Applying to College

  • How to Ace the SAT Essay: StraighterLine interviews Dr. Les Perelman

    Barry Lenson

    Les Perelman, Ph.D., recently retired after spending 26 years teaching writing at MIT. He is still affiliated with that institution, where he is now researching ways to improve students’ writing skills. Perelman is no fan of the SAT. He believes that the test’s writing section and essay are essentially useless – completely unable to help colleges identify students who can write well. You can get a sense of his views if you read Dr. Perelman’s Essay Writing Tips online, or Fooling the College Board, a post that Scott Jaschik wrote for Inside Higher Ed. Perelman was also interviewed for an article in The New York Times last April about how easy it is to fool the computerized essay-scoring software that is now being developed by the ...

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  • How to Write a Killer College Application Essay

    How to Write a Killer College Application Essay
    Barry Lenson

    In future posts, we’ll cover strategies for writing different kinds of essays – SAT essays, essays on tests, and more. Today, we’ll cover the college application essay. There are actually two kinds of college application essays . . . 1)      The writing sample that you include in the common application online. 2)      An essay that is required as part of the application for colleges where you are applying. Today, we’ll cover the second kind of essay. Here are some strategies to apply. Ready to get started? Sign up for a free trial today! First, understand why the college wants you to write an essay. The purpose of application essays is to determine what you would bring to the college community. That presen ...

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  • A College Checklist of Checklists

    Barry Lenson

    When my daughter was applying to college, she needed a checklist to keep track of her applications. College A required a supplemental essay in addition to the one that was on the Standard Application, for example, and College B wanted to see an actual term paper she had written. Without a checklist, who could keep track of that stuff? Then when she got into college, she needed checklists for stuff that she would have in her dorm room, for her clothes, for shampoo and goo, for computer peripherals. Details, details! That’s why it makes sense to create not just one college checklist, but a checklist of checklists that you will need as a college student. Complicated? Yes. But it might help, so here goes . . . Checklists You Need when ...

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  • What To Do If You Get Rejected from the College You Really Wanted to Attend

    Barry Lenson

    If you got accepted to the college of your choice via early admission in December, congratulations! You are probably kicking back and smiling while your friends are waiting anxiously for their acceptance letters to arrive in April. If you’re in that second category – sitting and waiting and waiting for your letters to arrive – I’d like to say congratulations too. Why congratulations? Simply because you have already done all the hard work. The standardized tests, tutoring sessions, essay-writing, asking for letters of recommendation – all that stuff is now in the past, and you are simply waiting for the good news to arrive. But let’s suppose, just suppose, that you’re feeling a little anxiety now. (I’ve been a college s ...

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  • Hottest Blog Posts of 2012

    Barry Lenson

    All the posts we publish on the StraighterLine Blog are masterpieces – of course! However, some are apparently more mastery than others. These posts are the best of 2012 and a few from 2011 that continue to be some of our readers favorites. CAREERS Your resume is your landing page.  In our electronic age, your resume will work harder for you if you think of it as your personal website and apply some of these strategies. Getting into College Made Easy: How to Write Your College Admissions Essay.  Are you nervous about writing your college admissions essay? Don’t be. It is actually simpler than you expect, if you follow this advice. How to Improve your SAT Score without Spending a Cent. In fairness, there are valid reason ...

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