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SAT Study Tip: Hit the Library!
The most effective college prep strategy may be to pick up a good book.
Even if your days are crammed with SAT tutors, community service in Costa Rica, or resume-boosting courses at Ivy League colleges, a trip to your local public library might be your most effective college prep strategy this summer. Besides the simple pleasure of getting lost in a good book during a heavy thunderstorm, reading will have many benefits.
Need help figuring out black hole questions like your college major or career? Reading is a great way to pursue topics that interest you. If you think you might be interested in politics after watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report
, try picking up a good newspaper or a weekly news magazine to follow the candidates on the campaign trail. The many candidate biographies and autobiographies are also informative. For students contemplating a career in medicine, books covering health care issues at home and abroad, ranging from Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains
to Atul Gawande's Better
are eye-opening. A Civil Action
, by Jonathan Harr is a non-fiction introduction to one lawyer's big case.
The more of the world you see by reading on your own couch, the stronger your voice in your college essays and interviews. In fact, some application supplements or interviewers ask specifically about books you've read. Why not exude enthusiasm about a topic of interest rather than relying upon your junior year required readings? The Grapes of Wrath
and The Great Gatsby
get old fast for seasoned admissions officers.
Reading might help with those nasty SAT and ACT retakes still looming. As you read, have index cards and a dictionary handy. Sure, flash cards are dorky, but looking up words is a great way to increase vocabulary for those challenging SAT sentence completions. When those fall tests roll around, you might even notice that you're moving through the reading passages faster and with better comprehension.
© 2008 Elise Epner
Elise R. Epner LLC
College Admissions Consulting
Medical Schools & Other Graduate Programs, too
The views expressed herein are those of their authors alone, and do not necessarily represent the views of Hundreds of Heads or of IECA.