Posted: Friday, March 30th, 2012 | Filed under: Admissions Essay, College Admissions, college essay, college prep | author: By Teddy Bergman
Posted: Friday, March 23rd, 2012 | Filed under: ACT, choosing college, College acceptance, College Admissions, college education | author: By Teddy Bergman
What are some good tips to writing a successful school essay?
If you find yourself struggling with school essay assignments, and everyone does, there are some helpful guidelines you can follow to craft a successful essay. The first essay tip is simply to use all the time you are allotted. Most teachers will give you a few days to a week to work on a paper and you should use all that time. Your teacher is expecting you to. Even if that means only thinking about the assignment at the beginning, you need to begin the intellectual process of crafting an essay as soon as you are given the assignment.
Make one point in your essay. Every successful English paper or history paper is centered on a singular thesis. This isn’t to say you can articulate many ideas about a subject along the way, but the focus of your writing must be unitary for your ideas to cohere. Once you’ve boiled your ideas down to a singular, central thesis, you can begin to plan your essay.
As I just said, plan your essay. Don’t start writing an essay in blind – make an outline. Plan out everything you are going to say, in what order, and what supporting evidence you are going to use to back it up. You must chart the path of your argument to be sure you hit all your points in a coherent, logical flow. That way you can we sure your essay is as full as possible.
Make your essay as full as possible. Most assignments at school include a page expectation and you should aim for the maximum allowed. If an assignment expects a 5-8 page paper, deliver an 8 page paper. It’s a way you can show your teacher that you have fully developed an argument and maximized the allowed space to defend it.
Lastly, write multiple drafts. Only by editing and re-writing can you ensure that you are delivering a proof read, grammatically correct paper that is stylistically mature. All good writers edit their work intensely and create the most effective, clearest prose possible to persuade their readers of a particular thesis.
Posted: Friday, March 16th, 2012 | Filed under: College Admissions, college education, college life, college prep, Extracurricular activities, Healthy living | author: By Teddy Bergman
What is the right time to apply to college? Are there advantages and disadvantages to different times?
As students end their junior year of high school and begin to look around the corner to their senior year, the topic foremost on their minds tends to be college. Within that, students and parents are undergoing the process of creating and editing a college list. Over the course of college visits, reading brochures, talking to friends, college counselors, and family, students are forming an idea of the kind of school they want to attend. Then comes the decision of applying to college early or not.
There are two kinds of early decision options open to applicants in the college process. One is early decision, which requires a student to submit his or her application around November 1st of his or her senior year. The student will then usually be notified by December15th whether the college accepted, rejected or deferred them to regular decision. There are a couple of big advantages to early decision. The first is that the acceptance rate tends to be higher in this round than in the regular decision round.
The second is that if you are accepted your college process is over. Early decision is binding, meaning that if you are accepted you must attend that school. This is also the disadvantage of this option, as you must be absolutely certain about the school to which you are applying.
Another admission option is early action, which operates in the same way as early decision except for the fact that admission is non-binding. You can be accepted to a school via early admission, and still apply to other schools and ultimately attend another college if you choose. The draw back to early admission is that the acceptance rate is not as high as early decision.
Finally, you can apply via regular decision. The application will be due by January 1st and you will find out in the spring. You can apply to as many schools as you would like and the acceptance rates are what they are depending on the school. There is no right answer to the question of when you should apply to colleges, it really all depends on how certain you are in your choice of school. If you feel like you need time and options, go ahead and wait to apply in the regular decision round.
Posted: Friday, March 9th, 2012 | Filed under: SAT, SAT exam, SAT grading, SAT scoring | author: By Teddy Bergman
Does eating healthy help me in the admissions and testing process?
The short answer to this question is yes. In the doldrums of Junior year when you are burdened with SAT test prep, college visits, and a mountain of school-work keeping yourself healthy is essential.
Plan your meals regularly. Be sure to get a good breakfast. Many people find they have little appetite in the morning but its vital to get something in your system. You will find yourself more awake for first period classes and SAT work. It also serves to get your metabolism moving. Be sure that your meals also are filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. This nutrient and energy rich diet will keep you healthy and energized.
A regular exercise routine is also vital in this time. Countless studies have shown the positive effect of vigorous physical exercise on mental acuity and SAT Testing. The short of it is, your mind is sharp when your body is active. You are more engaged and your creative and analytic centers get aided by the rush of endorphins triggered when you exercise.
Exercise and diet both are forms of self-discipline, which is key in this time of your life. Only by keeping regular habits, and holding yourself accountable can you achieve all that you deserve in your junior year. Practicing these habits is a significant piece in the larger puzzle of staying on task and pushing ahead. Your focus will be richly rewarded at the other end, when you are accepted to college and able to enjoy the fruits of you labor at the end of senior year.
Posted: Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 | Filed under: ACT, ACT exam, ACT grading, ACT strategies | author: By Teddy Bergman
Should I take the SAT again? When do I know if I am done?
Taking the SAT
The SAT exam is a long and arduous process and one which most people feel can’t end soon enough. After long hours of study, countless mock tests, and the stress of the unknown, retaking the SAT can seem like the absolute last thing you want to do. Once you’ve received your SAT scores you have a choice to make. Am I satisfied with how it went or do I want another crack at the test?
The answer to this question is different for everyone and depends on how you performed and the kind of school you want to attend. The SAT score you need is the one that will get you in the running for the school that you want to attend. If you’ve reached that mark, then go ahead and call it a day. If not, you may want to reconsider retaking the SAT. Especially if you feel that you didn’t reach your goal due to careless errors.
Most students take the SAT multiple times, and it is in no way a mark of shame or failure to take the test more than once. It’s part of the SAT process. Another wonderful thing that taking the SAT test multiple times allows you to do is to take advantage of Super Scoring.
Super Scoring is a process that many admissions officers take where they compile your best sectional scores from different SAT exams into one Super Score. If your best Math score occurred the first time you took the SAT test when you got a 650, but your best Reading and Writing scores occurred when you took the SAT test again and got a 700, and 590 respectively, an admissions officer will award you a Super Score of 1940. In this way, taking the test again is a great asset in the admissions process.
When should I guess on an ACT question? What do I do when I am stuck on a question?
The ACT exam presents a large challenge to any student, no matter how competent or accomplished in the classroom they might be. Although not quite the same length as the SAT, the ACT exam still takes over 3 hours at the minimum and features hundreds of questions. The ACT tests you on Trigonometry, Grammar, Rhetoric, Scientific Reasoning, Vocabulary, and Literary Interpretation among other topics. Needless to say, you won’t know the answer to every ACT question.
The question then becomes, what do you do when you encounter a question on the ACT exam that you can’t answer. The ACT is scored by granting a point for each correct answer and by granting no points for each omitted OR incorrect answer choice. This means that it is always worth guessing on the ACT exam because there is effectively no difference between a wrong answer and an omission.
This is certainly an advantage that the ACT has over the SAT, but it’s one that should be used wisely. You still need a guessing strategy on the ACT. Most ACT questions feature five answer choices, either “A” through “E”, or “F” through “K”. The answers to the questions are customarily distributed evenly over all the answer choices. So in the case where you are really making a blind guess, always choose the same letter. In fact, it’s a good idea to designate that letter before you even walk into the ACT exam so you don’t have to spend valuable time thinking about which letter to choose. By always choosing, say A and F, you are guaranteeing that you will get twenty percent of your blind guesses correct on the ACT exam.