Saturday, August 4, 2012

SAT: How to Study for the SAT

How to study for the SAT? How to beat the SAT? SAT the monster, the giant, how can it be overcome? Having to take on the SAT is like the story of David taking on Goliath, at least that's what it seems like before you have really prepared yourself.

"PLEASE SHARE YOUR SAT TIPS. I'm aiming for 2000 and my current sat score is 1700"

Please note: I am not the most qualified person to be giving you tips on the SAT. Although I did receive a 2300 (740CR, 770M, 790W) I did not fully master the SAT, hence the 100 points away from a perfect score. But I will do my best my friend, because I remember how desperate I was before I began studying and I had NO CLUE what so ever on how to study.

If you read my reply on the comments, you will noted the importance of determination, motivation, and perseverance. I don't know what grade you are in, but if you just take even 2 weeks but ideally 1-2 months to study hardcore, I mean HARDCORE, you will get the score you want.

I'm sure you know about this website, but if you don't check it out! College Confidential. Press college discussion and it will take you to the forum and on the left side you press SAT/ACT prep for tips on studying for the SAT. It will take you to here: College Confidential SAT/ACT Prep. This is where I found all the help I needed. I didn't need a tutor, they are WAY overpriced and unless you are rich, they are not worth your money. I'm not saying they don't help, they do, but if you don't have the money, there are many more efficient ways.

I'm just going to list all the helpful threads I found the College Confidential. I DO NOT TAKE ANY CLAIM ANY OF THESE MATERIALS. As you can see, the thread starter is the person you should thank. I will simply share what I found the most helpful and hope that it helps you.

Compilation of all SAT guides on College Confidential: here you find all the threads that might be helpful for studying for preparing for the SAT.

Noitaraperp Critical Reading Tips: CRITICAL READING section. You employ these tips and it will help you a bunch. But listen to me, you can't simply read this and believe that you will improve, no! You need to put it into practice. You know what a Blue Book is right?? The SAT official study guide which as 10 practice tests. You go through all the practice tests, and I mean ALL OF THEM. You time yourself accordingly and take it under real test day conditions. You take the tests SECTION BY SECTION and after each section go to to find the answers. Read explanation for EVERY QUESTION even if you got it right. This is how you understand what collegeboard is looking for in an answer. 

WRITING: Sparknotes SAT Writing Section Guide this is all I need for the writing section

VOCAB: If you can afford it buy the Direct Hits 1 & 2 SAT vocab books. MEMORIZE all of them. Know them like the palm of your hand. It won't guarantee you a 100% on the vocab, but it will increase your score significantly.

MATH: There is really no trick to this. As I mentioned before, get this SAT Official Study Guide and do all the practice tests section by section. After each math section, and read the explanations online. But honestly, the online explanation by collegeboard website was confusing... so use this Khan Academy SAT Math explanations. As you can see it only goes up to test 8. That is because it is based on the 1st edition. On the 2nd edition, I'm not positive because it's been a while but I believe test 4 on 2nd edition is test 1 on khan academy. I am sure you can figure it out by yourself.

Finally this helped me the most! aussietechie's SAT 2080->2340 SAT guide... it really just summarized it up for me after going through threads after threads.

You know if you are willing to read through all these threads, take notes, taking ALL the practice tests, read all the explanations carefully, maybe even RETAKE the practice tests, especially the math, you will increase your score. Your score will be proportionate to your effort. If you need help in a specific section, let me know in the comment and I will try to give you specific tips. Good luck and work at it! Believe in yourself!!!! 

It will help a ton if you get a big piece of paper and write in big font 2400, 2300, 2000, whatever your dream score is, it will seriously motivate you when you are tired and you look up and see the sign.

I also have this quote by Abraham Lincoln on my wall:  Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

College Advice for Undocumented Student College Confidential

College Advice for Undocumented Student College by College Confidential. I am sure everyone knows what College Confidential is. It is where you go to converse with other high school students, graduates, parents, and college gurus to help you get through high school, standardized testing, and the whole college process! It is a forum where you can create threads and reply to other people's posts. I spend A LOT of time on it, especially only the SAT section, which is where I found all the resources for acing the SAT (I received a 2300 and I owe much to College Confidential forum). If you want to know about my prep let me know, but I think most reading this are already through with standardized tests.

College Advice for Undocumented Student College Confidential

Everyone must read this through so they realize that college is accessible and there are scholarships for undocumented students, although we are not eligible for federal aid! Some of the important things you must note here:
-"most colleges will consider you as if you were an “international” student, which means that you will be eligible for any scholarship money that they have for non-citizens, whether from outside the U.S. or within."
-"one schools are interested in undocumented students because of the “diversity” that they will bring to campus and thus do not expect the undocumented students to be stronger that the average student there." However, it states that it is usually the TOP undocumented students who get into the top universities. So if we work hard with determination, we have a good chance of being accepted and even getting financial aid!
-I will just copy the entire quote because it requires emphasis! "The colleges that have the most money to give away to international and undocumented students are often the ones that are the toughest for anyone to get into, so the bar is set very high for all applicants but especially for international and undocumented students who are often expected to exceed the norm. However, admission officials are usually sympathetic to the hardships that many undocumented applicants have faced, and this can be a plus in the admission process."

The information above has served as an impetus for me to forget about my "disadvantages" and simply work hard as any other excellent student would.We are only encumbered by our OWN thoughts. Don't get hung up on the fact that you are undocumented. Instead read posts like above and know that if you persevere and achieve, you will have as good of a chance as any other students at top schools. That is what I believe and I hope you will share in my confidence.

By no means am I trying to supply what some downers might call "false hope." And I don't wish to believe that I am deluded. I think there is some truth in what I am saying and only results will tell in May. Until then why not just try your best? It's better to know that at least you tried and leave no regrets.

College Board Undocumented Students Resources Guide

College Board's resources guide for undocumented students:

It should mostly be used for scholarship information. It covers several states, not just California so it should be somewhat useful to many undocumented students nationwide.It is great to see that College Board is making the effort to help and support undocumented students. In the guide, there is a long list of scholarships that an undocumented student can have access to. It also has numerous organizations designed to help undocumented students that offer scholarships. So it won't be bad to go over the section that covers your state and maybe bookmark some of those organizations and scholarship opportunities.

There are many opportunities out there! You just have to be active in searching for them and taking advantage of them. Although my family is low income ~20-30k (I've never actually talked to my parents about this but only my mom is currently working), which is the lowest or 2nd lowest income bracket for financial aid at colleges. But I believe that I will be able to afford an education at top public universities at UC Berkeley or UCLA (in state tuition) and if I work hard enough even at top privates like the Stanford and the ivies!

Undocumented Student Accepted at Yale and Stanford

I was reading through things related to undocumented students and I stumbled across an article on STATIC by Fermin Mendoza, a Stanford graduate who is of hispanic origins and is an undocumented student.

Although it's disheartening to read about his inability to major in civil engineering because of his immigration status, stories like these serve as inspiration and hope for me. An undocumented student getting accepted into the nation's best colleges and getting full financial aid.

Although my background is very different from his. I read that his high school was 98% Latino so he came from a "protective" environment where he could disclose his status without being judged. They understood him. My school is 60% white and I live in a middle/upper middle class neighborhood. They don't understand immigration very well.

But regardless, his story is hope for me. I wish to attend universities like those he was accepted at. I won't be able to without financial aid so reading about undocumented students getting full rides is very exciting for me.

P.S.: I know this story is a bit old but because I started this blog late, I want to share all the things I found before I started the blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

California Dream Act (

Everyone (who lives in California) must check out the It gives a brief description of the two separate acts AB 130 and AB 131 which as a whole is the California Dream Act.

california dream act application 

This is also where you go to file the California Dream Application which you must do if you are going to apply for financial aid at a UC (university of california). You begin the application January 1, 2013.
Remember that undocumented students cannot file the FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid). However we can submit the CA Dream Application. It will qualify us for scholarships and institutional grants at California public universities and also the Cal Grant the state counterpart of federal financial aid.

You must qualify as an AB 540 and qualifications can be easily found if you browse through the website or google AB 540 Qualifications.