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College Prep for Canadian Teens


College Student Studies

What can the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams teach Canadian teens about college prep? 

It takes hours to prepare for the SAT/ACT! American students prepare to write these gruelling exams as early as middle school! American teens often take prep courses and practise exams years in advance to ensure they get the highest mark possible. Canadian students don’t write entrance exams before university, which begs the question, are they missing on skills they might need down the road?

Beyond Good Grades

In Canada, university admission is based on grades. Teens need top marks to get into the school of their choosing. But, having great grades does not mean that teens have what it takes to succeed in college and university. There are many other factors that can determine whether a teen has the skills necessary to handle the demands of higher education. In fact, 14% of Canadian students do not continue past their freshman year. And, according to other studies, only 39% of bachelor’s degree students graduate within the expected duration of their program. Another 28% take another three years to graduate. [source]

Skills for Success, Lessons for Life

Since grades only indicate whether or not a student gets accepted to university and not if they will succeed, what other skills can indicate if a teen has the necessary stuff to succeed in higher education?

  1. Non-Cognitive Skills are becoming increasingly important to colleges and universities, especially grit, academic determination and dedication. Students who possess these non-cognitive skills tend to earn higher GPAs overall. Students with these qualities are more likely to attend classes regularly, remain focused and maintain steady academic performance.
  2. Learn about the Learning Process. Most students focus on learning to remember material for a test, rather than focusing on the learning process itself. Paying attention to the learning process and focusing on achieving mastery in a subject can is a key skill all students can develop and use in any learning situation. The ability to learn about a topic or subject independent of the teacher’s process is an invaluable skill.
  3. Accept failure as part of the learning process. Failure is a part of learning. While the idea of failing can seem scary, it helps students develop learning skills, boost their sense of determination, and build self-esteem. Failure is an opportunity to grow. While no student wants to get a bad mark, the skills students use to study for a test are, in the long run, more important than the result of a single test. Consistency and effort are habits that help students learn from setbacks and keep going forward.
  4. Develop Solid Study Skills. If there is one skill that American teens have as a result of preparing for the SAT and the ACT, it’s strong study skills. There are a lot of demands on students’ time in university. That’s why study skills, time management, and organization are key skills for success in college and university.

College Prep Success

Getting accepted into college or university is only the first step to post-secondary success. Students need to ensure that along with good grades, they have the skills necessary to continue to adapt to the changing demands of university. A good college prep and study skills course can help teens hone the skills that they will need in college. Oxford Learning’s Study Skills Tutoring ensures teens have the skills for success in college and university.

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