Academic Tutor: The Perks of Being an English Major (and a Drawback)

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 8/30/13 8:39 AM

 
Here at Cambridge Coaching (a company entirely run by former English or Comp Lit majors), we take a very dim view of the “good luck landing a job with that degree” brigade. You know who I mean: people who cannot so much as carry on a conversation with an English, History, Philosophy, or Psychology major, etc., without saying something like, “so what's it like living in a cardboard box under a bridge?” Today, I'd like to offer a retort to that (and one very significant caveat, something I wish someone had told me five or six years ago).
 
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English, Anthro, Psych, History, Philosophy, Art History, etc. I had a mathematician friend who used to group these disciplines as the “feelings majors.” It's a term my Philosophy-major-turned-International-Economist-for-the-US-Treasury fiancee and I still use, but it's, you know, our term. Of all the Feelings majors, one of the most popular, if not the most popular, is the B.A. in English, like the one held by yours truly. For that reason, it's become a shorthand for “unprofitable major.” And I won't lie to you—it's not all that easy to parlay a degree in English into a $65,000-per-year job with full benefits right out of school (unless you want to go into consulting, which is a proud recruiter of feelings majors because—believe it or not—communications skills actually count for something. But for consulting you have to be at least marginally functional in math, and have a high pain tolerance). But here's the thing:

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Tags: English, expository writing, literature SAT subject test

Standardized Test Preparation: The Literature Subject Test Part III

Posted by Manoah Finston on 6/10/13 9:37 AM

Hello faithful readers! I hope that the cliffhanger SAT II question I gave you last time hasn’t troubled you too much. But don’t worry, I’m back with the answers and explanations for our second example question concerning the analysis of the John Crowe Ransom poem “Blue Girls.” Here’s the poem again, and here’s the question we started working on in the last post: 

Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward 
Under the towers of your seminary, 
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary 
Without believing a word. 

Tie the white fillets then about your hair 
And think no more of what will come to pass 
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass 
And chattering on the air. 

Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail; 
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish 
Beauty which all our power shall never establish, 
It is so frail. 

For I could tell you a story which is true; 
I know a woman with a terrible tongue, 
Blear eyes fallen from blue, 
All her perfections tarnished -- yet it is not long 
Since she was lovelier than any of you. 

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Tags: literature SAT subject test

Standardized Test Prep: Advice from a Literature tutor for the SAT II

Posted by Manoah Finston on 6/6/13 9:01 AM

Hello faithful readers! The Writing Wizard is back with more guidance on how to crack the SAT-II Literature Subject Test. In my last post, I took you through a poem by John Crowe Ransom and then helped you deconstruct a literary analysis question based on that poem. Let’s return to the poem and attempt another question.

Be warned, however, that we’re not going to get through the whole question in just one post. I’m going to break the question up into two separate installments. Why, you ask? Well, I just love suspense, don’t you? Beyond the thrill of a good cliff-hanger, however, I’m doing this because I want to spend as much time on the question language as I do on the answer language. As you’ll soon see, success on this test involves reading every single word with the heightened attention of close reading.

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Tags: literature SAT subject test

SAT tutor: Close Readings and the Literature Subject Test

Posted by Manoah Finston on 6/4/13 9:17 AM

Hello dear readers! As promised, in this and in future posts, I’m going to share my wisdom as an SAT tutor, focus on the nitty gritty of the SAT-II Literature Subject Test, and show you how to approach the kinds of questions that students struggle with the most.

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Tags: expository writing, literature SAT subject test

Crunch Time for Advanced Placement and SAT Subject Tests

Posted by College Corner on 3/28/13 9:14 AM

So spring is definitely here, and we’re well into the time of year when you’ll be hearing plenty about the Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT Subject (SAT II) exams. 

You might be thinking that there’s very little difference between the two and that both test your knowledge of a specific subject or skill – and to an extent you’d be right.  But there are subtle differences in timing, in testing method, and in how you share these scores that our team of experienced standardized test tutors and academic tutors in New York City, in Boston, and online are ready to share with you all year round.

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Tags: study skills, math SAT subject test, literature SAT subject test, french sat subject test, chemistry SAT subject test, biology SAT subject test, AP exams

Standardized Test Prep: The SAT Subjects Tests vs. AP Exams

Posted by College Corner on 3/12/13 7:14 AM

In the spring, discussion of SAT subject tests and Advanced Placement exams is everywhere due to the masses of high school sophomores and juniors taking these tests. It’s common knowledge that these tests matter for college, but it’s not always clear how (and if) they impact the college admissions process, and what the differences really are.

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Tags: math SAT subject test, literature SAT subject test, french sat subject test, high school, chemistry SAT subject test, biology SAT subject test, AP exams, spanish SAT subject test, chinese SAT subject test

Expository Writing Tutor: The Literature SAT Subject Test

Posted by The Writing Wizard on 3/8/13 9:23 AM

Hello, faithful readers! The Writing Wizard is back with more sound advice for your development as writers and thinkers.

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Tags: literature SAT subject test, high school

SAT Tutor: Preparing for SAT Subject Tests

Posted by College Corner on 3/7/13 10:05 AM

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Tags: math SAT subject test, literature SAT subject test, french sat subject test, chemistry SAT subject test, biology SAT subject test, spanish SAT subject test, chinese SAT subject test

High School Academics: Signing up for SAT Subject Tests

Posted by College Corner on 2/22/13 10:58 AM

As you put together your application for college admissions, your goal is to demonstrate how you are a stellar applicant, and good scores SAT Subject Tests (also known as SAT IIs) can do just that.

Demonstrating intellectual breadth or intellectual depth are great ways to differentiate yourself from other high school seniors. However, before you sign up for the 20 sat subject tests available, take a second to weight the costs and benefits of sitting for the tests and think about which test(s) will best showcase your academic excellence. When you're thinking about which subject tests to take, consider your academic strengths. 

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Tags: math SAT subject test, SAT, literature SAT subject test, french sat subject test, chemistry SAT subject test, biology SAT subject test, spanish SAT subject test, chinese SAT subject test