College Competition Means New Stress for Today’s Teens

The pressure is on!  To compete in today’s global economy, which includes international students attending North American colleges in record numbers, U.S. teenagers must obtain collegiate degrees now more than ever.  The number of graduating high school seniors is expected to peak in 2017, with over 66% trying to gain admission to an institution of higher learning.

What does this mean for students with college aspirations?  Acing the college entrance exam is critical.  Most students applying to competitive colleges now take the SAT*/ACT® more than once, and as early as sophomore year.

Our growing global economy has made it necessary for more students to attend

college in order to obtain good paying jobs.  Tools, such as the common application, encourage students to apply to more schools – which increases the competition.  Thus, making it more difficult for students to gain acceptance into the top institutions and colleges that were once seen as “safeties.”

More students and parents today are learning the secret that top colleges have known for years – systematically preparing for the SAT/ACT gives students more confidence and more confidence can lead to higher SAT/ACT scores.

New college admissions rules now allow students to score their best by taking the SAT/ACT as many times as they like, while educators suggest taking the tests at least two or three times.  Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to all ages, grades and skill levels, offers the following advice to ensure students properly prepare for their college entrance exams – Sylvan’s 10 STRESSFREE Steps to Reduce the Stress and Ace the Test!

  • Studying for the SAT*/ACT® takes weeks, even months, of review. Don’t try to cram overnight.
  • Trust yourself. Rely on your instincts. Never leave an easy question blank.
  • Read the questions and answers critically.
  • Easy questions have easy answers.
  • Stop and check. Every few questions, ensure the question number on the answer sheet corresponds with the booklet.
  • Save time. Make sure you have enough time to answer as many questions as possible, in order to rack up as many points as possible.
  • Focus on what the question is really asking. If you don’t fully understand the question, finding the correct answer is going to be tough.
  • Rushing only hurts you. Keep track of the time remaining for each section.
  • Eliminate answers. If you can eliminate at least two incorrect answers, make an educated guess.
  • End each section by reviewing. If time permits, revisit the questions you didn’t answer.

It’s never too early – or too late – to begin preparing for college and lifelong economic success.

Students who are interested in a test prep course should visit the “College Prep” area at or call 804-744-8002 to learn more about Sylvan SAT Prep and Sylvan ACT Prep.  These courses are offered exclusively through Sylvan Learning and provide proven test-taking strategies, state-of-the-art course materials and content review in small team environments that give students the confidence and personalized attention that help raise test scores.

By:      Steve Green

Sylvan Learning of Midlothian

Steve Green is the owner of the Sylvan Learning located in Midlothian, Virginia, the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. In its 30 years, Sylvan’s proven process and personalized methods have inspired more than 2 million students to discover the joy of learning. Sylvan’s trained and Sylvan-certified personal instructors provide individual instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan helps transform kids into learners, with the skills to do better in school, and the confidence to do better in everything else.

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