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Each student struggles in a unique way.
Everyone knows that homework is usually a pain, but often you may not be aware of your student's actual struggle. You have to find out your student's real challenge. Here are some ways your student might be struggling.
How do we solve these problems? Here are some solutions.
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“So I didn’t understand why so many of them were enrolled in the optional SAT prep section of our summer program. Why would such impressive high achievers spend their summer nights storming through a massive SAT book? Many of them already took weekend SAT prep courses back home. Did they just think it was fun to time one another on practice sets?”
A story in the New York Times talks about a student from a modest background wondering why his rich co-students were taking summer SAT prep classes.
His family and friends from home thought it was weird that he went to “school” during his summers. His fellow students saw it otherwise; they saw summer academic programs as normal and enjoyable. They approached studying for the SAT with a near-professional intensity that was alien to him.
“I realized that they didn’t just want to score exceptionally well on the SAT. They were gunning for a score on the Preliminary SAT exams that would put them in the top percentile of students in the United States and make them National Merit Scholars in the fall.”
The majority of low- and middle-income 11th graders he knew didn’t even sit for the preliminary exams. Most took the SAT cold. Few were privy to the upper-middle-class secret: To get into elite colleges, one must train for standardized tests with the intensity of an athlete.
Yes, train with the intensity of an athlete. How do you do that?
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A Hillview Prep graduate, Cindy, is going to college this year! Exciting times, but she is also a bit apprehensive. We asked her what is she worried about. She said: her room mate!!
Room mate? We asked. Cindy said, yes. We asked her why is that a big concern? She said that the room mate gives her the creeps. She does not like her at all. We asked her how did she meet her room mate. And Cindy said it was via roomsync.com.
This app is a great idea, and we asked Cindy how did she pick her room mate. She said it was the room mate who picked her! Cindy said she does not like her room mate's personality and other things. We asked her why didn't she just say 'No'??
And that is the problem. Too many people are afraid to say 'no'. They think saying 'no' is hurting other people. In fact, nothing can be further than the truth. A 'no' protects you. It gives you time to consider your decision. A hurried 'yes' is the worst decision you can make.
Since you will be living with someone for at least a year in your freshman year, you should take the time to get to know people. Roomsync is great, but you should take time to get to know the person. Do a Skype call. See the other person in action. If possible, even go meet the other student and her family.
Technology can speed up finding things and making connections. However, it does not necessarily help you make a good decision. Don't be seduced by technology.
What will Cindy do? We don't know, but we have some tips for you to find a good room mate.
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In a previous post, we talked about one of the greatest fear some students have in going to college. This post will discuss the second biggest fear in college. Can you guess what it is?
We have a student at Hillview Prep who is a good student but is apprehensive in going to college. She is going to a great school, one of her top choices, but she is nervous.
She is nervous about doing well in school.
This is a very common concern, and it is definitely not misguided. The expectations in college are much higher than in school. Often bright students underestimate what it takes to succeed in college and simply burn out. A lot depends on your high school background. For example, we have a student who did not take any programming courses in high school. For college he chose electrical engineering, and in his classes he encountered C++. He crashed. Some of his fellow high school friends had no problems because they knew Python and/or Java. The student also struggled in other courses despite being an 'A' student in high school. He needed to do some courses to bridge the gap from high school to college. He didn't know that there was a major gap in knowledge between high school and college that he needed to bridge. So he crashed and burned. He left his college and went to a community college, where he is taking courses that amount to bridge courses.
Then there are kids who got top grades in high school and earned high SAT/ACT scores. In college, they continue their hard work, but somehow fall behind. There are several reasons. Students struggle to wake up in time for class, procrastinate on long-term assignments, and neglect to do their work without the kinds of reminders and cues that their parents and school teachers used to provide. Unlike high school, where performance is closely tracked, in college you just have mid-terms and then the final grade. Often, professors in big universities are better researchers than teachers, so students struggle and have to learn everything on their own.
If you are struggling in college, or are concerned about how to approach college, here are some tips to do well.