Chariot Learning Blog

Did your parents ever give you a big plate of fish for dinner, telling you it was “brain food”? Maybe you wondered how it made any sense that salmon could make you smarter, but as it turns out, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Nutritionists and physicians have studied so-called superfoods for decades, decoding the science behind their supposed effects on the human body, and there have been tons of foods with observed positive impacts on the brain: Fish, of course, but more specifically fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout and sardines. Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant that’s a staple in curries. Blueberries, blackberries, and other dark berries are full of antioxidants and can combat inflammation across the whole body. Broccoli, which supplies the Vitamin K that’s a building block of the fat in brain cells. Nuts of every kind have nutrients that are linked to…

Read more

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which was established in 1955, over 1.5 million students in about 21,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year, with about 50,000 entrants qualifying for program recognition, and approximately 8,050 outstanding students receiving scholarships valued collectively at over $35 million for college undergraduate study. The primary way students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), almost always in 11th grade. For many students, a shot at scholarship recognition may be the only good reason to sit for the PSAT. After all, the PSAT is not relevant in college admissions, is not exactly a practice SAT, and doesn’t provide test scores early enough in junior year for many students to act on. That said, there are plenty…

Read more

Don’t you hate that feeling when college essay deadlines loom, and you’re still trying to figure out what to write about? Don’t panic, or at least not yet! Sure, the application essay carries a lot of weight in selective college admission, but, at least, you are writing about a topic you should know very well by now: YOU. While we can’t tell you exactly what to write about, we can offer specific insights that you should consider at each step in your essay crafting process. If the following articles and podcasts aren’t enough, read to the end for a more targeted solution: Getting Started on your College Essay: Brainstorming and Free-Writing Writing a Strong College Application Essay: Drafting Writing a Strong College Application Essay: Revision and Completion 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay   Still not sure how to craft your perfect college application essay? We’d love to help…

Read more

For high schoolers, the academic year roars in with early opportunities to take the SAT & ACT. With the addition of an awesome August SAT administration, October no longer serves as the first chance to take either test. However, the month of fall foliage and Halloween treats is still one of the best times to take the SAT and ACT. What’s so great about October, besides pumpkin spice lattes? So early in the school year, classes haven’t really ramped up, which affords busy students a bit of breathing room to prep for the big tests. Most extracurricular activities, with the notable exception of fall sports, are equally slow to start. Thus, students can actually focus on the tests in October. However, other reasons sweeten the deal for October for 11th and 12th graders alike. SENIORS, even those late to the college admissions party, enter October feeling the pressure to finalize…

Read more

If you’re wondering what factors matter in selective college admissions, I’m happy to summarize the list in a few words: ALL OF THEM. When you are applying to schools that accept 10% or less of applicants, nothing is really optional from test scores to supplemental essays. The good news is that not every factor in admissions carries equal weight. A few years back, we shared what really matters in college admissions, as assessed by the NACAC 2018 State of College Admissions report. Much has changed since then, but perhaps not as much as one would think. After all, the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) recently released the results of a 2020 nationwide survey of IECA member independent educational consultants that shared major similarities with the NACAC report. What matters? Grades still reign supreme, both qualitatively (honors, AP, IB) and quantitatively (the higher the better) to admissions officers. SAT and ACT…

Read more

Is it hubris to want to be the best you can be, to scale the heights of accomplishment to reach its pinnacle? Our most audacious goals are driven by our most fervent desires. Embrace your aspirations in order to make them reality. Achievement results from work realizing AMBITION.

6/767