Juniors, the college buzz is beginning and you and your parents have probably been talking about standardized tests, where to apply, college visits and how to pay for college. What can you do to lower the anxiety level at your family dinner table?
Plan your standardized testing schedule now. Spring is a great time to take tests. If you can get either the ACT or SAT (and SAT Subject Tests) out of the way, you’ll have more time to focus on applications and financial aid next fall. Let your parents and guidance counselor help you work out a plan. Determine which tests you should take. Look at the upcoming ACT and College Board test dates. Think about your commitments, choose test dates that don’t conflict with any of your own personal obligations and talk to your parents to clear the test dates you are considering with the family calendar as well. Sign-up for tests as soon as possible to ensure your spot at the location of your choice.
Determine how you plan to get ready for the tests. Find a prep resource that will best fit with your learning style and also your budget. There are many free resources available. You can also purchases prep books in your local bookstore and online. Use these resources to take practice exams— this is the best way to get comfortable with the tests and develop your test taking strategy. In addition, there are many online prep programs as well as classes in your local area. Ask your guidance counselor for recommendations.
Keep a master calendar of the tests, test dates and locations that you register for and store your registration ticket in a place you’ll remember on test morning.