I’m warning you know, junior year is the hardest year of high school. Colleges look at the year the most. It’s the first year of IB/AP testing, SAT, ACT, and more. So I decided to compile a post on JUNIOR YEAR ADVICE.
Check out the links I’ve put in the post. If any don’t work, message me!!! If you want more, let me know!
1. Get good grades. This is going to sound like an obvious point but really, you need to focus on doing your best academically this year. Junior year grades are the most important to a college. Improvement from previous years counts too, so improve and do your absolute best. No slacking! Look at YouTube videos for note taking ideas and how to get good grades and study tips. Here aresome more.
2. Take your first SAT/ACT in the winter of your junior year. I know the SAT tested in January and the ACT should test around there too. Test early and then you’ll have time to study and retake if needed. I took my SAT in March, which was okay, but I wanted more time to study so I’m taking my second SAT in October and my first ACT in September. December is the last month to take tests for UCs. Take your ACT and SAT earlier in your junior year to get them done before senior year. Check out this video for SAT/ACT advice. It’s a simple study practice.
3.Study for the SAT/ACT/AP/IB tests. Study. The. Material. Start early and keep on track. Get books or online tools to help. Yes you an retake the SAT/ACT but any more than one extra time may not look good, as it shows it took you 3+ tries to get that score. You can’t really retake the IB/AP tests easily, or at all. You paid good money for those tests, study! I won’t be taking the new SAT in March of course so learn about that.
4. This is your last chance to join a club or sport and have in look good on college apps. Waiting until senior year to do anything, or everything, is a bad idea. Join now so you’ll have a full year under your belt. If you’re in IB, you’ll need CAS hours. Here is a link to a site with ideas. They can also be used for regular community service.
5. Start trying to decide what you want to do in college if you haven’t already. Make spreadsheets and logs to figure out what college is best for you. Figure out what you need to do to get into that college if you haven’t already.
6. Don’t date someone for the heck of it. Don’t date someone on and off. It’s a bad idea all the way around.
7. This is the year where you learn who smokes and drinks and all that. Don’t fall into it. It’s not cool and no one cares. Honestly.
8. While it is important to do good things for college, don’t do something JUST for college apps or to impress someone. If you want to take 5+ AP classes because you want to, go for it. If you’re doing it ONLY because it looks good on college apps or because you want to impress someone else, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.
9. Learn about the world. Learn that feminism isn’t a joke for a meme or anything. Learn that it is about equality. Learn about the police brutality. Keep an eye on politics. You’ll be voting soon.
Follow studyblrsubjects for more! Have your own tips or found some here on tumblr? Submit them here! Want to write some? Find a list of highly demanded subjects and classes here! If you want to suggest some classes and subjects or help run the blog, send us a message!
Use your local library! Many have SAT/ACT prep books that you can borrow like normal books instead of buying. You can also ask to see if they have online prep resources.
Start practicing well in advance.To maximize your success on the exam, you’ll want to start pretty early, and not just in the month beforehand, so that you can build on your skills and do plenty of practice.
Take advantage of practice tests. They’re almost always the best way to practice, and they’ll help you learn from your mistakes. Simulate an authentic testing environment, and get yourself accustomed to what it’ll be like on the day.
Do your best! It’s the cheesiest and most generic advice ever, but it’s completely accurate. Work hard, and if something doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, don’t give up! Keep trying and your effort will pay off. Best of luck!
Tips for the SATs: Things Prep Books Won’t Tell You
I took the SATs twice. First time I got 2080. Second time I got 2390. It’s a bullshit test that isn’t correlated with future success or grades, and it has several weak spots. So here’s a guide of unconventional hacks, tips, and tricks that you won’t learn in most test prep books. This is specifically for people taking the SAT before March 2016. OKAY HERE WE GO:
Pick a side. Don’t try to be all smart and argue both. You think you can, and you’re probably right, but your argument will be a lot more nuanced and well-supported (which is a chunk of the mark) if you choose one side
You don’t need to worry about actually forming an argument supported by evidence. Spend 2 minutes planning and come up with exactly 3 points. In each paragraph, make your point and then bam, you’re good to go. You know why? Because you make up examples. Whatever you want- Make up dates! Make up people! Make up absolute shit that the grader knows isn’t true! I mean, try not to write 500 words on how Shakespeare’s most famous play, ‘Roly-poly Ollie and Julianne Moore’, changed your life, but. Make up books, plays, personal anecdotes, whatever. It does not matter. You can do that. They’re marking you on whether or not you have examples, not whether or not they happen to be true.
Listen up, because this is the most important: write a lot. Write two pages, or more, and if you can’t, write bullshit but write two pages as long as it’s semi-coherent.
There is a direct and strong correlation between length of essay and mark assigned. What does this mean? You write shit, you get a higher mark. Collegeboard says it ain’t so, but the facts disprove it.
Memorize a couple of big words like “deluge”, “guile”, and “plethora”, and make sure you know how to use them. Then just shove ‘em in when you’re sure you’ve used them right. Preferably in the first page, and the conclusion.
Do not try to cram vocabulary two weeks in advance. The words aren’t obscure enough to justify that.
Read. Read books, read newspapers, read articles, read journals. If you read voraciously the year before you take the SAT, I guarantee you’ll ace the vocab section without studying.
But. If you don’t have a year and you gotta hit the vocab lists, here’s how to do it:
Get a list of a certain number of words to memorize, depending on how long you have: like this, for 100 words, or this one, for 500 words. Use the good/medium/bad system. Every day, do the words in the bad pile. If you can do them after 4 days, move them to the medium pile. Those are words you do every 3 or 4 days. The good pile is words you go over every week. If you fail at a word in the good or medium pile, move it down to bad.
Learn the meanings of some prefixes and suffixes, and several or more common roots of words (again, depending on time). This means if you come across words you don’t know, you can make a good guess.
Seriously though, just read
Memorize the grammar rules. There’s about 10 that they always re-use and they’re not complicated
Miscellaneous (important!) tips: Math
During the SATs you’re allowed to bring in a calculator with programs. DO NOT WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY. But don’t waste precious time using a program when you could use your head and be faster
A program isn’t there to do hard math; it’s there to save time. You need time.
You also don’t need to memorize formulas for anything because you can get a program that’ll do anything with formulas for you
I highly 150% recommend getting your hands on a graphing calculator if you don’t have one. Get one off your friend or rent one or something, but get one
Miscellaneous (important!) tips: Critical Reading
In my opinion, the most bullshit part of the whole test. And the essay is a thing that exists, so.
Don’t read the text first. That’s ridiculous. Skim the text, just the first bit of every paragraph. Then close your eyes and in less than 10 seconds, think of a summary. What’s the author’s main point? A line or two, like ‘Technology is helping restaurants. The food is cheaper which is benefitting consumers.’ It sounds stupid but do it.
Read the question and go to that part of the text (it goes in order). Knock off any that are obviously wrong. Now you’re looking for the ‘most correct’ one which, what the fuck, should not be a thing! But anyways, most times, from the remaining options one will be in-line with your little summary from before, and one won’t.
There will never be two right answers. If two answers seem right to you, it’s because you’re thinking ‘oh, but this sentence suggests that-’ stop. Don’t overthink these questions. Often, people will be trying to think of the implications, themes, etc. and you don’t need to. This section is superficial as fuck.
If y’all have any specific questions you want to send me to get advice on how to tackle them, feel free.
General Advice for the Day Before/On the Day
Get a good night’s sleep! You got this. But if you can’t sleep, don’t worry! You still got this.
Get there early if you can, so you’re not adding anxiety to yourself
Don’t spend longer than a minute on a question. If you haven’t got it in that time, come back to it at the end. You’ll be more relaxed after having finished the ones you do know.
Once You’re Done
Yay! I’m proud of you
Don’t look up the answers. And if you do, don’t stress about any that you got wrong
Go have lunch or dinner with your friends or family and rant about how you just spent 6 hours in a stuffy room and stuff your face with cheesy pizza and chips bc you deserve it
Important Final Points
No matter what CollegeBoard says, the SATs are not an IQ test. It is very possible to boost your scores by 300 points
Your score does not define you. All it does is tell you how you did on that one day, but that’s not all you are. That’s not even 0.0001% of who you are
If a college doesn’t accept you because your score isn’t as high as they’d like, even after going over the rest of your application, then you don’t want to be there anyways
You will get in somewhere, and you’ll have a great time
Any juniors/seniors/college freshmen, feel free to hmu for general or specific advice on college, SATs, or studying
college board:we, a $$nonprofit organi$ation$$$ $trive to $upply high$chool $tudents with an opportunity for high-level educa$ion and $ucce$$ in college admittan$e with our $AT and AP Cour$es $$$$$$$$$$
Studying for long important exams like the DAT (me (’: ), the MCAT, or even the SAT/ACT requires a lot of time budgeting! Today I was scheduling DAT studying for the next 20 days, and I realized that a progress percentage chart would be really useful for mebecause it would allow me to plan goals such as “finish a 1084-page review book” or “watch 46 chemistry videos from the video playlist” long-term! It’s hard to put long arduous tasks like these onto a daily or even weekly schedule - for me, they seem to work better when measured by %-finished.
I made this to use for myself this morning, and then realized that it might be useful for some of you out there, too! So I’ve uploaded it to google drive so you all can use it if it will be helpful in your studies. They come in blue, pink, yellow, and grayscale (for black-and-white printing): >>DOWNLOAD HERE<<
EDIT: I’ve gotten a suggestion from a very nice anon to make the background white so the printable does not use as much ink when printed in color! >>HERE<< is the link the white-background version on GDrive :)
To use this chart, I filled out specific goals on the left hand column and colored in the progress bar in the right in accordance with the percentage of the task or goal I had finished. I also marked dates next to the progress bar so I knew when I should have finished 50%, or 75%, or 100% of a task, etc. Here’s a pic of how I used it: