Two Great FREE SAT Apps

Here are two great free SAT apps that students have attested to benefiting from. I really like having these because they’re great for keeping on point on the test style questions that test makers use. Additionally, it keeps students always thinking about the exam and they can do some quick prep whenever they have some downtime!

  1. App Title: Visual Vocab SAT
    1. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visual-vocab-sat-free/id677336839?mt=8
    2. The SAT has a pretty steady stream of vocabulary words that they use over and over again. This app helps memorize that vocab bank with a fun and engaging way.
  2. App Title: Prep4 SAT
    1. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prep4-sat/id991750634?mt=8
    2. This app is awesome for preparing for the SAT and its free. There are different lessons, quizzes, progress tracking analytics, and it even has a list of colleges with their SAT requirements.

Grasping the Concepts in the Chapter

In most courses in math and the sciences, you will find both subject material and example problems scattered throughout the chapters.  Today, students are quite busy and rarely read the texts that their assignments come from.  The unfortunate side effect: most times students lose context for each of the concepts being discussed, which can cause extreme confusion when trying to combine multiple concepts from a chapter into a single problem.

Not all the ways of old in school/education are outdated.  This lost art of reading through the chapter’s example problems can help give clarity on when and how certain formulas should be used.  Often times, 75% of the homework assigned will be related to these example problems in some way.  It is only the challenge questions at the end of the section that require more than what can be gleaned from reading the example problems.  Make sure you read these example problems to gain more confidence in, as well as comprehension of, the concepts that need to be used together in order to effectively solve problems.

If you cannot seem to grasp how to attempt a problem by reading these example problems scattered throughout the text, then try consulting your notes for any little extras the teacher may have added outside of the text.  Though this is rare, it is becoming more common as teachers are customizing their courses to include homework outside texts.

Dual Enrollment for High School Students

With a student’s ever increasing busy life, more and more families are opting to dual enroll their high school student. But what does dual enrollment entail and what are some of the things families should consider?

The most common use case is when a student is either taking an online course in addition to their physical high school environment. Advanced high school students sometimes enroll at a local community college to get ahead or to take classes that are not offered at their school. The latter situation usually requires the student to take a placement exam at the community college to ensure that the high school student is capable of the course’s rigor. Online high school course enrollment is usually a pretty simple process that requires a signature from the student’s high school counselor and transcript.

There are a couple of benefits for dual enrollment that push families to opt for it. One benefit is for students with a very busy and time demanding schedule (mostly athletes). These students typically sign up for an online class that they can do on their own time and pace to meet their other obligations. Another benefit for dual enrollment is for students that are struggling at their high school in a particular course so they opt to take it online as they can have tutors to help them work at a steady pace. The final benefit for dual enrollment is to take classes that aren’t offered at the student’s high school. These students often want to accumulate college level credits so they don’t have to take these courses in college or they want to take a special interest course (ie., virology) that isn’t offered at their high school.

Dual enrollment can potentially affect the college application process.  If the student is taking an advanced course at a community college and getting an A then, yes, it for sure helps during the admissions process as this signals to the admissions counselors that the student is college ready! However, dual enrollment with mediocre grades won’t necessarily help nor hurt the application. Overall, dual enrollment isn’t a stand out good/bad flag in an application, but A grades are always the deciding factor. So, making sure that a student that is dually enrolled succeeds is critical.

Finally, when students are completing their college freshman application there is a section where they have to report all grades and transcripts from all institutions. Here they indicate their dual enrollment for whatever term(s) it was (ie., 10th grade spring term) as well as report the grade(s) received. They have to submit transcripts from the institution and their physical high school. So, a lot of attention must be taken to ensure that all of the colleges receive both their high school and second institution’s transcripts or else their college application will be marked as incomplete.

Revise and Practice for Success

It’s important to realize that with all the information you are being bombarded with, it is unreasonable to expect perfect memorization on the first attempt!  Follow the following tips to help increase retention and stay practiced:

Notes, Notes, and More Notes:

If notes are your bread and butter, but sometimes you feel like you are writing and not retaining, then this routine may be just for you! Part of the problem is that notes can be quite lengthy, so it is important to realize that storing and recalling all of the information is just not possible after writing them only once.  Some people resort to “studying” from their notes.  This isn’t a bad idea, but what can be even more helpful is setting a nightly reminder to rewrite any notes you’ve taken that day in school.  Rewriting your notes reinforces the material in your mind and allows for more successful memory storage.  

Even more helpful is to trim the notes each time you write them to make them even more efficient.  Eliminating excess information condenses the information allowing you to memorize shorter sets of information.  The continual rewriting process also strengthens the connections in your brain that are related to the information you’re storing.

Flashcards for Formulas/Dates/Names:

If you are having troubles in math memorizing the formulas you need for an upcoming test, or dates and names just seem to slip through your fingers each week, then flashcards can be a great way to reinforce the material in a fun and dynamic way.
Services like Quizlet are indispensable for students who wish to find ways to create flashcards on the go.  Throw your terms and definitions, equations, as well as names and dates on Quizlet and you can begin studying in a number of ways.  You can even have Quizlet prepare “tests” that show you definitions first, propose fill-in-the-blank questions, or create multiple choice exams to help reinforce the material.