Discovering the Ivy Canopied Underbrush

Published Tuesday, February 8, 2011 by Tarang

Pull up your stockings, juniors, because you’re going to be taking the SATs this year. But besides taking this life defining examination, you have to do some target practice as well. This means that it is time to start thinking about the schools you want to apply to for the fall. If your mind is set on red brick buildings, gabled roofs, and top-ranked names, you must be thinking about the Ivy League schools (or UCLA, the only red brick UC out there). Now as a Californian, you are familiar with certain Ivies such as… Continue Reading

What is the ACT?

Published Sunday, January 30, 2011 by Katie

The ACT is widely known as the substitute for the SAT. However, in regions such as the Bay Area, students tend to be more knowledgeable about the details of the SAT than those of the ACT. Indeed, in the state of California, more than 50% of students favor the SAT over the ACT. What, exactly, is the ACT? In short, it is a test comprised of five sections—English, math reading, science reasoning, and writing. Unlike the SAT, which has ten sections, all of which are required, the writing section on the ACT is optional. No… Continue Reading

A New Year…

Published Sunday, January 2, 2011 by Katie

New Year’s resolutions. Made every January 1st at 12:00 AM, they are goals that you strive to achieve over the following year. These resolutions can be anything—to earn straight As, to keep your room clean, or to try something new. However, since the January SAT is right around the corner, perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to attain a certain high score on this dreaded test. To help achieve your goals, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. Attend all your Excel classes. Excel instructors teach valuable tips that will increase… Continue Reading

SAT Score Distribution

Published Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by Katie

The SAT is widely used by colleges as a way to compare students’ academic aptitude. As a result, SAT takers nationwide seek higher scores both to prove their capabilities to college admissions boards and to out-compete their fellow test-takers. But how well does everyone else perform on the SAT? This past year, the CollegeBoard published the SAT percentile ranks for the 2010 college-bound seniors. Since these percentile distributions generally stay the same from year to year, the 2011 seniors and 2012 seniors will likely have similar score distributions. Below is a table showing this percentile… Continue Reading

The National Merit Scholarship Program

Published Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Katie

The results for the 2010 PSAT/NMSQT recently were released. For the approximately 3.5 million students across the United States that took the test this past October, one question will likely come to mind: “What next?” For the 1.6 million high school sophomores (and a few precocious seventh graders, eighth graders, and freshmen) who took the PSAT, the answer is to take the test again. Before junior year, the PSAT has little significance—it merely serves as practice. However, for the 1.5 million high school juniors that endured the grueling three-hour exam, the results of the PSAT/NMSQT… Continue Reading


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