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Should you Prioritize your 4th Year High School Exams over College Entrance Tests?


Life certainly involves a lot of decision-making.  On one hand, taking and passing college entrance tests is part and parcel of applying to the college of your choice.  On the other hand, if you don’t focus on your high school exams, then you won’t be able to graduate from high school in the first place.  Seems like a Catch-22, doesn’t it?


Not really.  There’s actually a way out.


My wise high school Geometry teacher taught me something I never, ever forgot:  when faced with multiple obligations (such as exams), attack the most important and the most urgent ones first.  Once those are out of the way, deal with the important stuff that isn’t urgent, followed by the urgent but unimportant stuff, and finally, with the unimportant, not urgent stuff.


If you find that principle familiar, then you’ve probably read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I suspect my teacher quoted.  In any case, her point is clear:  put first things first.  That’s what winners do when they’re swamped with important things to do, seemingly all at the same time.  Take the time to pray and clear your head, and then plan your attack strategy.


Here’s a more concrete way to apply this principle:  grab a pen and paper and write down every single exam you need to take, including when you have to take them.  Sort them from earliest date to latest date.  The one that takes priority is the one that comes first chronologically.  Take it one test a time, one day a time.  Prepare as best you can, deal with the exam, then move on down your list of priorities until every test is complete.


Should you prioritize your 4th year high school exams over your college entrance tests?  No, but neither should you do the reverse.  Both tests are important, so treat them as such.  Put the first things first, and you’ll never regret it.


ps:  If worse comes to worst, keep in mind that doing great in your college entrance exams is more important than doing great in your 4th year highschool exams.  Your marks in your college entrance exams will affect the rest of your life and as long as you pass your 4th year highschool exams, these periodical tests will not have the same effect on your future.



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