Posts Tagged ‘SAT’

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…)

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.

Changes in The SAT Exam

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Father Daughter graduationOverview

The most important thing to keep in mind when researching and preparing for the new SAT Test is that you can definitely succeed even though the parameters have changed.  The SAT Test itself will be no more difficult than the previous SAT version, and although it seems like there are some big changes, many of the same study and preparation techniques will help you score your best.

Starting in 2016, high school students taking the SAT will have more options: (more…)

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…)

Standardized Testing in 2013: SAT vs. ACT

Monday, October 28th, 2013

PSAT and SAT Testing

The PSAT has passed, and Twitter is all a-flutter with recounts of passages regarding a farm animal and a Japanese man (watch it, btw!  Should you disclose any test material, you run the risk of the College Board taking action.  Not good.)  Scores are back in early December.

Meanwhile, the standardized testing process loiters down the pike at a massive fork in the road.  The path to the left will regress you to “diaper math” as you politically correctly reason your way through several sprints, and a somewhat predictable set of steps.  Apparently one can even sail through the essay by practicing some pre-figured formula.  Harumph.  I’d like to think you have more integrity than to engage in THAT scenario, right??… (more…)