212: Is Your Student Vulnerable to the Cheating Epidemic?

Cheating is on the rise in high schools around the country!

Megan has been observing this in the reports coming from her clients’ and her daughters’ school.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen explore this topic in more detail, including:

  • The reasons Megan observes for this epidemic, including the way the internet exacerbates the impulse to cheat
  • What the real harms are to students who succumb to temptation to cheat
  • Questions parents can ask their students to make sure that students have thought through impulses, consequences, and alternatives to cheating as a way to raise grades.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen explore this topic in more detail!

210: Take Your College Visits to the Next Level

College visits can get repetitive and boring, and the “official” tours offered by the school don’t always reveal the hidden details that help you make a decision about which school is best for you.

Let Megan school you on how to take your visits to the next level! She’ll cover:

  1. How early is too early to start taking college visits?
  2. How to go beyond the basic two-hour info session, with tips like eating in the actual cafeteria picking up the school newspaper
  3. How to use college visits to help make the “short list”

Click here and listen in and Megan will also share some notes from the road, observations based on the college visits her clients and her daughter have done.

209: How to Study When Given Essay Questions in Advance

Do your teachers ever give you the essay questions far in advance of the chapter test or final?

Many students don’t take advantage of this key resource.

Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage, including how to:

  • Identify which questions can be answered by reading which chapters and/or sections
  • “Chart” essay questions so you understand a) what information you are supposed to learn and b) what kind of thinking you’re being asked to practice
  • Give yourself a map of the chapter using the essay questions as a guide
  • Take notes using the essay question as a guide.
  • Run your charts and notes by your teacher as a way to “assess” your understanding before chapter tests and quizzes, and
  • Use your charts and notes to study for the actual exam

Listen in as Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage!

Do You Get Bored Reading? Try This Spark Notes Hack!

English teachers beware! You are NOT going to like my tip for the day.

A certain subset of my clients simply won’t read their English texts. They just won’t. No amount of cajoling, creative tips, and incremental steps will get them in the mood to tackle a hard text.

Today a client of mine WAS willing to practice reading a text as long as I didn’t expect her to read the whole text, and as long as we used a variety of online resources to support her.

In the following video, I walk you through the 5 step process that she and I came up with, and then I show you that process in action by sharing my screen.

I know the solution is not ideal, and ultimately we want students to have the stamina, attention and grit to sit with difficult intellectual material. However, especially students with learning differences, we also need to meet students where they are, acknowledge that they have had traumatic experiences with reading in the past, and offer them incremental doable steps on the road to tackling difficult academic tasks.

I’m excited that MY CLIENT is excited about this process, and I believe it’s a whole lot better than ignoring the reading completely. Let me know what YOU think, and I’ll keep y’all updated with how it goes with this student.

If you do not have the time to watch the video the image below describes some of what I talked about in the video to help you with assignments you are having trouble reading.

And if you feel you could use some help getting your homework done each week, please consider checking out my course, The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying.

 

A Surprising Benefit of Turning Off Notifications!

Do you get a ton of notifications on your phone 24/7?

If you’re an avid follower of my newsletter, you may have noticed that recently I’m working with more and more of my clients to turn off many of their notifications.

Not all of them take me up on it, but those who do notice some surprising results.

In the video below, I explain what one 15-year-old is discovering about her new life without as many notifications.

 

Everyone hates to study get my step by step system to getting the grades you want here!

A Trick for Managing Your Parents’ Anxiety

Parents these days are overcome with anxiety — anxiety about their kiddo’s achievement (or lack thereof), ability to get into college, ability to get a good job, etc etc.

For better or for worse, a significant amount of time in my coaching sessions with teens is spent helping them figure out how they can get ahead of their parents’ anxiety.

One tip I’ve been working on with several of my clients is how to initiate communication with their parents early on, before parents have time to nag.

Listen in to this video for the nitty gritty details of this simple trick.

If you do not have time to watch the video below is a great tip for you to use to help manage your parents’ anxiety about your school work.

 

3 Tips to Take Action on Hard Assignments!

One of my main tasks as an academic coach — other than to help students study more effectively — is to help teens with learning challenges figure out how to follow through on tasks that feel insurmountable.

This week a client of mine reported with such pride that she’d actually finished — and turned in on time! — two history assignments that have been torturous in the past.

I asked her what worked for her, and the tips that poured out of her mouth were so spot on, I couldn’t help but share them with you.

I’m consistently blown away in my work as a coach that, as I help build students’ self awareness, they are less reliant on my creative tips and more capable of finding their own processes. The tips in this video are a perfect illustration of this point:

If you do not have the time to watch the video here are the tips for you:

 

If you are a teacher, tutor, or academic coach, or perhaps even a parent, interested in learning about how to help your students become independent learners and test-taking powerhouses, please consider checking out my course, The Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically.

Follow Through More Often With This Smart Phone Tweak!

Most of us have smart phones these days, and many of us depend on a number of different apps to keep us organized.

With a certain subset of my teen clients, however, I’ve noticed that they don’t have their time management apps organized in such a way that they are easily found.

Check out the video below to discover a simply tweak that every student should consider to make their most important time management apps more accessible.

 

I’ll also introduce you to the most important time management apps to prioritize when you reorganize your home page.

 

 

If you would like some study tips head on over to the College Prep Podcast site. I co-host a weekly podcast with Megan Dorsey and we discuss a wide range of academic topics, including things like “How to Make Your Final College Decision.” 

How to Stay Awake in a Boring Class!

Do you ever find yourself sleeping in class? Or struggling NOT to sleep?

Ugh. It’s the worst feeling. A client of mine was recently accused by his math teacher of sleeping in class. We spent part of our session discussing the cause, and what he might do about it.

Check out the video:

 

Check out the list of 5 clear ways to keep those eyes open, body moving, and attention alert when in a boring class:

 

If you are a teacher, tutor, or academic coach, or perhaps even a parent, interested in learning about how to help your students become independent learners and test-taking powerhouses, please consider checking out my course, The Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically.

How to Procrastinate Less on Weekends!

Do you ever struggle to take action on important school tasks on weekends? I certainly do, and I’m 44 years old! Imagine being 16!

Recently a client revealed that she’d had another weekend of just “laying around”. She knew she had work to do, but she just couldn’t do it.

We realized that one of the problems was that she hadn’t made a detailed enough plan for exactly what needed to get done.

Check out this video, where I compare the plan she had made with the plan she probably SHOULD have made.

Here are some quick notes from the white board in this video of tips on how to plan what you need to get done on the weekend:

If you need more study tips and ideas on how to plan your weekends and get things done for your school week ahead have a look at The Anti-Boring Approach!

How to Make Textbooks Less Boring!

Do you ever find textbooks supremely boring to read? I asked my client this the other day, and he said, “Well, not if they’re science. But everything else, yes!” This client — a high school senior — is taking a college class on Western Civilizations, and their textbook is large and unwieldy.

Henry and I spent 20 minutes figuring out a process to help his reading assignments be more, well, “anti-boring”. Check out the video to get a demo of how we did that!

 

Here are the notes from the video if you do not have time to watch it, so you can get an idea on what to do to make textbooks less boring:

 

How to make textbooks less boring

 

If you are a parent looking for help for your child or a teacher looking for study tips for your students take a look at The Anti-Boring Approach!

What If Feelings and Cognition Are More Interconnected Than We Realize?

There’s a theme that’s popping up in every corner of my coaching practice these days, and it is:

Emotion and cognition are inextricably linked!

We academics like to think that it’s possible to learn facts and skills in a totally rational way, divorced from emotion. But that’s just not true!

Also, in a separate but related fact of the contemporary world, more and more teens and young adults are being diagnosed with high level anxiety.

In this video, I reflect about these two facts, and tell two stories: one from the course I’m teaching for educators, and another from a coaching session with a high school senior.

Check it out!

 

P.S. Here is the article that I mention in the video. And the book I’m excited to read is The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, by Sarah Rose Cavanagh (2016)

 

College Prep Podcast #196: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life

How do we motivate teens to take little actions that offer big results?

Megan reports in about a book she read recently that has lots of great advice for teens: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe Even the World by Admiral William H. McCraven.

Even though it’s written for grown-ups, Megan sees the ways that this little book could be an inspiring gift for teens, or be a great conversation starter at dinner.

Here are the “little things” that the author covers in his book, which Megan adapts for teens in this episode:

  • Start the day with a task completed.
  • You can’t go it alone.
  • Only the size of your heart matters
  • Life’s not fair. Drive on.
  • Failure can make you stronger.
  • You must dare greatly.
  • Stand up to bullies.
  • Rise to the occasion.
  • Give people hope.
  • Never, ever quit.

 

Click here to listen in as Megan talks about little things you can do to change your life.

The 5 Essential Deadlines for College Admissions that Family Should Know

The 5 Essential Deadlines for College Admissions That Every Family Should KNowDo you know the 5 essential deadlines for college admissions?

Megan has noticed that most of her newest clients seem clueless about what college app dates to pay attention to, and what to ignore, as the school year progresses.

So, if you are the parent of a high school sophomore, junior or senior, this episode is for you! We want you to be ultra prepared for what’s coming down the pike in terms of the college admissions calendar. So get out your planner and get ready to look up a bunch of dates and plan your year.

Here are the 5 dates that Megan discusses in more detail in the podcast:

  1. For seniors: Applications for college become available August 1. Fill them out by Thanksgiving of your senior year.
  2. For seniors: Financial aid forms become available in October; fill them out before Thanksgiving of your senior year.
  3. For rising seniors: Finalize your college list by the end of the summer before your senior year, so that you can be on target with the above deadlines.
  4. For juniors: Spend your junior year researching the colleges that might go on your list.
  5. For rising juniors: Make sure you know when all the ACT and SAT dates for the year are, and plan to take one of the earlier ones.

BONUS: For rising sophomores – if you think you might be in the running for a national merit scholarship, plan to take PSAT.

Got any questions or concerns on this topic, or any other? Want them addressed on our podcast (free coaching! yes!)? Please email us at collegepreppodcast@gmail.com and tell us all about it.

 

 

This podcast was originally broadcast on www.collegepreppodcast.com

How to Make Your Social Media College and Job Ready

Colleges are increasingly checking out students’ online social media profiles to decide whether they are worthy of admission into their schools.

Colleges are increasingly checking out students’ online social media profiles to decide whether they are worthy of admission into their schools.

How college and job ready is your social media presence?

Megan shares some stories, tips and tricks about how students and families can ensure that social media won’t be a reason to miss out on getting into your favorite college, including:

  • stories of students who didn’t receive scholarships or key athletic positions because of their social media presence
  • 5 kinds of things NOT to post on social media or via email
  • several tips for hot to monitor social media usage so that you are college and job ready

 

Looking for more tips about how to get prepped for college? Click here.