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Sally E.'s Resources

Blogs

As parents of rising seniors plan standardized testing schedules for the summer and fall, one very important standardized test for most highly selective colleges sometimes gets forgotten: the SAT Subject Tests.  The majority of the nation's highly selective colleges and universities require or strongly encourage students to take 2-3 of these tests to demonstrate their subject knowledge.  The... read more

Blogs

Given all the publicity around the new SAT, families need to be aware that it is NOT being implemented immediately.  If your child is currently a rising senior, he/she will still be taking the old SAT this summer or next fall.  I will update my profile to reflect New SAT when it becomes an issue, but for the coming testing season, the SAT we all know and either love or hate is still... read more

Blogs

Please examine the evidence for yourself at http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/to-remember-a-lecture-better-take-notes-by-hand/361478/.  However, the upshot is that, while I'm a big advocate for technology in many things, for some reason, handwriting seems to be a better retention tool than typed notes for most students.  (Though I myself had great success in... read more

Blogs

The College Board has revealed the nature of long-suspected changes to the SAT.  Please note that this new-format test will NOT be given until 2016.  So if you're on here right now looking for SAT prep, you're probably still taking the old test.  Students who are currently freshmen will be taking the new test for the first time in their junior year, assuming normal patterns of taking... read more

Blogs

One topic on college choice that hasn't been discussed on this blog is out-of-state public colleges.  This can be tricky territory.   On the one hand, there are a small number of extraordinary public colleges at which you can get a top-tier education.  Some of the University of California campuses (especially Berkeley and UCLA), the University of Michigan, or some colleges... read more

Blogs

One thing for students and parents to think about, when planning how much foreign language to include on a high school transcript, is that the AP test in Latin is not the only possible standardized test which can be a capstone experience and show linguistic achievement to colleges in a commonly-agreed-upon way.  I would advise students to also strongly consider taking the SAT II in Latin,... read more

Answers

Unless you have some serious mitigating circumstance (economic or family), then if you aren't at least in the upper end of the 600's then Harvard probably isn't a realistic choice.  700's are really preferable for schools that selective.  That said, holistic schools like Harvard will give...

Blogs

Yes, test stress is definitely an issue, and I don't want to be accused of adding to it.  However, in the spirit of cold, hard reality, this article from the Wall Street Journal on use of SAT scores by employers deserves some attention.  Whether you agree with this or not (and the HR department at Google has clearly decided to disagree, for example), there are still many big corporate... read more

Blogs

This is an awkward place in the financial aid process.  As I've mentioned before, for a student capable of attending a top-tier private institution with a huge financial aid budget, this is often the best option financially, even beating state systems in many cases when the cost of room and board is considered.  However, for students in the high-middle and middle, the private v. public... read more

Blogs

I've said this before on this blog, but it's useful to see it reflected in a purely financial source such as The Motley Fool.  If you have the ability to get in, an elite university is probably the most cost-effective college choice you can make.  It usually outranks state universities in actual out-of-pocket costs, except for children of affluent parents.  So if you are a high... read more

Blogs

Though admissions filing season for 4-year colleges is over for the coming school year, it's tax time, and so for parents of juniors, that means that it's the ideal time to start thinking about financial aid down the road.  To be blunt, you want to look as poor as is legally possible at FAFSA time.  It's a lot like tax time.  However, there are legal strategies for keeping assets... read more

Blogs

For all students applying to college, even though your regular applications are likely done at this point for traditional four-year institutions, there's still one critical piece that may not be: the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  You can complete it online at https://fafsa.ed.gov.   The FAFSA is relatively easy, and, to be blunt, in most cases your parents... read more

Blogs

Please consider following this link to learn about the growing trend in "need-aware" rather than "need-blind" admissions.  This may be a factor for you or your child if you are applying to a private school that is not hugely wealthy, particularly if it is a stretch school rather than a place where your child is probably a top applicant.   For truly exceptional... read more

Blogs

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/education/online-application-woes-make-students-anxious-and-put-colleges-behind-schedule.html?src=rechp&_r=0   If the problems with Common App software are affecting you or your child, perhaps the easiest way to do an end run around it is. . .don't use Common App.  Elite colleges all have their own application forms as well, and with more... read more

Answers

I don't know your age, but if you continue to be interested in issues such as this, consider taking some Latin (in college, possibly?)  Since Latin does not replicate English's maddening habit of using the same forms for gerund and participle, this all starts to make more sense through the...

Answers

In addition, one useful thing to know is that this is cultural.  Specifically American formal English avoids the passive voice in most circumstances.  British formal English still uses it frequently, and Canadian usage can be in the middle.  I saw an excellent blog article on this...

Blogs

One topic which can be transformational for students preparing for standardized testing, especially logical-mathematical students who are underperforming on the writing SAT, is formally learning English grammar.  A large proportion of writing MC questions in particular focus on the sequence of tenses, and tense sequence errors or unintentional tense shifts can greatly harm submitted writing... read more

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