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The Brag Sheet

I’ve written here that you don’t need to send a resume with your college applications, that in fact you shouldn’t. I stand by that. It’s just that there’s a bit more to the topic. You don’t need a resume to apply for college, but you should have what’s called a brag sheet. I wrote that […]

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More Application Essay Tips

Here’s another installment in our ongoing series of tips for application essays. Before, I discussed four crucial aspects of the essay-writing process; now we have a couple of things not to do. You need to be on your guard; sometimes bad results stem from good intentions. Here’s a couple of cases in point. Don’t Write […]

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SAT and ACT Medians

Students ask us all the time, “What are my chances of getting into X?” Parents want to know whether their kids should bother with certain schools. “Do we even have a chance there?” While we’ve gotten pretty good at predicting a student’s chances of admission, there’s also a simple way to give yourself an idea […]

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Medical School Personal Statement Tip #1

The personal statement for your medical school applications is very difficult thing to write. When you start asking yourself, you might realize that it’s a difficult question: why do you want to go to medical school and what makes it a good idea? The personal statement is also a minefield; tips can very easily take […]

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How Many Extracurriculars Do I Need?

“The availability of 10 fields is not intended to imply that you should list 10 activities, and there [is] no expectation that you will do so ,” says the Common App website. Aside from the typo omitting “is,” this is a good reminder. It does, however, fly in the face of the popular attitude towards […]

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How to Get the Best Recommendations

Our founder always says that in the tens of thousands of applications he’s read, he’s never come across a bad recommendation. You might be surprised, but imagine how letters of recommendation are produced for college applications. A student asks a teacher, Could you write me a recommendation, please? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the […]

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SAT Words

The SAT is infamous for its tough vocabulary words. Many students before you have wondered why they need to know what ‘acrimonious’ means, and I get it: it’s not likely you use that word on a regular basis. Well, it seems that the College Board has heard these criticisms. The new SAT rolls out in […]

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SAT Practice Tests

At Top Test Prep, we stress the importance of completing as many official practice tests as possible, and not just for diagnostic purposes. Doing practice tests is one of the best ways to prepare for the real one and improve your scores. This is true not only of the SAT, but also of the ACT, […]

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College Application Resumes

If you already have a resume at seventeen, great. But: don’t send it off with all of your college applications automatically. Only send a resume if a school specifically requests one (most don’t) or if the Common App doesn’t convey everything about you that you believe is important for schools to know. Send other supplementary […]

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ACT to SAT Conversion

Maybe you’ve already taken the SAT or the ACT, and are wondering what you’d have to get on the other one for it to be an improvement. Maybe you’re just curious. Maybe your friend got a 32 and you had an argument about whether your 2150 is better or not. What ACT score matches up […]

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