Head’s up: I haven’t been posting recently since school just started. I’m not on hiatus, just unplugging from the online world a little. :)
Anonymous said: I'm having a hard time writing my personal statement. What are some tips you have on how to write a good personal statement? Thanks!
- Write many, many drafts. Write them on different topics. Rewrite the same drafts several times.
- Have people read them. Take them to school counselors, advisers, and staff members who are on scholarship committees, even if you’re not applying for their scholarship.
- Show that you have passion for whatever you plan on doing.
- Don’t actually use the word “passion”.
- Don’t use purple prose.
- No one cares about your beloved high school teacher who inspired you to do blah blah blah. Everyone has heard this story. Whoever reads your essay will roll their eyes because they’ve probably read hundreds more like it. Write about something specific to you.
- For you English/Literature majors: No one cares if you’ve been reading/writing since you were a kid. That’s true for pretty much every English/Lit major.
- Keep it short. If they give you a maximum of one thousand words, that does not mean they want to read one thousand words. Keep it around one page or less.
- Don’t use quotes from other people. This is all about you, not what someone else said.
- Don’t put all of your achievements in a list.
- I’ve heard at least three college professors complain about essays that start with “in modern society today” or “in our society today” or “in the world we live in today”. They’re cliche and they’re redundant. Of course modern society is today. That’s why it’s modern.
- Make sure whatever you write about is relevant to the question for the personal statement or relevant to your reason for applying to whatever you’re applying to.
- Show that you have long term goals and that whatever you’re applying for now will help you in the future.
- Stick to one topic.
- Back up your claims. Anyone can say they are ambitious. You have to show that you are ambitious for it to hold any weight in a personal statement.
- Whenever you mention an academic or extracurricular achievement, talk about how it has helped you and how it is relevant. Winning a major spelling bee is irrelevant if you’re applying for nursing school unless you’re able to use that fact to show that you have excellent memory, which is valuable in many fields.
- Don’t try to be funny.
- Talk about what you hope to learn.
- Personal Essays in General
- Demystifying the Graduate School Personal Statement
- Writing Your Personal Statement
- Personal Statement Notes 9 (the other 8 are linked at the bottom of the post)
- Writing the Personal Statement
- Tips for Writing a Personal Statement
- Personal Statements
- 4 Tips for the College Essay
- 28 Tips on Personal Statements
- College Admission Essays
- Tips for an Effective Essay
- Do’s and Don’t’s
- College Application Essay
- How to Write a College Application Essay
- How to Write a Personal Statement
Let’s face it — AP tests are a challenge. Sometimes, we students find ourselves facing incompetent teachers, insufficient classes, etc. etc. that do not prepare us for these exams at all. However, having a review book may be your golden ticket to the grade you desire.
Here is a list of most frequently recommended and highly useful AP review books for each subject!
AP US History: Princeton Review or REA
AP Chemistry – Princeton Review (very popular review book for chem)
AP Psychology – Barron’s Review or Princeton
AP Physics – Barron’s Review
AP Statistics - Barron’s Review (a favorite amongst most stats teachers)
AP U.S Gov – Princeton Review
AP Economics – Barron’s or Princeton Review
AP Environmental Science – Smartypants Guide to Environmental Science or Awesome Guide to Environmental Science
AP Calculus – Arco or Princeton
Literature – Barron’s Review or REA
Art History – The Annotated Mona Lisa or Barron’s (Personally, I believe Barron’s is far more useful)
AP Biology – Cliffs or Barron’s
AP English Language – Cliffs
AP World History – Barron’s and 5 Steps to a 5
AP European History – Modern European History Book, REA Crashcourse, or Barron’s
AP U.S History – REA or Amsco
AP Human Geography – Barron’s
AP Comparative Government: Ethel Woods
AP Computer Science - Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java
Overall, I would say Barron’s is my go-to in the case that my nearby book store doesn’t have the review book I want. REA is the holy mother of all AP history tests, and Princeton is unbelievably helpful for AP Chem. Notice how Kaplan is not on this list; many of my fellow 5 scorers on AP exams do NOT recommend Kaplan. It is better to read the textbook than use Kaplan!
[This information was compiled through hours of slogging through AP discussion forums and through the helpful input of AP teachers and AP test masters.]
Tip: It’s a good idea to buy your AP Review book at the start of school so you can follow along in your class to retain more information. Good luck pals!
Two years ago (goes to show old this blog is), I posed the question to my (very small) group of followers — which Ivy Leagues represented the Hogwarts school houses most accurately?
I thought the answers would be the more interesting part, but I actually found some of the comments to be more hilarious. They’re posted after the jump.
Sorry this is really old, but I think Harvard is half Slytherin and half Gryffindor. I totally agree with Yale and Cornell as Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff respectively.
My RA asked if I had any burning questions so I asked “do books really burn at 451 degrees fahrenheit?” and i hope she gets that i was trying to incorporate both my love of puns and dystopian novels and doesn’t think i’m a total creep that wants an actual answer