From The Seniors, To The Underclassmen

Seniors Give Advice, Tips on Testing, College Preparation


Photo Illustration by Kaley Johnson

Seniors give their best best tips and advice for future test takers and college applicants.

Kaley Johnson, Reporter

As summer grows closer and seniors prepare to graduate, juniors start to wonder what’s in store for them during their next year. The SAT, ACT and other college preparation requirements can look overwhelming, but seniors have some tips and advice to make the process a little easier and a lot less stressful.

In terms of testing, seniors said to start preparing for testing earlier than one would expect. Senior Isabelle Thai, for example, recommends starting studying the summer before junior year.

“I mainly used study books and also attended more than a teacher classes,” Thai said. “The test prep class helped a lot and helped me learn ACT [and SAT] tricks and grammar rules I never knew before.”

The next step in the college process in narrowing down the top schools to send test scores, applications and essays. Senior Callie Copeland’s strategy for this was, a website which allows you to discover and learn about potential schools of your choice.

“I used to find schools that I liked and then went on the school’s website and found more information,” Copeland said. “There are so many schools in the United States, [and] especially Texas, so there is no shortage of schools to look up.”

Taylor Roberts, whose goal was to stay in Texas, was able to narrow it down with more specific ideas of what she wanted.

“I took some time at the beginning of my senior year to narrow down my top five colleges and submit all my applications before Christmas break,” Roberts said. “I narrowed them down by searching for all the schools in Texas that had my area of study. I plan to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio next year to study hospitality management.”

After testing and choosing ideal schools comes the bittersweet excitement of college applications and essays. Once again, the common theme of starting early and getting ahead of the game comes up in choosing colleges and turning in what needs to be done in time.

“I started preparing for college applications and essays in the summer going into my senior year,” Thai said. “I think it’s a smart move to start applications and essays especially before the school year starts because then you won’t be swamped with school work and college [stuff] at the same time.”

According to senior Kailey Olfers, avoiding procrastination is the most important tip she can give.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Olfers said. “It can be very stressful, [so] take it in strides. No matter what grade you’re in, every now and then, think about college. Don’t think ‘I’ll just worry about it my senior year,’ or else there is going to be a lot of pressure and unnecessary stress.”

Copeland’s key advice, on the other hand, is to keep an open mind about the future. She wants underclassmen to understand that nothing is set in stone yet.

“The best advice I could give is to not force things,” Copeland said. “If you’ve wanted to go to A&M your whole life, but there is a school in Arkansas that interests you, don’t keep your mind set. Really explore what schools are out there and what you are interested in. Don’t limit yourself.”