17 – Fantasy Recommendation Letter League w/ Veteran Educator Don Gonzalez

Teacher recommendation letters are your reward for being a brown noser for four years. Just kidding… Kinda… Joining us to talk about how to get good teacher recommendation letters and how to build strong relationships with instructors is a 20 year veteran of public schools. Don Gonzalez is a teacher and magnet coordinator at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet in Dallas, TX. He was a key piece of Michael’s college applications, and now he joins the podcast to give his own advice. To hear more from Mr. Gonzalez, check out his podcast and blog at thejoecatholic.org.

Thanks to Don Gonzalez for coming on the podcast. Check out his other podcasting work here.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.


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Show Notes:

Great Rec Letter Article (Real Rec Letters)

Tips to Get a Standout Rec Letter

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

16 – Not Just Ivies – Building a College List

The first step in the college application is process is picking which college you want to apply to. Applicants should pick schools in three ranges – safety, target, and reach schools. The number of schools they apply to will differ based on the applicant and their level of confidence. Finally, Michael shares his list and advises Dominic and Nhi on their lists.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form. What did you think of our college lists? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Show Notes:

PrepScholar College List Article

Building Your College List

Top 10 Best College Search Tools

 

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

15 – Applying to International Schools from America – How and Why?

We aren’t just limited to schools in the United States. There are great schools internationally. We discuss the application processes for UK and Canadian schools as well as joint programs between American and international schools like Yale-NUS and NYU’s programs. Finally, we reflect on whether applying internationally is actually worth it.

Time Stamps –
UK Schools – 2:06
Canadian Schools – 15:48
Joint Programs – 21:08
Reflection – 28:53

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

Best Test Prep Material:

Need help raising your test scores or don’t know where to start studying? Here’s our handpicked BEST test prep material that helped us earn 99th percentile scores!

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Show Notes:

British University Application Guide

Applying to UK Schools NYT Article

Cambridge Testing and Application Requirements

British Standardized Testing for International Applicants

Oxford Price and Financial Aid

Cambridge Price and Financial Aid

 

Standardized Testing for Canadian Schools

UToronto Admission Requirements

Canadian University Stats

Canadian University Rankings (don’t use this religiously, but it is a good basic guide)

 

Yale NUS Admissions

Yale NUS Price and Financial Aid

Columbia Sciences Po Admissions and Application Requirements

Columbia Sciences Po Price and Financial Aid

NYU Abu Dhabi Admissions and Application Requirements

NYU Abu Dhabi Price and Financial Aid

NYU Shanghai Admissions and Application Requirements

 

Applying Abroad Article

Additional Applying Abroad Article

 

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

14 – Extracurricular Strategy – Picking and Pursuing Activities

Extracurricular activities are the backbone of any college application, especially to top-tier schools. Freshmen need to start early. Upperclassmen need to develop their interests with awards and leadership positions. Seniors need to stay calm and not randomly resume pad. We discuss the activities we wish we had done and the ones we wish we had quit. Finally, Michael becomes an amateur psychologist.


Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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Show Notes:

PrepScholar Spike Article

PrepScholar Value of Extracurricular Activities in Founder’s College Application

 

 

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

13 – How to Common App – 9 Parts, 3 Hosts, 1 Application

The Common App has many sections – demographic information, test scores, educational history, academic honors, extracurricular activities, the additional information section, the Common App essay, recommendation letters, supplemental essays, and a little bit of common confusion among stressed-out seniors.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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Show Notes:

Previous Common App episode with a focus on honors and extracurriculars

Common App

How to Get Common App Fee Waivers

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

12 – Your TLDR to Junior Year – Productivity, Testing, Networking

School is starting soon. If you are about to be a junior, don’t let senioritis strike early. We have tips about how to use your junior year as a launchpad into your dream school from tips. We talk about staying productive and on track, the incoming storm of standardized testing, focusing on a few key extracurricular activities, and networking with key college admissions players to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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Show Notes:

BEST TEST PREP MATERIAL:

The Official SAT Blue Book with 8 Real SAT Tests

The Official ACT Red Book with 4 Real ACT Tests

Computer Time Tracking

Cortex- Productivity Podcast

THE HYPER-SCHEDULING EXPERIMENT (If you can do this long term, I applaud you. -Dominic)

SAT/Subject Tests Dates

ACT Dates

Harvard Students’ Admissions Rescinded for “Offensive Facebook Memes”

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

11- Spiking Your College Application: Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted

The college admissions process is very competitive and will only get more difficult. Join us as we discuss how to spike your application, one way of increasing your chances of getting in.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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Show Notes:

Presidential Volunteer Service Award

Prudential Scholarship

National Scholastic Award

Achievement Awards in Writing from National Council of Teachers of English

Bennington Young Writers Award

 

Allen Cheng: How to Get into Harvard

Allen Cheng’s Successful Harvard Application

 

List of Community Service Scholarships

 

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

10- Getting a Perfect Score: How to Get 800s and 5s on SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests

There is more to standardized testing than just the SAT and ACT. Join us to learn how to best take advantage of SAT subject tests and AP tests. We have had great success with them and now it’s your turn.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

Sponsors:

Listeners like YOU on Patreon!

 

Best Test Prep Material

SAT Subject Test Prep Examples:

Official SAT Math 2 Prep Guide With 4 Official Subject Tests

Barron’s SAT Math 2 Prep Guide

AP Prep Examples:

Barron’s AP Calculus AB

Princeton Review AP Chemistry

 

Show Notes:

Subject Tests Dates

List of Subject Tests

List of Schools that Require Subject Tests

Crack SAT

AP Tests

AP Credit Search Tool

AP Policies Michael Discussed

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

9 – Beating the SAT and ACT: Which Test to Take, How to Study, and How to Maximize Your Score

Standardized tests are stressful for many students. Join us as we break down the differences between the SAT and ACT, how to study for each test, and strategies to maximize your score.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

Sponsors:

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Test Prep Material:

Official SAT Blue Book: https://amzn.to/2Lu1BdW 

Official ACT Red Book: https://amzn.to/2zTcVPw

Show Notes:

UChicago Goes Test Optional

Info for Michael’s Points on Test Inequality

 

Test Prep:

Free: Khan Academy

Good price for online course: Prep Scholar

Good price for in-person tutoring: Gao Admissions

Expensive but good scores: KD College Prep

Free Tests:

SAT

ACT

Prep books:

Kaplan

Princeton Review

Barron’s

Crack SAT

Crack ACT

 

Thanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

8 – The Struggle is Real: A Summer Check-In on Where You Should Be

Newsflash: everyone is struggling right now, especially with colleges changing the goalposts on standardized testing. Nhi and Dominic fret about how they are doing with their essays and overall application. Through it all, you’ll find out where you need to be at this point in the summer.

Check out our Instagram giveaway: be a guest on our podcast and get free advice from our partners at Gao Admissions.

Please submit your comments and questions on our Contact Us form.

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Show Notes:

Harvard Lawsuit
Princeton and Stanford Drop SAT/ACT Essay Requirement, Princeton to Require Graded Essay Sample
Cameron Impact Scholarship
College Fly in Programs
Common Application Essay Prompts
SAT/Subject Tests Dates
ACT Dates
Register for the SAT/Subject Tests
Register for the ACT
Ship Chapter in the IliadThanks to Purple Planet for the music during the ad at http://www.purple-planet.com licensed under CC BY 3.0

Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.