IB Exams Canceled for 2020

From the IB website:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak FAQS Last update: 23March 2020IB STATEMENT ON MAY 2020 DP AND CP EXAMINATIONS

Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic. As an organization, it is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide our global community of IB World schools are based on compassion for our students and teachers and, fairness for the difficult circumstances our students and educators are experiencing. We are grateful for your patience and consideration.

As a result, the IB with considerable advisement from stakeholders across the globe including schools, students, universities and official bodies has determined the most responsible and ethical way forward. The IB will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:

The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30April and 22May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held.•Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. Full detail and FAQs will be sent to schools by 27 March 2020 (CET).

Best of luck to everyone. I know you’ve worked hard and will continue to do well.

AP and IB Exam Update

College Board has announced that AP exams will be taken online in May. Material covered will be reduced to reflect what most students will have covered by mid-March. Each 45 minute exam will be offered on 2 dates. Specifics should be available in early April.

Free review material can be found at https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates?utm_source=Applerouth&utm_campaign=3b7149ea3c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_23_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_41a7cbffe6-3b7149ea3c-108463421#free-ap-classes

International Baccalaureate is working on their plan for testing which they expect to have in place by the end of March. You can access information on their website at https://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/

As information comes available, I’ll send you an update.

Maximize Online Learning

Bring Your A Game to Distance Learning

Keeping focused while taking classes online can be difficult. Bring your study skills, time management and persistence to your new work space as you stay on top of assignments.

Creating a habit is probably most important to succeeding with online courses. When I don’t want to do something I procrastinate. I tell myself that there is plenty of time to complete the task. This is the exact opposite of what is needed with online classes. Make a schedule and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is when you have a framework for getting started.

If you don’t have lessons from your teachers you can find lesson plans and help at Khan Academy (khanacademy.org). You’ll find math, science and more. Khan even provides lists of books for reading for pleasure or to alert you to iconic works for cultural literacy.

One of my favorite websites is freerice.com. Challenge yourself with this vocabulary quiz were you will have a choice of meanings for the word that pops up. When you score well you are boosted to a new level of difficulty. When you guess incorrectly you remain at that level or drop back. Best of all, every correct response triggers donations of rice to communities that suffer food insecurity.

For college bound students this time without 24/7 scheduling is a blessing in disguise. You have time to deeply research colleges. Many admissions offices are putting the information sessions on line. Most have virtual tours of the campus led by one of the ambassadors who work for the admission office. Reach out to the admissions staff with questions. Join college social media although not much is being posted at the moment.

Khan Academy has SAT prep on their website for students who will be taking a standardized test. Even Freshmen can benefit from exposure to the prep sessions.

Online learning isn’t new to colleges. You will find that brick and mortar institutions make some of their classes online to facilitate getting the courses needed for graduation. Online learning isn’t dumbed down versions of in-person classes and some students find them more difficult. Time management is the key and persistence is right behind. The habits you develop while home from high school can be valuable when you are a college student.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Thomas, Unsplash
Here’s another fun thing to do: go to the database www.citizenscience.gov and look at all the real time science research you can take part in. The image above illustrates one of the astronomy initiatives. You don’t need any special knowledge or training: if you can click of a mouse you’re qualified to take part. I’m curious about the cosmos so I chose to look at astronomy projects but there are hundreds of other fields. You can add tags for keyword search to documents in the Library of Congress. A task on Rosa Parks looks interesting. Other topics include Gardening, Biology, Environmental Science, Social Science,Clean Water Management. Go forth through the internet and explore the universe, or atoms or people!


Update: When you need to add some PE to your class schedule, or you’ve just had enough chair time, there are some places you can find a workout or a class. I’ve done this challenge; I hate squats but this is a fun break from sitting at the computer.

Several places are offering their virtual classes for free: Beach Body Fitness, Les Mills, Edge Fitness, Down Dog downdogapp.com. Enjoy!

College Visits? What To Do Now

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Oh, no!  Colleges are closing! 

Under other circumstances you would be executing planned college visits over the next few weeks and are finding that admissions offices are canceling tours and info sessions as their campus closes down.

There are some things that you can do now to learn about the colleges on your list.

Take a deep look at the college website: It tells the story of the college.  When and why was this institution founded?  What do they value?  Look up your potential major to see what is required to graduate.  Look at the required courses to see how interesting they seem.  Will you be able to take advantage of study abroad and internships?  Check out a few other subjects you might be curious about.

Take a virtual tour of the campus that you find on the college website.  It’s not the same thing as being there but you can see the layout and buildings.  Usually, the tour is led by admissions office ambassadors (tour guides) and is similar to the tour you would take in person.  If you like what you see, ask the admissions office to put you in touch with an ambassador or student similar to you, maybe from your high school or studying your major.

Campus Spotlight, https://www.collegematchpoint.com/college-matchpoint-blog/tag/Campus+Spotlight reviews some school.  Check out niche.com, too

Access campus tours through Campus Reel.    Campusreel.org offers tours of many campuses in 15,000 videos.  The quality varies as does the information.  An annoyance is that you must click the speaker icon at the bottom of each video as it loads so that you can hear the audio.

While campus is closed down, most admissions offices are up and running.  Make a list of questions you can’t find answers for on the website and call your admissions rep.  You will likely be able to have a conversation with him or her.  Not only do you get answers but you are showing interest in that college.  Some schools track Demonstrated Interest for consideration when processing your application.

Connect with college social media.  Instagram, Twitter, YouTube are good access points.  If there is an online campus newspaper you will be able to see a back issue or more; the campus radio station might still be operating.  From either, you can learn what is popular, what students care about.

Even though you can’t meet with anyone or take guided tour, it’s still possible to drive through  or walk around a school that you’d like to know more about.  Take time to visit the area surrounding the campus to find the local Thai restaurant, hair salon, movie theater or Target.  If you move here you’ll spend time eating, shopping and socializing in the neighborhood.

Let me know what you find out! 

Rising Discount Rate Means Lower College Tuition

The cost of a college education can be daunting to say the least. Many college hopefuls are deferring applying or, once enrolled, find the costs overwhelming.

Each year the demographics of the applicant pool change and one current trend is favoring applicants. We are in a period in which the size of high school classes is decreasing so that the number of potential college students is also declining.

Colleges need to fill seats and beds in order to have enough income to keep the lights on and the professors paid. Competition for students who will enroll has increased substantially in the last couple of years. The discount rate is the difference between the published Cost of Attendance or tuition and what students are actually asked to pay. Many students are finding that the discount can be up to 50%.

To attract students, financial aid packages have been beefed up and other perks are being offered. Some colleges have frozen tuition. In addition to not raising tuition for this year, some guarantee keeping tuition the same until a student graduates.

In the past it has been difficult to get one of your colleges to increase the merit aid in your package but that may be changing. If you have a better offer from College B but want to attend College G, you can try by showing the award letter from B and asking if G can match.

Prepare to apply to multiple colleges, looking for those where you will be highly desirable. Choose those where your credentials are in the top 25% of the applicant pool or where they need your tuba, experience, your interest in an under-subscribed major or to fill a demographic slot.

Until the number of high school students begins to increase again, college applicants will have more leverage: take advantage of all of your options.

Ace the ACT Science Section

According to A+ Tutoring, a test prep company with a solid reputation, the science section doesn’t ask detailed information about various disciplines in the science curriculum. More questions are directed toward an understanding of the scientific method.

Do you know what a hypothesis is? Its the question an experiment is designed to answer

Can you describe the steps used in setting up the experiment?

How do you observe the results and interpret those results?

What conclusions do the data lead to?

General knowledge about science and its various disciplines is a good thing but understanding how the material in your science class was derived (experimentation!) will go a long way to succeeding on this section of the ACT!

American University Adds DC Semester Gap Program


The AU Gap Program allows students taking a gap year of gap semester to work at an internship in DC three full days a week while living on campus and taking a college seminar in International Affairs. Internships are available in politics, journalism, business, tech, social justice, environmental advocacy and more. In addition to the online application, applicants must submit the following supplemental items electronically or via mail: High school transcript(s), A recommendation from your high school academic counselor or teacher, A recommendation from an extracurricular or community contact. Once the required documents are received, applications are submitted to the admissions committee for review and students may be contacted for a phone interview. The Deadline for applying for spring semester is November 15, 2019.

Dream Big, Take Small Steps, And Make It Count

How To Frame Your Experience: An Article By Alan Carniol

Correct Way To Talk About Your Experience  Carniol

“I have 20 years of experience in…”
This is a phrase that means so much to you, your friends, your colleagues, and anyone else who understands the value of what you have to offer.
And it should — because 20 years is a long time.
Frankly, if you’relike many of the folks who read my Daily Success Boost newsletters, then, during those 20 years, you have amassed an incalculable amount of knowledge, specialist know-how, and hard-earned wisdom.
So, the words “20 years of experience” ought to have gravity.
Here’s the thing, though:
For an interviewer, or anyone else who doesn’t know you and doesn’t
understand thekind of conscientiousness your pour into your work, these words simply don’t mean a hoot. They have become meaningless.
Why?
Because they are thrown around by just about every mature candidate.
You need to give these words meaning, by spelling out in concrete terms why your experience makes you a superior candidate.
And there are three steps to doing this right:
First — You need to understand what the hiring manager is looking for in their dream candidate. What will he or she be expected to bring to the table?
Second — You need to sit down with a pen and paper, and make a list of all the tangible and intangible wins, achievements, and learning experiences that you racked up during all these years. Why is your experience
valuable?
Third — You need to put these two things together, and find specific wins, achievements, and learning experiences that demonstrate why hiring managers should see your experience as the valuable asset it is.
When you take the time to do this, then rather than saying, “I have 20 years of experience”, you can say something like the following instead:
“During the last 20 years, I have led teams through three separate mergers. While it is often a difficult time for everyone involved, I know from experience how to deal with many of the ‘people’ problems that are often overlooked, and make the transition as smooth as humanly possible for everyone.”
* * *
Now, if this seems like a difficult idea to apply in your particular field or career circumstances, don’t be dismayed. It’s probably easier than you think.
If you need help implementing Alan’s suggestions, lets take an hour to
go through the steps together. Be prepared the first time and every time you interview for a new job, a new role or a promotion.
Contact me at stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679