This eighth-grader actually welcomes essay assignments for her classes at Old Trail School. Follow her advice, and you just might too:
Have lots of ideas. “Don’t just run with the first idea you get,” she advises. “If you do not like writing, pick a topic you enjoy. Know where you want it to go before you start writing. Jot your ideas on paper and further expand them.”
Lori Valyko Weber
Score Well on Your ACTs and SATs
Elizabeth Coquillette, of Hathaway Brown, conquered one of many high school students’ biggest fears — the dreaded ACT —with a perfect score. Her strategy? “So many people get all stressed out about their percentile and forget that this is just a snapshot of your mental activities on one Saturday morning,” she says. “Don’t put too much stress on yourself. Right there, that affects how you’ll do.” The senior shows us how to get ready for the big day:
Practice, practice, practice. Coquillette says different methods work for different people, but her favorite way to prepare is to take practice tests. “I’m not a fan of test-preparation classes,” she says. “I like to sit in my room, take tests and check my answers.”
Eat up. She takes high-protein, high-energy snacks such as nuts or granola to the test center to eat during breaks.
Get some shut-eye. “Everyone has heard it before, but be sure to be well rested,” she counsels. “These tests are draining. I’m really tired when they’re done, so I make sure that I sleep well and eat breakfast.”
Balance School and Activities
TV and video games? Forget them. Lamar McKnight from St. Peter Chanel High School is not an ordinary teen. This senior plays varsity basketball, paints, draws, works and gets good grades. He juggles all these responsibilities by paying attention to how he spends his time. “I want my activities to build the future I want, so I find ways to balance things and weave them into my days,” he says. The multitasker gives us some tips on how to stay focused:
Redefine social time. “When I have to cut back on something,” he quips, “it’s usually my social life. Balancing all my interests consumes my time, but I honestly enjoy what I do so much that sports, art, school and work have become my social life.”
Be in the know. “Stay abreast of the school’s expectations, when projects are due and consider how many activities your kids can realistically handle,” she says.