Thursday, April 26, 2012

Countdown to AP Tests

Hey everyone! May is an intense month for high school students. May is the month for all AP. AP, which stands for advance placement, are accelerated classes that students can take. In May, each AP class takes a nationwide AP test for college. If you score high enough, you can get college credit! It is a great way to get classes over with that you are taking already in high school so you can take classes more interesting to you while in college. There are over 34 AP courses to choose from, ranging from European History to Physics to Art. There are classes that fit everyone's strengths. Even if you do not receive a high enough score to get college credit, college still are very impressed to see you are taking these advanced classes while in high school.
The good part about these classes is you are not required to take these end of year college tests if you do not want to. If you choose not to, the class is just like a honors class. Either way, AP classes also help you prepare for college by offering more advanced curriculum that you may also see in college. Although the work load can be heavy, it prepares you for college and is well worth it. So my recommendation is if you are up for a constructive challenge that prepares you for your future then take AP classes! Start small, with only one or two, and work your way up to more. Who knows, maybe you'll find a hidden passion!

Find out more about AP classes by checking out this website:

College Board: Ap Classes

What classes are you interested in? Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top 5 Ways to be Prepared for the College Application Process

Hey everyone! As we are nearing the end of the school year, I am starting the college application process. Next year I will have a whole series on applying to college, but I thought I would give a brief introdruction to the process and things you should do to prepare a head of time.
Any student in high school will tell you that applying for college is a very important, long, and tricky process. Most people wouldn't realize, but the earlier you start preparing for applying to college the easier it is when that time approaches. With these five easy tricks, you will become an application superstar that any college would be lucky to have.
1. Enroll in challenging classes and take them seriously
  We all know that hard classes can be, well, hard. However, colleges know this and will reward you for challenging yourself. The first thing colleges look at is the level of coursework and your GPA. Honors and AP (advance placement) classes add extra point to your GPA, so even if you don't get an A your GPA will remain the same. Beginning in freshman or sophomore year, take the most challenging classes you can and do your best. Seek outside tutoring (often available free from older students) on difficult subjects. 
2. Get involved outside the classroom
Colleges love to see that you have passions outside of school. Whether its sports, music, drama, debate, community service, or other school clubs, select  2-3 extracurriculars that interest you. Don't join every club you come in contact with. Instead, focus on a few that demonstrate your interest and work towards leadership positions. Colleges love seeing that you have leadership qualities.
3. Prepare for the SAT or the ACT early
Your score on these tests are important to colleges, so take the time to prepare early in your junior year. You can take these tests as many times as you want, so start early incase you want to retake them. You can study review books or attend review sessions to help improve your score. Give yourself time to take the tests more than once to improve your score before senior year. 
4. Research colleges and universities
There are almost 3000 colleges and universities in the US, so you will find a school that is a perfect fit for you. Take time to research the details of different schools online. Schools vary by size, location, specialties, student body, and cost. Many offer generous financial aid and scholarships. If you are able, try to drive or fly to visit schools that interest you to get a feel of the campus and meet current staff and students.
5. Choose summer experiences that highlight your interest
Use your summer breaks during high school wisely. Look for summer jobs, programs, classes, or camps that demonstrate your interest and give you experience in your areas of interest.

These five easy steps will help you find and snag the college of your dreams! Happy hunting!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Admirable Administrators: Vice Principal Felix

Hey everyone! Today I will be sharing with you the second interview in my Admirable Administrators series here on Americanamanda. I sat down with the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Guidance at my school to discuss many different interesting topics. The questions I asked encompassed local and international concerns in the school system along with American high school teenage life as a whole. Check out the full interview with Mrs. Felix below!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions you would like me to ask in my future interviews!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring into Action

Hey everyone! These past few weeks schools around the United States have been having spring break! Spring break is a week long vacation all school levels give out around April and Easter time. It's a good break before the hard end of the year exams given in May and June.
People use this week long vacation to do different things. Most use it to travel, near or far. People go to the beach to get their tan on or mountains to shred the snow. Both climates are in California hours away. Some people use this time to travel far away. Families travel to other states in California or even other countries. Countries in Europe and North America are always prime spots for California tourists.
Most older teenagers who are getting ready to apply to colleges use this time to tour colleges around the United States. When applying for college, it is important to see the school and make sure it is a good fit. This is why this break is a great time to fly around the country touring different schools you want to see. Most people choose a specific state and tour different colleges in that area. Since there are hundreds of colleges in the U.S., not all can be toured. Yet, if you are considering attending a college it is important to at least know what environment you will be living in.

Do you have a "spring break" at your school? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Every Fifteen Minutes

Hey everyone! This week at my school we had a very heartfelt assembly called Every Fifteen Minutes. It is based of the fact that every fifteen minutes someone is killed or injured in an alcohol related accident. This has become a tragedy here in the United States as many teenagers have died prematurely by being hit by a drunk driver. Every Fifteen Minutes is a two-day program which challenges students to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, the responsibility of making mature decisions and the impact their decisions have on family, friends, and many others. The first day, we had a mock car crash with student actors from our school along with real firefighters, policemen, and paramedics.
There was a grim reaper who walked around to different classrooms and chose students to "die" every fifteen minutes. It showed how real car accidents are and how common they are. On the second day, we had an assembly that talked about the dangers of drinking and driving and real stories of tragedies that occur. It was a very moving experience that showed all the dangers of drinking and driving. The main idea behind Every Fifteen Minutes is to show students the dangers of driving drunk and try to save lives in the future.

What assemblies occur at your school? Let me know in the comments!