Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 6

Posted by Cole on 9/7/18 6:00 PM

Welcome to the very last article in this series! You’ve managed to read about MCAT strategies for 5 articles without having your head explode, so well done. In this last article, I want to leave you with a few more tips that I have yet to mention. These tips are just as helpful as the ones I have already talked about, so definitely give them a skim! As always, feel free to use them, ignore them entirely, or adapt them as you see fit. I tested a lot of strategies during the months I spent studying, some were great some, and many were not. So, let me give you the ones I found to be helpful.

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Tags: MCAT

Tutor Spotlight: Meet Héctor, MIT Postdoctoral Fellow

Posted by Martha C. on 9/5/18 8:02 PM

This week, we're spotlighting Héctor, one of our incredible postdoctoral fellows at MIT.

Héctor pursued a bachelor’s degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Puerto Rico where he was honored with the best undergraduate researcher award in biology for his research in a neuroscience lab. For his graduate studies, Héctor’s research focused on neuropharmacology; specifically, he studied a compound capable of protecting neurons from dying. He was awarded a PhD in 2015 from the University of Texas-Southwestern. Héctor is now a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, where he is trying to facilitate neuronal strengthening in the brain, with the ultimate goal of enhancing learning and memory.

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Tags: Tutor Spotlights

Three Ways to Build Good Vocab Habits for Standardized Tests

Posted by Abhi on 8/31/18 3:16 PM

When taking standardized tests, especially the SAT or GRE, people often struggle with memorizing enough words for the (often tricky) vocabulary sections. When it comes to vocabulary, unlike other parts of the test, you either know the word or you don’t. So how can you ensure you improve your vocabulary memory for the test? It’s all about building good habits!

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Tags: test anxiety, English, study skills

Mastering the SAT Subject Tests is Easier Than You Think! – Math Level 1

Posted by Alex O. on 8/29/18 5:34 PM

Whether you’re applying to a university with strict test requirements or you’d like to showcase your unique academic strengths on college applications, scoring well on the SAT Subject Tests can really help in the college admissions process. In this blog series, I’ll discuss some tips unique to individual Subject Tests in a variety of areas. This first post is on the Math Level 1 Subject Test, so let’s begin!

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Tags: math, math SAT subject test

How To Decide If You Should Pursue A Gap Year Before Graduate School

Posted by Grace H. on 8/27/18 3:39 PM

It is hard to imagine remaining a student after graduating from college, yet it is increasingly popular these days as the working field becomes more selective and applicants more experienced. Although most students are confident in their decision to pursue graduate school, there is uncertainty when deciding whether to pursue a gap year. As a current third year dental student, I was faced with the same options and felt conflicted because both sides have their fair share of pros and cons. Although I decided to start school immediately after graduating, taking a gap year would have been an equally fine choice and there ultimately is no wrong direction!

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Tags: graduate admissions

Taking Essays To The Next Level: How To Write In Your Own Voice

Posted by Zoe Balaconis on 8/24/18 4:59 PM

It’s not unusual to get an essay back from a teacher with the feedback, “write in your own voice,” scrawled across the top. But it’s easier said than done. Here you are, writing your own thoughts and your own opinions, all according to the directions of the assignment; how can it not be in your own voice? What your teacher is actually telling you is that your writing sounds too formulaic, too stilted, or too bland. Sure, you’ve learned how to write using proper grammar and you’ve learned how to formulate and format your thoughts into an essay, but now you need to take it to the next level. Don’t stick to the formula; write in your own voice. Here are a few tips for getting started.

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Tags: English, expository writing

How to Write a Successful Personal Statement

Posted by Grace H. on 8/22/18 9:31 AM

The personal statement is an integral part of a job or school application because it showcases the applicant’s personality in an intimate way. The resume is a list of objective accomplishments and successes that the applicant has earned, but the personal statement highlights passion and aspirations that cannot be listed in simple bullet points. Although the personal statement should further boost the applicant’s strengths and qualifications for the program, it should not be a summary of the resume. A successful personal statement is one that tells a story which ties the person’s history and life events to their current desires and future goals if accepted into their applied program. Although there is no cookie cutter approach to drafting the perfect personal statement, it should be a concise essay that gives specific anecdotes leading up to your desired career path, explains why you would be a good fit in this field and ultimately demonstrates your capacity to exceed at the position you are pursuing.

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Tags: college admssions, graduate admissions

3 Ways to Better Analyze Poetry

Posted by Tess on 8/20/18 6:23 PM

“Cikgu Tess!”
“Pagi.”
“Miss. Look lah.”
“Alyaa—why?”
“Girl’s bathroom,” she says. “Cikgu, you touch?”
Our state has the highest concentration of venomous snakes in the region.
“Is it poisonous?”
I mime the action of being bitten (by my hand) and then dying.
“Mm, don’t know.”

In 2017, I taught ESL, literature, and political science at a rural secondary school in a conservative, rice-paddy-laden state in northern Malaysia. To say the least, it was a year of questions.

This extended to my methodology as a teacher. Given Malaysia’s exam-centric educational system, I sought to help students develop Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Over the course of my grant, I refined an arsenal of questions that enabled students to improve their analyses and become active question-askers. 

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Tags: English, creative writing

7 Essential Tips for ANY Standardized Test

Posted by Zoe Balaconis on 8/15/18 6:56 PM

Whether you’re applying to college, graduate school, law school, medical school, or even some jobs, standardized tests are often part of the process. They can be intimidating, long, arduous, and confusing, but with some practice, you’ll learn how to overcome any test-taking anxiety and stay focused. Here are a few tips and tricks for going into a test calm and prepared.

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Tags: test anxiety, study skills, SAT, ACT, PSAT, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT

Things I Wish I Knew During My First Year in College: Four Tips To Follow As A Freshman

Posted by Grace H. on 8/13/18 6:10 PM

The transition from high school to college was inevitably one of the most challenging changes I have encountered, both intellectually and emotionally. I was two parts excited and one part anxious to experience an unfamiliar landscape and pursue whatever route I found most fitting for me. By the time I was a senior in high school, school was easy to master- I knew the best methods to study for each specific class, the useful resources for AP exams and the most receptive teachers to ask for recommendations. Entering college, however, was overwhelming because I had to start over and learn a new system. I did not know how to navigate the campus or choose the best courses because I did not have upperclassmen guiding me through the process. Here I want to share advice I wish I knew when entering college:

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Tags: college