Read this and re-wire your brain!

Published Friday, June 4, 2010 by Dave

Nicholas Carr is an author whose most recent book is called The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. It’s based on an article he wrote in 2008 that catapulted him to fame (author fame, at least). That article, Is Google Making us Stupid?, is a must-read for anyone who has spent time wondering if surfing the web is affecting our ability to immerse ourselves in a book or lengthy article. Carr’s answer: It most certainly is. Surfing the internet, he says, has profound implications on our critical reading capacity. Yes, Critical Reading…… Continue Reading

Up to Stanford’s standards?

Published Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Dave

The second installment in our school SAT stats series is Stanford. That’s a lot of S’s, but getting in requires a lot of A’s. Or so you’d think. You’ll see at the bottom of this post that 53% of applicants to the 2009 freshman class had a GPA of 4.0 or above and 10% of them were accepted. In fact, the data suggest that GPA maybe isn’t the criteria given the most weight. The data below are for last year’s incoming freshman — data for the incoming 2010 freshman class aren’t available yet — but… Continue Reading

Study vocabulary with Quizlet

Published Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by Dave

If you’re not familiar with Quizlet you should be; it’s an awesome online community for creating and sharing flashcards … and a great way to memorize vocabulary. “Ugh,” you say? You’d rather study alone than join some community of geeks? The choice is yours. But as an incentive, you’ll find all of Excel’s SAT vocabulary list there, broken into sets of 40 words each. You can study them using games like Scatter and Space Race, or download them to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android (nobody carries a Palm anymore). Now are you interested? It… Continue Reading

UC and you

Published Monday, May 24, 2010 by Dave

University of California schools are among the most popular with Excel students (and a lot of other students, too). Some 134,000 high school seniors and transfer students applied for Fall 2010 admission. Freshman applicants applied to an average of 3.5 campuses. What does it take to get accepted at one? UC provides a snapshot (pdf) of some of the more important factors, including a breakdown of SAT scores. Since that’s the reason you’re reading this blog, I’ve clipped in that information below. GPA rankings follow it. While test scores are of course important, they’re not… Continue Reading

Study help ‘at hand’

Published Saturday, May 22, 2010 by Dave

Here’s something to do with your smartphone that will make you smarter. There are a number of apps that make excellent study aids. I’ve road tested several and found a few that are great for memorizing vocabulary and more. For iPhone or iPod Touch users, Flashcard Touch is a study game-changer. This simple application allows you to create your own flashcards or, even better, download sets of flashcards from Quizlet, the online flashcard-sharing community. Imagine being able to carry Excel’s list of SAT vocabulary words everywhere you go! Now you can.* It costs $4.99 and… Continue Reading


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