Posts Tagged ‘college acceptance’

Standardized Tests: A Bit of Historical Perspective

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

From China to US

SAT Subject Tests

As we know, we live in a world of standards, from professional certifications to IQ tests. If you’re serious about entering the military, you have met the ASVAB. If you’re reading this and English isn’t your mother tongue, you’ll likely have encountered TOEFL. And of course, there’s the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, and on and on. These college assessment tests find themselves as part of a long tradition in the West, one originally imported from the East. (more…)

What Not to Write About in your College Essay, Part III

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Essay paper

Essay paper via Flickr: mrsdkrebs

Many college applicants write about someone who has influenced them, perhaps a relative, or a teacher, or someone they met through a community service program and built a friendship with. On the face of it, there’s no problem here. I mean, one of the essay choices on the Common App is “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.” So why is this on the “What Not to Write About” list? The reason it’s on here is that all too often, these essays end up being am amazing story about…someone else. Your great-grandmother started her own successful farm during the dust bowl, and ended up adopting twenty children and becoming a well-known landscape painter? Fabulous. I would love to hear that story. Unfortunately, however, your grandmother isn’t applying to college, so unless that essay is more about you than it is about her, it’s not much good to you. This isn’t so much a “don’t” as a warning—if you choose to write about someone who has had a significant influence on you, don’t forget the second half of the essay prompt—the “describe that influence” part. Make sure that the essay is about how knowing that person shaped you into the person you are today. (more…)

Do Colleges Look at Facebook?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Facebook logo

Almost all high school juniors find themselves asking this question, and wondering just how thorough an investigation are those college admissions officers going to do.

Surely they’re too busy to Google you, to look you up on Facebook, or to find your Twitter account, right? They’re busy people! The last thing they have time to do is look through your photos from homecoming, when things got a little messy, or notice that your last couple statuses were ragey rants about your math teacher…right? Can’t we just throw those rumors in the conspiracy theories pile, and forget about it? (more…)

Avoiding Senioritis

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

It’s springtime, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, you got into college, and your days as a high school senior are rapidly coming to a close. It IS time to celebrate, yes—you made it!—but it’s important to remember that high school isn’t over yet, and there are colleges that are keeping up with what you’re doing, and some that might want to see your end-of-year grades. While it’s true that the finish line is in sight, you’re not quite there yet, so here’s some motivation to stay on top of your academics:

cap and gown

cap and gown

  • Prepare Yourself for Next Year
    • You are going to college—it’s really happening. It’s going to be amazing, but there will also be more distractions than you could possibly imagine, and if you think staying on top of classwork is hard now…well, just wait. Use this time at the end of your high school career to build up your focus and fortitude, and succeed academically despite the distractions of senioritis (and the possibility that most of your friends have already checked out). If you go into next fall with this experience and skill under your belt, you’ll have a great foundation for keeping a good balance between work and play at college.

  • Pride
    • “We ain’t going out like that…” You’ve worked really hard to get to this point. Why stop now? Later on in life, you’ll be happy to saw things through to the finish line. When you join the working world, you may not have the liberty of “coasting” at the end of projects or deadlines, so it’s better not to get into the habit now. Plus, you’re better than that!
  • Legacy
    • How do you want people to remember you? Your teachers have impressions of you, hopefully good ones, which you’ve earned over the past four years. What do you want them to think and say about you after you leave? We had one student who scored amazingly well on her standardized tests, got great recommendations, and got into a ton of schools…and then became a disruptive force in class. Her teachers were extremely disappointed in her behavior and her tenure at her school ended on a down note. You owe it to yourself to leave on a high note, so hang in there—graduation is just around the corner!