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5 Things to Remember the Day of Your SAT/ACT Test

Whether you’re preparing for the SAT, ACT, or both- these are some good tips to apply for healthy preparation.

1. Number 2 Pencils– Be sure to bring PLENTY of them, too! Although the testing site may say they provide you with pencils if you forget them, don’t count on the pencils being the greatest! Be sure also to bring plain wood number 2s because the use of mechanical pencils is not allowed on standardized tests.

2. Calculator– Although calculators are not REQUIRED they come in handy when more complicated math problems come up on either test. Graphing calculators are allowed, but be sure to double check on the test’s website if your calculator make/model is allowed or not. Be sure, if using a graphing calculator, to throw in some extra batteries or change them the night before. Would hate to remember your calculator then have it die half way through a problem on the test! Or bring a back up calculator if you don’t have batteries or won’t have time to get any.

3. Snacks and Water– Although you aren’t allowed to eat or drink while the test is taking place, there are small breaks between sections, giving you time to not only stretch, but also a little time to munch! Keeping your metabolism up will help you stay awake and alert so that you will be able to address each question to the best of your ability!

4. Admissions Ticket– Whether you register online or by mail for the test, you should receive an admissions ticket telling you details such as time and location and date of your test and other rules. Be sure to bring this paper along because it shows proof of registration and is required at the beginning of your test or else you won’t be allowed in. Also be sure to bring a current photo ID, they require this also with the admissions ticket.

5. Yourself!– Be sure the night before you get a good night’s sleep, don’t stay up late cramming last minute facts into your head on some scientific theory that may not even show up on the test. Eat a good breakfast the morning of and pump yourself up by listening to your favorite song!

Students with Landline Phones are Politically Conservative

How many people in your college classes have a landline? Unless they’re living at home with their grandparents, it’s likely to be slim to none. In fact, only one percent of Amherst College‘s incoming class have a landline.

Given that this is an election year, phone lines having burning up with political pollers. These political polls are traditionally done via landline and a correlation between those who are conservative/Republican were most likely to have those landlines. Some are even suggesting that this means these polls are over-reporting Republican data and under-reporting Democratic data.

So the Pew Researchers (they call themselves a “nonpartisan fact tank”) became interested. They conducted three polls this year with young people, they defined as under 30,-  20-25 percent of those polled were contacted via mobile phone and their responses were put against the 75 percent reached on landlines.

What they found could have a serious effect on the future of polling via landlines:

Young people who use landlines are more likely to be Republican than young people who use mobile phones.

Do you think future pollsters will take this data into consideration? And do you think the polls currently in the media have been influenced by this?

Four Remaining All-Men’s Colleges in the United States

Looking for an all-male college?  In the United States, these schools are hard to come by.  Up until the 1950s, single sex colleges and universities were widespread, but that quickly changed as most formerly male schools went coed.  Today, although there about 60 all women’s colleges in the United States, there are only four all male, four year colleges (not counting religious vocational institutions).

So why do young men choose to go to all-male schools?  According to Time Magazine, these schools market themselves as being places with lots of personal attention and camaraderie between males, without the distractions that come with coed institutions.  As you can imagine, many of the students who choose to attend these schools are fairly traditional and conservative, but that’s certainly not true for everyone.

Here’s a little more information about the four remaining all-male, four-year colleges in the United States:

1) Wabash College

Located in the tiny town of Crawfordsville, Indiana, this school of 977 students might not sound like the most exciting place to go to school.  However, Wabash, which has a reputation throughout the Midwest for its rigorous academics, has a very active sports and fraternity scene, and many students are also very involved in the local community.  Wabash is unique in that students have a great deal of behavioral leniency.  There’s only one rule: The Gentleman’s Rule, which states that, “A Wabash man is to conduct himself as a gentleman at all times, both on and off campus.”

2) Hampden-Sydney College

Located in rural central Virginia, this college of about 1,000 is known for outstanding teaching and unabashedly conservative students.  There’s a strict honor code at Hampden-Sydney, and students take this and their academics very seriously. Sports is huge, especially football, and students dress in formal attire on football weekends.

3. Morehouse College

Along with being an all-male college, this Atlanta school of 2,900 students is one of the most prestigious historically black colleges in the United States.  The academic atmosphere is tough, but there’s a strong atmosphere of camaraderie, as everyone wants to help each other succeed.  This dry campus doesn’t offer an overabundance of activities, but since it’s located in Atlanta, students find plenty to do — and Spelman College, an equally prestigious historically black college for women, is in walking distance.

4) St. John’s University

Located in Collegeville, Minnesota, St. John’s is sort of a compromise between co-ed and all male.  This Roman Catholic affiliated college is tightly affiliated with the College of Saint Benedict, an all women’s college in the nearby town of St. Joseph.  Students live on separate campuses, but they take classes together and have access to resources on both campuses.

8 Classes I Should Have Taken in College

Today, I was thinking about the economic crisis, which I’ve been trying hard to make some sense of.  Every time I pick up a newspaper or turn on the news, I think to myself, “Mortgage backed security what?”

These days, I’m wondering why in the world I didn’t take economics in college.

So, here, for what it’s worth, is a list of classes that I should have taken in college, but did not. All of these, in hindsight, would have provided me with knowledge that would have been helpful in some way in my life.  Perhaps it will help you out when you’re thinking of classes to take next semester!

1) Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Do you fully understand why our economy is in the toilet?  Me either.  I took lots of history and political science classes in college, which has given me a good understanding of our political system to a degree, but I would sure understand things better if I understood the economic side of things.

2) World Religions

You know, I sometimes get a little annoyed when people don’t know the basic things about what it means to be Jewish, or what any of the holidays I celebrate are about, other than Hanukkah.  But you know what? I’m a hypocrite because I only have limited knowledge about other people’s religions too, other than Christianity, which you learn about by default when you live in the U.S. In a global economy and diverse world, I think we’d all get along a little better if we understood a little about how other people worship God and deal with the most important questions of human existence.

3) Spanish

I could kick myself for not taking Spanish in high school and college. I took German, despite the fact that Herr Storm, the German teacher in high school, was about 300 years old and spent most of the time telling us war stories and not teaching us German.  And whatever German I learned I barely remember because I never get a chance to use it.  But if I’d learned Spanish, I could use it all the time, as it’s used so frequently in this country.

4) Theater Appreciation

This is kind of more specific to my situation.  I went to college in New Brunswick, NJ, and theater appreciation students took the train in to see Broadway shows for some ridiculously low price.  Now that I live 1,500 miles from Broadway, i could kick myself for not taking advantage of this.

5. Stress Management

Arrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhh, I can’t believe I didn’t take this classs!!!!!!!!!!!

But seriously.  If stress management is available to you in college, take it.  It will come in handy during college — and after.

6) Advanced Expository Writing

If you’re interested in writing as a career, or in a career that’s going to be writing intensive, you should definitely take this class.  It’s all about how to be a strong writer, and it gives you an advanced understanding of language.  Since I’m a professional writer these days, I like to think I’ve picked some of this up on my own, but I bet that class would have helped me.

7) Photography

Seriously, that would have been so much fun!  And my blogs would look nicer.

8 ) Public Speaking

Actually, I did take this. In fact, I taught it. I’m just including it into the list to tell you that YOU need to take it too.  Please don’t let public speaking scare you.  Everyone’s scared of public speaking, and they still wind up finding out that this is one of the most valuable classes you can take in college.  No matter what you do with your life, you’re going to need to communicate with others verbally, and this class is one of the best ways to help you get over your fears and learn.

Senior Year Thus Far

It’s crazy to think that it’s been a full month since I started my Senior year. With a rocky start it seemed this year would drag on and on, so that college seemed as though it would never come. But as I look back on the last month, I realize that so far, my Senior year has had a great start.

I will admit things have been stressful. Trying to finish my Extended Essay for IB, picking up a completely new sport (golf!), starting my college application process, and worrying about my regular coursework, things have gone past chaotic. I’ve been kept busy and although finding time to sleep has been difficult it hasn’t been as impossible as I thought it would be!

Senior year is a year where a lot of growth occurs. You mature as you realize what all you will have to face once you graduate and go off to a college or university of your choice. It seems myself and my friends have begun taking much more responsibility for our actions and that we have grown so much closer in a matter of one month! I am excited to see not only myself but also my friends grow throughout the year and see where we all end up going after graduation. Although I do not look forward to our final goodbyes, I have come to realize that the friends I have now will always be a part of me because not only have they been through so much with me these past 3 years, they have also helped shape the person I am today.

I hope as the year progresses that it will turn out just as fun and exciting or even more as the past month has been. Its my Senior year! And I intend on having as much fun as I possibly can! This may be the last chance I get to see some of these people so having a good senior year and enjoying myself is essential so there is nothing I can look back on and regret doing or not doing.

Two Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15

Freshmen walking on to a new college campus need not fear the boogie man under their bunk beds, and midterms are any scarier than you let them be. One thing that can be a scary concern is the Freshman 15. It’s not an urban legend, it’s very real. For many adults, this is where their lifelong battles with being overweight begins- junk food, pizza, beer, soda, poor sleep and exercise habits all wreak havoc on your overall health and metabolism.

A guest blog at, from MizFitOnline, talks about the Freshman 15 and how avoiding it is as easy as a S.N.A.P. Carla Birnberg is a fitness and health enthusiast who educates with no-frill, real-life advice that people, like college freshmen, can use to live a healthier life.

Here’s a peek at her recommendation, and you can read the rest of her Preventing Freshman 15 in a S.N.A.P. post at

S – Six Small Meals a Day

N – No Mindless Eating

A – Assess Your Options

P – Plan Ahead

The site also provides a review of a smart book, The Dorm Room Diet, written by the daughter of the famous Dr. Oz, Daphne Oz. She shares tips she learned as a college freshman to overcome the constant temptation of “college food.”

Homecoming Spirit Week!

All year, I anticipate the Monday morning I get to roll out of my bed, brush my teeth and hair, slip on shoes, and walk out my front door in my PJs because of Spirit Week!

Every year, we have spirit week before our 2 homecomings and prom! This year the weekdays’ themes include Twin Day, PJ Day, Hippie/70s day, Blue and White day, and College Sport day. Although the days aren’t the most creative, I still enjoy showing school spirit by dressing up for 3 or 4 of the days, if not all 5! This year for twin day, I surprised my band director by dressing up like him. If you knew Mr. Hamant, you would understand just how funny this really is. That is the most I have ever seen him laugh all 4 years I have been around him.

Spirit week is so much fun because not only do you get to show school spirit and dress ridiculous some days, it also sets the mood for homecoming! I am so excited for homecoming because it will be one of the last for high school I attend! It’s sad to think about, but also exciting because this time next year I’ll have started college! So spirit week has so many different meanings to me. But most of all it gets me pumped up for the homecoming game Friday night and the homecoming dance on Saturday night! It’s a great time to hang out with my friends and forget about everything for one night. I can’t wait to get the party started!

College Students: Go Where The Money Is At!

One of the biggest concerns, at least for myself, when it comes to colleges and what may have the biggest influence on which school I pick, is how much money it will cost me to go there.

Considering how much the schools I have picked cost, applying for scholarships is going to be a big part of my college experience. By applying to hopefully earn a numerous amount of scholarships, I will be able to get some aid that isn’t from the schools and in turn cut my costs. I also hope to receive scholarships from the schools I apply to so that my costs will be cut even further.

Many schools consider students for their significant scholarships at the time when they review your application. Be sure to double check with the college and universities to which you plan on applying because some may require essays or extra applications for some of their scholarships.

Another great way to get scholarships is to look online. There are many sites that offer scholarships and allow you to apply to for them online.  Such sites include and Setting up an account on these sites is quick and easy and definitely worth the time. They are a great way to find scholarships and make the application process for these scholarships as easy as the click of a mouse!

So be sure to take advantage of such websites! If you are curious as to if there are any other sites, ask your counselor or college adviser and I’m sure they could point you in the right direction! You can also visit the many scholarship search service reviews here at

Financial Aid and the Banking Crisis: What Now?

Now that the banking system has reached an historic level of turmoil, students across the U.S. have a question that hasn’t gotten much attention yet: what the heck is going to happen to student loans in all of this mess?

Will they be more difficult to get?  Will more interest be charged?  Is it possible that things won’t change much at all?  (No one’s holding their breath much on that one.) And if the government really does go through with a $700 billion bailout, how will this affect student loans?

It stands to reason — perhaps — that students who went through private lenders for students loans are going to have more problems than students who took out government-backed student loans.  Whether this is indeed the case remains to be seen.

All of these are questions that we hope Congress will consider during their hearings on the bailout issue.  Meanwhile, it seems that news organizations are just starting to discuss this issue.  Stay tuned!  We’ll be keeping an eye on things around here.

Are Democrats More Educated Than Republicans?

So who’s smarter, Democrats or Republicans?

That’s quite the controversial question, of course.  According to a blogger at, though, it seems that Democrats are more educated than Republicans. Or hey, let me rephrase that.  People in the “blue states” (states that typically vote Democratic) are collectively more educated than people in the “red states” (states that typically vote Republican).

According to

  • States that voted for Kerry in 2004 had 21 percent more college graduates than states that voted for Bush.
  • The states that ranked the lowest for high school and college graduates were all red states.
  • Eight out of 10 of the states that ranked the highest for high school college graduates were blue states. (The number one state, by far, is Colorado — technically a red state because it went for Bush by a small margin, but effectively a “purple” state because it’s become so politically mixed.)

Is this a bunch of hooey, or is there something to this?  What do you think?

You can also see the educational background and alma maters of the Republican candidates, John McCain and Sarah Palin, and Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, to see how they compare.


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