Elementary/Intermediate Tests and Regents Exams
The goal of the following site is to help students meet the New York State Regents requirements. http://nysedregents.org/
In general, you don’t need to worry too much about college when you are in middle school. Nevertheless, although your middle school grades and activities won't appear on your college application, you can use seventh and eighth grades to set yourself up to have the strongest record possible in high school. This list outlines some possible strategies.
1. Work on Good Study Habits
Middle school grades don't matter for college admissions, so this is a low-risk time to work on good time-management and study skills. Think about it - if you don't learn how to be a good student until your junior year, you'll be haunted by those freshman and sophomore grades when you apply to college.
2. Explore Several Extracurricular Activities
When you apply to college, you should be able to demonstrate depth and leadership in one or two extracurricular areas. Use middle school to figure out what you most enjoy –- is it music, drama, government, church, juggling, business, athletics? By figuring out your true passions in middle school, you can better focus on developing leadership skills and expertise in high school.
3. Read a Lot
This advice is important for 7th through 12th grades. The more you read, the stronger your verbal, writing and critical thinking abilities will be. Reading beyond your homework will help you do well in high school, on the ACT and SAT, and in college. Whether you’re reading Harry Potter or Moby Dick, you’ll be improving your vocabulary, training your ear to recognize strong language, and introducing yourself to new ideas.
4. Work on Foreign Language Skills
Most competitive colleges want to see strength in a foreign language. The earlier you build those skills, the better. Also, the more years of a language you take, the better.
5. Take Challenging Courses
If you have options such as a math track that will eventually end in calculus, choose the ambitious route. When senior year rolls around, you will want to have taken the most challenging courses available at your school. The tracking for those courses often begins in middle school (or earlier). Position yourself so that you can take full advantage of whatever AP courses and upper-level math, science, and language courses your school offers.
6. Get Up to Speed
If you find that your skills in an area such as math or science aren't what they should be, middle school is a wise time to seek out extra help and tutoring. If you can improve your academic strengths in middle school, you'll be positioned to earn better grades when it really begins to matter -- in 9th grade.
7. Explore and Enjoy
Always keep in mind that your middle school record doesn't appear on your college application. You shouldn't stress about college in 7th or 8th grade. Your parents shouldn't stress about college either. Use these years to explore new things, discover what subjects and activities really excite you, and figure out any bad study habits you may have developed.
So let’s say you have a test coming up. Are you nervous? Do you feel a little worried about how you will perform on your exam? A little tension or stress before and/or during a test is normal. Sometimes, that nervousness can work in your favor by motivating you. However, in larger amounts, tension can interfere or even impair our ability to think clearly, plan, and perform on tests. The following information will help you to cope and overcome test anxiety.
BEFORE THE TEST:
- BE PREPARED. Preparation is the key element in reducing test anxiety. The better prepared you are for your exam, the lower your level of anxiety. Being well prepared for a test can also increase your self confidence. So, study, study, study!!!
- NO CRAMMING. What is cramming? Imagine stuffing all of your textbooks into your backpack at one time. Would they all fit? Probably not. Now imagine that backpack is your brain. Just like your backpack your brain will handle a little information at a time a lot better than a lot of information at one time. Cramming is an ineffective way of studying. If you cram the night before, you might be able to pass some parts of your test, but you will not remember anything afterwards (and in most cases the information will be included in your final.) It is not a good idea to try to cram weeks of information into your head the night before the test. Usually, this is a time when you are feeling anxious, pressured and probably guilty for studying at the last minute.
- REVIEW ALL THE INFORMATION. Study from your book, notebook, and any other materials used class. Combine their information. Work on mastering the main idea, as well as specific ideas or concepts your teacher may have presented in your class.
- ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS. When studying, try to turn the headings into questions, and answer them using the different sources of information used in class such as your books, notes and/or study guides. Ask yourself what kind of questions your teacher may ask you and try to answer them too
- USE FLASH CARDS. Flash cards are excellent tools for studying. After you put together your questions and you formulate the answers, put the question on one side of an index card and the answer on the other side.
FACING THE TEST:
- HOW DO YOU FEEL? How are you? How is your anxiety level? If it is high or moderately high, take some time to relax. You may think that relaxing will take away from you test time, however relaxing increases your chances to do a more efficient job. This will save you time instead.
- COACH YOURSELF. Sometimes students get anxious after finding out that they do not know the answer to the first or second question. Follow your plan:
Answer the questions you know.
Answer the questions you are not really sure about, and finally
Answer the questions you do not know
This process will help you to keep moving. Stick to the plan!!
- REVIEW YOUR TEST. Before you begin answering the questions, review the entire test. Read the instructions carefully; twice if necessary. Stick to your plan, begin working on the easiest questions first.