education (4)

How to Earn an A+ on Any Test


According to recent research conducted by Indiana University, most students only study three hours each week.  It’s no small wonder that students experience anxiety when     sitting down to take an important test.  Preparation is a critical aspect of having success in all courses.  It is never too early to get ready for your first test. In fact, the very first day that you enter a classroom you are acquiring information that is essential to your success.  Attending class every day starts you on the right path.  It’s important to note that students who miss more than three classes frequently obtain a grade of “C” or less. 

When you miss a class it creates a gap in the amount of information that you need to master your course.  As you wake up each day make a commitment to attend every class whether it is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  If necessary, identify a partner who will motivate you on days when you don’t feel like going to school.  Remember your teacher is noticing students who attend class and students who do not.  

You must locate a good environment where you can study and feel relaxed. 

Good places to study include the library, an empty class, a student lounge, an empty cafeteria or a book store.  When you arrive at one of these locations prepare to study right away and stay focused.  Sometimes you should study alone and other times feel free to study with a group.  Participation in a study group works best when a subject is extremely difficult because other students can share valuable information during your group sessions.  Organize your notes so that you are able to maximize the amount of information you retain during each study session. Use your study session to identify problems that are unclear and seek information from other students and your instructor.  There are 10 more things you can do to prepare for your test:


  1. Don’t procrastinate on any of your planned study time.


  1. Say no to friends who want you to give up your study time.


  1. Write down a plan which includes items you need to bring to each test preparation session.


  1. Be prepared to memorize and learn materials using 3 X 5 cards, review class notes, review audio or video tapes or draw pictures to remind you of           important concepts.


  1. Organize study groups at least a month prior to final examinations.


  1. Schedule an appointment to meet with every instructor. Have written questions    that you want to ask your instructor.


  1. Review your text book with greater detail and use a dictionary for words you don’t understand.


  1. Use your notes and textbook to develop your own test questions and practice responding to them.


  1. Go to the library and take out other books to supplement your study session.


  1. Eat moderately before you study to ensure that you have adequate energy to think


When you establish a purpose and strategy for your test preparation you are creating a consistent method to earn an A+.  Try to study a minimum of two hours each day and you will have less difficulty increasing your study time at college.   Remember those who fail to plan are planning to fail. After you have all of the information you need you can prepare with the confidence that you will earn one of the highest grades in your class.  Launch into your study session with a level of enthusiasm and the notes will jump off of the page and into your mind.  Have a positive expectation that your grade point average is the highest its’ ever been.  Investing additional quality time will raise your confidence that you have mastered your final examination preparation.  For more preparation strategies purchase Dr. Stephen Jones’ new book “Seven Secrets of How to Study” by visiting call (610) 544-5480.







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Did you know that billions of dollars in scholarships go unused each year?  For twenty years, I’ve counseled college students and their parents.  The most frequent question parents ask is where can I find scholarships for college?  The rising cost of college is causing tensions to rise across the country because parents cannot afford to send their sons/daughters to the four-year college of their choice.  When parents receive information regarding their student’s financial aid award, they learn that they must find $5,000-$10,000 to fund their child’s education.  One family sought after money by hiring a $1,000 scholarship consultant.  Later the parents discovered that by researching the internet they could discover the scholarships on their own. 

     When parents ask how soon they should begin to look for scholarships, my first response is the ninth grade.  By the time that your son/daughter reaches 11th grade, they should have a binder containing scholarship information.  When your son/daughter reaches 11th grade they should begin to send out scholarship letters to organizations that allow for early submissions.  Let the summer before senior year provide you with an opportunity to send out hundreds of scholarship forms and letters.  In fact, here are 12 ways that a student can begin to uncover the 90 billion dollars in scholarships:

  1. Send a letter to your local college fraternity of sorority requesting information about their scholarship.
  2. Contact your local rotary club to ask about their scholarship application.
  3. Visit your local legislator’s office to inquire about new scholarships offered by the state or federal government office 
  4. Visit local stores (i.e. Home Depot, CVS, super markets) to inquire about scholarships.
  5. Contact local colleges to ask about a free list of scholarships that they offer
  6. Visit the internet and conduct a search for scholarships. Some of the topics you can enter include (free money, scholarships, college financial aid, money for            college, free scholarship, government grants of scholarships etc…)
  7. Ask your local religious organizations about scholarships 
  8. Start a family scholarship fund that allows family members to contribute funds.    Set limits on the amount of money a family member can request.
  9. Ask your employer about scholarships offered to children of employees.
  10. Ask your company’s credit union representative about scholarships that they offer to students.
  11. Enter writing/essay contests for college bound students. Look for opportunities in            magazines like the Writer’s Digest and others.
  12. Students can make a scholarship appeal on a local radio program and receive funding from their listeners.

If you implement these steps, you have the potential to uncover billions of dollars of hidden scholarships.  Dr. Stephen Jones is a nationally recognized speaker and author of “Seven Secrets of How to Study, offers 100 scholarship websites in his book.  You can send an e-mail to You can contact Dr. Jones free at 1-610-544-5480








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8 Rules for Selecting a College

During the senior year parents engage in the annual ritual and conversation about selecting a college. Today college cost is frequently at the top of the list of issues that parent’s must confront. Even today money should not be the only reason that you select a college for your student. Your student’s ability to live within the philosophy of a college can make a big difference in their success. Sure colleges can put up an advertisement and send you a mailing every week but there is nothing like visiting a campus and talking to the faculty and students who’ve made a commitment to a particular college. The truth is there are over 6,000 colleges that a student can select from and all change in size and mission. Some colleges are owned by your state, some private and others are community colleges.

There are eight rules that will help you to select a college that fits your needs. There are some simple rules that you can follow to reduce your stress. These practices will help you to make a reasonable decision about the top colleges that you select. Here are the 8 rules:

  1. When you go on a college tour always arrange a meeting with a faculty member and student.
  2. Always talk to the financial aid office after you have received their financial aid package.
  3. Attend a classroom lecture to get a sense of the class sizes.
  4. Check out what students are saying about the college on the internet.
  5. Ask if advising is mandatory or voluntary. Advisors can be a critical part of a student’s success.
  6. Ask if their professors teach classes or mostly teaching assistants.
  7. Ask how many students from your high school have attended the college. It could be a sign that your former classmates really liked the college.
  8. Take several friends with you and go on a campus tour together. Sometimes it is good to get more than one perspective on the college you are visiting.

It is never too early to start your college search process. Colleges are putting out all kinds of information every day. You can go on some college websites and download videos and podcasts about the college. Some colleges also offer website recordings of several aspects of the college. Some colleges even offer a virtual tour of their campus.

You should find ways to creatively engage in conversations with their students and alumni. You want to know how happy they are about their college experience. It’s even better when you can talk with students who are in a particular major. They can share their success and also talk about their challenges with their major. The beauty of a campus is not the only thing to consider. You want your son/daughter to have an enjoyable experience. Take the time to compare the colleges you have selected and what they offer.

Another thing that you can do is pick up a few books that the faculty has written. These writings will reveal their opinions and thoughts. It is a great way to know if the faculty is keeping up with current trends. Get started to day and you will have an easier time making a college decision that you won’t regret.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a nationally recognized author who has written the “Seven Secrets of How to Study.” “Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide,” and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide.  Get these books for your home right away.  You can contact him at 610-842-3843 and at or visit

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10 Terrible Mistakes new College Students Make

Every year millions of students go off to college with all kinds of hopes and dreams.  During their high school graduation they are told the future is bright.  As is common with any new experiences there are a lot of adjustments that students must make.  There are a lot of encounters with roommates and adjustments for different ways of living.  For example one student might be very accustomed to a clean room while the other likes to leave their clothes wherever they take them off.  This is a common occurrence on a college campus.  A good book for a college freshman is “Who Moved My Cheese” By Spencer Johnson.  There will be plenty of changes during the freshman year. The first year of college is a significant time when students grow and change emotionally and intellectually.  Here are a few mistakes college need to consider:                                   

  1. Regularly arrive to classes late during the first month

      2.Avoid tutoring because they already had the material during high school

  1. Study difficult subjects by themselves

      4. Avoid professors who encourage you to come to office hours for help

  1. Eat unhealthy meals gain 30 pounds and feel sluggish all of the time

      6. Avoid the resident assistant because they might ask how your classes are going

      7.  Only meet the faculty advisor when it is time to get the classes for next semester

      8. Never go to the lectures that are offered by your department

  1. Don’t participate in fun activities and sporting events on campus

     10. Never organize a study groups to study with


Attending college can be one of the most challenging experiences in life.  I have met many students in college who do not take advantage of services like tutoring and learning how to study from a counselor.  College should be a time of exploration where a student can find out many things about themselves.  A new student shouldn’t let other students tell them what to do when to have fun rather than study.  A first year student can have a challenging first year by failing to manage the number of activities that they are involved in.

Each student should allow their year to be a time of seeking new information about themselves and their career. They should not get distracted by those who tell them that college is too hard and you should drop out. If they are not exactly sure about their career they can take a career test at the college’s career center.  Sometimes just by talking to a company representative a student can identify some area of interest.  For example did many math majors are hired by an insurance company or finance company?  The freshman year is not too early to visit the career center. It may help the student to stay focused on their goal to graduate

Going to college is a great way to take the limits off of a student’s career possibilities. When a student meets professors in they are building a relationship that could last for four years.  There may be questions that your professor is willing to answer when a student is in their office. You can build a good reputation as a student who is serious about your major. Each student should challenge themselves to avoid the mistakes that will prevent them from having a good first year in college.  Make this freshman year a success by exploring all of your options and getting help when it is necessary. Dr Stephen Jones is education consultant author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study available at .


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