Spring Into Action with Critical Reading, Subject & Advanced Study

By now, your mentee has all that high school energy in full-swing. Hopefully they’ve found a good peer circle, are enjoying some extra-curricular activities, and might even be exploring the job market soon. On the one hand, it’s your role to help keep their eye on the prize (college) and on the other hand, you have the unique position of offering something a little more fun, too. Encourage your student to find ways to relax, kick-back and enjoy this time as a young person.

With great power there must also come — great responsibility!
— Uncle Ben, Spider Man

Practice Critical Reading

While reading can be an incredibly relaxing hobby, it can also supremely improve a student’s ability to retain information if done right. News periodicals like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times offer mounds of high-level content on a plethora for subjects. You can pick up a copy and scan the various sections together until and article peaks your interest. Once you’re ready to dive in, challenge one another to read critically using the SQ3R method:

  • Skim over the text

  • ask Questions

  • Read the text

  • Recite the answers

  • Review your notes

It may also be fun to challenge one another to a Speed Reading Race!

On you mark. Get set. GO!


Sign Up for Honors & AP Classes

Studies have shown that the rigor of a student's high school curriculum is the single best predictor of success in college.” While Honors classes can provide more of a challenge and a bump in their grade point average, AP coursework can result in the same, plus college credit depending on the school’s review board. Review your mentee’s Academic Plan and and seek out available options from their Guidance Counselor. Look for quality versus quantity. Your student has a lot on their plate…how much is too much? Keep sports and other schedules in mind when deciding when to take what advanced classes. Discuss how many they should take? We’ve noticed a bit of PTC peer-to-peer competitiveness, which can be good, but ultimately your student has to do what is right for then and you’re just the person to help navigate this arena.

SAT Subject Testing

Once your student selects their advanced coursework, they can prepare to take the SAT Subject Tests. These are designed to measure knowledge in specific areas, such as biology, history, French, or math. Some colleges even requiring them based on their field of study or selected degree goals.

End Year with Strong GPA

Spring break will come and go and before you know it your mentee will be preparing for finals. Help them reduce their exam anxiety and make an efficient plan with these study tips:

  1. Understand their goals.

  2. Prioritize the tests that matter most.

  3. Clarify the content and format of the exams.

  4. Remove all distractions & avoid multi-tasking.

  5. Read out loud.

  6. Listen to recordings.

  7. Play classical music.

  8. Build study endurance (try 15 flashcards in a row instead of 10).

  9. Fuel the brain with healthy snacks.

  10. Know when to stop studying.

Desiree Webb-Oftedal