Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » College Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:57:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » College Admissions http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://blog.accepted.com/category/college-admissions/ 6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2014/08/10/6-tips-for-getting-started-on-your-application-essays-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/08/10/6-tips-for-getting-started-on-your-application-essays-2/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:35:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24494 ]]> Sit down, think, and start writing!

Sit down, think, and start writing!

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a personal statement or application essay for college or grad school is finding the discipline to sit down and focus. Often, once you accomplish that, the ideas begin to form and the words begin to flow. The following 6 tips will help motivate you to start writing, and then to continue writing until you’ve got some solid material for a compelling essay.

1. Words beget more words. Here’s an important concept to think about when it comes to getting started – one word leads to another. Once you BEGIN writing, your brain will begin to generate ideas that will inspire you to CONTINUE writing. So even if you don’t think you have anything to say, just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Set a timer for 10 minutes and don’t stop writing until the timer dings. I guarantee that when the buzzer goes off, SOME idea will have surfaced.

2. Write now, edit later. Do NOT get bogged down in the editorial details of your essay during the early writing stages. Now is the time to simply get your ideas out on paper (or computer screen). Write as you think – in fragments, in run-on sentences, or in vivid descriptions of images as they pass before your mind’s eye. Work on making them sound good later on.

3. Use details. During the brainstorming phase of your writing, as well as later on when you’re clarifying your work, you’re going to want to include details that will engage your reader. Think about what attracts someone to a good book – is it boring summaries and abstractions, or a few descriptions of people and places or specific dialog?

4. Include meaning. Description is key, but if you don’t internalize (and then show that you’ve internalized) the MEANING of the scene you’ve described, then the adcoms won’t care much about it. What do your experiences say about YOU?

5. Prove impact. Now that you’ve expressed what your experiences say about your qualifications or characteristics, it’s time to explain how those traits and strengths will contribute to your class. You’ve proven that you are a leader; how do you plan on using those skills?

6. Have faith.
 Maybe you’ve hit a wall and feel like you’ll never spin your ideas into a coherent essay. Have faith – the writing process takes time. Take a break and then return to your computer with a clear mind and a positive attitude to begin the brainstorming process from scratch.

Now, sit down, think, and start writing! Good luck!

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18 SAT Lifehacks [An Awesome Infographic] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/08/08/18-sat-lifehacks-an-awesome-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/08/08/18-sat-lifehacks-an-awesome-infographic/#respond Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:04:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24598 ]]> Thanks to our friends at Magoosh SAT for putting together this SAT lifehack infographic to make sure you safely avoid any test-day nightmares. Take some time to browse this list of SAT prep lifehacks and master the 18 unexpected tips you’ll need for a higher SAT score!

SAT Lifehacks: 18 Unexpected Tips for a Higher SAT Score

Good luck!

 

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Career Direction: It’s Ok to Love Your Job! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/31/career-direction-its-ok-to-love-your-job/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/31/career-direction-its-ok-to-love-your-job/#respond Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:12:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24502 ]]> Click here to listen to the show!Don’t want to wake up at age 45 wondering why you’ve wasted your life pursuing an uninspiring and meaningless career?

Listen to the recording of our conversation with expert career coach, Akiba Smith-Francis, for essential advice on choosing a career path and laying the foundations for long-term fulfillment and success at work.

00:02:27 – Akiba’s journey from brand management to career coaching.

00:04:34 – The anatomy of bad advice (and some good advice to counter it).

00:16:53 – Tips for finding meaningful and enjoyable work.

00:22:57 – I want to follow my passion… but it has no market value. What should I do?

00:25:45 – How to get off the treadmill – even if you’ve been running since pre-school.

00:30:49 – Good networking: what it is and how to do it.

00:36:02 – Are all graduate school leadership development programs created equal?

00:39:51 – Advice for a young person figuring out a career path.
Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Services Section
• Akiba Smith-Francis on LinkedIn 
• 
Stepping Off the Path

Related Shows:

The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management
• Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster 
• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl 
• Goal Setting, Job Searching, and Sweet Careers 
• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers 

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How can you show the adcom that you will be a leader in the future? Click here to find out!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/31/career-direction-its-ok-to-love-your-job/feed/ 0 career changers,career goals,podcast Don’t want to wake up at age 45 wondering why you’ve wasted your life pursuing an uninspiring and meaningless career? - Listen to the recording of our conversation with expert career coach, Akiba Smith-Francis, Don’t want to wake up at age 45 wondering why you’ve wasted your life pursuing an uninspiring and meaningless career? Listen to the recording of our conversation with expert career coach, Akiba Smith-Francis, for essential advice on choosing a career path and laying the foundations for long-term fulfillment and success at work. 00:02:27 – Akiba’s journey from brand management to career coaching. 00:04:34 – The anatomy of bad advice (and some good advice to counter it). 00:16:53 – Tips for finding meaningful and enjoyable work. 00:22:57 – I want to follow my passion… but it has no market value. What should I do? 00:25:45 – How to get off the treadmill – even if you’ve been running since pre-school. 00:30:49 – Good networking: what it is and how to do it. 00:36:02 – Are all graduate school leadership development programs created equal? 00:39:51 – Advice for a young person figuring out a career path. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Services Section • Akiba Smith-Francis on LinkedIn  • Stepping Off the Path Related Shows: • The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management • Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster  • Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl  • Goal Setting, Job Searching, and Sweet Careers  • From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke • Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 45:23
What Score Do You Need on the TOEFL? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/29/what-score-do-you-need-on-the-toefl/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/29/what-score-do-you-need-on-the-toefl/#respond Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:58:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24479 ]]> If you’re an international student applying to the U.S., you’ve probably asked yourself this question: what TOEFL score do I need to get in? You might have heard that making it to the 100’s will guarantee you admission, but you’ve also had friends who reached that score and were turned down from schools. Confused yet? We’d be too!

But before you give up hope, our friends at Magoosh TOEFL have good news for you! They’ve just released a new infographic that shows what TOEFL sores you’ll need to get into top graduate schools in the U.S. It’s based off their research on the minimum scores required at top schools as well as what other students at those schools score on average. That means you now have a place to start and a goal to aim for when you decide to take the TOEFL. Cue sigh of relief!

TOEFL Scores Infographic

 

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Meet the Guy Who Passed 60 out of 61 Case Interviews (You Can Too!) http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/24/meet-the-guy-who-passed-60-out-of-61-case-interviews-you-can-too/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/24/meet-the-guy-who-passed-60-out-of-61-case-interviews-you-can-too/#respond Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:07:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24405 ]]> No time like the present to revisit one of our most popular admissions episodes of all time!

If you missed it the first time around, stop whatever you are doing and listen to our interview with Victor Cheng, former consultant and interviewer at McKinsey and author of Case Interview Secrets.

Click here to listen to the show!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting, Accepted’s free guide to b-schools for management consultant wannabes. 
• Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng
• 
Case Interview.com 
• Which B-Schools Send Grads Into Consulting?

Related Shows:

• How to Become a Management Consultant
• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• The Facts about Financial Services

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Are you a future management consultant? Learn how to research & identify the best MBA programs to apply to!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/24/meet-the-guy-who-passed-60-out-of-61-case-interviews-you-can-too/feed/ 0 Management Consulting,podcast No time like the present to revisit one of our most popular admissions episodes of all time! - If you missed it the first time around, stop whatever you are doing and listen to our interview with Victor Cheng, No time like the present to revisit one of our most popular admissions episodes of all time! If you missed it the first time around, stop whatever you are doing and listen to our interview with Victor Cheng, former consultant and interviewer at McKinsey and author of Case Interview Secrets. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting, Accepted’s free guide to b-schools for management consultant wannabes.  • Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng • Case Interview.com  • Which B-Schools Send Grads Into Consulting? Related Shows: • How to Become a Management Consultant • An Inside Look at INSEAD • The Facts about Financial Services Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 34:26
The Biggest Application Essay Mistake [Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/the-biggest-application-essay-mistake-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/the-biggest-application-essay-mistake-video/#respond Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:54:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24261 ]]> What is the very worst thing you could possibly do in your application essays? Watch Linda’s answer and add your own comments below:

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USC Lets Students Fast Track to Law School http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/usc-lets-students-fast-track-to-law-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/usc-lets-students-fast-track-to-law-school/#respond Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:07:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24196 ]]> Need law school admissions advice?

The country’s second-largest legal market.

Last week USC announced the launch of its new 3+3 program which will allow select USC students to begin law school (at USC’s Gould School of Law) during their senior year. The program lasts a total of six years – three years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. Students apply to the program during their junior year; if accepted they’ll enroll in law school the following year and then receive their bachelor’s degree upon completion of that year. Then, two years later, they’ll receive their law degree.

To apply to the program, students must have:

 • A minimum GPA of 3.8.
 • Completed the coursework for their majors by junior year.
 • Strong faculty recommendations, writing samples, and a personal statement.
 • An interview.

The LSAT is not required for admission to the program.

“The 3+3 program will enable the best USC undergraduates to stay at USC for law school and take advantage of being in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest legal market,” says USC Gould’s associate dean for admissions and financial aid, Chloe Reid. “It is a highly selective program for those students who can tackle the rigors of academic life at one of the country’s leading law schools. Students who are set on the legal profession will find these aspects very appealing.”

See the USC press release for more details.

View our catalog of law school admissions consulting and editing services for more information on how we can help YOU get accepted!

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6 Ways to Save More Money Once School Starts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/6-ways-to-save-more-money-once-school-starts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/6-ways-to-save-more-money-once-school-starts/#respond Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:34:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24165 ]]> Check out our College 101 Tips!

If you don’t have a university debit card, don’t sign up for one.

If you’ve opted to attend an in-state school or get your core courses knocked out at a community college, you’re well on your way to cutting the cost of your education. Once the semester begins, however, expenses can really add up, and it’s easy to stray from a frugal mindset. Thankfully, there are plenty of money-saving opportunities at your disposal and taking advantage of all of them is in your best short- and long-term interest. To learn how to cut your costs after you crack open that first textbook, read on.

1. Resell Textbooks
If you bought your textbooks online from eBay or Amazon to save money, congrats. Once the semester is done, or even a few days before, be sure to list those textbooks for sale to get some of your money back. Check out eBay and Amazon for details on pricing, and if you don’t like what you see check a local storefront in your area where you may be able to get a better deal. Competition is high, so the sooner you get your textbooks listed the better off you’re going to be.

2. Make Full Use of Your Student ID Card
Your student ID card is good for free sporting events, lectures, and even concerts and discounts at local eateries and shops – so be sure to make full use of it. If you take in a hockey game for free one Friday night instead of bar-hopping with your friends, you could save yourself $50 or more. Anytime you reach for your wallet off-campus, be sure to ask if there’s a student discount for the purchase you’re about to make. Often, there is.

3. Get a Job
Most students don’t consider working during school because of the time commitment required for studies. If you manage your schedule well, though, you can certainly find the room to take on a part-time job. For all those hours you’re working, you won’t be out spending money. Check in with your campus employment office or do a targeted search on a career website like SimplyHired. Search using the keyword “part-time,” and include your location. There should be plenty of positions available either on or near campus, and you might be able to walk to work.

4. Get Stuff for Free
Did you know that there are plenty of computer software titles available for free download at the website CNET? You also don’t need to pay for antivirus software because the programs Avast and AVG give you all the protection you need. If you’re looking for a couch to round out your dorm room, skip the local furniture outlet and check out Freecycle or Craigslist. You can get countless items for free – you just have to know where to look.

5. Find Low-Cost Entertainment
Instead of heading to the movie theater where you might drop $30 or more, invite some friends over for Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, or another classic board game like Pictionary. You can find them at a local retailer like Target for about $15, or at thrift stores for just $1 or $2 – just make sure all the game cards and pieces are still in the box. Also, think about joining an intramural sports league where your out-of-pocket costs are low and you can improve your health at the same time.

6. Cut Up the University Debit Card
If you don’t have a university debit card, don’t sign up for one. If you do, cut it up. The pros are far outweighed by the cons. It typically comes with hefty withdrawal and transfer fees. Also, since these cards are often linked to your financial aid, it can be far too easy to blow that money on unimportant purchases. Avoid temptation entirely and rely on cash for your time in school.

Final Thoughts
College is typically a four-year stretch, and the money decisions you make during that time go a long way toward shaping your finances post-graduation. If you enter the workforce with a boatload of student loan debt, it becomes that much harder to start setting aside for other important financial considerations, like retirement savings, a down payment for a home, and an emergency fund. Do your best to shave costs during school and you’re going to thank yourself once that first paycheck comes in.

What are your plans for saving money during school?

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

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 Tom Bailey writes about money saving strategies, including ways to cut college expenses and survive as a student.

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3 Mistakes Successful College Applicants Don’t Make http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/3-mistakes-successful-college-applicants-dont-make/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/3-mistakes-successful-college-applicants-dont-make/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:42:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24019 ]]> Successful college applicants don't blow off senior year!

Successful college applicants don’t blow off senior year!

The preparation for successful college application does not happen overnight. In fact, it is the culmination of years of work throughout high school. The most successful college applicants take a number of components into consideration as they approach the application process. Here are three mistakes they don’t make:

1. Blow off essay responses. They know a strong GPA and test scores are not enough. They invest time and thought in their essay responses and they don’t wait until the last minute to submit their applications. They keep deadlines in mind. They request letters of recommendation in a timely manner to allow a teacher/counselor time to reflect before writing a recommendation. They use their essays as an opportunity to demonstrate their specific interests, life experience, and aspirations not just to repeat information found elsewhere in their application. They share something that helps fill in the overall picture of who they are and how they can contribute to the overall college environment.

2. Neglect to consider appropriate college fit. Their initial list might begin with colleges that family members or friends recommend but it doesn’t stop there. They apply to a range of schools that are a good fit for them- they include fallback and dream school options. They invest time to research which schools are the best fits for them on many levels (consider: size of student population, distance from home, financial obligations, academic interests, special programs, alumni ties). They use on-line resources to provide information and insight into the sorts of programs and activities available at a college. They schedule campus tours and reach out to college counselors whenever possible. They speak with current students and recent graduates. They ask their tour guides/hosts questions about how they selected a specific college and about experiences at the college that matched their expectations, as well as, what they might do anything differently in hindsight. Successful applicants can articulate why each school they apply to is a good fit for them.

3. Take it easy in senior year. They take a rigorous curriculum throughout high school, demonstrate an upward trend in academic demands, and maintain extracurricular involvement with increasing leadership responsibility. They don’t blow off senior year. Yes, of course they have fun but they keep future goals in mind as well. They make sure to stay on top of assignments and prepare well for exams.

Although this discussion seems logical, nonetheless, these are common oversights. Successful college applicants don’t make these mistakes.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.
Marie Todd By Accepted college admissions consultant who has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; and Taubman College of Architecture. She is available to assist your child with his or her applications.

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What if I Need to Retake the SAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/what-if-i-need-to-retake-the-sat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/what-if-i-need-to-retake-the-sat/#respond Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:02:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24032 ]]> Need College Admissions Tips?

SAT: Take 2 (or 3 or 4)

Some treat taking the SAT over again as though it were the same thing as walking down the aisle to take one’s marriage vows for the second time. If stigma should be attached anywhere, it should be on not re-taking the SAT—a second time, third time, and a fourth time. I’m not saying become an SAT test-taking junkie. Rather, you should feel utterly at ease with retaking the SAT. Here’s why!

1. Colleges only see the scores you decide to send them

The colleges aren’t like Big Brother (the all-knowing presence from Orwell’s 1984). That is, they won’t know your scores unless you submit them. You have the option of doing so, for free, during the test. However, you can also send them any time after the test (for a small fee). Unless, you send a specific college your score report, it will never know what you got.

2. You can send your best score in any one section

You can pick and choose your best performance, section-wise, from any test. So your total score can come from as many as three different tests.

Let’s say you scored 750 in math and were surprised at how well you did. However, you bombed the verbal because you didn’t study vocab. For the next test, you go into agro vocab mode and you end up with an amazing 680 on verbal (but you end up doing not so well on math and writing). On a third take you could just focus on the writing section and essay so as to get your best score. If you don’t do so well on the third test, take it again.

3. Knowing that you can retake the SAT multiple times should make it less stressful

All of this is good news because it makes taking the SAT much less stressful. So even if you think taking the test four times is ludicrous, because, hey, you have better things to do with your Saturday, that’s fine. Knowing that you can retake the test will, if nothing else, make the experience a little less stressful.

4. Just because you take the SAT again doesn’t mean you’ll do better

It’s important to note that taking the SAT again doesn’t mean you’re going to score better. Only retake the test if you feel you’ve prepped more than before and are going into the test with more knowledge and better strategies. You might also want to use different prep materials than you did the first time around. For suggestions, check out the Magoosh book reviews in our SAT eBook.

5. There is more to life than taking the SAT

For those of you at the very other end of the spectrum—those who know you can and should retake the test—don’t keep doing so just for those extra few points. There are other things that colleges look at—things you could be doing instead of learning more esoteric SAT vocabulary (do you really need to know the difference between the words “venal” and “venial”?). Volunteering at a hospital, working on that special talent, or studying for one of the SAT subject tests (I know—it’s hard to truly get away from the SAT) might make you seem a little more well-rounded.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Magoosh SAT This post was written by Chris Lele, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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Happy July 4th! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/04/happy-july-4th/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/04/happy-july-4th/#respond Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:34:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24047 ]]> Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accetped Team!

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New Consultant Spotlight: Marie Todd http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/new-consultant-spotlight-marie-todd/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/new-consultant-spotlight-marie-todd/#respond Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:09:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24008 ]]> Marie ToddClick here to check out Marie's bio or to get in touch!, one of Accepted’s new admissions consultants, has worn many hats in her career in higher education: She’s worked as an instructor, an academic advisor, and an undergraduate admissions specialist. She has evaluated over 5000 applications as an application reader for various undergraduate programs at the University of Michigan. She has a deep understanding of the way admissions readers make their decisions, along with the mentoring skills to help your high school student present him or herself through the college application.

Marie can help your child choose the most appropriate schools to apply to and then mentor your child through the application process. With Marie’s exceptional higher ed experience, she is well equipped to guide your son or daughter on the journey to higher education.

BONUS: Marie brings her unique training in communications and technology to the Accepted.com table. She’s done extensive research on the use of digital portfolios to showcase the work of students and applicants.

Want to get to know Marie better? Check out her full profile here.

CheckOutMarie'sProfile

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Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: Senior Year http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-senior-year/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-senior-year/#respond Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:57:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23590 ]]> Check out the rest of the Getting Ready to Apply to College Series!

Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application.

In this final segment of our new series Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: A Four Part Series for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, I offer tips to high school seniors.

Accepted.com can help bring out your best in your applications and my colleagues and I are here to help.

Tips for High School Seniors

1. Create a spreadsheet that includes all of your school choices and your “to do” list like writing essays, supplements, gathering transcripts (many schools use a service like parchment.com and I have found this service to provide an easy and high quality solution needed to expedite transcripts).  Note all the deadlines and to which schools you are applying for Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision.

2. Use the summer to complete the more tedious parts of the Common Application. It will reopen the summer before you begin your senior year.   Narrow down your school choices if you haven’t done so already.

3. Calendar time to apply to the UC system schools, if those schools are on your short-list. The University of California Application will open on October 1 and they give you a very small window to apply to the schools (November 1-November 30) but you can apply to many schools with the one application.  Each school also has its own supplements, so build the time you need to complete the applications.

4. Prepare and schedule time to apply to schools outside the UC system and schools that do not use the Common App. Note the schools that don’t subscribe to the common app and make certain that you are prepared to apply to these schools directly.

5. Build in 3-4 hours a week to work on your applications.  Most of my clients begin with their common application essay.  Remember that this essay will be read by all the common app schools to which you apply, and you won’t be able to reuse its contents in your supplemental essays.

6. Brainstorm essay concepts with someone whose judgment you trust: a parent, a teacher, a counselor, a consultant, or a family friend whose writing you admire.  I don’t suggest using your peers for this exercise.  If you pushed your boundaries in prior years, you will have good material to write about.  You need to believe that you are an interesting person and that the admissions director would want to have a 5-course meal with you, not just a 5-minute conversation.

7. Outline your essays and begin to write.  Ask for feedback.  Have someone look at your application and essays for editing, typos, grammar, and sentence structure.  When you are satisfied with the outcome, make sure you upload clean copies of your essays into the application.  Continue this process until you have completed all your applications.  Early applications are due in September or October and Regular Decisions are due in January.  Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application.

8. Make certain everything on the application is complete before you submit.

9. Check and recheck with your recommenders to make certain they have submitted their reference.
Retake the SAT or ACT, if necessary, before you submit your application.

10. Continue your good study habits and your leadership at school.  Universities will ask for a mid-term report before rendering a final decision.

Your decisions will begin to roll in and you will be on your way to a new journey that will likely be the best four years of your life.

Good luck!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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Top 10 Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/26/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/26/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:32:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23840 ]]> Think you need a grad degree to rake in the big bucks? Not if you’re lucky enough to land a job after graduating from one of the schools on the list below! A recent Forbes article pooled data from a survey released by NerdScholar.

Looking for college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

Note: The list here only includes schools that released their salary data to NerdScholar. This is why schools like Yale, Harvard, and Brown are missing from the list. Also, to put things in perspective, there are more than 4,500 degree-granting colleges in the U.S., and NerdScholar only received data for 184 schools within 57 different institutions.

For those schools that didn’t provide salary info, NerdScholar still tracks their graduates using other data – for example, what percent of the class is employed, what percent goes on to grad school, and what sorts of careers students are choosing.

You can use this tool (here) to compare these sorts of stats at different programs. It’s a lot of fun to sift and compare results, and NerdScholar argues that this school-provided data is more reliable than the self-reported data presented by the students to salary sites like PayScale.

See the Forbes article for the full list of 50 schools, as well as an explanation on the methodology used in this ranking.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Accepted.com

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Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: Junior Year http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/24/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-junior-year/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/24/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-junior-year/#respond Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:47:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23585 ]]> Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders - click here for your free copy!

Schools use the junior year as a cornerstone for your academic achievement. Now is the time to excel.

In the third post of our new series Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: A Four Part Series for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, I offer tips to high school juniors.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to gain admission into the country’s elite schools, knowing how to navigate the system should become important for you.

Tips for High School Juniors

1. Continue to take AP courses and tests.  Schools use the junior year as a cornerstone for your academic achievement.  Now is the time to excel.

2. Decide whether to take the SAT (and for some schools, SAT subject tests) or the ACT with writing and get assistance in preparing for these tests.  You will take them in your junior year, but you will have another opportunity to take the test in the summer.  You must be diligent in practicing for these exams outside of preparation classes or tutoring sessions.  Work with your peers or faculty through problems you don’t understand.  Practice tests will show you your weaknesses and it will be up to you to find the appropriate means to strengthen those weaknesses.  Most universities accept both the ACT and the SAT, but consider your top schools and make sure that the test you choose is a test they evaluate.

3. Ask 2-4 teachers if they can write you an outstanding recommendation.  Most schools require two teachers, but if you plan to apply to 20 schools, you are putting a lot of burden on those teachers.  Split it up and give them less of a work load.

4. Take on more leadership or get involved in something you care deeply about.  Schools are looking to see that you can push your own boundaries and always strive to achieve your best.

5. Begin to think about your place in the world and what you hope to achieve.

6. Use your winter and spring breaks to visit schools.  Attend school visits to your city.  Talk with alumni, current students (most schools have ambassadors that live in your city).  Get to know your regional admissions officer and make sure you are top of mind as an intelligent leader and team player.  Let them know your passions.  Follow up with all correspondence to everyone connected with the schools of your choice.

7. Narrow down your school list.  You should have some stretch schools 2-3, some match schools 5-7 and some safety schools 2-3.  If you are not sure how to narrow down your search, Accepted.com can assist you with this task.

8. Clean up all potentially negative social media. If it doesn’t reflect well on you, it could hurt your chances of acceptance.

9. Look for summer work that will not only give you extra spending money, but also opportunities to learn more about a field that interests you.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders
Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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ACT, SAT, PSAT…What’s the Difference? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/22/act-sat-psatwhats-the-difference/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/22/act-sat-psatwhats-the-difference/#respond Sun, 22 Jun 2014 15:05:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23677 ]]> Applying to college? Make sure your application essays don't contain any of the 5 fatal flaws!

One of the most important elements of every standardized test you’ll ever take is the time pressure.

When we compare standardized tests to each other, there are usually two points of view that people take: either they’re all the same, or you have to prepare for each one separately. The truth—surprise, surprise—is actually somewhere between those two ideas. But that’s boring to write about (who actually likes compromising, anyway?), so I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to argue a point that might be a bit surprising coming from a test prep tutor. It’s one that I don’t wholly believe, to be fair, but it’s worth consideration.

All Standardized Tests Are Basically the Same

That’s right. You can talk about the SAT vs. ACT or the PSAT vs. SAT all you want—how the ACT math involves harder topics, how the SAT cares more about rare vocabulary words, etc.—and decide to take one or the other based on your preferences, but you’d really be talking about small differences and ignoring the enormous similarities between the two. Nobody ever lists the ways the two tests are similar, but maybe they should.

The Content Is the Same

No matter which test you’re looking at, it includes math, reading comprehension, grammar, and an essay. Every test includes at least something more than those four subject, and if you start looking outside of the high-school level tests, some don’t include all four, but still, they’re are at the heart of the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Come to think of it, reading comprehension is actually on every single test I know of, including the dental school admissions test (there’s a test for everything, you know).

But those are pretty broad terms, right? After all, “math” can mean addition or it can mean integral calculus. So you might think that the specifics of each test can be pretty drastically different, but they aren’t. For example, most tests’ math sections, including the SAT and ACT, focus pretty heavily on number properties, algebra, basic geometry, and data analysis. Even if there’s a sprinkling of trigonometry or a dash of combinatorics, the real meat of a math section will based on the fundamentals. And the other broad subjects, such as reading comprehension, are also built on common sets of underlying skills.

The Format Is the Same

Because every standardized test is taken by many, many people, they can’t all be graded by hand. And computer grading means, pretty much without fail, multiple choice questions.

So it’s not only the content of the tests, but also the format. There are only so many ways you can ask a grammar question in multiple choice form. One of the easiest is to highlight a section of text with an error, then give some possible ways to correct that error. The PSAT, SAT, and ACT all have that type of question.

The fact is that most types of questions on either test are also on the other test. There aren’t that many ways to get creative when testing the same basic knowledge and skills with multiple choice questions.

The Timing Is the Same

I really can’t emphasize this one enough. One of the most important elements of every standardized test you’ll ever take is the time pressure. You know how many people say “I’m just not a great test-taker” or something similar? Well, that’s mostly about the clock. The way you react to the feeling of taking a test can hugely affect your scores. All tests bring this up in pretty much the same way. It’s not just about how good you are at math, but also about how confident you are, how calm you are, your breathing, your posture, and your focus.

Whether you score in the 50th percentile (higher than 50% of test-takers) or the 70th might be largely about based on how comfortable you are taking the test.

Back to Reality

Like I said at the start of this, they’re not really identical. There are some notable differences between the tests, sure. Don’t study only the PSAT if you’re going to take the ACT soon, of course. But on the other hand, they’re so similar in so many ways, it’d be wrong to treat them as entirely separate creatures. Most of the features of any one standardized test you take will be the same as another test you have taken or will take one day. And that’s a good thing, actually, because we get better at taking them with experience.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Magoosh SAT This post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: Sophomore Year http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/17/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-sophomore-year/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/17/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-sophomore-year/#respond Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:28:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23581 ]]> Check out our special report Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders.

It is time to answer some questions about what kind of school you’d like to attend.

In this second post of our new Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: A Four Part Series for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and SeniorsI offer tips to high school sophomores.  This year is a pivotal year for high school students and an important year for admissions directors.

Tips for High School Sophomores

1. Continue to take AP courses and then take the test at the end of the course. Applying to college with 6-8 AP courses and tests behind you can knock almost an entire year of college off your college requirements. You would begin university as a freshman, but to the university, based on the number of credits you bring in, you could be considered a sophomore. This option alone will enable you to save thousands of dollars in tuition or take lighter loads in college enabling you to work or get involved in extracurricular and community service activities that will help you in your job search and also when applying to graduate school.

2. Get to know your administrators.  The Principal or Headmaster, Vice Principals and Counselors can be wonderful advocates for you.  They may be willing to go the extra mile and write a letter of recommendation for you.  I am certain that one of my client’s was admitted off the waitlist to her favorite school because of her Principal’s letter extolling her leadership, intelligence and relating the admiration of her peers and faculty.

3. Study for and take the PSAT.  Most students believe the PSAT is just a practice test for the SAT, but it is so much more. The PSAT is also called the NMSQT because this test can qualify you for a National Merit Scholarship, the National Achievement Scholarship, the National Hispanic Recognition Program or a number of Corporate Scholarships.  Note that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation does require its scholarship recipients to be U.S. citizens.

4. Begin thinking about the kind of school you would like to attend:

• Large, medium or small
• City, rural, campus or suburban
• College or university or community
• Specified or all-encompassing
• Public or private
• In-state or out-of state
• Historically Black College, faith-based, All-female
• Ask seniors where they are attending school and why they chose the school that they chose.
• Is having a Greek (fraternity or sorority) presence important to you?
• Is living in an all-freshman dormitory important to you?
• Is a semester abroad program important to you?

5. Begin to take on leadership roles in your extracurricular activities.  Don’t just run for student government representative, but run for sophomore class chairperson.

6. Study, study, study…read, read, read.

 Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: Freshman Year http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/10/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-freshman-year/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/10/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-freshman-year/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 15:35:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23557 ]]> Want more college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 pages!

Explore things that you always wanted to try.

This post is the first in our new series Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: A Four Part Series for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

Having consulted with numerous clients on college admissions, I am now faced with personal decisions. My stepsons are getting ready to apply to college and I’ve been strategizing with them, gathering the tips for them that I have given to my clients throughout the years for this purpose and now implementing on our strategy. Both boys have very different levels of motivation and ambition, but the tips remain the same.

Tips for High School Freshman:

1. If you want to compete for top-tier programs, you need to begin taking AP courses (or IB courses if you are in an International Baccalaureate program). I suggest that you take 1-2 each year and then test at the end of that year, so you don’t have to cram everything into your junior and senior year. Take the most rigorous course for your abilities. While most admissions officers would like to see “As” in AP courses, getting an “A” in a non-AP course is the often the equivalent of a “B” in an AP course. These courses are sometimes limited in the freshman year, so check with your guidance counselor before you register for classes.

2. Get involved in extracurricular activities (sports, newspaper, yearbook, theatre, music, honor societies). Explore things that you always wanted to try, but never had the opportunity to pursue. For example, if you’ve always had a love for photography, use it for the school yearbook. If you want to make an impact on the school, run for student government. If you want to create a club that doesn’t exist, discuss the pros and cons with administration and inspire others to join you. I had one client (now a sophomore at university who created a healthy living club where she taught students about nutrition and exercise and then used some of the meeting time to exercise, meditate or practice yoga together…then they created other chapters at other high schools and mitigated the obesity epidemic by 10% in area high schools). And volunteer for community service activities (outside of the community service you must conduct as part of your state’s high school graduation requirement). Note: it is better to be deeply involved in a few diverse activities than to put all your energy into one activity or little energy into many activities. Just make certain that you can manage your time. Don’t let your academics slip because of your involvement with the swim team.

3. Study, study, study and if you are struggling with a subject, ask your parents, your counselors and the faculty for help. With the Khan Academy, free help is now available where you could only rely on tutors or faculty office hours in the past. Use these tools.

4. Read, read, read: fiction, non-fiction, news…anything you can get your eyeballs on. Don’t rely on TV, Twitter or YouTube to give you all the answers and expand your mind.

5. Prepare your curriculum for the next 4 years. You will need to complete required coursework throughout your four years of high school. These requirements are university-specific, so research the requirements of some of the schools you are thinking about now and don’t get caught in your senior year trying to make up courses you could have taken throughout high school.

• The Science trifecta (biology, chemistry, and physics…you need at least one lab science)

• Social Sciences (I highly recommend taking both US History and World History)

• Foreign Language (2-4 years: each school has different requirements)

• English (4 years that cover language and literature, composition and speech)

• Math (four years and for elite schools: calculus, but for other school you need to complete intermediate algebra)

• Fine and Performing Arts (1-2 years: each college has unique requirements so check with the university or college)

• Computer course (1 programming course or literacy course. If you intend to apply for engineering or computer science, take several programming courses and consider the AP. If you have no desire to step foot on the engineering campus or in a computer science classroom than one computer literacy course should be fine).

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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What is Accepted? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/10/what-is-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/10/what-is-accepted/#respond Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:12:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23547 ]]> So, what does Accepted actually do? Here is the short answer:

For more information about how we can help you get accepted, drop us an email at onlinesupport@accepted.com, explore our About Us section to get to know our expert admissions consultants, and check out our A-Z admissions services.

Accepted.com

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How to Become a Management Consultant http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/29/how-to-become-a-management-consultant/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/29/how-to-become-a-management-consultant/#respond Thu, 29 May 2014 14:24:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23387 ]]> IV with Michael BorickiConsulting is one of the hottest destinations for b-school graduates and is becoming increasingly popular for PhD and grad students.  If you dream of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, then this show is for you.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Michael Boricki, Managing Partner at Firmsconsulting, for the lowdown on this very unique firm and excellent advice for consulting hopefuls.

00:02:18 – A consultant’s journey.

00:05:20 – Michael’s definition of “ethical behavior.”

00:07:06 – What makes Firmsconsulting different.

00:09:03 – The (very cool) services and application process.

00:13:53 – Case interview coaching and the secret to Firmsconsulting’s success.

00:18:39 – Free resources for the uncommitted.

00:22:20 – A strong social theme: The Emerging Fellows Program.

00:26:05 – What personal qualities make good management consultants?

00:30:25 – Advice for a recent college grad who hopes for a future at Bain or McKinsey.

00:33:22 – What a first year MBA should do (and NOT do) to prepare for a consulting job.

00:36:14 – $300,000 for a McKinsey interview: Do you need to go to HBS, Wharton or INSEAD to land a top consulting job?

00:43:03 – Counterintuitive advice for aspiring consultants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Special Reports Library
Firmsconsulting

• HBS Graduate Discusses Path to McKinsey & BCG
• Introduction to Consulting: Interview Video with Kevin
• Interview with Sanda: On Joining McKinsey, BCG et al
• Podcast about Sveta: From Siberia’s Winter Plains to an Elite University
• Firmsconsulting Documentary: On the Edge

Related Shows:

Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng
• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart 
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Click here to download your free copy of Focus on Management Consulting: Learn how to research & identify the best programs for you to apply to given your management consulting goals!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/29/how-to-become-a-management-consultant/feed/ 0 Management Consulting,podcast Consulting is one of the hottest destinations for b-school graduates and is becoming increasingly popular for PhD and grad students.  If you dream of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, then this show is for you. - Consulting is one of the hottest destinations for b-school graduates and is becoming increasingly popular for PhD and grad students.  If you dream of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, then this show is for you. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Michael Boricki, Managing Partner at Firmsconsulting, for the lowdown on this very unique firm and excellent advice for consulting hopefuls. 00:02:18 – A consultant’s journey. 00:05:20 – Michael’s definition of “ethical behavior.” 00:07:06 – What makes Firmsconsulting different. 00:09:03 – The (very cool) services and application process. 00:13:53 – Case interview coaching and the secret to Firmsconsulting’s success. 00:18:39 – Free resources for the uncommitted. 00:22:20 – A strong social theme: The Emerging Fellows Program. 00:26:05 – What personal qualities make good management consultants? 00:30:25 – Advice for a recent college grad who hopes for a future at Bain or McKinsey. 00:33:22 – What a first year MBA should do (and NOT do) to prepare for a consulting job. 00:36:14 – $300,000 for a McKinsey interview: Do you need to go to HBS, Wharton or INSEAD to land a top consulting job? 00:43:03 – Counterintuitive advice for aspiring consultants. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Special Reports Library • Firmsconsulting • HBS Graduate Discusses Path to McKinsey & BCG • Introduction to Consulting: Interview Video with Kevin • Interview with Sanda: On Joining McKinsey, BCG et al • Podcast about Sveta: From Siberia’s Winter Plains to an Elite University • Firmsconsulting Documentary: On the Edge Related Shows: • Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng • Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman • MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart  • Is a PhD a Good Idea? • Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 49:26
Beyond Tests Scores and GPA: How to Wow College Application Readers http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/21/beyond-tests-scores-and-gpa-how-to-wow-college-application-readers/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/21/beyond-tests-scores-and-gpa-how-to-wow-college-application-readers/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 17:07:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23106 ]]> Need college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 pages!

What makes her stand out?

Assuming that your daughter has both test scores and GPA in the competitive range for her top choice schools, what else makes her stand out in a positive way? In my five years of reviewing undergraduate applications for admission to the University of Michigan, I considered a number of additional factors in determining overall fit: the rigor of the curriculum at the high school, extracurricular involvement, demonstrated leadership, and special circumstances (particular challenges or accomplishments) all played a role.

Quality of the curriculum- I evaluated the rigor of the curriculum within the context of available rigor at the applicants’ high schools. Did they challenge themselves with honors and advanced placement courses and still do well? Did they seek additional on-line or community college coursework to fill gaps in areas where their high school was deficient? Did they take all regular level courses when many honors and advance placement courses were available? What were the trends in grades and challenge from year to year?

Extracurricular activities- what does your child do when he is out of class? It’s not just a matter of having an abundance of extracurricular activities, the quality of engagement is also important. A smattering of clubs and organizations with limited long-term involvement or leadership roles is not as helpful as fewer activities with on-going commitment, increased levels of responsibilities, and demonstrated leadership. By the same token, if a student worked to help support his family financially, I took his personal circumstances into account. I looked at the overall pattern of activities and involvement.

Letters of recommendation- these are a great way to convey how others perceive the student. The strongest recommendations speak to the student’s character as well as academic accomplishments. Certainly supportive written reviews of your child’s performance and abilities contribute positively to the strength of her application. However, as you can see, they are only a part of many factors under consideration.

Essays- it really all comes together in the essay responses. These are your child’s best way to provide insights about who he is as an individual. This is where he can integrate information about special circumstances, challenges and accomplishments. I looked at the essays as the student’s opportunity to communicate what made him a good match for the school and vice versa. While keeping the essay prompt in mind, I wanted to see the student reflect on what he learned from specific experiences and explain the impact on his views/values/perceptions. The best responses were thoughtful, well-articulated, and revealed something meaningful in the student’s life.

There are many aspects of a student’s application and just as many ways to make a positive impact. Keep all the factors in mind because each contributes to the overall strength of your child’s college application in an increasingly competitive atmosphere.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By Accepted college admissions consultant who has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; and Taubman College of Architecture. She is available to assist your child with his or her applications.

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Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/14/writing-about-overcoming-obstacles-in-your-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/14/writing-about-overcoming-obstacles-in-your-application-essays/#respond Wed, 14 May 2014 19:18:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23029 ]]> What does the adcom actually want to know about the challenges you’ve overcome? In this short video, Linda Abraham shares the answer to this often-asked question:

Do you have questions about addressing obstacles you’ve overcome in your application essays? Leave a comment below and we would love to help you out.

Accepted.com

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Goal Setting, Job Searching, and Sweet Careers http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/08/goal-setting-job-searching-and-sweet-careers/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/08/goal-setting-job-searching-and-sweet-careers/#respond Thu, 08 May 2014 18:53:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22969 ]]> Grace_KutneyJob searchers, tune in! We’d like to introduce you to the woman who wants to help you refine your goals and figure out a meaningful career path.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Grace Kutney, founder and principle of Sweet Careers Consulting for some excellent advice and a run-down on the current state of career-searching.

00:02:59 – How Grace fell in love with career advising & started Sweet Careers.

00:08:37 – The importance of having a goal (and of being able to change it).

00:17:05 – The move toward unpaid internships: :-D  or :-( ?

00:19:43 – Advice for international students & immigrants.

00:25:23 – How social media can harm or help your job search.

00:31:39 – Why and when Grace posts job listings.

00:34:04 – Is there still a place for face-to-face networking?

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Sweet Careers
Accepted.com

• Accepted Admissions Blog

Related Shows:

• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl
• Interview with Mark Babbitt of YouTern 
• MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses 
• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman 

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/08/goal-setting-job-searching-and-sweet-careers/feed/ 0 Job Search,podcast,resume Job searchers, tune in! We’d like to introduce you to the woman who wants to help you refine your goals and figure out a meaningful career path. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Grace Kutney, Job searchers, tune in! We’d like to introduce you to the woman who wants to help you refine your goals and figure out a meaningful career path. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Grace Kutney, founder and principle of Sweet Careers Consulting for some excellent advice and a run-down on the current state of career-searching. 00:02:59 – How Grace fell in love with career advising & started Sweet Careers. 00:08:37 – The importance of having a goal (and of being able to change it). 00:17:05 – The move toward unpaid internships: :-D  or :-( ? 00:19:43 – Advice for international students & immigrants. 00:25:23 – How social media can harm or help your job search. 00:31:39 – Why and when Grace posts job listings. 00:34:04 – Is there still a place for face-to-face networking? *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Sweet Careers • Accepted.com • Accepted Admissions Blog Related Shows: • Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl • Interview with Mark Babbitt of YouTern  • MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses  • Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 43:42
Which Colleges Offer the Best ROI? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/08/which-colleges-offer-the-best-roi/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/08/which-colleges-offer-the-best-roi/#respond Thu, 08 May 2014 18:00:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22910 ]]> CNN reported on the recent PayScale report that examines which U.S. colleges offer its students the best return on their investment. Their top pick? Harvey Mudd College. PayScale’s data shows that during the 20 years following graduation, Harvey Mudd grads will come out $1.1 million ahead of their peers who didn’t go to college and started working directly after high school.

That’s generally speaking. For specific majors, the findings were as follows:

Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages for great application advice!

The report shows that students get the “best bang for their buck” when they concentrate in STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, or math) and attend “well-known programs” that will help with career placement.

PayScale calculated ROI by looking at a college graduate’s earnings during the first 20 years since starting their careers, minus the cost of college tuition, room and board, and textbooks. The calculation takes financial aid into account. This number was then compared to a high school graduate’s earnings during the 24-26 years following high school.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

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Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/01/forte-helps-women-in-business-thrive-interview-with-elissa-sangster/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/01/forte-helps-women-in-business-thrive-interview-with-elissa-sangster/#respond Thu, 01 May 2014 18:10:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22807 ]]> Listen to the full conversation!Things have come full circle for Admissions Straight Talk. We couldn’t be more excited about our second interview with the very first guest to have appeared on our podcast: Elissa Sangster, Executive Director for the Forté Foundation.

Listen to the recording of our conversation to learn about the newest programs Forté is running to support women MBAs (past, present, and future).  

00:03:32 – What’s new and exciting at Forté.

00:06:52 – Does going into business equal selling your soul?

00:12:51 – The very exciting MBALaunch program.

00:15:05 – Why Forté has reached out to 5,000 women in college.

00:20:20 – A word on the challenges facing women who want to go to b-school.

00:22:19 – Forté’s support for women post-MBA.

00:26:30 – What is the FortéFellows Program and how can someone get involved?

00:28:30 – The difference between the Forté Forum and other MBA fairs.

00:31:29 – Elissa’s take on the “Is an MBA worth it” debate.

00:36:47 – Advice for MBA applicants (very good advice, btw).

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Forté Foundation
• MBA Launch
• Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application
, a webinar
• The Secret to MBA Acceptance, a webinar

Related Shows:

• Interview with Forté’s Elissa Ellis Sangster
• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Check out MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/01/forte-helps-women-in-business-thrive-interview-with-elissa-sangster/feed/ 0 Forte,podcast Things have come full circle for Admissions Straight Talk. We couldn't be more excited about our second interview with the very first guest to have appeared on our podcast: Elissa Sangster, Executive Director for the Forté Foundation. - Things have come full circle for Admissions Straight Talk. We couldn't be more excited about our second interview with the very first guest to have appeared on our podcast: Elissa Sangster, Executive Director for the Forté Foundation. Listen to the recording of our conversation to learn about the newest programs Forté is running to support women MBAs (past, present, and future).   00:03:32 – What’s new and exciting at Forté. 00:06:52 – Does going into business equal selling your soul? 00:12:51 – The very exciting MBALaunch program. 00:15:05 – Why Forté has reached out to 5,000 women in college. 00:20:20 – A word on the challenges facing women who want to go to b-school. 00:22:19 – Forté's support for women post-MBA. 00:26:30 – What is the FortéFellows Program and how can someone get involved? 00:28:30 – The difference between the Forté Forum and other MBA fairs. 00:31:29 – Elissa’s take on the “Is an MBA worth it” debate. 00:36:47 – Advice for MBA applicants (very good advice, btw). *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Forté Foundation • MBA Launch • Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application, a webinar • The Secret to MBA Acceptance, a webinar Related Shows: • Interview with Forté’s Elissa Ellis Sangster • From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke • CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans • Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 41:05
The College Rejection Crisis http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/the-college-rejection-crisis/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/the-college-rejection-crisis/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:05:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22635 ]]> Need College Admissions Advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

People are starting to look at college admissions like a crapshoot.

This year, Stanford University accepted only 5% of applicants. While enrollment is down in general, competition for spots at elite U.S. universities is on the rise. As a New York Times article reported last week, the competition is “more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever.”

These top colleges are receiving more applications than they’ve ever received, and are forced to reject the vast majority of them, many of them being impressive candidates that would have been accepted if not for the deluge of applications. In fact, according to the NYT piece: “Admissions directors at these institutions say that most of the students they turn down are such strong candidates that many are indistinguishable from those who get in.”

People are starting to look at admissions decisions as a crapshoot – one can get rejected from Stanford and accepted to Yale, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for which schools will accept and which will reject these crème de la crème students.

Some numbers (from the NYT article):

•  In 2007, 315 colleges accepted the Common Application. This year, that number jumped to 517 schools.

•  In 1990, only 9% of applicants applied to seven or more colleges, compared to 29% of applicants in 2011.

•  This year, Stanford received 42,167 applications (for the class of 2018). 2,138 applicants were accepted. Around 1,700 will enroll as first-year students in the fall.

•  UCLA received the most applications this year (more than 86,000), doubling its numbers in 2005. (This doesn’t include the 19,000 applications from transfer students.) The acceptance rate for UCLA and UC Berkeley are expected to drop below the 20% mark for the first time.

•  In terms of other top school acceptance rates: Harvard and Yale accepted about 6% of applicants; Columbia and Princeton – 7%; MIT and University of Chicago – 8%. (A decade ago, Chicago’s acceptance rate was 40%!)

One critical point to remember: There are a lot of excellent colleges and universities outside the elite where the numbers are saner. Focus on fit, not ranking.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Accepted.com

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4 New Ways to Display Teamwork in Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/4-new-ways-to-display-teamwork-in-mba-essays-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/4-new-ways-to-display-teamwork-in-mba-essays-2/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:25:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22038 ]]> How should you convey to the adcom your ability to motivate, persuade, and empower?Teamwork, and its close cousin, leadership, are highly prized by graduate programs and universities. Haven’t worked in teams on any regular basis? Don’t worry! There are more ways than you may realize to prove your chops in this area. Consider the following 4 options:

1. No Man is an Island

Unless you’ve been living alone on an island for the last several years, you have undoubtedly participated in various groups. You may have been a member of a sports team or dance troupe, a member of a committee on either a volunteer or workplace basis, helped to organize an event, planned a triathlon, or been a tutor, Big Brother, or Big Sister. In each case, you were working with other people, even if it was only one other person, and had opportunities to display teamwork.

2. Put Your Listening Ears On

Teamwork and collaboration involve effective listening, so if you can discuss a time when you took the time to listen to others, patiently and skillfully, and how doing so eased tensions and increased collaboration, that will demonstrate your teamwork abilities.

3. Boosting Morale and Conflict Resolution

Talk about the steps you took to improve morale or motivate. If you helped to generate enthusiasm for a project when enthusiasm was flagging, or brainstormed an idea to strengthen a group or project, that’s also teamwork. If you were a member of a committee and figured out a way for two warring members of the committee to stop fighting and start working together, that would also constitute teamwork. Any time you took the initiative to get involved with other people (especially when they are difficult!) to find a better way to get things done, find a middle ground, brainstorm a new idea, it’s all teamwork.

4. Think Small

Effective teamwork can also be shown in very small groups. A client once wrote about her efforts to heal a serious rift in her family after her father passed away and siblings fought for control of the successful family business. An ugly succession fight was underway. The client’s ability to patiently coax cooperation in such an emotionally charged environment, including her “shuttle diplomacy” and active listening among family members, displayed skilled teamwork and leadership. Another client wrote about having organized a trip with a few friends, and how she dealt with a dispute between two of the participants whose bickering threatened to ruin the trip for everyone. Her effective listening, and creatively figuring out an activity that both of the “combatants” would not be able to resist, helped defuse the situation and save the trip from descending into a hellish situation for everyone. In both these situations, the “teams” were small but the stakes for those involved were high.

So do not feel stymied when asked for examples of how you have displayed teamwork – as you now see, you’ve been working in teams more often than you realize!

Learn everything you need to know about how to tackle the tricky leadership questions that the adcoms love to throw into applications and interviews.

Accepted.com

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Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/tuck-announces-new-december-business-bridge-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/tuck-announces-new-december-business-bridge-program/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:55:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22108 ]]> Check out our Dartmouth Tuck b-school zone!

Tuck Hall at Dartmouth

Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program Liberal arts undergrads have been attending the Tuck’s summer Business Bridge program for the last 18 years. Now the Tuck Business Bridge program will be adding a December option for students, starting December 2014.

This new session will be open to any undergraduate or graduate student, but it is designed for Dartmouth undergrads and will run December 1-19 and will cover (for the most part) the same topics covered during the four-week summer program (and will therefore be more intensive due to the shorter period of time). The program will introduce students to important business and managerial subjects (corporate finance, managerial economics, financial accounting, marketing, etc.), and will feature team projects, industry explorations, and career coaching.

4,000 undergrads have attended Bridge since its inception in 1997. About 30% of alumni have gone on to attend top b-schools.

Application deadlines for December Bridge are June 1, August 1, and October 1. There will be financial aid available for the December program.

Learn more about the program here.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!

Accepted.com

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College Planning: May is for Making Your Case http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/college-planning-may-is-for-making-your-case-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/college-planning-may-is-for-making-your-case-2/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:18:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22023 ]]> Start your college applications off right by downloading our free special report!

The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search.

Are you a high school junior planning to apply to top colleges and universities next year? This post is part of a series of posts that will help you prepare for next year’s application process. 

Oh, and if you don’t want to wait for the monthly posts, please download Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders. It’s all there.

Your high school path suddenly takes a detour. Your grades, which had been steady and consistent, take a nosedive. Perhaps it’s due to illness, personal or family issues, or a learning disability that eventually made itself clear. As you move forward into the summer before your senior year, it is time to consider whether or not this impacts the colleges you plan on applying to.

For most students, the answer is yes. Sometimes, the circumstances change your mind about how far you would like to be from home. In other cases, illness or other family issues have a financial impact that necessitates finding financial safety schools, or looking first to a nearby community college for a period of time. If your challenges impacted your GPA or course selection, then that also may impact the schools you choose to apply to.

Yes, you will have opportunities to explain your circumstances, and many times, you will be met with  a sympathetic reader on the other side of your application. Sympathy, however, does not guarantee  admission. Be prepared to discuss your situation. You can do this through your essay, an additional  statement, your guidance counselor recommendation, or, in some cases, a personal interview on campus with an admission counselor. In most situations, the admissions staff will be evaluating your response to the challenge. Did you overcome adversity? What did you learn from the situation? Is the college going to be able to meet any future needs you might have?

In most cases, it is to your benefit to discuss any aberrations or weaknesses in your academic  performance. The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search and then finding the  appropriate avenue to explain your record.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

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How Does the Essay Affect Your SAT Score? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/how-does-the-essay-affect-your-sat-score/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/how-does-the-essay-affect-your-sat-score/#respond Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:47:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22043 ]]> Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score.

Although the SAT essay is going to be optional before long (when the test changes in 2016), as of right now it’s a must. So, love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score, and the admissions offices at the colleges you’ll apply to will see that score. So let’s answer one key question: how much does the SAT essay actually count for?

The Numbers

First, the essay is scored according to its own grading system. There will be two readers—real people, not a Scantron machine!—who read and judge your writing, each assigning a mark of zero to six. Zero is the worst (in case that wasn’t totally obvious), but it’s only used for the absolutely ungradable essays. If you write on a completely different topic than what’s assigned, for example, you will get a zero. That means no memorizing a fantastic essay ahead of time! You have to write on the topic they give you. You’d also get a zero if you wrote in another language, say, or simply put no clear thoughts on paper.

A six, on the other hand, is reserved for long, structured essays that are full of clear, concrete ideas, high-level vocabulary, and correct grammar. There’s a bit more to it, but that’s the gist.

After each reader goes through and marks your essay, the two scores will be added to give you a score of 0–12 (if you actually wrote anything remotely relevant, that’s 2–12).

Then that score, in turn, is added to the raw score from the Writing multiple-choice questions, since the essay is just a part of the Writing Section. The multiple-choice sections count for more points, altogether.

Then, once they have the raw total of your essay score and your multiple-choice score added up, they convert that score into the scaled, 200–800 score.

The Importance of the Essay

The scaled score is a little bit hard to explain—how it’s calculated, I mean—and it’s not worth really getting stuck talking about. All that matters is the zero to twelve score ends up affecting how many hundreds are in that scaled score. And I did say that the multiple-choice counts for more than the essay, but that doesn’t mean the essay isn’t important.

In truth, the SAT essay score counts for around 30% your total writing score—in the ballpark of 200 points, altogether. It’s not the only thing, but it’s a significant piece of the puzzle.

And what about those who say the essay doesn’t matter? Simply put, they’re usually wrong. Most schools were really skeptical of the Writing Section when this version of the SAT first debuted it back in 2005. And sure, some are still not totally signed on, but for the most part it does factor into your admissions. And 99% of the time, you’ll have no idea how much that lady who works in the admissions office cares about your Writing score—you’ll just have to trust that a high score is better than a low one.

And for that high score, you need to put some energy into preparing to write your essay!

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Magoosh SAT This post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/#respond Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:15:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22027 ]]> Want to let your funny side show in your application essays? Here is what Linda Abraham has to say about humor in admissions:

For more application essay advice, download a free copy of our popular special report Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement.

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Get a GRIP on Team Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/06/get-a-grip-on-team-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/06/get-a-grip-on-team-questions/#respond Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:39:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21917 ]]> Learn 4 tips for displaying teamwork in your application essays.

Remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team

I took away a lot of wonderful concepts, frameworks and strategies from my MBA education that led to a successful admission career. In fact, one of the most powerful lessons I learned at Michigan (now Ross) was how to lead and work effectively on teams.

Professor Noel Tichy, one of the gurus of Organizational Behavior and Leadership offered us a simple acronym that has stuck with me to this day: GRIP.  His theory was as follows:  if everyone on the team works toward a common goal that each individual fully understands and to which he/she commits; and everyone on the team understands and has the skills to carry out his/her roles and responsibilities; and everyone on the team shares information in a way that is productive; and the team has agreed to a process by which they will accomplish the goal, then the team will be effective.  In fact, our teams would periodically do a GRIP check to make certain that our GOALS, ROLES, INFORMATION and PROCESS would align to keep the projects moving forward.  When a team has only one GRIP element out of place, the team will be dysfunctional.

I use this framework with my clients when they need to describe their own teams’ successes or failures.  It helps them pinpoint what really happened to the team and not point fingers at an individual that may not have carried or had the skills to carry his/her weight because the “R” was out of alignment.  It helps them understand that by not having a process “P” in place, misunderstandings may occur.  It helps them understand the importance of working towards a common goal.  And it helps them understand the importance of transparent and effective communication “I”.

So when you are asked about teamwork, remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team and I will remember to thank Dr. Tichy for his wisdom and insight and for telling me to get a GRIP on my team.  Thank you Dr. Tichy.

Download our special report- Leadership in Admissions

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/#respond Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:39:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21977 ]]> Bhavin-1-closeup-500x500GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep advice and the lowdown on Magoosh.

00:02:17 – The story behind Magoosh and a word about it’s future.

00:04:10 – Why Bhavin is on a “mission to change the way people learn.”

00:06:09 – More effective than traditional test-prep: How do you know?

00:07:44 – What makes Magoosh different.

00:11:39 – The risks of self-study (Magoosh is like a gym membership).

00:14:24 – Best GMAT (and GRE) prep tips.

00:18:29 – The million dollar question: GMAT or GRE?

00:22:15 – SAT changes ahead.

00:25:43 – The Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Haas entrepreneurs.

00:27:58 – Bhavin’s stand on the debate about the value of the MBA to entrepreneurs.

00:30:18 – Last pieces of advice for applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  Magoosh
•  Should You Retake the GMAT?
•  How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day 
•  The Hansoo Lee Fellowship
•  7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application

Related Shows:

•  Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT
•  Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses
•  MBA Admissions According to an Expert
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/feed/ 0 GMAT,GRE,Magoosh,SAT,UC Berkeley Haas GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep ad... GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep advice and the lowdown on Magoosh. 00:02:17 – The story behind Magoosh and a word about it’s future. 00:04:10 – Why Bhavin is on a “mission to change the way people learn.” 00:06:09 – More effective than traditional test-prep: How do you know? 00:07:44 – What makes Magoosh different. 00:11:39 – The risks of self-study (Magoosh is like a gym membership). 00:14:24 – Best GMAT (and GRE) prep tips. 00:18:29 – The million dollar question: GMAT or GRE? 00:22:15 – SAT changes ahead. 00:25:43 – The Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Haas entrepreneurs. 00:27:58 – Bhavin’s stand on the debate about the value of the MBA to entrepreneurs. 00:30:18 – Last pieces of advice for applicants.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  Magoosh •  Should You Retake the GMAT? •  How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day  •  The Hansoo Lee Fellowship •  7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application Related Shows: •  Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT •  Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses •  MBA Admissions According to an Expert •  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 32:24
5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/#respond Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:48:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21705 ]]> Want to know more? Listen to the full episode!Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North.

Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners.

00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win).

00:10:06 – Who can apply.

00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded.

00:12:25 – The 43North application process.

00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for?

00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo.

00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold?

00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?)

00:27:32 – Mentorship and community.

00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  43North
•  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship?
•  MBA Admissions Special Reports
•  Grad School Admissions Special Reports
•  Med School Admissions Special Reports
•  Law School Admissions Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/feed/ 0 entrepreneurship,podcast Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North. - Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to ... Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North. Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners. 00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win). 00:10:06 – Who can apply. 00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded. 00:12:25 – The 43North application process. 00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for? 00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo. 00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold? 00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?) 00:27:32 – Mentorship and community. 00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  43North •  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship? •  MBA Admissions Special Reports •  Grad School Admissions Special Reports •  Med School Admissions Special Reports •  Law School Admissions Special Reports Related Shows: •  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship •  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship •  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman •  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC •  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship •  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 35:53
The Likely Letter http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/the-likely-letter/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/the-likely-letter/#respond Thu, 20 Mar 2014 15:40:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21689 ]]> Check out Linda Abraham's 6 Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

April 1st is only a few weeks away.

I shared lunch today with a group of mothers of high school seniors.  Some of the students had applied and been accepted early decision; most had at least one acceptance from an early action or rolling admission college.  Their parents were anxiously waiting for the April 1st decision date.

The April first date used to loom large, like tax day, or your birthday, circled in red for all the significance it implied.  Were decision letters mailed on April first, or would you receive it on April first?  Then, like in other aspects of college admission, the arms race started.  “If only we could get our letters out a few days ahead of the others, our admitted students might be more inclined to matriculate,” one admissions office thought.  I don’t doubt their psychology.

Decisions began to trickle in during that last week of March.  A few even hit the email inbox in early March.  But for a few students, the surprise comes in the dead of winter: the likely letter.  The likely letter has its roots in the Ivy League; it was a tool used by Ivy League athletic programs to maintain interest in the absence of athletic scholarship. Currently, a number of colleges use some form of this letter to try and attract SOME of their most promising applicants.

Some “likely letters” are obvious indicators of admission; others are more veiled.  Colleges handpick these students carefully, and receipt of such a letter should imply forthcoming admission. Is it a guarantee of admission?  No, although a change in status would be unlikely without disastrous grades or disciplinary action in your current school.  Should you expect a likely letter?  No.  Some colleges send out only a handful.  The timing varies, and there is always a chance that your application hasn’t even made it through the reader queue yet. If you do receive one, yes, it’s good news.  If your neighbor, lab partner, or best friend receives one, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be admitted to the college of your choice.

Regardless, April 1st is only a few weeks away.  Your wait time is limited.  Hang in there.

Accepted.com

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Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/16/can-you-get-accepted-after-doing-something-stupid/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/16/can-you-get-accepted-after-doing-something-stupid/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 14:50:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21603 ]]> Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

Don’t try to hide a conviction.

The point of this article is not to tell you that you shouldn’t engage in disorderly conduct, petty theft, or other minor (or major) infractions (though you really shouldn’t…); what we want to discuss here is how you should overcome the obstacle of a criminal record when approached with the application question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain.”

If you did something stupid, something deserving of a conviction or suspension, how do you prove to an admissions committee that you are worthy of their acceptance?

First, don’t try to hide a conviction. Clients often ask me if they really need to bring up their troubled past, and I tell them they do. Admissions committees (and the firms they hire) conduct background checks on applicants, and an unexplained discrepancy gives them an easy reason to reject your application or withdraw an offer of admission, so, when asked, own up to your behavior on your application.

Don’t make excuses. The biggest struggle I face when helping troubled clients is getting them to move past their tendency to justify their behavior: their writing tends to get overlong with explanations. Even very subtle self-serving statements can be read by an admissions committee as failure to take responsibility for your behavior, so leave out the excuses and directly address what you did.

Don’t go overboard addressing the infraction. The second biggest struggle I face is keeping clients from turning their applications into overblown mea culpas. A client once came to me having written two required essays and an optional essay all addressing a mistake from the past—too much! Often, a well-written response to an application’s “failure” essay question is enough.

Do show that you learned your lesson and that your past behavior won’t happen again. This step tends to be less of a struggle for clients, because usually they can show remorse, they can show the actions they took to atone for their behavior, and they can show how they matured from their experiences. Often such clients become heavily involved with their community, counseling others who tend toward their same behavior and managing to turn their failure into a success benefitting others.

Perfect execution of these suggestions certainly will increase your chances of admission, but they may not be enough to gain you acceptance to a top school. So avoid having to deal with this situation altogether: think twice and three times before you do something that you could regret for a very long time.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!

 

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SAT Aims to Reconnect with the Classroom http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/09/sat-aims-to-reconnect-with-the-classroom/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/09/sat-aims-to-reconnect-with-the-classroom/#respond Sun, 09 Mar 2014 16:07:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21529 ]]> Download "Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders"!

The essay, which is now required, will become optional.

The College Board announced this week that it would be taking measures to restructure the SAT so that it becomes more connected to high school work. Here are some highlights outlined in the New York Times article on the subject:

• Students will no longer be tested on obscure, little-used vocabulary words.
• Math problems will focus mainly on proportional thinking, linear equations, and functions.
• A calculator will not be allowed for all sections of the exam.
• Low-income students will receive fee waivers and will be allowed to send scores to up to four colleges at no charge.
• The College Board in partnership with the Khan Academy will provide practice problems and tutorial videos online for free.
• The test will switch back to the 1600 scoring system from the current 2400 system.
• The exam will be available via computer or on paper.
• The essay, which is now required, will become optional.
• Test takers won’t be penalized for an incorrect answer (i.e. points won’t be deducted for guessing).

According to College Board president David Coleman, the exam should reinforce the skills that students are learning and using in high school, and shouldn’t simply be used to test test-taking tricks.

Many observers view these changes as steps that will make the SAT more like its competitor, the ACT, which has gained market share in recent years.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

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Writing an Interesting SAT Essay in 25 Minutes http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/03/writing-an-interesting-sat-essay-in-25-minutes/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/03/writing-an-interesting-sat-essay-in-25-minutes/#respond Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:34:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21418 ]]> Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

A skeleton does not a human make.

A common mistake students make on the SAT essay is thinking that if they stick to a formulaic approach, they will get a good SAT score essay-wise. The thing is using a “cookie cutter” approach to the essay can often result in a dull, predictable—and not at all convincing—essay.

What is this approach, I speak of? Well, many students have the following formula in mind: intro with a thesis, three body examples (topic sentence and final sentence that ties back to the thesis), and a conclusion. They plod their way through the essay with about as much enthusiasm as someone about to go the dentist’s to get his wisdom teeth pulled.  That is not to say you don’t want to follow a general outline. Indeed, that quick formula is about as good as any other. However, a skeleton does not a human make. In other words, you got to make your essay interesting, by keeping your examples fresh and your writing lively.

Below are two excerpts from the SAT essay prompt: Do we need adversity to help us realize our true potential?

Example #1

We need to struggle to improve. Last year, I got a bad score on my history test. It was the first ‘F’ I got. I was very disappointed with myself. Moving on from that time, I studied every day history because I wanted to score well. This time was very hard for me. But I studied all night for the final and I got an ‘A’. Therefore, we need adversity to help us improve.

Example #2

In the sophomore year, the Napoleonic Wars held about as much fascination for me as paint drying on a wall—and it showed: I failed the first history midterm. I had always been at least a ‘B’ student, something I could pull off without too much effort. But history, with all those facts, dates, and names, made my head throb in pain, and attaining a ‘C’ seemed like a feat that would require more than one all night study session. At first, it was worse than I thought. After hours of studying I could only remember a few main themes (okay, the Austrian Empire lost the war); but Mr. Thompson would want to know the exact date and the names of the losers and winners. After weeks of struggle, I came up with a system of memorizing facts that actually worked. For someone with a memory of a sea sponge, this was an incredible accomplishment. I didn’t end up falling in love with history, but through the adversity of actually failing a test, I learned to become a better learner. Oh, and that World History class? I actually ended up getting an A-.

Besides some questionable grammar, what is the major difference between these two essays? The second one actually tells an interesting story. Not one with generic facts (“bad score”, “studied all night”), but with specific and engaging details (“my head throb in pain”, “the Austrian Empire lost the war”, “ended up getting an A-“). Notice the second essay also has some comical phrases (“paint drying on a wall”, “memory of a sea sponge”). That is not to say that you have to write exactly like this student. But learn to inject colorful details and clever turns of phrases to your writing. If you do so, your essay will be more persuasive.

I should note that the second example is not perfect; there isn’t too much analysis on how adversity shapes us. Also, it is a little vague on this pivotal “system of memorizing facts”. I would have liked a bit more on how the process was very difficult and the student felt like giving up, but that he/she stuck with the “memory system”, making them a better student. That said, the second example keeps our attention riveted throughout with its turns of phrases, and would probably be a part of an essay that went on to score a ‘10’ (SAT essay scores are based out of ‘12’ points).

The moral of this story: Don’t get so fixated on structure that you forget to tell an interesting—but relevant—story. And to tell an interesting story, don’t be afraid to use a colorful phrase (or two!).

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

magooshThis post was written by Chris Lele, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on taking the SAT, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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Waitlisted! What Now? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2014 19:08:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21411 ]]> Listen to the full recording of 'Waitlisted! Now What?'So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next.

Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abraham’s six tips for waitlisted applicants. Make sure you know what to do (and what not to do!) to ensure that you are the candidate on the very top of that waitlist.

00:01:28 – Devastated about your waitlisted status? Don’t give up!

00:02:16 – Don’t be an independent thinker please.

00:03:43 – Self-evaluate and take action.

00:04:24 – Spread the good word (even if it doesn’t relate to your weaknesses).

00:05:44 – Schools like applicants who are interested in attending their program!

00:06:13 – Don’t spam the adcom.

00:06:48 – How a waitlist letter should begin and what it should include.

00:07:33 – Addressing your weaknesses without sounding weak.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101
•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101
•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101
•  College Waitlist Advice 101 
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/feed/ 0 MBA Waitlist,podcast,Wait List,weakness So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next. - Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abrahamâ... So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next. Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abraham’s six tips for waitlisted applicants. Make sure you know what to do (and what not to do!) to ensure that you are the candidate on the very top of that waitlist. 00:01:28 – Devastated about your waitlisted status? Don’t give up! 00:02:16 – Don’t be an independent thinker please. 00:03:43 – Self-evaluate and take action. 00:04:24 – Spread the good word (even if it doesn’t relate to your weaknesses). 00:05:44 – Schools like applicants who are interested in attending their program! 00:06:13 – Don’t spam the adcom. 00:06:48 – How a waitlist letter should begin and what it should include. 00:07:33 – Addressing your weaknesses without sounding weak. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  MBA Waitlist Advice 101 •  Med School Waitlist Advice 101 •  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101 •  College Waitlist Advice 101  •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 12:34
Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/25/two-ways-to-reveal-leadership-in-your-applications/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/25/two-ways-to-reveal-leadership-in-your-applications/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:12:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21367 ]]> Leadership is one of the of the most valued attributes in admissions. In this short video, Linda Abraham discusses two main ways you can show the adcom that you are a leader.

For more tips on revealing leadership in your applications, check out:

•  Leadership in Admissions, a free special report.

•  4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

•  What Should I Write About? Making a Difference

•  MBA Admissions A-Z: L is for Leadership

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Review of BenchPrep’s Online Test Prep Site http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/20/review-of-benchpreps-online-test-prep-site/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/20/review-of-benchpreps-online-test-prep-site/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:34:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21045 ]]> Check out BenchPrep!I just logged into the BenchPrep test prep website and am welcomed with their greeting of “Gain an unfair advantage on test day”; I like this – a test prep site with an edge! Let’s continue exploring…

After you sign in and choose your test (see list below), you’ll then choose your target test date. The program then generates a study plan of week-by-week tasks that you’ll need to complete to achieve your optimal preparedness for your chosen exam. Each task has a timeframe next to it, indicating the expected amount of time the exercise should take – a nice touch.

As you move through the little icons on the left side of the screen, you’ll encounter some nice features – games (mainly flashcard games – pretty simple and straightforward), practice tests, discussion boards, study groups, and others. Another organizational feature is the table of contents icon which, when you click on it, gives you a very clear outline of your study plan with links to other parts of the site.

There is also a BenchPrep mobile app (Android and iPhone), making this program excellent for test-preppers on-the-go!

One thing I’d like to see more of on this site are videos. There is certainly no shortage of written prep resources here – there are loads of practice tests and explanations and tips, which of course are extremely important. For some people, this may be exactly what they’re looking for, but others – those auditory/visual types – the absence of video will be noticed.

Tests (a sampling):

ACT • GMAT • PMP Exam
• AP Exam • GRE • Police Officer Exam
• CFA Level I Exam                       . • LSAT • Postal Exam
• CLEP • MCAT • Praxis Test
• EMT • Nursing School Entrance Exams        . • SAT
• FRM • PCAT
• Firefighter Exam • PE Exam

Features:

• Ask-a-tutor, and receive an answer within 24 hours
•  Bookmarking and highlighting features
•  Ratings/tracking of your confidence level (so you can go back to review those weak areas)
•  Games
•  Practice tests
•  Discussion boards
•  Study groups

Head to BenchPrep now to check out these features on your own!

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

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Personal Statement Fatal Flaw #1: Lack of Substance http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/19/personal-statement-fatal-flaw-1-lack-of-substance-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/19/personal-statement-fatal-flaw-1-lack-of-substance-2/#respond Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:12:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21236 ]]> Click here to learn how to avoid the other 4 personal statement fatal flaws.Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on:

• Substantive self-reflection.

• Use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes.

• Willingness to reveal your thought processes and feelings.

So start your writing process with self-knowledge. You don’t have to search the internet or a large library. Start with your experiences and your dreams. Search your head and your heart. That is where the substance of a good personal statement is stored.

Then use anecdotes, specifics, and examples to reveal what’s in your heart and show that your dreams are grounded in experience. Good examples can bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

At the same time, recognize that essays with only examples and anecdotes don’t reveal your thought processes and consequently are also superficial. Make sure you balance your stories with insight and analysis.

Avoid Fatal Flaw #1: Bring your essays to life with self-reflection and astute use of examples balanced by analysis.

This tip is an excerpt from Five Fatal Flaws: Eliminate the 5 Most Common Flaws in your Application Essays and Personal Statements. To view the entire free special report, please click here.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essay or Personal Statement

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How to Write Waitlist Update Letters http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/31/how-to-write-waitlist-update-letters-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/31/how-to-write-waitlist-update-letters-2/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 16:23:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20363 ]]>
You are so close to acceptance, but still not quite there! Get the guidance you need to get that offer of admission.

Continue fighting for that acceptance!

The application process is not over for waitlisted applicants. You’ve still got a chance of getting into your dream school, so now’s not the time to slack off, and it’s certainly not the time to give up. Continue fighting for that acceptance!

Your waitlist updates (you write those) and letters of support (other people write these) should focus on three areas:

1) Your growing list of qualifications. You want to prove to the adcoms that while you were a responsible, accomplished, impressive candidate before, now you are even more so. Discuss recent initiatives you’ve taken—in the workplace and in your community—and developments or advances you’ve made in your career or academics.

2) Steps you’ve taken to ameliorate shortcomings. Figure out what weaknesses were revealed in your application and/or interview and work to improve them. Be able to discuss specific changes you’ve made in your life—education and career—that make you a stronger candidate.

3) How you fit with the school. You were born to attend this school and this school was created just for you. Your fit is as perfect as a cozy glove on a cold hand.

Waitlist Update Writing Step-By-Step:

1) Begin your letter by briefly thanking the school for considering your application. Don’t talk about your disappointment; instead focus on how the school’s philosophy and approach fit your educational goals.

2) Discuss your recent accomplishments. Choose achievements that you did not address in your application and try and tie them back to key themes in your essays. These could include a recent promotion, freshly minted A’s, a new leadership role in a project or organization, a recent volunteer experience, initiatives you’ve taken in your department, business, or club, additional work responsibilities, etc.

3) Talk about the measures you’ve taken to ameliorate your weaknesses, if necessary. Focus on the action you’ve taken rather than on the actual shortcoming. For example, if you have/had weak communication skills, discuss how you enrolled in Toastmasters and how the experience has influenced and inspired you.

4) If you are sure that upon acceptance you would attend, inform the school of your commitment.

Above all, stay positive as your letter will reflect your attitude. Adcoms do not want to read a bitter and angry letter, nor will they want that writer in their classrooms.

A couple of caveats:

• Don’t waste your reader’s time by repeating material already in your application.

• Don’t write if the school states explicitly that it doesn’t want to hear from you.

Click here to listen to the 6 Tips for Waitlisted Applicants!

Help! I'm on the waitlist!

For more information on how to transform your waitlist status into an acceptance, check out one of Accepted’s popular waitlist ebooks:

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist

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So You Aced the PSAT: Should You Still Study for the SAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/26/so-you-aced-the-psat-should-you-still-study-for-the-sat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/26/so-you-aced-the-psat-should-you-still-study-for-the-sat/#respond Sun, 26 Jan 2014 18:10:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20703 ]]> Check out 'Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders'

Warning: A top score on the PSAT doesn’t guarantee anything.

Man, what a feeling. You take the PSAT at the start of junior year and have a higher score than almost anybody you know. You’re set, right? In the clear. Don’t even have to worry about the SAT—it’s pretty much the same thing right?

Alright, so this doesn’t happen to everybody. After all, only 10% of students can be in the 90th percentile. That’s how it works. But let’s say this is you, just as it was me: you’ve confirmed that you’re a good test-taker and you know your stuff, and you’re ready to wash your hands of the whole thing.

Stop there. Don’t get cocky; it’s not that simple. Even if you already know everything you need to know about the PSAT vs the SAT, a top score on the PSAT doesn’t guarantee anything. Yes, if you did well, you’ll probably do well on the SAT, too. But it’s not a sure thing, and this isn’t worth gambling over. SAT scores fluctuate, sometimes by a hundred points or more, and the less experience you have with the test, the more likely that there’s going to be some inconsistency.

Besides that, your reach schools might be looking for scores that are already on level with your PSAT score as it is, even if it is high. And if your PSAT scores drop jaws but your goal schools are only modest, then it’s time to start looking at even higher-tier schools: ivy leagues tend to look pretty good on resumes, and you’ve just shown that your test-taking skills, at least, might be up to snuff.

And if you do decide to go for the gold and apply to the best-ranked schools, then you might need to do some serious test prep to seal the deal, rather than gambling based on your PSAT score. Take a look at Harvard SAT scores, for example: 75 percent of students score over 2100. (If we compare that to the PSAT, that’s around a 200 composite score.) The story isn’t so different with Yale SAT scores, either; top schools expect top scores. Are you absolutely certain you’re going to score that high? If you aren’t—and who is?—then yeah, you might want to study for the SAT. It’s a lot of work to take on when you’ve already got classes, extra-curriculars, and a life, but whatever you can make time for is worth it if it brings you closer to your dream school.

All that being said, I want to make it clear that I don’t recommend serious prep for everybody. If you’re absolutely sure that any and every school you want to apply to has average SAT scores much lower than what you’re expecting based on your PSAT, then there are probably other things you should be focusing on. Your test scores are only part of the package, and if they’re already the strongest part by far, then you shouldn’t spend too much time and energy on them, of course.

But be careful not to write those scores off, either.

Here is what you can do to prep for college in high school.

magooshThis post was written by Lucas Verney-Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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4 Tips for Writing about Last Minute Extracurricular Activities http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/14/4-tips-for-writing-about-last-minute-extracurricular-activities/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/14/4-tips-for-writing-about-last-minute-extracurricular-activities/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 19:31:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20636 ]]> Learn how to demonstrate leadership in your admissions essays!

It’s possible that you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities without even realizing it.

You want to write about all your fantastic non-school and non-work endeavors so that you really stand out from your competition, but when you start to think about it…you draw a blank. There must be SOMETHING you can show for how you use your free time, but what?

Have you found yourself in a last minute lurch looking for extracurricular activities? Note the following:

1. Better Late than Never.

If you don’t have any extracurricular activities to speak of, then I suggest you find something interesting to do and start NOW. You may ask: “Isn’t it better to try and bypass the subject of extracurriculars entirely rather than highlight the fact that I’ve only gotten involved in an activity for the sake of my application? Won’t that seem phony?” While involvement in an extracurricular activity for just a few months is less impressive than long-term participation, it’s still better than presenting no participation at all. You can keep kicking yourself, over and over again, wishing that you had thought of this earlier and gotten involved in some activity years ago, but now’s not the time to harp on regrets; now is the time to act. Get out there and do something.

2. Even Short-Term Involvement Can Transform You.

Participation in a non-school and non-work activities, even if just for a limited period of time, will elevate your flat, one-dimensional admissions profile into something more vibrant, colorful, and interesting. Now’s your chance to transform yourself from a pile of grades and scores into a real, live human being – one who pursues his or her interests and passions outside of the work and school arenas.

3. Your Application Efforts May be Delayed or Extended.

Another reason why you should jump right into an extracurricular activity, even though you may feel like it’s too last minute, is because you don’t know for certain the outcome of your application effort. You may, for one reason or another, decide to push off applying until the next year; you may get waitlisted; you may get dinged from all your top choice schools and decide to reapply next year – whatever the case may be, this could be the beginning of what turns out to be an entire year of extracurricular involvement.

4. Hobbies are Good for YOU!

Forget for a minute that you’re applying to school (if that’s possible) and think about what’s actually good for you. It’s not healthy to site at work for 18+ hours a day only to go home and crash on the couch because you’re too tired to make it to bed. Forget the application process – you should find something to do non-work (and non-school and non-other-obligations) related because it will enrich your life and make you a happier person.

Also, it’s possible that you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities without even realizing it. Mine your experiences to uncover unique experiences that could be considered “extracurricular.” You don’t need clear-cut activities like “Acted as president of the chess club” or “Volunteered in local soup kitchen”; consider non-traditional or non-altruistic activities, like singing in a choir, participating in a weekly fiction writing circle with friends, helping your hyperactive triplet cousin do homework catch-up once a week since forever ago.

These are all completely valid ways of breaking from work, and it won’t be hard to illustrate your passions and interests in these activities, not to mention the leadership skills your developed and the other ways in which you grew and learned from them.

Take home message: It’s NEVER too late to get involved in some meaningful, interesting, and fun extracurricular activity!

Learn everything you need to know about how to tackle the tricky leadership questions that the adcoms love to throw into applications and interviews.

Accepted.com

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What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-postbac-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-postbac-programs/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:21:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20589 ]]> Listen to our conversation with Dr. Barry Rothman!Career changers and academic enhancers on the way to med school: Meet Dr. Barry Rothman, a leader in the field of post-bac education, SFSU Professor of Biology, Director of Post-Bac Programs, Director of SFSU’s Health Professionals Advising Committee, Director of the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, and Director of the SFSU U of Pacific Dental Post-bac Program (wow!).

Listen to the full recording of our interview for excellent insights into post-bac education and admissions from the post-bac guru.

00:03:21 – The journey from snail nervous system research to post-baccalaureate education.

00:08:57 – The support group model: The SFSU post-bac program.

00:15:33 – Post-bac programs for career changers.

00:18:30 – Post-bac programs for academic enhancers.

00:21:50 – When is it time to actually apply to med school? (And a word about tug-of-war with parents.)

00:24:51 – The advantages of a formal post-bac program.

00:29:00 – Post-bac programs come in many flavors: how to figure out which is best for you.

00:33:10 – Is there a future for post-bac education online?

00:36:07 – Advice for career changers.

00:37:57 – “I study so hard, but my friends get As and I get Bs!” Sound familiar?

00:47:36 – Plan on applying to med school in June? The fastest way to medical school is slowly. A good pace can = good results.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Navigating the Med School Mazetips to help you apply successfully to medical school.
• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

Health Professions @SFSU with info about different post-bac options.
Dr. Barry Rothman’s Bio
The Student Doctor Network
AAMC Post-Bac Resources Page

Related Shows:

• A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes
• MCAT Tips and Strategy: An Interview with Don Osborne
• Med School Admissions with Cyd Foote
• Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

Subscribe:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-postbac-programs/feed/ 0 podcast,Post-bac Career changers and academic enhancers on the way to med school: Meet Dr. Barry Rothman, a leader in the field of post-bac education, SFSU Professor of Biology, Director of Post-Bac Programs, Director of SFSU’s Health Professionals Advising Committee, Career changers and academic enhancers on the way to med school: Meet Dr. Barry Rothman, a leader in the field of post-bac education, SFSU Professor of Biology, Director of Post-Bac Programs, Director of SFSU’s Health Professionals Advising Committee, Director of the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, and Director of the SFSU U of Pacific Dental Post-bac Program (wow!). Listen to the full recording of our interview for excellent insights into post-bac education and admissions from the post-bac guru. 00:03:21 – The journey from snail nervous system research to post-baccalaureate education. 00:08:57 – The support group model: The SFSU post-bac program. 00:15:33 – Post-bac programs for career changers. 00:18:30 – Post-bac programs for academic enhancers. 00:21:50 – When is it time to actually apply to med school? (And a word about tug-of-war with parents.) 00:24:51 – The advantages of a formal post-bac program. 00:29:00 – Post-bac programs come in many flavors: how to figure out which is best for you. 00:33:10 – Is there a future for post-bac education online? 00:36:07 – Advice for career changers. 00:37:57 – “I study so hard, but my friends get As and I get Bs!” Sound familiar? 00:47:36 – Plan on applying to med school in June? The fastest way to medical school is slowly. A good pace can = good results. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: • A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs • Navigating the Med School Maze, tips to help you apply successfully to medical school. • Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success • Health Professions @SFSU with info about different post-bac options. • Dr. Barry Rothman's Bio • The Student Doctor Network • AAMC Post-Bac Resources Page Related Shows: • A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes • MCAT Tips and Strategy: An Interview with Don Osborne • Med School Admissions with Cyd Foote • Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! Subscribe:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 54:34
Interview Tip: Prepare Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/interview-tip-prepare-questions-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/interview-tip-prepare-questions-2/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 15:48:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20343 ]]> Learn how to use sample essays to create exemplary essays of your own!

An interview is a two-way street.

Usually when applicants prepare for their admissions interviews, they spend their time trying to figure out what questions will be asked and how they can best answer them. This is important and a good idea. But it’s not the only step to prepping for an admissions interview.

An interview is a two-way street.

Your interviewer will ask you questions and listen your answers, and then will turn the asking over to you. When your interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” you don’t want to shut the interview down by saying, “Nope, I’m set” but want to keep the flow of the conversation going by taking the reins of the interview into your hands and asking some questions of your own.

There are two things you can do before your interview to help you come up with intelligent questions:

1) Familiarize yourself with the program’s website and other literature. Never ask a question that can be answered easily online.

2) Review your application. Your questions should be specific to your unique situation – your skills, interests, and goals. Questions about the faculty or clubs, for example, should relate to your own education, career, and goals.

Since your goal should be to come up with questions that are specific to your situation, I can’t give you a list of must-ask questions without knowing who YOU are. But here are a few sample questions that you can review and tweak so that the questions are more appropriate for YOU:

• How difficult is it to enroll in a popular class like XYZ? (Insert a class that appeals to you. Not a required course.)

• Do recruiters from XYZ (a company or a particular field that interests you) visit the school? How do students get interviews with recruiters?

• Are business plan competitions (or something else that’s relevant to you) open to all students, or are there certain requirements to qualify?

If you are interviewing with school alum or a second-year student, then you should ask questions about their experiences, for example:

• Who were some of your favorite professors? Favorite classes?

• What is/was a typical day like for you?

• Are there clubs or activities that you would recommend for someone interested in XYZ? What clubs are you involved in? How important do you think it is to be involved in extracurricular activities?

• If you could change anything about your experience at this program, what would it be?

You get the idea. You want to come up with questions that personalize you and that show you have an interest in your interviewer’s experience (if relevant). Be specific, show that you’ve done your research, and most importantly, relax!

Good luck and let us know how we can further help you prepare for your interviews!

Click here to download our free report!

Accepted.com

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SAT Myths Debunked http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/08/sat-myths-debunked/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/08/sat-myths-debunked/#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2014 19:42:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20583 ]]> Check out our free report: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Don’t believe all the rumors you hear about the SAT!

The SAT has a deep-seated cultural importance. For many students, it’s the single most significant test they will take in the course of their education. It’s no big surprise, then, that there’s plenty of junk info on the test; people get scared of it, and rumors get spread. It doesn’t help any that there are lots of less-than-upstanding test prep companies with their own agendas to fuel the misconception fire.

Is the SAT basically an I.Q. test?

This is more complicated than either the College Board or most large test prep companies would have you believe. The College Board says that the test is a reflection of your academic achievements—that many of the skills you learn in school are directly tested. That’s half the truth, if even that.

Meanwhile, Princeton Review gives a different answer to this question: “Your SAT scores reflect how good you are at taking the SAT (as well as how much time you spent preparing)–and that’s about it.” This is different than the College Board’s intention of testing your academic achievements. As you can see, opinions on this topic vary. The reality really lies somewhere in between the two.

It’s true that preparing for the test will raise your scores. It’s also true that many of the skills tested are test-specific. Think about functioning under time pressure, for example—when else in your life will you have a situation like this, other than on standardized tests? Or how about multiple choice guessing strategies?

But what they want you to believe is that they have some magic key that will unlock the test for you—that SAT questions are just sneaky tricks. That’s nonsense. Doing well on the SAT is actually about three things:

1. Knowing the concepts, rules, and academic vocabulary. This is the most important piece, and can come from school studies or test-specific preparation.

2. Knowing how to take a standardized test effectively. The only way to improve this is with test-specific preparation.

3. Innate logical abilities. A monkey can’t be trained to take the SAT and score well, no matter what. Meanwhile, a student who figured out how to solve a Rubik’s cube on their own will do pretty well, regardless of how much attention they pay in school. This is only a piece of the whole picture, but it is there, like it or not.

You can improve, yes; everybody can improve. But the big picture is more complicated than most “experts” will admit to.

How much time do I need to study for the SAT?

There are two common mistakes here, but the most important one to avoid is starting studies too late. Many students only start studying a few weeks before the exam, and that’s not ideal. In a perfect world, in order to be sure that you really built up your math knowledge, vocabulary, and test taking skills as much as possible, you’d have 2 or 3 months to prepare. It’s possible to make an effective one month SAT study schedule, but it takes serious devotion if you’re really going to bring up your score.

Does studying Latin actually help?

It can, but not nearly as much as studying English does. If you want to bring up your verbal score, there’s absolutely nothing better than reading as much high-level material as possible. Word lists and flashcards are useful if they’re used right—you really have to know how to remember SAT vocabulary—but it’s the reading, the natural expansion of your vocabulary, that has the greatest effect on your scores. Most of the reading comprehension questions don’t rely heavily on vocabulary; they test how comfortable you are with difficult texts in general. So that’s what you should be practicing.

That being said, reading takes time. It may even take too much time, depending on your schedule, so cramming English vocabulary can help. But don’t worry about Latin.

How hard is SAT math?

That question’s a bit tricky to answer, but everyone seems to be asking it. So just how hard is SAT math? Well, the core concepts that are tested are no harder than most sophomore high school classes. The majority of SAT takers actually studied every math concept on the test, and many of them finished covering those topics years ago. There’s no trigonometry, no calculus, no serious statistics—it’s mostly just algebra, geometry, arithmetic and number properties. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, not even for students who are taking calculus. This is where the logic I mentioned earlier comes in—the most difficult questions are puzzles. They don’t demand crazy formulas or long, complicated calculations: they test reasoning. Getting better at this is partly just about getting to know the types of puzzles that the SAT uses (and the common traps), so it’s not exactly something you’ve learned in school.

So you might hear one person say that SAT math is easy, and they’re right, in a way: it’s all from relatively basic areas of math. And you might hear another person say that it’s actually really hard, and they’re right too. The tricky questions are really tricky, even if the formulas are basic enough.

High School Juniors: Find out what you can do NOW to make applying to college go as smoothly as possible!

magooshThis post was written by Lucas Verney-Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh, providing online SAT prep. For more advice on taking the SAT, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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The Best of 2013 at Accepted.com! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/01/the-best-of-2013-at-accepted-com/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/01/the-best-of-2013-at-accepted-com/#respond Wed, 01 Jan 2014 18:01:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20480 ]]> Best wishes for a happy, healthy new year!
5 Things Y’all Wanted to Learn More About in 2013:

1. Addressing MBA Application Weaknesses. Let’s face it. Nobody is perfect.

2. The Accepted.com Team! And who can blame you. To know them is to love them we say (and our clients agree).

3. Writing about Goals in a Grad School Statement of Purpose. The opportunity to prove that you know what graduate school is all about.

4. All Things Related to MBA Interviews. Making a good impression on paper is only half the battle.

5. How to Obtain Winning Med School Letters of Recommendation.

Everyone Loves a Sample Essay. :) Here Are the Favorites:

MBA: The Goals Essay  It is critical in the goals essay found in almost every MBA application to show that you have clear direction and purpose based on experience and planning. Business school is not another opportunity to “find yourself.”

Med: The Story  This essay is one of our favorites. The applicant tells a story and weaves a lot of information about his background and interests into it. Note how the lead grabs attention and the conclusion ties everything together. 

Grad: Public Health Essay  “My days in the physical therapy department often made me think about the prevention of injuries as well as the injuries themselves.”

Law: Returning to School  Note how this applicant successfully explains his career change and highlights his professional achievements.

College: While the World Sleeps  “When I wake up to the ear-splitting sound of my alarm clock, and blindly search for the snooze button, a sudden thought dawns: “What am I doing?””

8 Blog Posts Our Readers Loved Last Year:

•  Harvard Business School 2014 MBA Application Tips

•  Tips for Completing Your Princeton Supplement to the Common Application

•  What to Include in Your Admissions Resume

•  6 Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

•  7 Fatal Resume Flaws to Avoid

•  Boost your GPA for Med School Acceptance

•  Common Application Essay Tips

•  University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Tips

Accepted.com

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Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 2: The 10 Don’ts http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/31/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-2-the-10-donts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/31/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-2-the-10-donts/#respond Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:38:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20354 ]]> Recently we offered 9 Do’s for Writing Your Resume. Let’s get right to business now talking about the 10 ‘Don’ts.’

Click here for more resume advice!

Don’t make things up!

1) First and foremost, don’t make things up. This includes inflating your accomplishments, your level of responsibility, or your skills. Besides the fact that it’s dishonest, your resume reviewer may find out (like if he or she follows up on one of your references or does a background check) and then you’ll be busted…not to mention jobless.

2) Don’t turn your resume into an autobiography. Your resume will include biographical information, but its primary purpose is to focus on aspects of your life and career that make you an ideal b-school candidate and that address a potential employer’s needs. Don’t include information from high school or earlier.

3) Don’t provide personal data. This includes marital status, age, height/weight, race, religion, or any other non-work-related information. Besides the fact that it’s irrelevant, it may also be used illegally to discriminate against you.

4) Don’t include a separate “objective” line at the beginning of your resume.

5) Don’t use articles (“the,” “a”) or pronouns (“I,” “you”). They waste precious space, detract from resume impact, and reduce professionalism.

6) Don’t overuse a few action words. There are more words you can use besides “led” or “developed.” Consider similar terms like “accelerated,” “delivered,” “established,” “implemented,” “initiated,” or “reengineered.”

7) Don’t forget your dates. Even functional resumes should include dates of employment, even if they’re only included at the end.

8) Don’t use long paragraphs to describe your accomplishments. If you have a lot of information to convey, use bulleted points instead of dense, wordy paragraphs. Each bullet should be limited to two lines of text, and there should really be no more than five bullets per position.

9) Don’t use clichés like “dynamic” or “self-starter.” Rather, use the details of your resume to show that you personify these qualities.

10) Don’t turn your resume into a list of job duties. Instead, list your accomplishments within each position.

For individualized help with your MBA admissions resume or cover letter, visit Accepted’s catalog of resume services or speak with one of our experienced admissions consultants today!

Download our free special report, Leadership in Admissions.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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