Posts Tagged ‘college prep’

Finals Week

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

103060359_47Is it just me or do people overreact a little when it comes to final exams? I mean sure they’re important and all, but I’ve seen people take some pretty drastic measures as that joyous time of the year comes around. By all means study for them and try your best, but I’ve found there’s a line between obsessing with perfection and compromising mental health. Whether that’s due to the academic stress culture which is rampant on any college campus or not I can’t say, but I for one will not be cancelling my Netflix subscription over the next 4 weeks. Here are some tips for straddling this notoriously turbulent period of the college calendar: (more…)

The New SAT

Friday, March 20th, 2015


Coming to you in the spring of 2016: it’s new, it’s live, it’s terrifying… SAT returns in a whole new format! Bolt down the doors and stock up on cans of beans. Or don’t. You could probably do neither of those things and be fine taking the new SAT. Something tells me they haven’t gone power mad and decided to create the unattainable exam. What they’re actually doing is making a new model of testing that is more relevant than its predecessors. The new SAT will be an updated, improved version of its ancestors which can only mean good things for college applicants. (more…)

The Essential College Packing Checklist

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Girl with stack of booksIn the writing of this blog post I have endeavored to ascertain every want, need and arbitrary desire that could be thought of by a soon-to-be college student on the cusp of leaving home for the first days of college. I have examined weather, cultural particularities and anticipated hobbies to provide the most comprehensive checklist ever. Perhaps I exaggerate slightly… (more…)

First Days of the Semester

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
College girls

Students First Day

I pull up to the gate where I’ll be spending the next four years. As I turn the engine off an armada of students bearing college colors swarm the vehicle. In seconds all four doors and the boot are open and my stuff is being carried off. The thieves are smiling at me and shaking my hand as I try to gauge the situation. This is probably the most polite robbery I’ll ever experience. Then it clicks that they’re actually taking my stuff to my room and I can call off the police who are already on their way.

The first few days of college can be a lot like this. Not robbery per se, but a series of overwhelming encounters with thousands of new people, new college traditions, and, if you happen to be international like myself, a whole new culture to acquaint yourself with. Contrary to the above paragraph, moving in is generally a fairly relaxed process. People tend to lend their hands to their roommates and it’s the first time you’ll officially be meeting your new class. Settling down, however, can be a pain if you aren’t prepared.

Bringing the essentials with you is rule number one. Toiletries, laptop, writing materials and the extended director’s edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy are obvious and you probably already brought them with you. Figuring out your class schedule and buying the right books are another issue. Take time to discover which classes appeal to you most. DO NOT buy all your textbooks before arriving! If you walk into the classroom and the professor isn’t great/the workload is ridiculous/the final exam is 60% of the grade, it may not be the class for you. Try before you buy when it comes to class selection.

Attending any and all orientation events is also really useful. Not only may there be information on numbers to call for various emergencies (such as losing a room key at four in the morning which happens more often than you’d think) to contacting the student finance office, orientation is there to help you look after yourself in the best way.

Of course the main purpose of the first few days is to get you as acquainted as possible with how your college does things. But this is also the time when friendships are formed for life. Try not to tempt yourself into taking an extra few hours to sleep in and instead get out there and meet some incredibly diverse people. Sign up to a bunch of extracurricular activities you’ve never tried before and see if they’re for you. Measure the success of your first few days by how many people you’ve met and how cluttered your inbox is with bizarre extracurriculars.

The point is to really make the best use of your time over the first few weeks. They are the foundations on which your entire college career will be built. Meet people and try new things. You can’t go wrong.

Does the PSAT Count?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Preliminary SAT

Preliminary SAT

The Preliminary SAT or PSAT is a test administered by the College Board to juniors (and some sophomores) in October.  It is a test that officially marks the beginning of your SAT process and is a helpful diagnostic tool.  The PSAT contains the same kinds of questions you find on the SAT and therefore gives you a good sense of what the actual test is like.

The PSAT includes multiple-choice questions on vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, algebra, geometry, and numbers and operations.  It covered this material exactly as the SAT does, but with half the number of sections. (more…)