College Planning Resources


Admission Matters by John Reider and Johce Vining Morgan

College Admission by Robin Mamlet and Christine VanDeVelde

Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Fiske Guide by Edward Fiske (also an IPAD app)




Standardized Testing Resources:


Tips for college bound students:

Time management

  1. There will be more to keep track of in college.
  2. There will be a lot you want to do so you must budget your time and decide which activities/assignments are the highest priority
  3. There will be fewer people helping you keep track – teachers won’t give constant reminders, parents won’t know what is due when.


  1. At the start of the semester write down all important dates (exams, quizzes,

projects, papers, appointments with advisor, meeting for social organizations or academic clubs, last day to changes classes and date when applications for internships/jobs are due).

  1. Schedule regular times to study each day and week. Block these out on your calendar. A good guideline: for every hour (or credit hour) of class plan to study 2-3 hours a week.
  2. USB Key/Flash Storage Devices – use backup devices that attach to your keychain when you’re on the go.
    1. Example:  You’re going to the library to do research, take your assignment outline with you and start your bibliography or reference page while you collect research information on books and periodical articles only available in the library.  Backup, Backup, Backup!!!

Taking exams in college

  1. Generally more disruptive environment – will have to work harder to focus
  2. Exams are longer (time and number of questions), each exam will cover more material than in high school (5-6 or more chapters) problems are more complex
  3. Exams will be a faster pace.
  4. Test taking strategies for college
    1. Essay Exams
      1. How many essays? Budget time according to point value of each question.
      2. Read the question. All of it. Slowly. Now read it again.
      3. Underline important parts
      4. Sketch a quick outline of major points (spend no more than a few minutes on this)
      5. Write the essay, keep an eye on your time
    2. Multiple Choice
      1. Go through the exam in “cycles” based on how confident you are in the answer. Circle or mark the ones you skip so you don’t miss them when you go back.
      2. Answer the questions you know. As you go through the questions mark out choices you know are wrong even if you can’t yet answer the question.
      3. Then go back and answer ones you have narrowed down
      4. Finally go through and make the best choice for questions you are unsure of
      5. Do not leave questions unanswered. There is rarely a penalty for guessing.
    3. Day/Evening before the exam.
      1. This is a good time to meet with others to review any final questions/concepts that are still confusing.
      2. Can still use some of this time to learn new material, but save time for review.
      3. Get a good night sleep. Staying up too late will make your brain sluggish for the exam.
    4. Morning of/Day of Exam
      1. Eat something before the exam
      2. This is a fine time to review, but do not try to cram in any new material. You won’t have time to properly learn it and it will only confuse what you already know.
      3. Plan to get to the exam a little early (10 min or so).
      4. Do not hang around outside the exam room and absorb others anxiety. There will always be someone freaking out about the exams do not let them shake your confidence.

Studying for College Exams:

  1. Be realistic about what works for you – studying alone, in groups, in the library, in your room.
  2. Set a study schedule:
    1. You will need to study more than you did in high school
    2. Budget your time
    3. Allow extra time at the end
  3. Professors may be harder to get ahold of than your high school teachers. So study early enough that if you have questions before the exam you have plenty of time to ask the professor.
  4. Start studying well ahead of time for the exam. In fact if you’ve been studying every week then when it is exam time you will only need to review and not need to worry about learning new material.
  5. To keep from being overwhelmed – Space out your studying. Break up your study sessions. Give yourself breaks in between study sessions. Use small, quick breaks to re-energize and longer breaks after you’ve been studying for several hours.
  6. Make use of resources at your disposal
    1. Reviews given by professor
    2. Study groups lead by grad students
  7. Different study approaches to consider
    1. Working problems – good for math and science
    2. Writing summary statements
    3. Making flashcards
    4. Making outlines
    5. Developing visualizations and associations
    6. Self quiz or quizzing each other in groups
  8. What information can you gather about the exam?
    1. Cumulative or new information only? Be aware that some subjects are naturally cumulative (math and science tend to continually build on prior information)
    2. Exam format – essay, multiple choice, mixed format. This will shape your studying

Steps to Succeed in College

  1. Class Attendance-
    1. You will benefit from attending all your classes- learning occurs in many forms and most individuals learn more effectively in when material is presented in a variety of forms.
    2. Arrive Early- professors like students that not only attend class but are on time.  Also, this gives you a minute to get situated.
    3. Don’t schedule courses at unrealistic times- If you are not a morning person, don’t schedule an 8:00am class.
  2. Get to know your professors and participate
    1. It is always a good idea to sit up front.  Getting to know your professors can really pay off and is good way to get out of “coast” mode. You will likely need letters of recommendation for future employment or advance degree applications, and this will help professions learn who you are.

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