A 5 Part Plan to Studying SAT Vocabulary

Posted by Chris Schlegel on 5/17/19 4:09 PM

Hello! My name is Chris S., and I’m an SAT tutor with Cambridge Coaching. I’m also a PhD student in American poetry at Harvard. Like Mac S., who’s written about vocabulary studying, I think it’s unhelpful to worry too much about the millions of novels, essays, poems, and new words that exist—those mountains upon mountains of text. Instead, I like to de-stress vocab through the reinforcement of good habits—little fixes to the big question of improving English proficiency.

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Tags: English

How to spend the summer before your high school senior year

Posted by Mallory on 5/15/19 8:36 PM

If you’re a high-school student right now, you’ve likely got two things on the brain: passing your finals and summer vacation. Hopefully, in that order. But summer vacation is no longer all fun and games. These days, there’s the expectation to fill June, July, and August with resume-building activities. Family vacations get replaced with company outings; chasing the ice-cream truck gets replaced with pursuing the Ivy League. And, if you’re lucky, your summer plans provide an experience worthy of (cue dramatic music) … the college essay. But a summer spent solely focused on college admissions? Lana Del Rey and I would consider that some serious “Summertime Sadness”.   

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Tags: college admissions, college

How do I get started studying for the SSAT?

Posted by Graham VS on 5/13/19 9:54 PM

Studying for the SSAT, like any other standardized test, has a cadence and flow to it.  One of the most common questions parents and students often ask me about the exam is “How do we get started?” The answer to this question, simple as it is, is never the same. Every student is unique – we all are! Each of us learns, retains, and applies information in different ways. While I may learn vocabulary best by reviewing stems lists, you may appreciate a deeper application of words in context.

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Tags: SSAT

Minding Your Ps and Qs on the LSAT: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

Posted by Nancy on 5/10/19 5:32 PM

If you’ve ever been told to “mind your Ps and Qs”, you know that the expression equates to being instructed to mind your manners. That is, of course, unless you’re studying for the LSAT, where Ps and Qs have nothing to do with being polite. In fact, seeing Ps and Qs may inspire some LSAT takers to feel particularly impolite: they generally signify a conditional reasoning problem, which can be stressful and confusing for those not familiar with how conditional reasoning works. However, with a little effort we can easily demystify the basics of conditional reasoning, so that you’re able to mind all types of Ps and Qs.

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Tags: LSAT

Step By Step GRE Practice Problems

Posted by Songhoon on 5/8/19 5:27 PM

I taught GRE and LSAT for several years at Pagoda Academy in Seoul, one of the largest test-prep companies in South Korea and during that time. I helped many Korean students who spoke English as a Second Language achieve significant improvements in scores thanks to shortcuts and techniques I developed (after 4 years of studying for the LSAT) to get a 99th percentile on the June 2016 LSAT (my 5th try). 

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Tags: GRE

Constructing and Communicating Your Narrative as a Medical School Applicant

Posted by Santiago on 5/3/19 5:22 PM

So, you've cleared the MCAT, aced your undergraduate courses, developed your extracurricular résumé, and have accomplished everything you wanted to before taking the next step in your career — it's time to apply to medical school. Premedical students will have surely heard at one time or another that their application ought to have some kind of narrative, but what does that mean? In concrete terms, the narrative of your application is the story told by the sum total of your application materials (not just the personal statement) and attempts to answer two questions in the minds of the admissions committee: first, why does this applicant want to go to medical school and, more importantly, why should our medical school admit this particular applicant? This often-overlooked component of the application can, in my opinion, turn a merely good candidate into an excellent one.

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Tags: MD/PhD admissions, MD

How to Write with Clarity and Brevity

Posted by Mike P. on 5/1/19 4:53 PM

1. Harshly criticize everything you write as you write it

Ask yourself: is this sentence necessary? Could it be five words instead of ten without losing meaning? Is a digression into something you find interesting useful, or a distraction?

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What Exactly is a Law School Outline?

Posted by William B on 4/29/19 5:55 PM

Pretty soon after you’ve arrived at law school, you’ll probably start hearing about “outlines” and “outlining.” Fellow students will ask when you’re going to start outlining for Torts or Contracts. The bar prep representatives will start trying to sell you outlines for your courses. High-quality outlines prepared by students in years past will become sought-after commodities.

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Tags: law school

It’s All Greek to Me—How to Build Vocabulary from the Ground Up

Posted by Claire C. on 4/24/19 8:26 AM

A meritorious lexicon is imperative for perspicacity. Or, in plain English, a good vocabulary is important for understanding things. It helps you in your education and your career—and, for our immediate purposes, on standardized tests.

But it can be tricky to memorize a slew of words you don’t understand, especially if you don’t see or hear them all that often. When’s the last time you said to a friend that something seemed, say, “diaphanous,” “multifarious,” or “truculent”? Beyond reading widely and memorizing flashcards with fancy words on them before bed each night, what can you do to increase your vocabulary? 

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Tags: English, expository writing

Tutor Spotlight: Meet Paul, Amazing Harvard PhD!

Posted by Martha C. on 4/22/19 8:37 AM

This week, we're spotlighting Paul, one of our Harvard PhDs.

Paul was born in Evanston, IL and grew up dreaming of being a cowboy. When he was informed the industry wasn’t what it used to be, he decided to change gears and pursue his other love: reading and writing. Paul attended Vassar College where he majored in Political Science and Africana Studies and graduating with honors in 2014. His thesis exploring the role of the gun in the settlement of South Africa and the United States was awarded the Paul Robeson prize. Upon graduating, Paul became a Maguire Fellow, allowing him to continue his interest in South Africa by pursuing a research project in Johannesburg. While in Johannesburg, Paul completed his M.A. in Anthropology with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand and received the John Blacking prize for his dissertation on the social life of home security technologies. Currently, he is a doctoral student in African and African American Studies at Harvard University with a primary field in Anthropology.

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Tags: Tutor Spotlights