By Ysabella Santiago
Chalk Campus Correspondent
Another school year awaits, a year that is a step closer to one’s desired future. With the upcoming academic year, a new batch of students fueled by their own dreams and motivations to close their final chapter in high school, are more than eager to finish with flying colors. However, high school cannot be complete without facing the imminent college entrance tests. Various exams conducted by different universities and colleges all around the country will be one of the greatest endeavors a senior will face. One could say that it’s their golden ticket to their dream university.
Nonetheless, the search for the golden ticket is tough and challenging. It takes persistence, patience, and grit. The college entrance exams will be the culmination of what a student has learned in their 6-year stay in high school. To say that the pressure placed upon by these exams on a Grade 12 student is great, would be an understatement. However, conquering the CETs is not impossible. Here are just a few helpful tips that may help you in managing the so-called, “examinee-stress.”
1. Do your research.
In preparation for your college application, research is one of the first steps that you’ll need to take in acing the CETs. Read through the school’s guidelines, important deadlines, and course outlines. Perusing the web is not the only way you can do your background check about the college you’re aiming for. You can always ask your upper batches who have taken the test or are currently studying in that university. Asking them relevant questions about test preparation, tips about taking the actual exam itself, and their student lives inside the campus is always a great idea. Learning from their experience will actually make your process easier.
2. Your planner is your best friend.
After jotting down the important dates and deadlines, take time to carefully plan everything down–from simply filling out the application forms, to studying for the actual CETs, spare no detail in preparation. College-prep season is the time when you really need to buckle down and maximize the days allotted for studying. Following through your planner means diminishing test anxiety since you become more reassured of your knowledge and preparation. Trust me when I say that you wouldn’t want to be caught cramming 6-years worth of lessons in three days.
3. Practice makes perfect.
When you ask for tips from your upper batch friends, they would say to practice answering problems as much as possible—and they’re totally right. The exams are formulated to check if you remember or comprehend certain principles and processes of mathematics. The reviewers give you a guide, and a preview of what and how the test will be, so it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with different test types and questions. You can save a lot of time once you’ve repeated the same solution over and over again. Once you're in a time-pressured situation like your actual exams, speed and accuracy can save your life!
4. Learn to prioritize.
It's tempting and likely to only focus on studying for the college entrance exams once the school year starts. Reviewing for your future college is important, but you need to earn a high school diploma before anything else. It is necessary for you to not be overcome by "senioritis" and learn to prioritize your studies, while preparing for the CETs. You may think that colleges won’t really look or even consider your Grade 12 grades, but that’s far from it. More often than not, when you file for an appeal, the admission staff will use your grades as their basis for admitting you into the university. I know that it is very difficult to balance both schoolwork and college prep, but it is not at all impossible. Don’t let it get the best of you!
5. Relax (!!!)
When it comes to scheduling your study sessions for the week, make sure to include rest days as well. Like every person in the world, you will need to take some time to unwind and just relax—you deserve it! After a hellish reading comprehension revision, reward yourself with having a snack break or watching an episode of your favorite series. Getting that 8-hour sleep the night before your test is also key so you can come fully energized and focused. If you don’t get enough rest, all of the work you’ve put into studying will be wasted.
When it comes to preparing for the college entrance tests, there really is no shortcut to hard work. If you put in the time and the effort in striving for the college of your dreams, then you won’t have any regrets—no matter what the results may be. To all the incoming Seniors, good luck on your future endeavors, and finish strong!
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