Author Archives: Mike Bergin

No matter how diligently you prepare for the big tests, all your effort can come to naught if you drop the ball on test day. Everything you do in the week leading up to the test matters, as does everything you bring–or forget to bring–to the testing center. College Board provides a helpful Test Day Checklist that becomes even more useful with our expanded recommendations, which we update every year: What to Bring Your Admission Ticket (print at least TWO days before you need it.) Acceptable photo ID (pay attention to the rules around acceptable ID.) Two No. 2 pencils with erasers (mechanical pencils are not allowed, but big erasers are.) An approved calculator (either pack a spare or be ready if your calculator fails.) Tissues (Testing seems to elicit all kinds of sniffles, sneezes, and tears.) Required medications and medical devices (go ahead and pack a special first aid…

Read more

Results don’t materialize simply because we want them: we have to work for them. Hard work alone doesn’t guarantee success, but you can be certain that you won’t achieve your wildest ambitions without it! Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative EFFORT.

As we approach another Thanksgiving, thoughts naturally turn to what we feel grateful for. Another way to celebrate is to deeply consider why we should be grateful for those things in life we have to deal with, regardless of how much we like them. Few teens look forward to tests like the SAT and ACT; fewer still actually enjoy them. But do these exams represent a necessary evil or a golden opportunity? Imagine yourself as a high school student eager to attend selective institutions, access prestigious honors programs, or earn enough merit scholarship to defray the ever-rising cost of college. Now think about how you’d feel about your prospects if any or all of the following applied to you: your grades don’t reflect your ability. you suffered some academic setbacks along the way. your excellent grades are undermined by your school’s academic reputation. you couldn’t find enough ways to demonstrate…

Read more

A hook is useful to have on hand (definitely not in hand, though) in all manner of scenarios from fishing to songwriting. Surprisingly, the newest market for hooks happens to be in college admissions. This begs, the question, of course, “What is a hook?” Hooks are basically all the factors beyond grades and test scores that might engage interest and secure college admission. We’ve always recognized that certain traits or activities helped applicants stand out from the crowd. What may surprise you is just how many hooks there are. College expert Aly Beaumont of Admissions Village joined me on the Tests and the Rest podcast to share what may be the world’s most thorough inventory of application hooks: Okay, so let me start first with what an institutional priority or a hook is. So I think of things that are beyond academics, test scores. There’s both inherent ones that are…

Read more

Imagine you were driving down the road and saw what seemed to be really important paperwork regarding your most fervent academic aspirations. This may sound like a wild hypothetical, but, too often, truth is stranger than fiction… Raina Porras and her mom were in the car when they saw papers littering the street last week. Looking closer, Porras, a junior at El Paso High School, saw what seemed like Scantron bubbles filled in across the pages. Her mom joked that the papers were her PSAT scores because she’d just taken the exam the day before. Her mom was right. Apparently, the answer sheets for the SAT exams that students took at El Paso High School on October 27 were lost in transit after being submitted to UPS. According to the El Paso Independent School District, staffers recovered all but 55 of the answer documents. What can be done for students…

Read more

Have you even been to a college fair? Basically, reps for a bewildering array colleges, universities and military services flood malls or other large venues so that students and families can gather information, brochures, and lots of first impressions. Is that all there is to the admissions process? Obviously, determining where you want to go is important. Equally essential is learning how to get in. The first Greater Rochester Getting-into-College Fair at the Pittsford Library in October was a great success, but we expect the next one to be even better. How is this different from a conventional college fair? Instead of campus reps, you’ll meet amazing local experts with answers about every aspect of college admissions. Perinton Community Center — Thursday, November 3, 5-8pm 1350 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450 The Getting-into-College Fair is free, and no registration is required. Come for guidance and insights for high school…

Read more

6/703