Three Tips for Preparing for the ACT

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The spring semester of junior year is arguably the most important semester of your high school career. Everything you do this semester will directly impact your college applications this fall. This means working hard in your classes, getting involved in more extracurriculars, and preparing for the ACT and SAT!

There are plenty of great tips for the SAT (and we shared a few here), so let’s dive into some tips for preparing for the ACT:

Study, study, study!

It’s no secret that the best way to prepare for any kind of test is to study, but it’s even more important for a test that helps determine college admission. While no one can study for you, that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone on your journey!

At ASU Prep Digital, students have an abundance of support that extends beyond the virtual classroom. Learning Success Coaches work with students to ensure they’re on track to reach their goals whether they’re academic or personal, and this includes college admission! Your LSC can help you create a study plan that works with your schedule so you feel ready for test day. And if you’re looking for a study buddy, ask your teachers about forming a study group with other classmates!

Familiarize yourself with the test.

The ACT is different from the SAT, so knowing the structure of the test will help you prepare and avoid being surprised on test day.

The ACT is comprised of four sections (not including the optional writing portion): English, math, reading, and science. The test is 2 hours and 55 minutes, or 3 hours and 35 minutes with the writing section. And because the ACT has a unique style of formatting questions, the best way to familiarize yourself is to take plenty of practice tests. You can find free, full-length ACT practice tests here.

Identify your weaknesses.

It’s hard to know what you need to work on if you don’t know what your weakest areas are. Luckily, there’s a way to figure this out: practice tests, practice tests, practice tests!

Find a quiet environment and set yourself up to take the practice exam the same way you would take it on test day. This means printing it out (if possible), having number 2 pencils and an approved calculator, and setting a timer to keep track of time. Once you’re done, use scoring guidelines to add up your score. This will show you which areas you scored highest and lowest in, giving you a great starting place for studying.

 

Ready to sign up for the ACT this semester? Here are the test dates and registration deadlines through this summer:

  • April 4
    • Registration ends February 28
  • June 13
    • Registration ends May 8
  • July 18
    • Registration ends June 19

Looking for more tips? Check out these articles:

Three Important SAT Prep Tips for High School Students

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‘Tis the season for cooler weather, fall activities, and SAT prep! It may not be as fun as pumpkin patches or haunted attractions, but preparing for the SAT is important since your score is a crucial part of your college application. This may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of great tips for preparing for the exam, and we’re going to share a few:

Enroll in a prep course.

It has been proven time and time again that taking an SAT prep course helps improve your score. Not only do these courses break down and help you familiarize yourself with the different exam sections, but they also provide strategies on how to physically take the test. 

ASU Prep Digital offers an ACT/SAT Test Preparation course, open to all students who have completed Algebra 2 and English 10. The course includes assignments using an online resource called Shmoop, a ‘one-stop learning shop’ offering homework help, learning guides, and, most importantly, test prep!

Work on your weaknesses.

This may seem like a given, but it’s easy to find yourself working on sections you’re comfortable with because it keeps your confidence up. However, working on your weak areas will benefit you in the long run by helping you improve your overall score.

How will you know what you should focus on? One of the best ways is to take a diagnostic test. Before you begin any lessons or activities in the ASU Prep Digital ACT/SAT Test Preparation course, the diagnostic exam will pinpoint your weakest areas so you can tackle them head-on.

Take as many practice exams as you can.

The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ exists for a reason! While you don’t want to burn yourself out before test day arrives, you also want to be prepared and familiar with the format before sitting for the exam. 

Experts recommend you complete at least three timed practice exams before taking the SAT, reviewing your results afterward to pinpoint areas that require more studying. If possible, you should take at least one test on paper to get comfortable filling out a scantron and writing by hand for 3-4 hours.

Ready to sign up for the SAT this semester? Here are the remaining test dates and their registration deadlines:

  • November 2 
    • Late registration ends October 22
  • December 7
    • Registration ends November 2
    • Late registration ends November 26

Looking ahead to the spring semester? Enroll in our SAT and ACT test prep course here to be ready by test day, then pick the exam date that best fits your schedule.

  • March 14, 2020
    • Registration ends February 24, 2020
    • Late registration ends March 3, 2020
  • May 2, 2020
    • Registration ends April 3, 2020
    • Late registration ends April 21, 2020
  • June 6, 2020
    • Registration ends May 8, 2020
    • Late registration ends May 27, 2020

Want more tips on navigating the college application process? Subscribe to our newsletter on our website and check out a few more posts here:

ACT and SAT Test Prep Course at ASU Prep Digital

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You’re finally an upperclassman! You’re in a groove with your schoolwork, you have a solid group of friends, and you’re already dreaming about how you’ll decorate your dorm room. While it’s not time to start applying for college just yet, this year is important because you’ll be tackling a few beasts: the ACT and SAT exams.

Your test scores are an important part of your college application and a big factor in getting accepted. The good news is you can prepare so you feel more confident on exam day—and ASU Prep Digital is here to help with our ACT/SAT Test Preparation course.

Unlike other test prep options, our course is offered as an elective rather than an after school activity. This means you will earn high school credit for it and be ready for those exams in the spring. And with the ability to work anytime, from anywhere, you can work on assignments at your own pace (and take mini study breaks to snuggle your pet or grab a cup of coffee to bring you back to life).

Taught by a team of our highly qualified online teachers, this class gives you the tools you need to prepare for every part of the ACT and SAT.

The semester is divided into two parts so you can give your undivided attention to one exam at a time. To complete assignments, you will be using an online resource called Shmoop. As a ‘one-stop learning shop,’ Shmoop offers homework help, learning guides, and, most importantly, test prep!

Do you sometimes feel like your eyes are glazing over because you’ve been staring at the same page for 30 minutes? Shmoop seeks to change that dynamic by combining engaging content with a fun, sassy tone that actually makes test prep enjoyable. They use a range of tools, including exams, practice questions, and other activities, to prepare you over the course of the semester.

We know there are a lot of topics to cover and it can feel intimidating when you get started.

This is why Shmoop begins with a diagnostic test for both the ACT and SAT exams. The diagnostic tests will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, making it easy to decide which areas to spend more time on.

Your ASU Prep Digital teachers will also provide you with a pace chart to use throughout the semester. These tools will ensure that you’re spending extra time on your weaker areas while still allowing time for areas you’re comfortable in.

These tests are important, but they don’t have to be scary. This is why we’ve created a course that provides you with the tools and support system you need to succeed. If you’re interested in signing up, make sure you’ve completed Algebra 2 and English 10 before enrolling. Look through our course catalog or schedule a call with an admissions advisor if you’d like additional information on the class.

Looking to add another class to your schedule or start preparing for next semester? Check out a few of our blog posts for inspiration:

 

The Best University Courses to Take in High School

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College may seem distant when you first enter high school, but it goes faster than you think. One of the best ways to get a head start is to enroll in university courses as a high school student. If you’re enrolled in a traditional school, you can join our community of learners at ASU Prep Digital and take individual university courses through ASU to earn college credit. Our full-time students work with their personal Learning Success Coach to design accelerated course pathways to college majors and careers.

Ready to challenge yourself? Here are some of the best university courses to start with:

First-Year Composition

First-Year Composition is a required general education course normally divided between two semesters. It teaches students how to read and write critically in a university setting.

At ASU Prep Digital, we offer the opportunity to take both ENG 101 and 102 through ASU, meaning you can finish an entire year of English courses before you even step on campus!

Biology

Along with the required English courses, you also need to take science courses to fulfill your general education requirements. Why not get a head start by enrolling in university classes as a high school student?

Incoming freshmen typically take biology as their first university science course. ASU offers BIO 101 in the form of BioBeyond, an introductory biology course that caters to every student through adaptive, personalized learning. The best part? ASU Prep Digital students can enroll in the class and earn both high school and college credit. You can check  out our course review here.

World Language

Students are required to take two consecutive years of a second language for college admission. Many high school students only receive high school credit for their language courses, but ASU Prep Digital students have an upper hand thanks to concurrent courses.

You can take either Spanish or French and earn both high school and college credit for the same course. Not only will you not have to take a second language in college, but you’ll also have a handful of college credits under your belt.

 

In addition to these introductory-level courses, ASU Prep Digital offers higher-level university courses where students can start earning credit in their major. Full-time students are eligible to take two free university courses each semester, saving them time and money when they arrive on campus.

Ready to become a Sun Devil? Check out the university course catalog and get started today.

How To Set Yourself Up For Success – Senior Year

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You’ve made it to the end! One more year and you’re on to bigger and better things. While you begin preparing for college, here are a few things to focus on in your senior year of high school.

 

Apply to college in the fall semester.

The regular admission deadline for colleges is between January and February. However, you may have the opportunity to apply sooner than that. For example, ASU has a priority admission deadline of November 1. Your application will receive the most consideration when submitted by this date, which means you’ll get a decision sooner. If you wait until January, you may not hear back until March or April.

Don’t let your grades slip.

It’s tempting to reach the end with great grades and feel like you can slack a bit. However, even if you’ve been accepted by a college, they can rescind your acceptance if your GPA drops significantly. Don’t fall into this trap of false security. Continue to work hard and keep your grades up, especially if you’re taking college courses to earn credit. Above all else, enjoy the hard-earned feeling of success as you prepare for the next big step in your education!

Start getting acquainted with your new school.

As graduation quickly approaches, your mind might start skipping ahead to the college that awaits. Use your downtime to start getting familiar with your new home. ASU offers campus tours, on-campus events, and virtual tours for new students. Getting a head start can minimize the initial shock of freshman year and keep you on the path to achieving your goals.

While your senior year will be filled with fun activities and plenty of college preparation, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new journey. Don’t forget to ace your exams, complete all of your assignments, and get your applications in on time!

 

Ready to become a Sun Devil? Check out the admission dates and application requirements here.

Four Things to Complete on Your Senior Year Checklist

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Senior year is here, which means the excitement, and nerves, have already started to kick in. Even though many college applications don’t open up until late August/early September, it’s never too early to start checking items off your ‘to do’ list. Here are four things you should be doing during the fall semester of senior year:

 

Start researching scholarships

FAFSA isn’t the only way you can get financial assistance for college! Pick up a scholarship book or browse the web for scholarships you can apply for. There are millions of dollars up for grabs as long as you’re willing to put in the work and apply. Some of them don’t even require an essay, making it even easier to obtain money to offset the cost of college. You can begin your search here.

Ask for letters of recommendation

Do you have a favorite teacher or club advisor? Consider asking them to write you a letter of recommendation that you can submit with your college applications. These letters will give colleges a sense of who you are, why you’ll be successful at their institution, and how you’ll contribute to the school community. Be sure that whoever you’re asking knows you well so they can confidently speak to your positive attributes and add a personal touch!

Sign up for the SAT and/or ACT

Even if you took these tests during the spring semester, it doesn’t hurt to take them at least one more time in the fall if you’re looking to improve your scores. And if you didn’t take the exams during your junior year, then you’ll need to sign up for one of testing dates as soon as possible. The earliest SAT testing date is August 24, and the earliest ACT testing date is September 14. If you’re looking for extra practice and prep material, check out the ACT/SAT prep course we offer here.

Sign up for a college course

Enrolling in a college class enables you to get a feel for the coursework while earning credit that, in many cases, can be transferred to whichever school you attend next fall. ASU Prep Digital students can enroll in university courses through Arizona State University at a discounted rate (or for free if they’re a full-time Arizona high school student). Check out the course catalog and find a class that matches your interests or potential college major!

How Will College Benefit You in the Future?

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High school can be an exciting time. With classwork, friendships, first loves and first jobs, it can be hard to slow down and think about your future. Have you wondered if college should be part of the plan? It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Here are some reasons why it should be on your radar:

68% of jobs in Arizona will require post-secondary education by 2020. The workforce will be more competitive and more specialized. Being able to find a job and make a living wage in that environment are greatly improved with a college degree. 

Some of the fastest growing occupations will be in STEM, healthcare, and community services which require high levels of post-secondary education. If you are driven to help others, or you want to design and develop new computer systems, consider a career in nursing or computer science. Growing professions like these offer more plentiful job options and have a strong earning potential.

It’s no surprise that tomorrow’s workforce will be even more technical than today’s. They will be the next generation of innovators and problem solvers! Engineers, computer software developers, and alternative energy technicians will demand some of the highest salaries. Are you curious about solar technology or wind turbines? This is the future so let’s prepare you to be a valuable part of it.

Keep in mind that no matter what major you choose, you will be taking classes in a variety of subjects that will help enhance your problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and discussion skills. These are qualities employers are looking for and vital skills that will help you succeed in life. The benefits of a college education go well beyond a job.

High school is the perfect time to explore various areas of interest to find out what excites and inspires you.

Having the opportunity to take classes in art history, education, technology and business is just the first step in choosing your path forward. Taking these general college courses and concurrently knocking out high school credit will accelerate your time and cost to degree, and help you get on a career track that makes sense for you by the time you arrive to college. You will be ready for your major courses, instead of exploring and testing.

ASU Prep Digital offers accelerated pathways toward university admission and careers of the future. High school students take university courses through Arizona State University and start earning credit in their major. Courses like Computer Application and Information Technology, Engineering Perspectives on Biological Systems, Introduction to Health Innovation, and Exploration of Public Service Careers engage learners in ways that prepare them for the future.

College can open doors to a brighter, more prosperous life and career. With all this in mind, take some time to consider how your choices today could inspire your tomorrow. ASU Prep Digital has the resources to turn your plans into reality.

 

Check out career pathways you can embark on with us and the college courses available through ASU here.