in so many ways and will make your year a great (and manageable) one! [...]

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Sure, most high schools won’t be back in session for another month but some rising seniors aren’t wasting any time getting back into the academic swing of things: As of Tuesday evening, admissions season officially began with the launch of this year’s Common Application. According to the not-for-profit’s website, 300 individuals registered for Common Application accounts within the initial 30 minutes they were available this admissions cycle, with the first one coming in less than 60 seconds after the launch! [...]

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When I first started attending college in 2009, there was nothing I wanted more than to graduate...fast. But now that I’m about to receive my B.A. in English Professional Writing in December, the idea of graduating terrifies me. What if I can’t find a job? What if the so-called “real world” isn’t as glorious as I imagined it? And what if I do find a job but I don’t get to use my writing skills? [...]

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Back-to-school season is in the air and whether you’re a transfer student or incoming freshman looking forward to entering a new environment, you don’t want to be without these must-have items for the school year: Planner: I know smartphones have fancy scheduling apps but nothing can compare to writing your to-dos into a paper planner. I actually got reprimanded once for pulling my phone out to schedule a speech as we signed up for it so stay out of trouble by going with the old-fashioned method. Ballpoint pens: Pens are crisp, bold and perfect for taking smudge-free notes. Pick up an economy-sized pack for backup and sharing with classmates or roommates – someone will ALWAYS need one. Mechanical pencils: These are great (and necessary) for Scantron exams and math problems. Bonus? No sharpener needed! Folders: I have found that folders help me keep everything in order by class. Color-coding them will help further organize your college life. Pictures from home: Looking at the faces of those you love will help you get through those lonely off-days. A journal: The best therapy is sometimes writing and when no one is available for you to talk to, a journal can be a great sounding board. Music: Whatever genre that appeases your soul, music has the power to change lives, fix what’s broken and turn any bad day into a slightly better one. I never would have survived my freshman year without music from my iPod or at a campus concert. [...]

56 months ago 1 comments Read More

We all have our favorite (and not-so-favorite) classes but one thing is for sure: Some courses are infinitely more useful than others – both in academia and in the real world. What classes should be required for students to earn their high school or college diplomas? Let us know and you could earn $1,000 or a Kindle for college through our latest Short & Tweet Scholarship! [...]

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High school students are well aware of the competition they’ll face when they apply to college so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make their transcripts and resumes stand out to admissions committees. One great way to do this is by taking Advanced Placement classes and as the demand for these courses increases, high schools are doing their part to accommodate all interested students. [...]

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If you’re a college student, the following scenario is bound to present itself: You have to work or have a test early in the morning but your neighbors have decided to party until 3 or 4 a.m. You’re not a party pooper (you just don’t want to be a zombie the next day!) so you should know there is absolutely nothing wrong with standing up for yourself – and your health – to better perform at work or summer academics. [...]

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Whether your career aspirations include a large salary, a flexible schedule or an ethical employer, it’s up to you to turn those dreams into realities. Sure, high marks in your major classes, several internships and glowing recommendations from members of your field are excellent additions to your portfolio but that’s not all you can do to secure the job you desire most. Here are a few suggestions from U.S. News & World Report: If you think you want to work in a particular field, make sure it’s the right fit for you by attending industry events and networking. The events don’t have to be formal (think: happy hour) but you’ll see rather quickly whether or not the culture is one you could thrive in. Consider doing this early on in your college career so you’ll have the time and resources to change your major if necessary. Another way to take the guesswork out of the process by consulting, volunteering, taking on side jobs or even job-hopping (the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employees in their 20s and 30s switch jobs every 18 months) until you find a career you truly love. You may find your ideal occupation blends a number of different experiences and can set out to create your own niche. It may sound counterproductive but take some time off every now and then. Head to the gym, to a movie or to the couch for a quick nap and you’ll return to your job search refreshed and more motivated to reach your goals. [...]

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Liberal arts students have a reputation for being a bit quirky and colleges catering specifically to these majors are no exception. Carleton College, Naropa University, Grinnell College and Deep Springs College are four such institutions renowned for their unique extracurricular activities, majors and more. [...]

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