Posts Tagged ‘colleges’

28
Feb

How To Master the ACT Writing Section

If you’re in high school, and are a junior or a senior, there’s a good chance that you’re already turning your attention ahead to college. More specifically, you are probably researching schools and trying to determine where you want to go. Do you want a traditional four-year university? A community college? An online school? A school, such as Argosy University, that combines elements of online and traditional teaching? Do you prefer an institution that is public or private? There are certainly many questions to ask yourself at this point.

But before you start spending all your free time browsing CollegeBoard.com or Online-Degree.com, it is important that you take the necessary steps to improve your candidacy at whatever school you ultimately choose. This means working to maintain (or boost) your grades, adding extracurricular and volunteer work to diversify your application, and taking the SAT or the ACT so that you can be considered for admission in the first place.

Originally used primarily by Midwestern schools, the ACT has grown considerably in usage and popularity in recent decades, and it now surpasses the SAT in many regards. In 2005, the ACT added a 30-minute writing section at the end of its administration. The writing section, scored on a scale from 6 to 12, has become increasingly useful in recent years to colleges that seek to assess the expository skills of their applicants.

There’s a good chance, then, that the ACT and the ACT writing section will fall somewhere on your path from high school to your dream college. Here are a few tips for easily boosting your scaled score and mastering the writing section:

Have an introduction and a conclusion. Even if your introduction seems weak and your conclusion is only a couple sentences long, breaking up your essay into the standard expository format can translate into an automatic 2 point boost on your scaled score.

Pick a side and stick to it. The ACT graders don’t care which side of an argument you support. They do care, however, that you support one side and present an explicit opinion to that effect. A student that vacillates between the two viewpoints will not be viewed favorably when grading occurs.

In the introduction, start general and end with a thesis. No matter what the essay topic, starting the introduction with a broad observation and ending it with a prescriptive thesis is sure to immediately put your essay in the top half of scorers. If the essay question is: “Should high school seniors get parking privileges over underclassmen?,” you may want to start your essay with this generic statement: “People have long debated whether seniority should entail special privileges at school.” You can then provide a couple filler sentences and then transition to your thesis statement: “Seniors should (or should not) get parking privileges for reasons X, Y, and Z.” This is a standard thesis format that can be used for any essay.

Think outside the box. Picking a side of the argument and then giving obvious supporting reasons can leave you with an essay that receives solid scores. But if you want to fall in the 10 to 12 range, you can get an added point or two by thinking outside the box. Using our previous example, a standard argument for senior parking privileges may be that there needs to be some sort of method to determine spots, it’s fair because everyone will eventually become a senior, and seniors are usually more responsible by virtue of their age. An out-of-the-box reason, however, may be that seniors might need to often leave school during the day for college interviews or internships.

Acknowledge the opposing view. Acknowledging that the other side of the argument has some validity will get you 1 to 2 easy points on the writing section. Don’t go on and on about the strengths of the opposition, simply provide one sentence where you point out an argument on the other side.

These are the main ways you can boost your score on the ACT writing section. While it may be difficult to improve the quality of your writing and of your grammar, any student should be able to learn these tips and then apply them when the time comes.

By Jennifer Smith

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25
Aug

The Best Courses to Prepare for College

Going to college is an exciting stage in the life of a teenager filled with the anticipation of being away from home and independent for the first time. One aspect of this process includes meeting the academic admission requirements. College preparatory classes help students who choose the college track to take the classes needed, no matter which type of college or university you decide to attend.

English

In addition to mandatory freshman and sophomore English classes, four additional semesters in language arts sets high school students on a college track. College prep English course options are plentiful, depending on the school you attend. Language arts classes that best prepare students for college include an array based in literature. World, American and British literature courses help college-bound students develop literary analysis skills befitting a college freshman.

Science

Most schools have only a limited number of science classes available. To fulfill most college and university requirements of four years of science, students may end up taking all the science classes offered at their school. Biology and chemistry not only fulfill college admission requirements for science but meet the lab requirements as well.

Social Studies

When your educational path is college-oriented, eight semesters social studies classes are required. Gone are the days when social studies classes consisted only of U.S. and world history. Social studies classes also include world geography, and most high schools have a civics requirement for graduation. College-bound students also have social studies options that include psychology and sociology.

Foreign Language

One area in which state schools and elite universities differ in admission requirements is foreign language. Most colleges and universities require students to have at least two years of the same foreign language, but Ivy League institutions such as Princeton expect their incoming freshmen to have four years of the same foreign language. Meeting this requirement for college admission is open to whichever languages you can take in school, such as Spanish, French and, in some schools, German and Latin.

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10
Aug

3 College Essay Writing Tips Which Will Help You Avoid Trouble

If you are about to start college or university, you will need some college essay writing tips to help you stay out of trouble when you have to hand in your first assignment.

Tip #1 Know What is Expected

When you first accept to write a college essay, you mayhap diffident about a lot of things – how should it plague out, how long should it be, should I write a straightforward essay or a report? And how should I quote references?

The way in which you’re asked to set out your written work will vary reported to the theme you’re studying. In addition to this, each college, and in a lot of cases separate tutors or profs, will have their loved style.

So ahead you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you need to know what is expected of you. Ask your tutor, refer to any study notes you’ve tended and if you are able to, take a look at some lessons. You can do this by talking to students who are a year ahead of you and accepted your course last year. Even so, this brings us nicely to the next tip

Tip #2 Don’t Plagiarize

Copying work which someone other has written and authorising it off as your own is called plagiarism and is a big crime in academic circles. This doesn’t just apply to work written by different students, but also to information you find on the internet. A lot of students believe they can just copy chunks of information they got online and apply them to build their essays.

This has become such a problem that colleges now use advanced software package to discover plagiarized work. So beware, you could end up in a lot of trouble and even be thrown out of your course for copying. But you can all the same make reference to others work.

Tip #3 Reference Correctly

You’re probably enquiring how on earth you can write a learned essay without referring to something someone else wrote. Don’t trouble, this is allowed, as long as you reference it correctly.

And there’s more than unidirectional to reference your sources in an essay! So you’ve to be sure you know which one the college prefers and learn how to use it right. The university I accustomed teach at used the Harvard University style and one of my students insisted on using footnotes because she thought this was easier to follow. Don’t make as is mistake! Use the style your college tells you to use, even if you differ.

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