Posted: Friday, December 30th, 2011 | Filed under: high school entrance exams, SHSAT, Specialized High School Admissions Test | author: By Teddy Bergman
Posted: Friday, December 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: choosing college, College acceptance, college education | author: By Teddy Bergman
What is the SHSAT? Should I take it?
The SHSAT, or Specialized High School Admissions Test, is administered by the Department of Education in New York. It is a test specially crafted to pick out students who are uniquely suited to attend New York’s specialized public high schools.
The seven schools that the SHSAT covers are: Bronx High School of Science; Brooklyn Technical High School; High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College; High School for American Studies at Lehman College; Queens High School for Sciences at York College; and Stuyvesant High School. This unique group of schools promises a top flight education, generally with a strong focus on math and Sciences.
If a student and parent feel that one of these schools would be a good match, they should register to take the test with their middle school’s guidance counselor, and list the specialized high schools they’d like to attend in order of preference. The SHSAT itself is a timed multiple-choice test with two sections – verbal and math – that must be completed in a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes.
In the first section of SHSAT, students demonstrate their verbal reasoning and reading comprehension by ordering sentences to form a coherent paragraph, answering questions of logical reasoning, and analyzing and interpreting texts. In the second section of the SHSAT, students demonstrate their math skills by answering computational and word questions that require arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics, geometry, and trigonometry (on the Grade 9 test only).
Finally, once a student completes the SHSAT the results are reported as scaled scores. Scaled scores are based on the number of questions that the student answered correctly, combined with the difficulty level of the questions. Students receive scaled scores for the verbal and mathematics sections of the test, which are added together to make their SHSAT composite score. After those scores are released to the schools in March, students and their parents may review the results of their SHSAT examination by requesting an appointment with a Department of Education assessment specialist.
After the SHSAT scores are released, students are ranked according to their scores on the SHSAT, and then assigned to a school depending on that rank, the priority in which they placed schools and the seats available at each specialized high school.
Posted: Friday, December 16th, 2011 | Filed under: choosing college, College Admissions, college education | author: By Teddy Bergman
How do I find the college that’s the best fit for me? How do I know when I’ve found it?
College Admissions is a daunting process. All of the test taking, application writing, transcript sending, and recommendation culling can feel overwhelming. Parents and Students can begin to part of an arbitrary machine and alienated from the essence of the college admissions process – finding the best college for you or your child to spend the next four years.
The first thing to remember in the college admissions process is that there is no singular college for you. The U.S. is blessed to have so may top flight schools, so many of which contain exactly what you are looking for. Don’t get trapped in the mindset that there is only one place for you. Be open minded.
The second thing to know is that there is no substitute for actually visiting schools in the college admissions process. Actually being on campus, sitting in on classes, and spending time in the library or local coffee shop gives you an invariably deeper sense of the school as a potential home. Visiting a school allows you to check in with your gut and know if this is a place you could see yourself or your child attending.
Talk to students. Although many people in the college admissions office and through the college admissions process will be able to give you valuable advice about a school, no group is a better litmus test than actual students. The perspective of people currently enrolled provides invaluable evidence of what the “on the ground” perspective of peers is. Listen carefully and think wisely.
Lastly, have fun! College is amazing. You are about to enter four of the most exciting years of your life and you should feel thrilled. Allow yourself to be a kid in a candy shop and imagine your ideal future!
Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2011 | Filed under: College acceptance, Law exam, law school prep | author: By Teddy Bergman
As everyone knows, 2011 is a trying time for the economy. The business sector of the country is experiencing little to no growth, the market is low, and, as a result, unemployment is soaring. It’s a daunting time for anyone, with a college degree or not, to enter the job market.
In many ways, the culture of unemployment has created a backlash against getting a college education. Many recent college graduates, like many others, are struggling to find jobs, and feel as if they wasted four years of time and tuition. While this frustration is understandable, it is also mislead and misplaced.
College is a time when a student is expected to devote themselves fully to their intellectual and personal development. College is four years all about you. After being immersed in this environment and getting a college degree, it can be stark and shocking to struggle out in the “real world”. However, this does not mean getting a college degree was not worth it, far from it.
In the highly competitive job market of 2011, a college degree is essential to securing serious employment – the kind of employment that can grow and expand into a fulfilling and lucrative career. At this point, there are many candidates saturating the market and competing for a limited number of opportunities and a college degree is often the base level of training expected for potential hires.
Now, of course, this is not true for EVERY field. If you want to pursue something more vocational, like being a chef, apprenticing or enrolling in a training program may make more sense than pursuing a college degree. However, if you are serious about a career in any major field of business, science, law, communications, or the arts you’ll need a college degree.
Deciding on a graduate degree is a daunting task. In the ultra competitive job market of 2011 many people find that after a college degree is not sufficient for the level of work and compensation that they are seeking. Graduate degrees (Law School included) offer a focused training and provide the expertise that yield upper level job opportunities. However, the very process of narrowing one’s focus can be anxiety producing for someone who feels that their strengths could be suited to multiple opportunities.
If you feel like this describes you, a Law Degree may be just the answer. The study of Law both provides the training for multiple career avenues and renders you extremely hire-able in the short term. If you are interested in Public Policy, Management, Sports, Entertainment, and Politics (and the list goes on) a Law degree can open up doors, and provide you with the critical thinking training to excel. If you go to law school, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will end up a lawyer; however, that is also always an option for you.
In addition to the professional benefits of the degree, law school is a wonderful training ground for the mind. The fundamentals of argument, critical analysis, ethics and assessment make up the core of the law education. However, Law School and the rigorous, black and white admissions process that accompanies it are not for everyone.
Entry into Law School is a numbers game as candidates are judged heavily on their score on the LSAT. Once admitted, students are ranked in their law class according to grades which are almost solely based upon students’ performance on comprehensive final exams. All of this is even before facing the Bar Exam. If this kind of educational atmosphere gives you nightmares, then Law School may not be the road for you. As in any education and professional path, fit is not universal, and you should be honest with yourself before you even attempt the law school application process.