Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SOMETHING TO DO NOW TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE

Samuel,

You know, it's the first week of high school. I don't really expect you to do jack while you're there other than get acclimated.

But right off the bat, it's good to have somewhat of a roadmap to show how to move past the situation you're in right now - high school.

Obviously you're going to go to college, but it would be nice if someone else paid for you to go. Well, there is one easy way to make that happen... Become a national merit scholar. If you can do that, your chances for getting a scholarship are radically improved.

How do you become a national merit scholar? Easy. Just score in the top 2% on the PSAT.

Don't do what I did. I thought the PSAT was a 'practice SAT' test so I totally blew it off. It was a big mistake for me to blow it off because I was left out of the scholarship pool when the time came. I was in all the same classes, doing all the same assignments with the national merit scholars, but they took the test seriously, and I blew it off.

The PSAT is the most important way you will distinguish yourself from other scholarship applicants. The score you're looking to beat is 1500. Get that score and people will beat down your door to give you money for college. You can do it.

But the PSAT isn't until October in your junior year. Why am I telling you this now? Actually I told you this for the first time 2 years ago. The same summer you were living with me in Idaho. I also told Spencer R not to blow off the PSAT that year. The reason I'm telling you so far in advance is the 5 year rule. You see, the first time you are exposed to new knowledge, it goes over your head. You could be hearing the most amazing piece of information, but if its the first time you're hearing it, and your mind isn't prepped, it will go in one ear and out the other.

What can you do about it now? Here's what I reccomend. Go out and buy a PSAT prep book. Take one of the practice tests, and see how you do. Don't worry about what score you get, just take the test and note your score. Think about the one thing you need to focus on to improve your test score, and work on that issue for a few months. Within six to eight months, take the second practice test in the book. Again, you're not even close to actually taking the test, but it's a good idea to get acclimated to the kinds of questions asked on the test. Then when you're in class doing the usual schoolwork thing, and the teacher starts talking about something you've seen on the PSAT, your ears will perk up and you'll know that you need to pay attention.

What I'm suggesting will take a couple of hours every six months or so, but those hours will definitely pay off when its time to apply for scholarships.

Anyway, this is just an FYI,

Jay

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