Archive for April 2010
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:
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!
An email from Thursday, April 1 when scores were released.
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.
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.
* 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!