Chariot Learning Blog

We at Chariot Learning talk a lot about how to make that glorious road to college as smooth and successful as possible. However, we’re usually focused on the stretch of road that leads up to admissions. Tests, grades, essays, and interviews obviously deserve serious attention and discussion, but what about the parts after those acceptance letters arrive? Luckily, Mike Metzler has a lot to say about that final stretch of road that students travel from their homes to their freshman year dorms. Mike, a Rochester resident and heck of a nice guy, is the author of Carpe College, the fun guide to making the most of your college experience. I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a great gift for any high school graduate. I also recommend heeding Mike’s advice on how to optimize the college experience. If you are (or know) an incoming freshman, make the next month count.…

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Meditation may be tough to master in this busy, plugged-in world, but regular practice can moderate stress, promote emotional well-being, and foster physical health. If those benefits aren’t enough to sell daily relaxation, consider this one: meditation can actually make your brain better. Consistent meditation over a period of years has been linked to positive changes in both the structure of the brain and the strength of synaptic connections. Researchers at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging found that long-term meditation promotes gyrification, which is more desirable than it sounds: …Gyrification or cortical folding is the process by which the surface of the brain undergoes changes to create narrow furrows and folds called sulci and gyri. Their formation may promote and enhance neural processing. Presumably then, the more folding that occurs, the better the brain is at processing information, making decisions, forming memories and so forth. Do you know someone…

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Believe it or not, Weird Al Yankovic nails a few commonly tested grammar and usage errors in his new song parody, Word Crimes. Just don’t kid yourself that listening to the song a few times counts as test prep. It is catchy though…

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

We all know that everyone learns in different ways. Some of us prefer to work independently, while others need to be led along. Solo vs. group, synchronous vs. asynchronous, visual vs. auditory… everyone absorbs information most efficiently through specific channels. One of the great challenges for any of us is discovering those paths and then using them.

Success, both in tests and life, comes one small step at a time. Unfortunately, these increments of achievement can sometimes seem smaller than they really are, which leads us to overlook their impact. Evaluating ACT scores reminds us of how deceiving certain scores can be. Today, the ACT is taken by more students than the SAT. Yet, amazingly, people still don’t quite understand how to interpret ACT scores. The problem lies in that weird constricted range: SAT section scores span a full 600 points from 200-800 while ACT section and composite scores cover 36 meager scaled score points. Consequently, test takers can see hundreds of points of improvement from one SAT to another (with the right preparation, naturally), but ACT test takers must content themselves with 2 or 3-point score increases. Which one sounds more impressive? The SAT/ACT Bell Curve But the ACT scale deceives us, diminishing the accomplishment an…

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