Archive | August, 2013

Get help from the College Board

29 Aug

The College Board offers excellent resources for students. You are most likely aware that the College Board administers the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). However, you might not know of several other helpful ways CB can help you.

1. bigfuture

The general website is From there go to the College Planning link to find some great resources through “bigfuture.” This feature of the website provides the following:

  • College Search: information on colleges you already know about
  • College matches: your connection to colleges you might not know about, based on information you provide
  • Helpful advice about choosing a major
  • Make a Plan: another online feature that helps you set out a plan through the My Organizer

2. The Official SAT Question of the Day and The Official SAT Practice Test

Get questions emailed to you on a daily basis. Take real SAT practice tests online. Our tiny school’s recent National Merit Scholar said she attributed her success to doing the SAT Question of the Day on a daily basis. Good scores equal GREAT scholarship money by doing well on the SAT. Go to to see the various ways you can practice for this test, so you are well prepared.

3. SAT Skills Insight

This will help you increase your skills in challenging areas.

4. My SAT Online Score Report

Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can better prepare for the test.

5. My College QuickStart

If you have taken the PSAT, My College QuickStart is an invaluable tool to help you prepare for the SAT and create a personalized study plan. Again, the website is

Just a few reminders about the SAT and the ACT:

  • Freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in going to a four-year university should take the PSAT on October 16 (some schools also give it on Oct. 19, a Saturday). See your high school counselor to sign up for this test.
  • Seniors will need to have the SAT and/or ACT taken by the December test dates. Register online, see below.
  • Juniors should take the test(s) by May or June of next year, and then again probably the fall of their senior year.
  • Test scores are sent free to a half dozen colleges free if you indicate those colleges when you sign up. Otherwise, it costs more money later.
  • Fee waivers for these tests are available from your school counselor (saving you $51 each!) if you qualify for free or reduced lunch or if you are receiving another form of government assistance.

See your school counselor!

20 Aug

Seniors, it is critical that you have your counselor review your transcript to make sure you have completed all the courses you need for college admission. Do not assume your current schedule is okay.

Make an appointment with your school counselor as soon as possible. If you are getting “put off,” have one of your parents make the appointment. Make sure he or she has an updated copy of your transcript at that appointment, too.

In advance of that meeting, go to the websites of those colleges to which you are interested in applying. Print off the admission requirements. Compare them with your transcript. If you’re seeing something missing, be proactive and get a schedule change.

Stay on top of things this year!

P.S. While I will be posting weekly blogs through your senior year, you can also read through the blogs from last year, starting with October, which has many good pieces of information to help you get organized.



Welcome to your senior year!

20 Aug

Janet McHenry
Author – Academic Advisor – Teacher

It’s your senior year — and Mom, Dad, and even your counselor are putting the squeeze on you to figure out what you should be doing for the rest of your life.

Or perhaps you have a pretty good idea, but you need some help getting the e-load of paperwork done.

You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been helping students for many years now as a high school academic advisor and 24-year teaching veteran — nudging them into great universities such as Williams College, University of Chicago, Stanford University, and UCLA. The last of our four children is in her senior year at UC Berkeley, so I’ve also personally navigated those choppy college application waters many times.

In this blog I’ll be posting practical, hands-on guidance that will help you get those college and scholarship applications done, as well as give you pointers on financial aid.

Feel free to ask questions — and I’ll do my best to answer them quickly and expertly.


Janet Holm McHenry

Looking Up!