Do you want to ace your high school tests as you move toward your goal of attending your dream school?  Of course you do!  

The reality, however, is that with a multitude of media distractions, sports practices, after school clubs  and perhaps a job, it can be tough to find the time to properly study.  Here are some easy tips to get you on the way to study success:


1.  Use Quizlet.  You can create free and simple learning tools for any subject, including flashcards, tests and study games. 


2.  Create a clutter free space to study. Use noise blocking headphones if you need a quiet zone.  


3.  If you’re the type of learner that benefits from discussion, create a study group with several of your classmates.  Now with Skype or Facetime, you can even participate in these groups without leaving your home. 


4.  Make sure you reread your class notes as each week progresses.  It’s amazing how just a quick review can keep you up to date and help make it easier to capture all of the necessary foundational information needed for large exams.  


5.  Used the tried and true index card system for review.  Shuffle up your questions or even lay them out on a big table and see how many facts you can memorize.  


Try your best and plan on making this the most prepared semester possible! 




July 29, 2016 

Post by Sheri Levin, founder, Cognitive College Advising, LLC, serving the North Shore of Chicago and beyond:

The college interview is here, and at Cognitive College Advising, we believe it’s important to remain relaxed!

During your college interview, you may find yourself being interviewed by an admissions officer, an alumni representative, or a scholarship committee.  It’s important to be prepared, but not sound too “rehearsed.”  

Here are some tips to help you shine during an interview:

1.  Arrive on time.  Don’t arrive too early either - you won’t have anything to do except let your nerves get the best of you. 

2.  Dress appropriately.  Think about what you would wear if you were going out for a nice dinner.  Dresses or suit jackets and ties are not necessary.  Some other no-nos:  extra low-cut shirts or mini skirts/dresses, shorts, gym shoes or t-shirts. 

3.  Be confident, yet humble.  Don’t assume you will be accepted.  It’s important to communicate your sincere desire to learn more about the college or university. 

4.  Own up to any mistakes you have had along the way - such as a bad grade in a class or lower grades as a freshman.  Take responsibility and focus on the lessons you have learned. 

5.  Meet your interviewer alone.  Do not bring along your parents or friends. You can regroup as soon as the interview is over. 

6.  Explain why the college is a good fit for you.  That means do your homework upfront on their majors, study abroad options, interdisciplinary programs and the like.  Ask questions that touch on your research. 

7.  Demonstrate maturity.  If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply pause and explain you need to think about it.  It’s normal to be nervous! 

8.  Be present.  Put your cellphone away and on silent.  You want a distraction-free zone. 


9.  Be prepared to talk about yourself! This is your chance to shine. Focus on your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, athletic involvement or your academic pursuits.  Don’t feel the need to have pat answers in place.  Just take a deep breath and be yourself! 

Do you want your future college student to be an independent go-getter and have an easier time when he or she arrives on campus? Gradually make some simple day to day changes in your household and watch your rising senior become a ready for college superstar. 

Start by handing over tasks and some adult responsibilites. During their senior year of high school, you will have the opportunity to provide casual guidance that will help them launch easily when the time comes to live on their own. 

1.  Demonstrate how to create a weekly budget and teach your student to live within his or her own means.  Perhaps he or she will have to delay the purchase of the latest clothing item or concert ticket or help pay for gas.  Maybe they contribute to items that you usually purchase, or place a large percentage of their summer or after school job earnings into a savings account for later usage.  The point is to start getting used to a budget. 

2.  Teach your child how to use a debit card, and even a credit card if they occasionally borrow yours or have access to their own.  That means going over the statement at the end of the month and showing them how to make a payment. 

3.  Hand over personal tasks such as doing their laundry, waking up on their own, and preparing an occasional family meal. Even grocery shopping and comparing prices, labels and ingredients is a beneficial task students should learn!

4.  Direct your child to start scheduling appointments on his or her own - including the doctor, dentist, haircuts, and anything else.  They should keep you in the loop, especially if you are still footing the bill, by entering their appointments into a shared calendar. 

With these easy steps, students usually glide into their fall semester of college ready to manage and organize their world!