Your brain is a muscle. Exercise it.

Published Friday, August 20, 2010 by Dave

Yes, Excel classes are long, but the SAT is longer. One of the things the SAT tests you on is your ability to focus for long periods of time. If you haven’t built up your mental stamina before sitting for the test, all the tips and tricks in the world aren’t going to help very much (But your three-hour Excel classes will!). Here’s an aggregated list of the best advice I’ve found by googling things like “mental stamina,” “improve concentration” and “brain muscle”. Eat right. A diet that consists of “good fats” (yes, there is… Continue Reading

2400 = $10,000

Published Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Dave

Rishi Sharma is all smiles. You would be too if you just learned you got a 2400 on the SAT, more so if your score earned you a $1,000 Excel Scholarship. But the real reason Rishi is smiling is because his parents agreed to lend him $10,000 to invest (and keep what he earns) if he got a perfect score; quite an incentive for someone who plans to study economics. We asked the St. Francis High School senior a few questions about how he prepared for the test and what advice he might have for… Continue Reading

4 Perspectives on Admissions

Published Wednesday, July 14, 2010 by Dave

This great Q&A session from the New York Times brings together the deans of admissions from four universities: University of Texas at Austin, Lawrence University, in Wisconsin, Yale University, and California’s own Pomona College (voted Best Classroom Experience by Princeton Review and Best College Value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance). It’s an excellent quick-reference guide for both future undergrads and parents, helping demystify the admissions process. Some of their answers are surprising. A few samples… I’ll save some of the best for after the jump, including how your skills as a bassoonist might be your ticket… Continue Reading

The writer who couldn’t read

Published Thursday, June 24, 2010 by Dave

You think you have a difficult time with Critical Reading passages? Be lucky you don’t suffer the same problem as popular crime novelist Howard Engel.

Drawing on time

Published Tuesday, June 15, 2010 by Dave

Philip Zimbardo is Professor Emeritus of psychology at Stanford University. In this super cool ‘animated’ video he conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world. No, this has nothing to do with the SAT. It’s just way insightful. Yes, though, there is a common thread between this post and the last: “We are underestimating the power of technology in re-wiring young people’s brains.” You gotta watch to at least 8 mins… Continue Reading


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