Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Best Tips for Home Schooled High School Students

English: The AP Psych Test, Section II Free Re...Image via WikipediaBy Grace B Sullivan

My daughter was home schooled for the last two years in high school and was accepted at Harvard, Yale and Princeton! She's currently at Harvard and is thriving! Here are a few tips I used to help her achieve great success!

She took Latin through AP Latin. It did wonders for her vocabulary, which helped her ace the reading comprehension section on the SAT exam. I promised her she could study any other language once she finished with Latin and that she'd pick it up more easily when she did.

Your GPA will for all practical purposes be disregarded by admissions. It is just too difficult for college admissions to verify that your exams were proctored, timed and not open book. Know this and realize that your SAT scores will be weighed even more heavily. You must ace the SAT or ACT exam.

Take AP courses. The standardized, timed and proctored test for AP courses will prove you mastered the material and can do difficult, college-level work. You will want to get 5's on your AP exam so make sure you leave time to take several practice exams!

Princeton Review is usually the same level of difficulty as the actual exam and Barron's practice exams are usually the most difficult. Barron's are great for when you finish the College Board exams and the Princeton Review exams for those students aiming for the perfect score!

Online schools do not emphasize the need to finish the syllabus weeks ahead of the AP exam in order to study and prepare for it. The exam is the first weekend in May so start the course early in late August and finish by April. You will have left yourself a whole month for practice exams!

Balance your course load. Don't take so many AP's that you can't do your best in all of them. My daughter took one sophomore year, 3 junior year, and 2 senior year. She only took 3 AP exams, getting 5's on all 3 and was named an AP Scholar! She didn't take AP exams senior year; she was already into Harvard!

Prepare for the SAT or ACT during the summers, BEFORE junior year!

During the school year you will be too busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities to also study effectively for the SAT. You need to take 8 SAT practice exams! Correct each one before you take the next exam to learn from your mistakes. Preparing before junior year will also help you ace the PSAT exam given junior year in October!

Send a brag sheet to anyone writing a college recommendation for you so they are aware of all your accomplishments. Don't assume they know!

Apply for the National Honor Society.

If you would like to learn more about what we did to maximize our daughter's academic education and help put her in a position to get accepted to several Ivy League Schools, click here: http://www.harvardmomadvice.com.

Grace Sullivan

I have been a teacher and a tutor for the last 18 years in some of the best private schools in the nation. I recently completed an SAT Math research project highlighting the finer points on acing the math exam.

I have tutored hundreds of students for standardized exams and have supervised home-schooled students, helping them achieve tremendous success applying to the Ivy League by properly advising them on their academic paths.

Author of Advice from a Harvard Mom and creator of http://www.harvardmomadvice.com.

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