A Communication major is broad enough for you to have countless options after graduation. Courses in journalism, mass communication, public relations, and advertising will guide you to success within the government, healthcare, Internet Marketing, mediation, nonprofits, business administration, and more. Here is a list of the current top ten universities in America for a Communication Major, along with their course requirements.Read More
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Posts by High School and College Students Around the World on Their Admissions Experiences
Although it may seem early to start preparing for AP Exams, May will be here before you know it. The earlier you can start preparing, the better off you will be when it comes to actually taking the test in a few months. With that being said, many of us don’t even know where to start when it comes to preparing for exams. In hopes of helping everyone out, I have a few tips on how to start preparing for AP Exams.
Preparation Tip #1: Utilize Prep Books
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to preparing, a prep book is probably the best option. Prep books, or review books, are basically books with a shortened and simplified explanation of everything that will be covered on whichever AP Exam you are taking, as well as some practice exams or materials.
The book search
Before using the prep book, you need to find the right one for you. Barron’s and Princeton Review’s review books are arguably the most popular; however, there are many others published by different companies. To choose a prep book, I would ask people who have previously taken the course which one they found most helpful if they used any. If no one you know has taken the AP Exam you are planning on taking, read reviews of the books online. However, when you are taking advice from others remember to take it with a grain of salt and gather your own opinion based on many sources. Ultimately, you probably won’t know your preference until you have the book in your hands.
Buying your book
Once you have chosen the book that you want to use to start preparing, you need to actually obtain the book. If money is an issue, many libraries do have prep books that you can borrow. If they don’t have the specific book that you need, many libraries will order one for you if you request it. The downside to borrowing a book is that you cannot write on the practice exams or highlight and annotate the actual book. If this is not a problem, then borrowing is a free option! If you are willing to shell out some money to purchase your own prep book, then that is a great option as well. Having your own prep book means that you can write and highlight in the book. This can be especially helpful if you like highlighting essential information to refer to later. Often, amazon.com has the best deals on prep books, as well as fast shipping. However, if you want to make sure you are getting the best deal, you can utilize the website slugbooks.com. Just type in whatever prep book you are looking for (ex. Princeton Review AP European History) and it will pull up price comparisons from across many different websites so that you can purchase your study materials at the best price!
Strategizing your studying
Now that you have your prep book, using it should be pretty straightforward. Many books provide test-taking strategies, which would be great to read at this point, as AP Exams and tests that you take in class are often two very different things. Read the material that you have covered in class up to this point. Most likely, your textbook does not cover everything on the AP Exam, so doing this will ensure that you have a more complete perspective of the information. It also doesn’t hurt to take one or two of the practice exams, if your book has one. This could give you an early evaluation of where you are so that moving forward, your studying can be more focused and relevant to your struggles. Keep coming back to your prep book as the AP Exam approaches, it will be a useful tool in preparing you utilize it in its entirety!
Preparation Tip #2: Utilize College Board
Another great resource for preparing for AP Exams is the College Board website. The College Board is the organization that creates and administers AP Exams, meaning that they have a wealth of inside information on their website.
To utilize the website’s tools, go to “AP Courses” (https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse). Under this link, there are all of the AP courses that are offered. You can select whatever AP course you are taking and utilize several resources there. For example, under every AP courses link, there are four tabs that are very useful. The tabs at the top are “Course Overview”, “Course Details”, “About the Exam”, and “Exam Practice”. All of these have extremely valuable information. Read all of these tabs to familiarize you with the exam, as well as providing a focused overview of the course. This is important to look at when you start reviewing, as you will get a sense of the general topics that are most important in the eyes of the College Board. As I said, they are the ones who create the test; so knowing the overview and the topics that they find valuable can be a great tool.
Preparation Tip #3: Make Graphic Organizers
Finally, something that you can do to prepare is making graphic organizers! Graphic organizers can be a way of organizing information visually in a way that makes sense to you. I recommend making these when you begin to review, as it is a great way to force yourself to look at all of the information that you have and to organize it comprehensively. For example, if you are taking a history exam, try putting all of the relevant historical events into a master timeline. Or if you are taking a science exam, you can organize notes by-laws, theories, etc. This is a great option for last minute studying, as it allows you to have an overview of what you are learning, as well as review all of your materials.
I wish everyone the best of luck on your AP Exams! Happy studying!
For more advice on AP Exams, check out these articles as well:
Do you ever wonder why you think differently than others? Or why you make decisions based on your feelings rather than logic? Or why some people see a different meaning in certain concepts than you do? Well you no longer have to question these things. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality type test that provides you with information about the different ways that you think and how these different aspects can affect your actions and decision-making.
All you have to do is take a quick personality test on the 16 Personalities website (16personalities.com), and you’ll receive a personality type that consists of 4 letters (for example, ENFP), with each letter representing a certain trait that you have based on the answers that you provided. You’ll be surprised to see how accurately the results describe you! Just make sure that you are as honest as possible in your answers. Knowing the kind of thinker you are can definitely benefit you in your academic experience and will allow you to have a better understanding of your own learning abilities as the learning abilities of others.
The Four Letters: What do They Mean?
Introversion (I) v. Extroversion (E)
The first of the four letters will either be an “I”, representing introversion, or an “E”, representing extroversion. This trait tells you the kind of environment that you are more comfortable to be in. If you are an introvert, you prefer to spend time alone and are often under stress in social situations. You spend lots of time thinking deeply about things that don’t regard your surroundings, and find peace in being alone with your thoughts. Being an introvert is beneficial because it allows you to work independently and rely on solely yourself, however it may hinder your ability to communicate with others effectively. If you are an extrovert, you prefer to spend time with large groups of people and dislike being alone. You focus most of your attention on the “outside world” and your surroundings, and rarely spend time going into deep thought. It is easier for you to communicate and socialize easily, but you often have difficulties being independent.
Intuition (N) v. Sensing (S)
The next letter in your personality type is either “N”, meaning intuition, or “S”, meaning sensing. This determines the way that you perceive and react to information. If you are an intuitive thinker, you tend to take information that is provided to you and find a deeper meaning in it. You look beyond what is physically presented, and are drawn toward abstract ideas and metaphors as opposed to real experiences and facts. You are open to new possibilities and focus more on the future and the outcome of things rather than the present. This trait is helpful in situations that require creativity. If you think through your senses, you prefer to focus on the literal aspect of things. When given information, you work with what you have instead of looking for multiple meanings in it; you want to understand the factual aspects of things. You want to get to the direct point of things instead of analyzing them in more depth. You trust facts and reality more than you trust ideas and possibilities. Perceiving information with your senses is often beneficial when you need to make critical decisions regarding professional matters.
Thinking (T) v. Feeling (F)
This third letter reveals how you make decisions. If you make decisions based on thinking, you tend to analyze situations based on the pros and cons, and try to make the most logical decision with what you are provided. You focus on the elements of the situation itself rather than any personal opinions, including your own. Similar to the P trait, this trait is very helpful in making decisions that require logic and rational thinking, but it may cause conflict in sensitive situations where it is critical to understand the people that are involved. In contrast, if you make decisions based on feeling, you deeply consider the people that are involved in the situation and tend to make decisions in their favor, or in your own favor. You don’t think too much about the rational aspects of a situation; you make decisions based on your beliefs and what you feel is right. The feelings of yourself and of others are a priority over what is logically correct. This is beneficial when addressing sensitive situation, but when making decisions that require logic, personal feelings might get in the way.
Judging (J) v. Perceiving (P)
The last letter represents your behavior and the lifestyle you choose to live. If you are extremely organized in all your decisions and have a need to plan things out before they happen, then you have a judging preference. This means that you are very task-oriented and prefer to do things ahead of time. This can help you in managing your priorities and getting work done when it needs to be. If you prefer to “go with the flow” of things, and dislike making definite plans, you have a perceiving preference. You like to live freely and allow experiences to happen without knowing they will ahead of time, and you do what you can with what comes to you. This trait allows you to adapt to a variety of different situations and handle them efficiently.
How You Can Apply This to Your Academic Career
With all of this information, you now have a clearer understanding of the type of person you are and why you have the different tendencies and habits that you have. Now that you understand your strengths and weaknesses better, you can use the traits that you have to your own advantage in the academic environment. The 16 Personalities website provides you with a more detailed description of each personality type as well as each individual personality trait. They even provide you with useful information about what your personality type is capable of by listing possible career paths that you would excel in based on your traits. You can look through these careers and see if any of them interest you. If they do, try to find activities or extra curriculars that are similar to those listed and see whether you can truly excel in these subjects or not. Having a better understanding of your own mind is definitely beneficial to your learning experience and career path.
Not only will the 16 personalities website inform you about your own character traits, it can also help you to understand the traits of others and why they act or think the ways that they do. Understanding the way others think can be advantageous in high school and college, especially in the learning environment. It can allow you to clearly see and comprehend opposing sides of an argument, and it can allow you to make unbiased judgements. It can also help you to understand people on a more personal level. For example, this can help you understand your roommate a lot better.
Overall, understanding your own skills, traits, and weaknesses can help you in numerous ways.
Link to website: https://www.16personalities.com/
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Khan Academy is a website and phone application that offers a wide range of academic assistance. The program was created in 2006 by Salman Khan as a non-profit educational organization to provide "free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere". Students all over the world use Khan Academy, not just for the regular studying, but even for test prep! Here is what Khan Academy can offer you to improve your grades and understanding:
Khan Academy contains educational help on not just subjects, but sub-subjects of the subject. Their services vary from Math (by subject and grade) to Computing to Arts and Humanities. Recently, they implemented a new program dedicated to college admissions assistance, aptly titled College Admission!
Learning and Practicing
Now that you know what is offered, you may be asking, “How exactly does one learn in Khan Academy?” The answer? Through the old school saying: practice makes perfect!
Khan Academy contains video lesson on every sub-subject, like Arithmetic in Math. In Arithmetic you can see videos on different topics like negative numbers and fractions. Once you have selected a topic, you instantly have access to a multitude of videos! For example, if you choose the topic “fractions”, you would come to a page that displays video titles like “Intro to fractions” or “Fractions on number lines”.
These videos are usually less than 10 minutes long and provide examples and practices to help you understand the content better.
After finishing a lesson or video you can also do practice tests!
When you finish you can take a short quiz to practice the material you just learned. Khan Academy offers hints and an explanation to an answer if you get it wrong on the quiz.
Through the video lessons and practice tests you are able to expand on your understanding of a subject and can apply your new knowledge to you academics.
One of the most useful content available at Khan Academy is the test prep, especially when it comes to the SAT.
College Board partnered with Khan Academy in order to provide FREE SAT practice to all students. Khan Academy filters your PSAT score and analyzes the areas where you weren’t as strong in and provides practice session on those areas.
There is even a routine you can set where you can study reading and writing or math for 30 minutes a day for three days to keep a consistent study routine, and once you’re done with that, they provide four full practice tests!
They also fill you in on details about the new SAT you might be not be sure about and they also give tips and strategies for the SAT. You can also choose to review your study practices and see what questions you get wrong and which sections you have a harder time on.
Beyond SAT prep, Khan Academy also offers test prep on the MCAT, GMAT, IIT JEE, NCLEX-RN, CHASEE, and even AP Art History.
You know what they say, practice makes perfect, and with Khan Academy, you can certainly get plenty of practice. In fact, with a resource like that, you could even reach perfection!