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Jun/10

16

SAT Test Schedule 2010 – 2011

SAT Test Schedule 2010 - 2011

SAT Test Schedule 2010 - 2011

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May/10

19

Be Gracious

Well, you have most likely chosen the college you will be attending next fall. That’s great.
If you are lucky enough to have been in the position to have turned down some offers, be thankful- and gracious, to those schools you will not be attending.
Obviously, those you had to say “No thank you” to are great schools. After all, you chose to apply. And the admissions officials did a lot of work on your behalf: reading your application and essay, considering your future and your compatibility at their school. Someone cared about you and considered you a great candidate. So, thank them. Send a personal letter and address it to the admissions official who signed the acceptance letter to you. Let him or her know that you appreciate the consideration. And if the school has a survey, fill it in and honestly answer why you chose another school.
Who knows? Maybe a school you declined will be in your future. You may choose grad school there, or want to transfer. It is not only ensuring yourself a plan B, it is the right thing to do. You appreciated all the kind letters from the colleges that accepted you- be kind back.
All the best!
Lynn

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May/10

19

Choosing a College: Another Dilemma

Dilemma: Big school-Lots of fun OR Small school -Lots of attention
How to choose among the great schools that have accepted you?
It is not uncommon to go into college with great aspirations, only to change majors or, worse, drop out because you were unable to find the resources you needed to master the material.
There is a college for everyone- choose the one that is right for you.
A great campus with lots of fun and activities is a real draw, but if you have chosen major that will challenge you,or know that you are easily distracted, or need extra help from teachers to understand material, maybe the smaller school is for you. I have too frequently heard back from students who, because they were unable to keep sufficient grades, changed majors or changed colleges. There is nothing wrong with transferring, or changing majors when you realize that your original choice is no longer appealing. Just be sure that you are not abandoning your dream for your future in exchange for 4 years of fun.

I am not saying that you will get lost on all large campuses, or that every small campus will offer the attention and direction you need. Just keep your eyes on the prize- a degree, and know the resources available at the schools you are choosing among. Be pragmatic. Opportunities such as class size, professor to student ratio, work/study, internships and on-campus job recruiting matter. Position yourself for success.
The next four years will be amazing, and you will have life changing experiences. Just be sure that you are preparing yourself for a lifetime of excitement, stability, and job satisfaction, also.
All the best!
Lynn

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Apr/10

13

Colleges- Now it is time to choose

I have written before about my adventures helping my children choose a college. It is tough. There are so many choices, and so many factors. Now, my daughter K has 2 weeks to chose among some great schools and she is having a hard time. They all have her major and great programs- that was part of the criteria for applying. We did the revisits (in some cases the first visit! I’ll tell you about that another time!) and they all offer amazing opportunities. K. has narrowed it down to:
Size
She is thinking that for her major, which is math and science intensive, she would benefit from a lower professor to student ratio and also classes that are taught by professors with teaching assistants available. So far, this has meant smaller schools in the 4,000 to 6,000 undergrad range. In her case, physical size of the campus is not a big issue but she feels she may really need access to academic support.
Internships, Co-ops, On the job learning opportunities
K would like to have job experience at the undergraduate level to ensure that her major is right for her. Many schools offer some sort of job experience; however, some don’t.
Centralized campus with an interesting downtown.
K likes the idea of getting around by bicycle or by foot and avoiding long commutes. She wants to be able to visit the gym between classes and pop into town for an hour of downtime.
Happy students and administration
What impressed us most at the schools is considering is the social atmosphere. There is nothing like stopping into an administrative office and having your questions quickly and attentively answered, or stopping a random student and hearing her satisfaction. By the way, this happened at both public and private universities. We visited two large state schools: at the first, we got a run around and no satisfaction; the attitude of the office workers (without exception) was that they were just doing a job. At a neighboring state school, every administrator was pleasant, informative, and happy. That made one decision easy -nix school #1.
So, she is torn. But I know that whichever school she chooses she will be happy and well educated.
It is an exciting time! My advice: go to the place you want to live. K will be living in the school community for 4 years, in addition to being educated. Be where you want to be.
All the best!
Lynn

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Apr/10

8

SAT Test Time- Prepare to time yourself!

An email from Thursday, April 1 when scores were released.

Hi Lynn,
Well you have another success story….R’s scores:
Critical Reading: 680 (from 57)
MATH 600 (from 45)
Writing 620 (from 53)
R. felt she would have done a little better on the essay (she got an 8), but the proctor did not give them the 5 minute warning!
Thank you very much. R. is greatly relieved now.
K.

Be Prepared!
The scores are great- congratulations! Let’s focus on the proctor issue: Your proctor may forget to, or choose not to, give a 5 minute warning. What to do? Wear a watch. Practice writing the essay ahead of time so you know how to complete it in 25 minutes. Be ready for anything because R’s case was not an isolated event.
On test day you can
* Jot down the end time for each section so you can keep track on your watch.
* Use a silent alarm on your wristwatch that vibrates- set it to one minute before the end of a test section. So, if you are on a 25 minute section, set your timer for 24 minutes; set your timer for 19 minutes on a 20 minutes section- you get the picture.
*Use a countdown timer so you can see how many minutes remain rather than how many have gone by- much easier.
Don’t
* Count on the proctor to give a warning.
* Rely on the classroom clock- you may be unable to see it from where you sit.
* Worry too much if you run out of time on a section. Stay cool and do your best on the other sections.
All the best!
Lynn

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Mar/10

31

SAT IIs- When to take them

Question: Should my freshman son be taking the SAT II in Biology? He is just finishing up Bio 1.
Answer: No, he is not ready.
(Unless he is ready to learn Bio II before the test.)

The above question is one of many I get regarding the timing of SAT IIs.
You submit an SAT II score to show a college admissions board that you have mastered a subject. Some colleges require certain SAT II scores to determine your placement. In either case, mastery is rarely achieved in a beginning level course. This is not to say that an avid student might not score well, but that is usually with significant preparation beyond the basic material learned in class. SAT IIs are best taken after an advance course.
Here is a suggested timetable. Take the subject test as soon after completion of the course suggested. With all classes, take honors or AP if possible.

Foreign Languages: Language level 4
Sciences: Biology 2, Chemistry 2, Physics 2
Literature: AP Literature, English 3
Math Ic: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
Math IIc: Pre-Calculus, or Algebra 3 with Trigonometry
US History: US History 2 or US I and US Government
World History: World History

As with anything you do, you know yourself best, so if you truly feel you are ready, go ahead and take the test. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the test information and format first by checking out the free test questions on collegeboard.com. And remember, studying for these tests is a good idea- they are a way to show colleges what you know and a great score will definitely be an advantage when acceptance decisions are made.
All the best!
Lynn

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Mar/10

25

College graduates- Get a job!

A job is the place to see and to be seen. It does not have the be your dream job, your forever job, or even pay all the bills, but you need to get a job to begin your career and you can make it work for you.
Don’t just work. Go after your career choice the day after graduation.
If you are a recent college graduate, you already know that jobs are scarce. Scarce, yes. Non-existent? No. Get a job. Or volunteer. Be in the workplace. Show off your ability. Learn skills. Connect. You need to show a potential boss what you can do. Have a degree in education? Substitute or be an aide in the classroom- you may be tapped for the next teaching job when it becomes available. Volunteer: who would turn down your offer of free help a few hours a week? Go to a business you would like to get to know better and offer your services. Again- be professional- dress well, show up on time, work hard. Even if you are not in corporate America, your work ethic shows wherever you are seen.
Internships- a great opportunity but not the final destination.
If you are in college and get offered an internship, take it! But don’t be tempted to quit college or put off finishing your degree. When the job is exciting, and the money starts rolling in, its easy to think it will last forever. But remember, what you are making at 19 may not be enough for you at age 30. And if you don’t finish that degree, you will continue to get paid for the education level at which you stopped. A degree in necessary. That is why your employer chose you – an intern, someone seeking an education. Companies want college graduates- you are just lucky that they get to know you ahead of time so they will want you even more when you graduate. Then you will get paid what you are really worth! Stick with the plan- work hard, intern, graduate, and then the world is your oyster!
Taking yourself seriously is Job 1.
Don’t just work to pay the bills- work to move up. Dress for success, act like a responsible adult. You will get noticed by someone- your boss, a satisfied customer- someone who can offer you better. Hang in there and take yourself seriously. Your education is done for now and studies have shown that, in addition to a college degree, more years working mean more money later in life. Is it experience? Who knows? Get to work.

All the best!
Lynn

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Mar/10

24

Subject test: Maybe, maybe not.

The Subject tests are SAT IIs (“SAT 2s”), which test on specific topics such as math, languages, literature, biology, and more. No subject tests are given in March, and language with listening is only given on specific dates and requires special equipment. Visit collegeboard.com to see the exact schedule and take a free subject test. Many colleges do not require an SAT II.

Step 1: Know
Either your intended area of study or how selective your college choice may be. . .
Visit the website of a college you are interested in and click on admissions and then application process. Some may have it directly on that page, others may have you open a requirement grid because they request different tests for different majors. For instance, Cornell wants 1 and sometimes 2 subject tests; an engineering applicant needs one in Math and one in a science, whereas a Hotel Administration applicant needs only one in math.

Step 2: Plan
Recall that SAT IIs are administered on the same dates as SAT I (the one you take to apply to college), so you cannot take SAT I and SATII on the same day. Each SAT II takes 1 hour and you can take up to 3 on the same test date- that is a lot of focus and a lot of studying beforehand! If you are preparing for any AP tests, the best time to take an SAT II is May, the same week as the AP tests. Take the SAT II in the same subjects as your AP tests so you don’t have to double up your studying- Truly the best use of your time and effort. That means you can take the SAT I in June, and focus all your energy on that after AP’s are over and before exams bog you down. Or maybe October (last opportunity for early decision) or November of senior year is a better time so you can study over the summer.

Step 3: Prepare
Study! It is the best way to do well on a subject test. Get to know the format so when you get in there, you can show what you know.

All the best!
Lynn

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