Sam Ashworth

Recent Posts

From Writing MFA Skeptic to the Belly of the Beast

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 5/6/15 11:08 AM

Confused about MFAs? You’re not alone.

I graduated from college in 2009, and immediately set about the business of becoming a writer. I wrote a novel. I rewrote it. I landed an agent. I rewrote the novel two more times. I found consistent work, first as a bartender (every writer needs a trade), then as a college admissions coach and writing tutor in New York and Boston, and lately I’ve moved into editing economic reports and proposals for the World Bank in DC, where I live now. I started reviewing books, at first for the free books, then, thanks to a charitably-minded editor at the TLS, for actual money (not a lot of it, but still money). I became, bit by bit, a working author. I started to feel less obligated to put the word “writer” in air quotes every time someone asked me what I did. And through it all, one question came up over and over. “What about an MFA?” And every time the answer was the same: “Forget it!” I even blogged stridently about it on this site a year and a half ago.

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Tags: creative writing, graduate school

The GRE Tutor: What Happens When a Tutor Takes the Test?

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 2/18/15 4:06 PM

Want to do well on the GRE? Rock your body as if Backstreet were back. 

A few weeks ago, I very suddenly made the decision to apply to graduate school. The swiftness of my decision surprised me, but not as much as my realization that because I was about to leave the country, I had exactly three days to prepare for the GRE. I was pretty cocky, though: after all, I’d been an SAT and GRE verbal tutor in NYC and Boston for almost a decade. Additionally, since I was applying to MFA programs in creative writing, I could pretty much punt on the quant section (and thank God, because I hadn’t done a math problem in 12 years). So how hard could this be?

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Tags: GRE

Application Consulting: Simplifying School Selection

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 7/18/14 10:01 AM

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Tags: college admissions, admissions coaching, summer activities

The GRE Tutor: The Unexpected Key to the Analyze an Argument Essay

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 6/24/14 10:26 AM

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Tags: GRE

Application Consulting: 4 Things You Need to Know About the Waitlist

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 5/30/14 9:28 AM

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Tags: college admissions

The SAT Tutor: Always Know How to Start

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 5/5/14 9:42 AM

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Tags: study skills, ACT, SAT

College Application Consultant: Should I Care About College Rankings?

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 3/14/14 9:13 AM

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Tags: college admissions

SAT Tutor: Why You Should Wear a Bathrobe on Test Day

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 3/7/14 9:31 AM

The first SAT of the Spring is coming up on Saturday, March 8.  As a service to our faithful readers, we are re-posting a classic blog from our archives, answering one of the most unexpected, yet important questions that comes up on Test Day morning: how do you dress for the SAT?

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Tags: SAT

The Writing Tutor: The Vital Importance of Writing Badly

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 2/21/14 9:03 AM

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing

SAT Tutor: What Is SAT Score Choice, and Should I Get It?

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 1/17/14 8:47 AM

 
 
At Cambridge Coaching, our SAT tutors in Boston and New York get the “What is Score Choice” question a lot, so today, we are offering our faithful readers a friendly PSA.  

Score Choice is an option the College Board makes available to its test-takers.  The basic idea behind it is that if students take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests multiple times, they can opt to choose one result that they will send to schools--otherwise, schools will automatically receive a score report with all the results.  The student then gets four free score reports.  On the surface of it, this seems useful: a student can take the test multiple times and hide all but the highest score from colleges.  

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Tags: SAT