Sent on the last Thursday of each month, the Counseling Newsletter provides extra guidance and information to assist you during the university research process. Please read each issue carefully. The newsletter is also shared with your parents and teachers, and it can be used to help create more dialogue about your future.
WELCOME TO YOUR JUNIOR YEAR!
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE MADE IT TO YOUR JUNIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL. It's important that you take the time to look back on all that you have accomplished up to this point. You will find that this year will, perhaps more than any other, have you prioritizing all of the things you have been involved in. As a quick exercise you may want to jot down answers to the questions below in regards to all clubs and activities. Keep this list handy as a guide to help direct the choices you make in the next few weeks. It is common to become overwhelmed in junior year, but this need not be the case. Take this time to clearly consider how you want this year to unfold.
Is there a common thread, or central interest that connects a few of them?
Are there any activities I want to become more involved in?
Are there any activities I want to explore but have not?
Which activities am I not genuinely interested in?
Which ones am I putting in a lot of time and not getting much out?
Are there any activities I can drop to save myself time to invest in other things?
Big changes are in store for you this year; this can be both exciting and intimidating. Hopefully you took some time to refresh and recharge over the summer in order to be prepared for this very important year!
You are moving into the world of IB. For many of you this will allow for you to highlight your critical thinking skills. You will be expected to take the knowledge which has been imparted in the classroom and extend your thinking in ways that are new. Trust yourself! You will be asked to not only show what you know, but also how and why - not all answers will be found in a textbook. You will also need to learn to time-manage in different ways. It is key that you keep informed about all assignments and allocate your time in ways that allow you to manage the many demands that this year will bring. Read this short article on how to survive the IB to alleviate stress of the unknown.
Along with this new curriculum, you will be expected to seriously think about yourself as a student and what future learning environment will best suit you. Many of you will already have universities that you have in mind for your post-secondary education. Sometimes these lists have been well-thought out, but oftentimes students rely on name-recognition without having done the research necessary to determine "Best Fit". It is crucial that you take this year to research different universities and reflect on yourself as a learner. This can be an intimidating proposition, but if done well, can be incredibly exciting and revealing!
TAKING TIME TO TAKE TIME
You've heard the reports - this year is going to be busy! As mentioned you will need to hone those time-management skills. Perhaps more important is taking time out from the hustle and bustle to make sure that you are practicing self-care. Whatever current stress-relief techniques you practice, one of your focuses for this year is to nurture and perhaps grow your repertoire. Although it may be difficult at times, do not get into the habit of saying to yourself "I just have to get through this and then I can relax". Certainly there will be times when your focus will wane, but remember that a well-lived life is a life of balance. Junior year is not a year "to get through", it's a year of your life to enjoy and grow. As you will see below, the counseling department has built in some social/emotional sessions to ensure that you are practicing self-care. If, at anytime, you feel yourself overwhelmed, please make an appointment with your counselor to discuss strategies that you can use to maintain that very important balance!
How to Show "Demonstrated Interest" to Universities
September -Uniquest Assignment - connecting university environments with my learning style, personality, and preferences
October - What program is right for me? Hands-on university research sessions.
October - Healthy relationships - how do we know when we're in them? How do we promote them?
November - Continued university research and Mental Health - how do we take care of ourselves in stressful times?
December - Preparing for the Post-UniQuest Meeting in January/February
January - What should I have done by now?
February - RD/EA/ED?
- The dangers of drugs/alcohol
March - Preparing for student-led college conference in April/May
April- Where am I at with my research? Mock Admissions session
May - Writing the Common app essay or the personal statement. What to do over the summer - university tours/summer programs.
Rumours and Truths around the SAT
SAT is Not Scored on a CurveStudents do not receive any advantages by traveling to another region of the world or time zone to take the SAT. That is simply not how it works. Despite rumors & chatter to the contrary, SAT is not scored on a curve. Students are much better off taking the SAT without jet lag in our own very familiar venue - the MPR here at school.
What’s important to know is that a student’s SAT score reflects the number of questions that the student answered correctly on the test independent of how other students answered the same questions.
The College Board use different SAT test forms across different time zones for the same administration. They also use different test forms across different test administrations (October 2018 vs March 2019 vs May 2016, etc.).
While they do their best to plan for consistency across test forms across various administrations, on occasion there are some test forms that can be more difficult or easier than other test forms. That is why they use a statistical process called equating. The equating process ensures fairness for all students. It should not matter which test form a student took or when the student took it. Equating makes sure that a score for a test form taken on one date is equivalent to a score from another date. So, for example, a single incorrect answer on one test could equal two or three incorrect answers on a more difficult test.
Equating is used for every SAT administration and is standard practice for assessments like the SAT or ACT or A-Levels or AP or IB or what have you. That said, every SAT is scored the same way, no matter where or when it is administered. Through equating, adjustments are made so that, when a test form is easier, more questions need to be answered correctly, and when the form is more difficult, fewer questions need to be answered correctly.
Note that a similar situation occurred in the U.S. in June of 2018, and generated very similar confusion among students in some regions of the U.S./ Americas.
These blog posts, developed in response to questions from U.S.-based students, remain relevant to this situation:
When you register for the SAT on the College Board's website, make sure you type in our SAT Test Center Code65305 as well as your High School Code (also called CEEB Code) 682380 in the relevant sections. We have guaranteed spaces for SFS students, but these will only be visible on the College Board's website if you use the two codes above. Please don't register at another test center because our test center appears to be full. In that case, come and talk with the counselors first, so that we can help you with the registration. The registration deadline is always about a month before the test date.
INTERESTING ARTICLES THIS MONTH Want to know more about the common app? Read this article The college scandal and what it tells us about the importance of best fit - article Read an article from money magazine on the 25 best colleges in the US - article A comparison between study in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia - article
The next issue of the newsletter will be posted on The Last Thursday of September