Action Plan – Sophomore Year – Grade 10

Talk to your guidance counselor (or teachers, if you don’t have access to a guidance counselor) about the following:

Reviewing the high school curriculum needed to satisfy the requirements of the colleges you are interested in attending.

Find out about Advanced Placement courses:

  • What courses are available?
  • Are you are eligible for the classes you want to take?
  • How to  enroll in them for your junior year?

Update your file, or start one if you haven’t already. “See Action Plan – Grade 9” for a list of what it should contain. Read more about extracurricular and participation in other programs.

Action Plan – Freshman Year – Grade 9

Talk to your guidance counselor (or teachers, if you don’t have access to a guidance counselor) about the following:

Attending a four-year college or university

Establishing your college preparatory classes; and a schedule which should consist of at least four college preparatory classes per year, including:

–   4 years of English

–   4 years of Math (through Algebra II or Trigonometry)

–   2 years of Foreign Language, minimum

–   3 to 4 years of Natural Science (two lab sciences such as Chemistry and Biology; Physical Science or Physics)

–   3 years of History/Social Studies (World and United States History, Economics/Government)

–   1 elective of Art

–   1 year of electives from the list above

–   Physical Education/Health

Each student should check with their State Department of Education to verify college preparatory course requirements. Create a file of the your documents and more. Read on.

Making a Plan – Where To Start – Middle School Years

Are you thinking about attending college or training in a field of interest? It is never too early to get started in the process even if it is a few years away. You can start positioning yourself to get into college by following the college planning timeline as a guide.

Talk with a school counselor about:

Taking courses required for entrance into high school and developing strong study habits

Review college preparatory courses you plan on taking in high school including English, math, history, science, and Modern and Classical Languages

Participating in summer enrichment programs or community-based extracurricular activities that may be available in your county or school

“Starting to read” magazines, newspapers articles, and books of interest

Doing  well on standardized tests

8 Reasons to Apply for Scholarships Sooner Than Later

You are probably in the process of completing your applications to college and may be thinking ahead to your next concern; paying for your education. Searching for scholarship money can be tedious and time consuming, but it can pay off too. Check out the top reasons you should apply for scholarships sooner than later.  It may help you through the process.
Continue reading 8 Reasons to Apply for Scholarships Sooner Than Later

Shop for the Best Price on College Textbooks

Books are not cheap. You may want to shop around if you know what books are needed for the courses you plan to take. Here is a list of websites that might help you with this task.

AddAll – Book search and price comparison. – Save big on high-quality books.

Amazon is the place where you can save on new textbooks and up to 90 percent on used textbooks. You can also sell your textbooks online. – If you order over $25 in textbooks from this site you will not be charged for shipping, but this does not qualify for rented or used textbooks. – Right now the site is promoting a “Bargain Bin Blowout” which allows users to purchase 5 used books for $15. – This site gather information from various textbook sites and calculates each price as well as the total shipping amount. For more textbook websites click here.

Tips For Parents Adjusting To An Empty Nest

Do you find yourself taking a trip down memory lane while your child excitement builds as they pack the car to head off to college, start a military career, or get their first apartment? You may feel shaky, sad, confused, or relieved. Parents react differently to an empty nest. It is a time of change, a time to look at your child’s needs and your needs. It can be a fresh beginning. Here are several tips to help you cope with this period of your life.

Rest. Take some time for yourself while you adjust to the change and try to figure out how you really feel. Drastic changes may only cause regret later, so hold off on the redecorating.

Exercise. If you find yourself sad or depressed, exercise is a way to lift your mood. Find a friend or work out buddy to help you start a new routine. Avoid those fatty foods, chocolate and cocktails. Opt for a round of yoga, aerobics, weight training, and healthy eating.

Reconnect with others. Revisit your relationships. If you are single, you may want to get out and mingle. If you are married and you have spent decades focusing on your children, find new energy to reconnect with your loved one.

Follow your passion. Do you like to volunteer? What about going back to school? Think about taking on some new life-enriching activities.

Set a schedule for communication. Many parents worry that they will lose contact with their child. Even if you text or email, set a regular phone date with your child once a week. This will ease your mind and give them some sense of freedom.

For more articles on the empty nest, read College Bound: Proven Ways to Prepare and Plan for Getting Into the College of Your Dreams at

What Types of Standardized Tests are Used in College Admissions?

Thinking ahead to standardized admissions testing for the college application? There are several types of standardized tests used for college admissions. Each one has a purpose and these tests give the college admissions representatives an idea of the student’s college readiness.  The admissions committee will often look at these scores in conjunction with the grade point average and rigor of courses taken by the student. The tests are the SAT, SAT Subject Test, ACT with Writing, TOEFL, and AP (Advanced Placement Tests). This link reveals an excellent comparison between the New SAT and the ACT –

SAT Reasoning Test is a standardize test which measures a student’s verbal and mathematical aptitude as well as writing skills. Score range is 600-2400.

SAT Subject Tests were developed by the College Board to measure the student’s knowledge or skills in a certain area such as math, history, physical science, literature, and foreign language.  These tests can be taken at any point in the student’s junior or senior year as long as they have completed the related course work in that subject area.

ACT with Writing is also taken nationally like the SAT. It focuses on English usage, mathematics usage, social science reading, and science reading. An optional writing section is recommended by most colleges. Score range is 1-36. Read more about other standardized tests used by college admissions office.

Hi-Tech Gadgets!

Have you been thinking about what you want or need to make high school or life at college easier? Here are a few ideas of hi-tech gadgets that will make others jealous.

An iPad, a desktop or a laptop? Without a doubt, most students will choose one of these options. You may need to think about what computer capabilities you will need to get the job done.  Do you need special programs?  Be sure your computer needs meet the appropriateness of your choice of studies. How much memory is important to you? Does your school require a laptop? Will you need a docking station in your dorm room? What size monitor do you need? Read more about hi-tech gadgets by clicking here.