Academics

A comprehensive look at high school academics. We cover grades, AP and IB courses, and the post graduate year. Learn the secrets of A+ students. Explore summer abroad programs, read interviews with experts and get valuable tips on excelling academically.
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The two main college admissions tests are SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Testing). Each of these tests generates a high degree of angst for juniors and seniors. I suppose a certain amount of concern is justified especially if you have not been a good student during your middle and high schools.
 
What is the purpose of these tests?
 
Both SAT and ACT are deigned to assess a student's readiness for college level academic work.
 
"The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support, and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century."

This clip from the College Board explains what the SAT is.
 
 
Here is a brief description of what the ACT test comprises:

"The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading &Science
The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test.
ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.
The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 . . .read more

It's 2014 and the game has changed- studying is no longer relegated to just pen and paper, but technology like mobile and online apps.Today, students can learn both in and out of the classroom better than ever before. Ubiquitous platforms like email, Gchat, and Skype have crossed the boundary from personal tools to media that provide practical means to complete academic work.

Brad Zomick, Content Manager at SkilledUp, says these changes have already become engrained in the education. Now, technology and apps are simply a way of life for matriculating students. "A virtual whiteboard is something that's becoming increasingly popular for teachers and students. You're able to access whiteboard notes from wherever you are. Textbooks, once a hallmark of high school and college students alike, are disappearing. Buying electronic textbooks is huge for students. Not only does it cut down on costs, but it saves you from carrying around a heavy backpack all day."

Don't forget about online courses, from ultra-comprehensive providers like SkilledUp. "Now anyone can learn what they want through an online course. Some don't necessarily give you a degree at the end of it, but it does make you more valuable for employers. And, you get to learn something new!"

4 Top Apps for Students and Teachers

We've polled veteran educators and students alike to find some of the greatest apps for studying. Check out the list below to see how these top apps are changing the game.

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Ever wish you could pick the brain of A+ students?  Well, we did it for you — we spoke with dozens of students and educators to find out their secrets for success.

 

Everything they had to say is compiled here.  There’s short term techniques to get you started on your way as well as long term tips to maintain your achievements.

 

 

Happy studying!  And remember — grades aren’t everything.  Use them as a tool to measure your learning, not as a goal in and of themselves. 

 

 

1. Know your learning style.

 

 

Learning

 

 
Different study strategies work better for different people, and knowing your learning style will help you understand which study methods work best for you. Take this 20 question quiz to find out your learning style!

 

- Aaron Harris, Harvard alum and CEO of Tutorspree

 

 

2. Color code your notes.

 

 

If you write notes by hand, have a black pen, red pen, blue pen, and green pen handy. If you take notes on the computer be prepared to change the color of the text. When the teacher gets to a number or date you need to remember, write the numbers in red. If your professor throws out an important term or definition, put the term in blue. And if you need to remember places or famous names, put them in green. Everything else, keep in black.

 

 

When you study, memorize the important colored words and the “black words” will follow. Then you . . .read more
"Which colleges should I apply to, Mom?" That is a question which is going to be very much on your child's mind as she begins her junior year. Of course, you have been worrying about which college she should go to almost since she was a toddler. But now this important question is very much on her radar. Fortunately for both of you this is another instance where sending your child to private school will give her an advantage over most public high schools. Why? Because college counseling is not a function and job responsibility which private schools take lightly. Nor are private schools likely to cut staff in this area. Remember when you were choosing a private school for your child? You reviewed the colleges where various schools' graduates had been accepted and/or were attending. You remember thinking that the colleges listed for the graduates of the school where you decided to send your child were pretty much the kind of tertiary level institutions you had in mind for her anyway. 
 
This short video illustrates the private school counseling experience from a student's perspective.
 
 
There are several advantages a private school can offer over most public schools. For example, small class sizes and individual attention are givens. Sports programs and extracurricular activities also make the list. But what about college advising? In the first place getting a solid college preparation is probably one of the reasons you sent your child to private school. You read . . .read more
Joann McPike, the founder of THINK Global School, graciously answered some questions which I posed about the school. ~ Rob Kennedy

 

Explain why you took the reins rather than find some institution which you could guide and shape according to your ideals and goals?

 

 

My husband and I love to travel, we have always taken our son Alexander with us whenever we went anywhere. We took his school work with us. It was Alexander's never ending questions and comments that started showing us the benefit of travel to opening the minds of youngsters.

 

 

We started looking at boarding schools all over the world for when he had to go to high school and although there are some amazing schools out there, we couldn't find one that would provide the different points of view that we felt were necessary to have a truly open mind.

 

 

As to why I didn't find an institution that we could guide and shape... I assume you mean an existing school? I guess I thought it would be more difficult to try to convince a school board to do something so out of the ordinary than to start a school from scratch. Most people feel safe in the status quo, then there are a few risk takers who want to shake things up a little. I guess I am one of those people who want to shake things up a little... as are the courageous parents who took a leap of faith and sent their children get . . .read more
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