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FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Advanced Number Properties on GMAT  Part I 
Don’t worry, we are not going to discuss (Even + Even = Even) and (Odd + Odd = Even) type of basic number properties in this post. What we have in mind for today is something based on this but far more advanced. Often, people complain that they thoroughly understand the theory but have difficulties applying it and hence are stuck at a score of 600. They look for practice questions and tend to ignore concepts since they already “know” them. We often ask them to go back to concepts since we believe that a strong foundation of concepts is necessary for ‘score increase’. Mind you, when we do that, we don’t mean to ask them to review the basic concepts again, we mean to ask them to deduce and work on advanced concepts. Let’s show you with the help of a question. Question: If two integers are chosen at random out of first 5 positive integers, what is the probability that their product will be of the form a^2 – b^2, where a and b are both positive integers? A. 2/5 B. 3/5 C. 7/10 D. 4/5 E. 9/10 Solution: This might look like a probability question but isn’t. Questions like these are the reason we ask you to go through basics of every topic including probability. If you do not know probability at all, you may skip this question even though it needs very basic knowledge of probability. Probability will tell you that Required probability = Favorable cases/Total cases Total cases are very easy to find: 5C2 = 10 or 5*4/2 = 10 whatever you prefer. This is the number of ways in which you select any 2 distinct numbers out of the given 5 distinct numbers. Number of favorable cases is the challenge here. That is why it is a number properties question and not so much a probability question. Let’s focus on the main part of the question: First five positive integers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 We need to select two integers such that their product is of the form a^2 – b^2. What does a^2 – b^2 remind you of? It reminds me of (a + b)(a – b). So the product needs to be of the form (a + b)(a – b). So is it necessary that of the two numbers we pick, one must be of the form (a + b) and the other must be (a – b)? No. Note that we should be able to write the product in this form. It is not necessary that the numbers must be of this form only. But first let’s focus on numbers which are already of the form (a + b) and (a – b). Say you pick two numbers, 2 and 5. Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? No. 5 = 3.5 + 1.5 2 = 3.5 – 1.5 So a = 3.5, b = 1.5. a and b are not integers. What about numbers such as 3 and 5? Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? Yes. 5 = 4 + 1 3 = 4 – 1 Note that whenever the average of the numbers will be an integer, we will be able to write them as a+b and a – b because one number will be some number more than the average and the other will be the same number less than average. So a will be the average and the amount more or less will be b. When will the average of two numbers (Number1 + Number2)/2 be an integer? When the sum of the two numbers is even! When is the sum of two numbers even? It is when both the numbers are even or when both are odd. So then does the question boil down to “favorable cases are when we select both numbers even or both numbers odd?” Yes and No. When we select both even numbers or both odd numbers, the product can be written as a^2 – b^2. But are those the only cases when the product can be written as a^2 – b^2? The question is not so much as whether both the numbers are even or both are odd as whether the product of the numbers can be written as product of two even numbers or two odd numbers. We need to be able to write the product (whatever we obtain) as product of two even or two odd numbers. To explain this, let’s say we pick two numbers 4 and 5 4*5 = 20 Can we write 20 as product of two even numbers? Yes 2*10. So even though, 4 is even and 5 is odd, their product can be written as product of two even numbers. So in which all cases will this happen?  Whenever you have at least 4 in the product, you can write it as product of two even numbers: give one 2 to one number and the other 2 to the other number to make both even. If the product is even but not a multiple of 4, it cannot be written as product of two even numbers or product of two odd numbers. It can only be written as product of one even and one odd number. If the product is odd, it can always be written as product of two odd numbers. Let’s go back to our question: We have 5 numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Our favorable cases constitute those in which either both numbers are odd or the product has 4 as a factor. 3 Odd numbers: 1, 3, 5 2 Even numbers: 2, 4 Number of cases when both numbers are odd = 3C2 = 3 (select 2 of the 3 odd numbers) Number of cases when 4 is a factor of the product = Number of cases such that we select 4 and any other number = 1*4C1 = 4 Total number of favorable cases = 3 + 4 = 7 Note that this includes the case where we take both even numbers. Had there been more even numbers such as 6, we would have included more cases where we pick both even numbers such as 2 and 6 since their product would have 4 as a factor. Required Probability = 7/10 Answer (C) Takeaway: When can we write a number as difference of squares?  When the number is odd or  When the number has 4 as a factor Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT  Part I 
Don’t worry, we are not going to discuss (Even + Even = Even) and (Odd + Odd = Even) type of basic number properties in this post. What we have in mind for today is something based on this but far more advanced. Often, people complain that they thoroughly understand the theory but have difficulties applying it and hence are stuck at a score of 600. They look for practice questions and tend to ignore concepts since they already “know” them. We often ask them to go back to concepts since we believe that a strong foundation of concepts is necessary for ‘score increase’. Mind you, when we do that, we don’t mean to ask them to review the basic concepts again, we mean to ask them to deduce and work on advanced concepts. Let’s show you with the help of a question. Question: If two integers are chosen at random out of first 5 positive integers, what is the probability that their product will be of the form a^2 – b^2, where a and b are both positive integers? A. 2/5 B. 3/5 C. 7/10 D. 4/5 E. 9/10 Solution: This might look like a probability question but isn’t. Questions like these are the reason we ask you to go through basics of every topic including probability. If you do not know probability at all, you may skip this question even though it needs very basic knowledge of probability. Probability will tell you that Required probability = Favorable cases/Total cases Total cases are very easy to find: 5C2 = 10 or 5*4/2 = 10 whatever you prefer. This is the number of ways in which you select any 2 distinct numbers out of the given 5 distinct numbers. Number of favorable cases is the challenge here. That is why it is a number properties question and not so much a probability question. Let’s focus on the main part of the question: First five positive integers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 We need to select two integers such that their product is of the form a^2 – b^2. What does a^2 – b^2 remind you of? It reminds me of (a + b)(a – b). So the product needs to be of the form (a + b)(a – b). So is it necessary that of the two numbers we pick, one must be of the form (a + b) and the other must be (a – b)? No. Note that we should be able to write the product in this form. It is not necessary that the numbers must be of this form only. But first let’s focus on numbers which are already of the form (a + b) and (a – b). Say you pick two numbers, 2 and 5. Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? No. 5 = 3.5 + 1.5 2 = 3.5 – 1.5 So a = 3.5, b = 1.5. a and b are not integers. What about numbers such as 3 and 5? Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? Yes. 5 = 4 + 1 3 = 4 – 1 Note that whenever the average of the numbers will be an integer, we will be able to write them as a+b and a – b because one number will be some number more than the average and the other will be the same number less than average. So a will be the average and the amount more or less will be b. When will the average of two numbers (Number1 + Number2)/2 be an integer? When the sum of the two numbers is even! When is the sum of two numbers even? It is when both the numbers are even or when both are odd. So then does the question boil down to “favorable cases are when we select both numbers even or both numbers odd?” Yes and No. When we select both even numbers or both odd numbers, the product can be written as a^2 – b^2. But are those the only cases when the product can be written as a^2 – b^2? The question is not so much as whether both the numbers are even or both are odd as whether the product of the numbers can be written as product of two even numbers or two odd numbers. We need to be able to write the product (whatever we obtain) as product of two even or two odd numbers. To explain this, let’s say we pick two numbers 4 and 5 4*5 = 20 Can we write 20 as product of two even numbers? Yes 2*10. So even though, 4 is even and 5 is odd, their product can be written as product of two even numbers. So in which all cases will this happen?  Whenever you have at least 4 in the product, you can write it as product of two even numbers: give one 2 to one number and the other 2 to the other number to make both even. If the product is even but not a multiple of 4, it cannot be written as product of two even numbers or product of two odd numbers. It can only be written as product of one even and one odd number. If the product is odd, it can always be written as product of two odd numbers. Let’s go back to our question: We have 5 numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Our favorable cases constitute those in which either both numbers are odd or the product has 4 as a factor. 3 Odd numbers: 1, 3, 5 2 Even numbers: 2, 4 Number of cases when both numbers are odd = 3C2 = 3 (select 2 of the 3 odd numbers) Number of cases when 4 is a factor of the product = Number of cases such that we select 4 and any other number = 1*4C1 = 4 Total number of favorable cases = 3 + 4 = 7 Note that this includes the case where we take both even numbers. Had there been more even numbers such as 6, we would have included more cases where we pick both even numbers such as 2 and 6 since their product would have 4 as a factor. Required Probability = 7/10 Answer (C) Takeaway: When can we write a number as difference of squares?  When the number is odd or  When the number has 4 as a factor Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: School Profile: Find Your Social and Academic Balance at Vanderbilt University 
Vanderbilt University, a private research university and medical center in suburban Nashville, Tennessee, ranks #23 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. The university, built in 1875, sits on a beautiful and tranquil campus that has been designated a national arboretum; the Peabody College is a registered National Historic Landmark; and the Dyer Observatory is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, students tailor their educational plans to their aspirations in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, and education and human development. In addition to global study opportunities and a chance to do independent projects, students also have unprecedented access to assisting researchers who are going about the business of solving some of the most difficult and complex challenges facing society. Vanderbilt draws from among the best and brightest students in the world; admission to the university has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Students can earn bachelors, masters, and doctorates from the university’s ten colleges; College of Arts and Science, Blair School of Music, Divinity School, School of Engineering, Graduate School, Law school, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Owen Graduate School of Management, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Vanderbilt University has a long tradition of excellence. Its alumni and researchers include six Nobel Laureates, including former Vice President Al Gore. The school’s research library is among the most important in the nation. Vanderbilt’s Medical Center specializes in nursing, medicine, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and more. They have the only Level I trauma center in Tennessee, plus comprehensive burn, pediatric, cancer, and organ transplant centers. Students who are looking to work hard and be part of exciting, meaningful, cuttingedge research not only in medicine, but law, social issues, and more, would do well at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt, or Vandy as it’s affectionately referred to by students, has a great idea in place for helping incoming freshman acclimate to college life. All freshmen, from each of the four undergraduate programs, live in one of ten houses on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, where they share a diverse living learning community. Residential choices open up for students their sophomore year. There is a strong Greek presence at Vanderbilt, lots of student organizations in which to participate, a plethora of sporting events, extraordinary live music events, and a local college bar scene. In fact, some students may have trouble finding a balance between social and academic pursuits. Many students stay close to the university in what is commonly referred to as the “Vandy bubble,” which includes the Hillsboro Village neighborhood adjacent to the university, rather than going into Nashville. Those who do venture into Nashville are richly rewarded; Music City, U.S.A has been rated the friendliest city in America for three consecutive years. Nashville is home to the Tennessee Titans NFL team and the Country Music Hall of Fame, to name two of the more famous of the city’s many attractions. Students won’t be at a loss for things to do both on and off campus. The Vanderbilt University Commodores have a total of 15 varsity sports teams; six men’s teams and nine women’s teams. The NCAA Division I school is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The football team has had several players go on to play in the NFL, most famously Jay Cutler, and the team has risen to a Top 25 school for the first time in years. Their longstanding football rival is Ole Miss. The Vanderbilt men’s basketball has long been a powerhouse, and the women’s basketball team has a long history of success as well. The University of Kentucky is the primary rival in basketball. The men’s and women’s tennis teams are also among Vanderbilt’s most successful teams. One of the most unusual, and perhaps most welcoming traditions ever is MoveIn Day, where upperclassmen storm the cars of incoming freshmen and help them move all their things into their rooms. Freshman Walk is another bonding tradition where freshman rush the football field before the start of the season opening football game; even the school’s chancellor gets in on the action. Students display the VU hand sign at athletic events, and win or lose, sing the “Alma Mater” at the end of each game. The annual music event Commodore Quake is another popular tradition at Vanderbilt. Traditions at Vanderbilt are more about unity, community, and having fun than stuffier traditions at some other elite universities. Vandy is for the student who is looking for the challenging demands of a highly respected research university, but who also embraces the camaraderie of a closeknit academic and social community. We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you. By Colleen Hill 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 3 Ways to Get Into the Stanford GSB MSx Program 
The Stanford MSx program, previously known as the Stanford Sloan Master’s Program, is the oneyear, full time Masters of Science program for experienced professionals. Ok, so the program is not really new, but is experiencing a huge uptick in interest from business school applicants. Stanford’s traditional MBA program is the only one in the world with an acceptance rate and average work experience both in the single digits; so experienced applicants have started flocking to this alternative option in droves. Make no mistake, though, “alternative” does not mean “easy!” The program consists of only 83 fellows, with an average GMAT of 700 and a minimum work experience requirement of 8 years. How do you get in? You must focus on 3 core things. 1. Career Goals First, your career goals must be clear and wellarticulated. This is not the place to “find yourself.” What is your specific focus, and how will the MSx program help you get there? 2. Leadership Second, your entire application must send a message that you are an accomplished manager and leader, as opposed to merely a person who has put time in to his career. It isn’t enough to merely say that you are experienced and successful manager, you have to show or prove it to them. How? Your resume! Your recommendation letters! Your extracurricular activities! See the pattern? Show them; don’t just tell them. 3. Value Finally, prove to them that you will add something wonderful to their program. They want to ensure that the Master Black Belt from GE enriches the experience of the M&A Tax Manager from Cisco. Remember, they only have 83 spots. The more you can add to your classmates’ experience, the more they will have to admit you. Make sense? At the end of the day, you want something from the program, and they want something from you. Tell them what you want, and what you will offer in return! Good luck! If you want to talk to us about how you can stand out, call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Richard Vincent 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: How to Identify Agreement Errors in the Writing Section 
In grammar, as in life, agreement can be tricky. Subjects and verbs have to agree, verb tenses have to agree, sentence structures have to agree, and pronouns have to agree. Much agreement is necessary for a sentence to function properly, but one of the trickiest of the many agreement issues that can pop up on an SAT is the hidden agreement issue between some nonpronoun and its referent. This can be particularly tricky to spot, but with a little practice it will be easier than buying a pie (making a pie is actually pretty tough to do well). Here is an example problem: “Susanne Summers, acclaimed actress and fitness guru, is an example of people who are able to transcend their initial notoriety in one area and achieve success in another. ” In checking for all the different types of agreement problems it is good to start by checking subjectverb agreement as every sentence has a subject and a verb. “Susanne…is” works just fine and there are no other verbs that could be mismatched to the main subject. There are not any lists, which are giveaways that there may be a problem with parallel structure, though there are two constructions involving the word “in” that looks like they demand parallelism. The constructions are “transcend…notoriety in” and “achieve success in” and these look good because they share the same structure (verb, noun, and the preposition “in”). The only other conjugated verb in this sentence to check for agreement is “are”, which matches its subject “people”. This would imply that there is no error, right? Alas, it is not so simple. Though there are no traditional pronouns, the word “people” still must agree with its referent! This is an example of a hidden word that must agree with another word in the sentence. “People” in this case is a dependent noun because it is representing another noun. In this case, “people” is referring to “Susanne Summers”, and the two nouns must agree in number. “Susanne” cannot be an example of more than one person, so the error is with the word “people”. Here is another example: “Though Douglass had concocted many possible solutions to help with a number of problems within the organization’s bureaucracy, the idea didn’t help solve the major problem of the organization’s lack of direction.” Again, in this example all the subjects and verbs seem to match up (“Douglass had” and “the idea didn’t”). Once more, there are no pronouns in the strictest sense, but there is a word that has a referent that it does not agree with. Here, “the idea” is referencing the “many possible solutions” that Douglass had concocted, but “the idea” is singular and “many possible solutions” is plural. Any two nouns that are supposed to represent the same person or thing in a sentence must agree in number and in type (is it a person, or a thing?). Though these kinds of agreement errors are tough to spot at first, it becomes second nature after a few tries. Being able to check agreement in sentences is a tricky task, but very important for taking the writing scores to the next level. With a little practice, these hidden agreement problems will elucidate hidden solutions. Happy studying! Plan on taking the SAT soon? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How to Master Sentence Correction on the GMAT 
When preparing for the GMAT, there are many different types of questions that you must master. You know the verbal section will force you to answer questions about tedious passages, strengthen dubious arguments and correct unclear sentences. The ability to juggle these three elements will be paramount to your success as the question types are interspersed throughout the 75 minute verbal section. You cannot break down the exam into 25minute sections each based on one broad topic and then move on. You don’t know what type of question is coming next, so you have to constantly be ready for any of the three major topics. Similarly, when answering a Sentence Correction question, there are many types of errors that can appear in a single sentence. Some questions will be onetrick ponies (I’m looking at you, Bitcoins), in which you can just solve one issue and get the correct answer. However, most will have two or three types of errors that you need to avoid, and identifying these errors will often make the difference between knowing which answers cannot be correct and guessing based on how the sentence sounds. When looking through the initial sentence, you might notice some errors right away, such as pronoun (she vs. they) or verb agreement (is vs. are) errors. However some errors are more subtle and you must look through the answer choices to confidently narrow down the options. Once you have a good handle on the types of errors occurring in the sentence, you can begin eliminating answer choices that do not dodge (or dodgecoin) the error. Let’s look at a question that contains multiple issues, but they may not be obvious upon first glance: An auteur whose movies define the genre, JeanLuc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave what Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is to the spaghetti western. (A) JeanLuc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave what (B) JeanLuc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave like (C) JeanLuc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave just as (D) JeanLuc Godard directed films that are to the French New Wave similar to (E) JeanLuc Godard directed films that are to the French New Wave what The sentence begins with a modifier that is not underlined, which means the subsequent underlined portion must necessarily be the subject of the modifier. If it is not, then the sentence will contain a modifier error from the get go and will not be the correct choice. A little further on, a comparison is made between films and other films. If the comparison were to be between two incongruent items (worse than apples and oranges, say apples and androids), the sentence would contain a comparison error. There may be other errors but these are the two most glaring issues to keep in mind. Looking over the answer choices, we see a 32 split between the choices that keep the director’s films as the subject of the verb and the choices that change the subject to the director himself. From a comparison point of view, all the choices seem to keep the comparison between Godard’s films and Leone’s cult masterpiece. The nonunderlined first part of the passage is a modifier that is describing a specific person. The sentence even begins with “An auteur”, which is the French word for author. The subject of the sentence must therefore be a noun that can logically be described by the modifier at the beginning of the sentence. However, the restriction of the comparison also dictates that the sentence compare films with films. The only way to accommodate both limitations is to select either answer choice D or E, both of which keep JeanLuc Godard as the subject of the phrase while supplying the proper film comparison at the end. How do we go about differentiating between answer choices D and E (other than flipping a coin)? The difference is in the idiom that connects the underlined portion to the second part of the sentence. The first option indicates that the films are to a certain group similar to another movie to a different group. Apart from not being a correct idiom, it also doesn’t make logical sense. The second option indicates that the films are to a certain group what another film is to the different group. This is a perfectly acceptable idiom that conveys the meaning properly. The only answer choice that avoids making a modifier error, a comparison error or a logical error is answer choice E. These errors may not have all been evident at first glance, but we can see why the four other answer choices contain some kind of error. Even though the comparison error ended up being largely irrelevant in this process of elimination, it is the type of error you always need to be aware of when correcting sentences. In fact, juggling many potential error types is a vital skill in solving these types of questions. While not always obvious, the correct answer will be the only option that doesn’t make at least one of the errors you’ve identified. Remember that, no matter how hard the GMAT may seem at times, it is easier (and safer) than juggling flaming chainsaws. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam. After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: School Profile: What it Takes to Attend the United States Naval Academy 
The United States Naval Academy is ranked #24 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. Located in beautiful Annapolis, Maryland, this is an extraordinarily structured college that expects excellence from all their students, who are referred to as midshipmen. The United States Naval Academy offers full scholarships to all their midshipmen including room and board and all other necessities. After attending this world renowned academy each midshipman will serve five years either as an Ensign in the Navy or Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. To be a part of this elite college you need to possess strength both in mind and body, dedication, and the desire to represent yourself and your country at the highest level. The campus at the Naval Academy is referred to as “The Yard,” where the majestic Severn River flows into Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis is a historical city where the early twentieth century structures intermingle with modern buildings. Combining tradition with advanced technology gives the academy all the tools needed for the success of its midshipmen. The Academy takes pride in the student body – past, present, and future. This is made clear by a stroll down walkways that pass buildings named after the outstanding midshipmen that used to attend this Academy. Head over to any of the three monuments devoted to the brave men and women whose heroism is part of the Academy’s extensive heritage. There are three basic elements to the academic structure at the United States Naval Academy:
Student life at the Naval Academy is wildly different than that of other traditional colleges. The curriculum, daily life expectations, and philosophy are far more intense than most. The rigor starts the summer before freshman year where students spend eight weeks in training for the intensity of the program and what the next four years will look like. This is more than a college; this is a complete lifestyle change from civilian to midshipmen. Students will have a regimented schedule that will test them physically, mentally, and emotionally; they will be pushed to their limits and beyond. This Academy is not for the faint of heart, students will have a tight structure that promises to constantly challenge them. All midshipmen are required to participate in extracurricular activities as well as athletics on some level, ensuring all midshipmen are wellrounded. As with everything in the Academy, the athletics are demanding, and those who play one of the 33 varsity sports are pushed to the limits. Excellence is an expectation; more than thirty percent of midshipmen play on Division I varsity teams and sacrifice what little free time is allotted to participate in their respective sports. At the Academy there is not an off season; studentathletes train year round to garner optimum skill and excellence in their sports. The Naval Academy competes in over ten league affiliations and conferences; studentathletes are known to graduate at a higher level than those who do not play sports. There are club leagues and intramural sports for all other brigade members to participate in, and every midshipmen has access to the over fifteen stateoftheart athletic facilities. The United States Naval Academy has many deep and meaningful traditions as well as a few fun ones to boost morale and show pride in the Academy. A main tradition is the singing of “Blue and Gold” after every alumni gathering, sports event, and pep rally. This tradition is one of the many showcasing the pride and respect of the Academy. “Beat Army” which started as a chant said after the “Blue and Gold” song manifested into “plebes” showing off, trying to impress their upperclassmen. They drink a concoction of food and condiments and upon completion yell “Beat Army,” followed by the cheers of their fellow classmates. If you hear someone brag about having a “Beat Army,” you’ll know why, so show them some respect and give them a pat on the back. We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you. By Colleen Hill 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: The Heart of Data Sufficiency 
Data Sufficiency is a game as much as it’s a “problem.” Look at the statistics in the Veritas Prep Question Bank and you’ll see that most Data Sufficiency questions are created with a particular trap answer in mind and that at least 12 answer choices are rarelyifever chosen. For example, look at these graphs: In the first graph, the answer is E but the author desperately wants you to pick C. In the second, the answer is B but the author is baiting you hard into picking C. And in the third, the answer is C but the author is tempting you with E. In any of these cases, the strategy behind the question is as important – if not more important – than the math itself. Because it’s usually fairly easy for an average (or below) student to eliminate 12 answer choices on Data Sufficiency questions, the authors have to “get their odds back” through gamesmanship, by showing you a statement (or two) that look one way (sufficient or not) but that act counterintuitively. And to understand how to play this game well, it may be helpful to see Data Sufficiency through the lens of another popular game, the card game Hearts. In Hearts, the goal of the game is to avoid getting “points”, and you get points when you end up with any hearts (one point each) or the Queen of Spades (13 points) after having taken a trick. And like with Data Sufficiency, there are really two ways to play: the way you’d play with a middleschooler who’s learning the game, and the way you’d play with a group of adults who are each trying to win. Playing Hearts with kids is like doing Data Sufficiency questions below the 550 level – you pretty much just play it straight. In Hearts, that means that when you don’t have any cards of the suit that was led, you try to get rid of your highest pointvalue cards immediately. If clubs are led and you don’t have clubs, you either get rid of the Queen of Spades if you have it, or you pick your highest heart and unload that. Your goal is to get rid of high cards and point cards quickly so that you end up with as few points as possible. But if you’re playing with adults, you have to consider the possibility that someone may be trying to “Shoot the Moon” – getting *all* of the points cards in which case they get 0 points and every other player gets 26. What might seem like a counterintuitive strategy to a 12year old is often quite necessary when you suspect an opponent may be trying to shoot the moon: even though you may have a chance to get rid of your kingofhearts, you might hold on to it because you want a high heart in case you need to “win” one of the last tricks to stop the opponent from getting all of the hearts. When you’re playing with adults (or attempting Data Sufficiency questions in the high 600s and into the 700s), you need to see the game with more nuance and develop an instinct for when to avoid the “obvious” play to save yourself from a morecatastrophic outcome. This is especially true when you notice something suspicious from your opponent; if in one of the first few hands an opponent leads with, say, the jack of hearts, that’s a suspicious play. Why would she fairlywillingly open herself up to taking four points? Or if the first time a heart is played, an opponent swoops in with a high card of the suit that was led, but you know they probably have a lower card that would have let them avoid taking the heart, you again should be suspicious. In either of these cases, an astute player will make a mental note to hold back a high card or two just in case shootingthemoon is in play. Playing hearts as an adult, you’re often playing the opponent as much as you’re playing the cards. How does this apply to Data Sufficiency? Consider this question: Is a > bc? (1) a/c > b (2) c > 3 Playing “middle school hearts”, many testtakers will run through this progression: Step one: If you multiply both sides by c, you get a > bc so this looks sufficient*. The answer, then, would be A or D. Step two: Forget everything you learned about statement 1 since you’ve already made your decision about it. Statement 2 is clearly insufficient on its own, so the answer must be A*. (*we know the math here is slightly flawed; demonstration purposes only!) But here’s how you’d play the game as an adult, or as a 700level testtaker: Step one: Same thing – if you multiply both sides by c you’ll get a > bc, so this one looks sufficient. Step two: Wait a second – statement 2 is absolutely worthless. And statement one wasn’t *that* hard or interesting. Maybe the author of this question is “shooting the moon”… Step three: Look at both statements together, reconsidering statement 1 by asking myself if statement 2 matters. If statement 2 is true and c is, say, 10, then a/10 > b would mean that a > 10b, so this still holds. But what if c is 10, and statement 2 is not true. a/(10) > b would mean that when I multiply both sides by 10 I have to flip the sign, leaving a < 10b. This time it’s not true. Statement 2 *seems* worthless but in actuality it’s essential. Statement 1 is not sufficient alone; as it turns out I need statement 2. What’s the difference between the two methodologies? The 500level, “middle school hearts” approach – NEVER consider the statements together unless they’re each insufficient alone – leaves you vulnerable to the author’s bait. On hard questions, authors love to shoot the moon…that’s their best chance of tricking savvy testtakers. The 700level, “playing hearts with grownups” approach seems counterintuitive, much like saving your king of hearts and knowingly accepting points in a hearts game would seem strange to a seventhgrader. But it’s important because it saves you from that bait. On a question like this, it’s easy to think that statement 1 is sufficient; abstract algebra is great at getting your mind away from numbers like negatives, zero, fractions… But statement 2′s worthlessness (ALONE) functions two ways: it’s a trap for the unsuspecting 500level types, and it’s a reward for those who know how to play the game. That worthless statement 2 is akin to the author leading a high heart early in the game – the novice player sees it as a freebie; the expert considers “why did she do that?” and reexamines statement 1 by asking specifically “what if statement 2 weren’t true; would that change anything?”. Remember, when you’re taking the GMAT you’re playing against other veryintelligent adults, and so the authors of these questions have a responsibility to “shoot the moon”. While the rules of the game dictate that you don’t want to consider the statements together until you’ve eliminated A, B, and D, there’s a caveat – if you have reason to believe that the author of the question is trying to trick you (which is very frequently the case on 600+ level questions), you have to consider what one statement might tell you about the other; you have to play the game. Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Brian Galvin 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT  Part II 
Before we get started, be sure to take a look at Part I of this article. Number properties concepts come across as pretty easy, theoretically, but they have some of the toughest questions. Today let’s take a look at some properties of prime numbers and their sum. Note that don’t try to “learn” all the takeaways you come across for number properties – it will be very stressful. Instead, try to understand why the properties are such so that if you get a question related to some such properties, you can replicate the results effortlessly. To start off, we would like to take up a simple question and then using the takeaway derived from it, we will look at a harder problem. Question 1: Which of the following CANNOT be the sum of two prime numbers? (A) 19 (B) 45 (C) 68 (D) 79 (E) 88 Solution: What do we know about sum of two prime numbers? e.g. 3 + 5 = 8 5 + 11 = 16 5 + 17 = 22 23 + 41 = 64 Do you notice something? The sum is even in all these cases. Why? Because most prime numbers are odd. When we add two odd numbers, we get an even sum. We have only 1 even prime number and that is 2. Hence to obtain an odd sum, one number must be 2 and the other must be odd. 2 + 3 = 5 2 + 7 = 9 2 + 17 = 19 Look at the options given in the question. Three of them are odd which means they must be of the form 2 + Another Prime Number. Let’s check the odd options first: (A) 19 = 2 + 17 (Both Prime. Can be written as sum of two prime numbers.) (B) 45 = 2 + 43 (Both Prime. Can be written as sum of two prime numbers.) (D) 79 = 2 + 77 (77 is not prime.) 79 cannot be written as sum of two prime numbers. Note that 79 cannot be written as sum of two primes in any other way. One prime number has to be 2 to get a sum of 79. Hence there is no way in which we can obtain 79 by adding two prime numbers. (D) is the answer. Now think what happens if instead of 79, we had 81? 81 = 2 + 79 Both numbers are prime hence all three odd options can be written as sum of two prime numbers. Then we would have had to check the even options too (at least one of which would be different from the given even options). Think, how would we find which even numbers can be written as sum of two primes? We will give the solution of that next week. So the takeaway here is that if you get an odd sum on adding two prime numbers, one of the numbers must be 2. Question 2: If m, n and p are positive integers such that m < n < p, is m a factor of the odd integer p? Statement 1: m and n are prime numbers such that (m + n) is a factor of 119. Statement 2: p is a factor of 119. Solution: First of all, we are dealing with positive integers here – good. No negative numbers, 0 or fraction complications. Let’s move on. The question stem tells us that p is an odd integer. Also, m < n < p. Question: Is m a factor of p? There isn’t much information in the question stem for us to process so let’s jump on to the statements directly. Statement 1: m and n are prime numbers such that (m + n) is a factor of 119. Write down the factors of 119 first to get the feasible range of values. 119 = 1, 7, 17, 119 All factors of 119 are odd numbers. So (m + n), a sum of two primes must be odd. This means one of m and n is 2. There are many possible values of m and n e.g. 2 and 5 (to give sum 7) or 2 and 15 (to give sum 17) or 2 and 117 (to give sum 119). Note that we also have m < n. This means that in each case, m must be 2 and n must be the other number of the pair. So now we know that m is 2. We also know that p is an odd integer. Is m a factor of p? No. Odd integers are those which do not have 2 as a factor. Since m is 2, p does not have m as a factor. This statement alone is sufficient to answer the question! Statement 2: p is a factor of 119 This tells us that p is one of 7, 17 and 119. p cannot be 1 because m < n < p where all are positive integers. But it tells us nothing about m. All we know is that it is less than p. For example, if p is 7, m could be 1 and hence a factor of p or it could be 5 and not a factor of p. Hence this statement alone is not sufficient. Answer (A) Something to think about: In this question, if you are given that m is not 1, does it change our answer? Key Takeaways:  When two distinct prime numbers are added, their sum is usually even. If their sum is odd, one of the numbers must be 2.  Think what happens in case you add three distinct prime numbers. The sum will be usually odd. In case the sum is even, one number must be 2.  Remember the special position 2 occupies among prime numbers – it is the only even prime number. Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 5 Ways to Succeed on the ACT Science Test 
The ACT Science Test is a source of anxiety for many students, and it’s easy to understand why. After all, three or four years’ worth of high school science is a lot to review! How well do you really remember that lab activity about springs from ninth grade physics? Fortunately, the test doesn’t test the content of high school science nearly as much as it tests a very narrow set of skills developed in high school math and science classes. Here are five things you need to know in order to succeed on on the ACT Science test: 1. This Is Not A (Science) Test In fact, the ACT Science test might be more accurately described as a hybrid of a data analysis and reading comprehension test. A student’s ability to deal with graphs and tables is far more important to success on the test than her ability to label a diagram of a cell or balance a chemical equation. Any formulae needed to answer questions (and there are very few) are provided in the passage, and you won’t need to learn any complicated scientific concepts on the spot. On the flip side, don’t skip over the data in the passage and start answering questions because you think that you already know all there is to know about acids and bases. Just like in the ACT Reading test, make sure you’re only using the information provided. 2. Manage Time Wisely The Science test consists of 40 questions in 35 minutes, and pacing is a big issue for many students. The most efficient way to work through the test is to complete the data analysis passages first, followed by the research summaries, and leave the opposing viewpoints passage for last. You might notice that this list moves from figureheavy to textheavy passage types. That’s because it’s easier to pull information quickly from a table or a graph than from a chunk of text. Because all of the questions are weighted equally, starting with the quicker, figureheavy passages makes the best use of your time. 3. Don’t Read The Passage Until You Know What You’re Reading For Because you’re not terribly concerned with gaining a deep understanding of the scientific topic discussed by the passage (and don’t have time to, even if you wanted to), you need to use the questions to guide our use of the passage. Lots of questions will tell you exactly which data representation or experiment to look at with phrases like “According to Figure 2…” 4. Don’t Let The Jargon Get You Down When many students skim a science passage and see something like “Helicobacter pylori,” panic sets in. So, what the heck is Helicobacter pylori? For the purposes of the ACT, it’s “the thing measured by the graph with an axis labeled ‘Helicobacter pylori,’” plus any plainEnglish description given by the passage (for the purposes of the real world, it’s both a bacterium found in the stomach and two decent Scrabble words). The good news is that the only things you’ll need to know about Helicobacter pylori to knock out the passage are 1) whatever the passage explicitly tells you about it and 2) whatever information the graphs and tables present about it. 5. If You’re Doing Complicated Math, You’re Doing Something Wrong You’re not allowed to use a calculator for ACT Science, which is fine because there’s absolutely no reason to use one. The only math you’ll have to do is very simple, and the numbers will all come directly from the data provided by the passage. With these tips you’ll be ready to rock ACT Science (even if geology isn’t your area of expertise)! By Emma Chomin 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: School Profile: The Academic Rigor and Social Traditions of Harvey Mudd College 
Harvey Mudd College, located in Claremont, California, is one of the top science and engineering liberal arts colleges in the country and comes in at #25 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. It is one of the five colleges of the Claremont College Consortium, known as the 5Cs, along with Claremont McKenna, Scripps College, Pomona College, and Pitzer College. The coeducational Harvey Mudd College was founded in 1955 at a time when the nation was turning its attention to the space race and encouraging students to focus their educations on math and science. The university presents a unique approach of focusing on the humanistic aspects of becoming elite scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Their Clinic Program, which originated in 1963, allows teams of undergraduate students to address difficult social problems posed by the nonprofit sector, business and industry, and even the government, through scientific and technological research. The result has been one of the highest rates in the country of graduates who go on to earn PhDs in their fields. Harvey Mudd academics takes a threepronged approach to education. They set a foundation in math and science with their Common Core STEM program. In order for students to understand the interconnectedness of STEM disciplines, all students must take classes in each – biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, math, and physics. In keeping with their philosophy that the purpose of science and technology is to serve humanity, students also complete rigorous coursework in humanities, social sciences, and the arts. At Harvey Mudd, they believe that “technology divorced from humanity is worse than no technology at all.” It is from this perspective, which marries STEM with liberal arts, that students are fundamentally prepared to then move on to the third prong – a chosen major where they develop competence and achieve excellence in a single area of expertise. Majors at Harvey Mudd include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, and dual majors chemistry and biology, math and computer science, and mathematical and computational biology. Since there is no graduate school, the rigorous curricula are delivered in a highly personal environment where fewer than 800 students are enrolled. The stereotypical personality of a “Mudder” is extraordinarily talented in math, science, and technology, politically liberal and socially conscious, with an insane work ethic, and an uncanny ability to throw a great party. Men outnumber women by almost 4:1, but allfemale Scripps College is adjacent to the campus, and all five campuses are within walking distance of one another. The Mudd student population is openminded, diverse racially and ethnically, and actively supportive of gender equality. Greek life on campus is nonexistent, but overthetop parties – some complete with artificial waterfalls, are common and draw students from across the consortium of colleges. Add in the nice weather yearround, late night college sponsored pizza, carne asada nights in the dining hall, and numerous clubs, intramural sports, and campus activities, and you have a recipe for a great college experience. Just be sure you are mentally prepared to also work harder than you have ever worked in your life. In the 5college Claremont College Consortium, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College form a single NCAA Division III athletic program. They belong to the South California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The athletic program is represented by 21 intercollegiate teams, both men and women. Studentathletes demonstrate the same dedication to excellence in sports as they do in academics. Fourteen of their twentyone teams have finished seasons in top ten positions in the country since their inception in 1958. However, due to the rigor of the college’s academics, the only way to excel at a sport too is to be highly disciplined, selfmotivated, and organized. The school also has a strong commitment to intramurals, with inner tube water polo being one of the most popular. Maybe one of the coolest and oldest of Harvey Mudd traditions is The Foster’s Run. Unicycles became a thing on campus in the 1970s. Before long, a unicycle club called Gonzo Unicycle Madness was formed, which still thrives today. The Foster’s Run is a 9.6 mile unicycle ride to what was once Foster’s Donuts and is now the Donut Man donut shop. The reward for making the trip is delicious strawberry donuts. Once riders return to campus, they participate in “the shakedown,” which is essentially getting the kinks out after a nearly twentymile unicycle ride. The student group, Increasing Harvey Mudd’s Traditional Practices, was organized to revive and preserve this and other oncampus traditions, which also include Wednesday Nighters, Friday Nooners, 5Class Competition, and occasionally pranking CalTech. If you’re ready to add two parts rigor and one part amusement, this could be your school. We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you. By Colleen Hill 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Breaking Down the New SAT 
In 2016 the SAT will undergo major changes for the first time in over a decade. Test takers can expect a less obscure vocabulary, more focused math sections, and a shorter test overall. Our own Shaan Patel was quoted in an article from U.S. News: “My opinion is this test will be easier than the current SAT and the College Board is betting on more students taking the SAT because of that.” Experts and thought leaders in education are weighing the pros and cons of these upcoming changes but, right now your best strategy is to be prepared. Take a look at the infographic below for a comprehensive break down of the key changes coming with the new SAT. Key points include:  No More Required Essay  Presenting Evidence  More Varied Text  Less Obscure Vocabulary  More Focused Math Sections We’ve broken it all down for in this infographic that details key differences between the old and new SAT, as well as the history of the SAT since its launch more than a century ago: (Click on the infographic below to enlarge it!) Want more details about the SAT changes coming in 2016? We’ve put more info, including a detailed FAQ devoted to the new SAT, here! By Scott Shrum. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Find Out Why Right Now is the Best Time for You to Apply to Business School 
We get lots of questions from applicants about the best time to return to business school. While this is certainly an individual assessment, and one size does not fit all, from an admissions perspective, there are good seasons and bad seasons to maximize your odds of acceptance. Six years ago, during a time none of us will soon forget, the air was let out of the economy. A similar rushing sound was also heard in the country’s top business schools, but it was the sound of people rushing in. Applications peaked the next year as everyone ran to hide from old man recession for two years in hopes the job market would come back while they were getting smarter and checking the graduate school box. Simple mathematics demonstrated even to the casual observer that as the applicant pool increased, the odds of getting in went down. We saw the competitive nature of an already very competitive arena turn quickly into a bloodbath: GMAT scores rose, applications overwhelmed admissions officers, and thousands of perfectly qualified applicants were denied their dream schools. As Wharton said, “Everyone who applies here is qualified, so we have the luxury of being choosy.” Suddenly every unsuspecting 27 year old applicant was competing with top performing bankers, accountants and consultants from the best firms, many of whom were laid off in the throes of the great recession. Business schools had the proverbial pick of the litter. Things did not get better quickly in the economy, so for about four years, or two full time MBA cycles, this phenomenon perpetuated. As the frozen GDP began to thaw, however, and people began to find jobs again, the applications to MBA programs started to wane. Suddenly everyone seemed to value their jobs, ostensibly from either having lost it temporarily, or come close enough to feel the fear of losing it, so giving it up voluntarily to return to grad school did not seem as appealing. Running and hiding was no longer necessary. So goes the business school admissions cycle. Fast forward to now, and consumer sentiment is back on track, the stock market is humming and jobs are finally fairly easy to get. And guess what? Your odds of getting into your dream school are better. It’s always tough to be a contrarian. Swimming upstream is never easy, but things in life worthwhile rarely are. If you have the stomach to sit out a couple of years of percolating markets, you might just find your way into a school where a couple of years ago, you would not have had a chance. Business cycles are pretty reliable, and the chances of another big downturn so soon after the last one are slim. This means two or three years from now, the job market will likely be even stronger, which would time out well with your graduation. So dust off your GMAT score and get back on the horse. The time to apply is nigh! If you want to talk to us about how you can stand out, call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Scott Bryant has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: 5 Easy Ways to Ace the Essay 
The essay begins the SAT and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a five paragraph essay in 25 minutes, but there are a few steps that can make the essay a piece of cake! 1. Make An Essay Template The time spent figuring out how to structure an essay on the SAT is time wasted. This may sound counter intuitive as structure is a big part of what the SAT graders are evaluating, but it is this reason exactly that makes the structure of the essay the first thing that can be systematized and recycled. The essential make up of a five paragraph essay is simple. There is an introduction which presents the topic, states the thesis, acknowledges the opposition, and lays out how the essay will argue its point, three body paragraphs which use examples to support the thesis, and a conclusion which restates the thesis and briefly reminds the reader what it has just read. This is all a five paragraph essay is! Because it is so formulaic in its structure, and because the topics are always essentially taking a side on some issue, the majority of the essay can be “written” beforehand in the form of a template. By plugging in this formula, it is easy to essentially create a template for what to say. Here is an example introduction using a template: “The notion that [Assignment] has been demonstrated in numerous contexts to be [true/false] (Thesis). Though there are some who would argue that [whatever opposition might say], this perspective does not adequately reflect the intricacies and complexities of [topic] (Acknowledgment of opposition). ([General statement about why topic is important or why thesis is true]). Three demonstrations of [thesis] are [Example One], [Example Two], and [Example Three] (How Thesis Will Be Defended). The entire essay can essentially be sketched out in advance. By determining the structure in advance, more time can be dedicated to showing how the examples demonstrate the thesis. 2. Skip The Directions This is true throughout the SAT, but is especially important on the essay because time is so limited. There is a lot of information on the directions page, but it can all be boiled down into the instructions “write an argumentative essay”, which will not change from test to test and can thus be assumed. EVERYTHING ON THE PAGE, the quote, the parameters for writing a good essay, the amount of time given for writing, all that stuff is a waste of time EXCEPT the ASSIGNMENT. The assignment is the question that is being asked and it is the only thing necessary to attack the essay. If the assignment asks “Should people care about others outside their own borders?”, this is all that is necessary to make the template a real introduction. Given this assignment, the template becomes: “The notion that people should care for those outside of their own borders has been demonstrated in numerous contexts to be true. Though there are some who would argue that it is most important to concentrate resources on those who are closest in proximity and in culture, this perspective does not adequately reflect the intricacies and complexities of the interconnected world of today. Neglecting those outside of our own borders, not only isolates people from analyzing and alleviating hardships that they themselves might one day face, but also creates a feeling of isolation which runs counter to the current trend toward a more interdependent and interconnected world. Three demonstrations which exemplify the importance of caring for people outside of our own borders are the Indian independence movement, the American revolution, and the events of the second world war.” As is demonstrated above, there is still some room to word things creatively, but any excess time and brain power can be allocated to making these variable sections really pop rather than on reading directions. 3. Study Potential Examples Beforehand Because of how broad the questions on the SAT can be, virtually any topic with a lot of substance to it can be applied to a number of potential SAT questions. Questions like “Is it more important to be decisive or to consider things carefully?” or “Should people put family first?” can be argued using nearly any work of literature or historical event that involves decisions or family (which pretty much includes all of history and literature). To “study” for this section pick ten or so potential examples (books, historical events, current events) that have already been covered in classes and review the main points of these examples. The better these examples have been prepared, the more uses for them will present themselves. 4. Relate Topic Sentences Back To The Thesis At the beginning of each body paragraph, each topic sentence should relate back to the thesis. Here is what not to do: “The Indian Independence movement showed the resilience of the Indian people in the face of the tyrannical British.” This isn’t factually false, but it doesn’t show the thing that is being argued. Every paragraph exists to argue for the thesis; therefore each topic sentence should relate the example to the thesis. “The power of the international community in aiding the Indian Struggle for independence clearly illustrates of the importance of caring for those outside of one’s own borders.” This second example states what the example is and that it demonstrates the thesis. Now all the test taker needs to do is to explain how this example shows the importance of caring for people abroad. The test taker will likely state how foreign pressure was instrumental in forcing the British to reduce their brutal repression of non violent protests and in humanizing the Indian people in their struggle. With this stated, he or she can just rinse and repeat this same strategy with the other two body paragraphs. 5. Keep The Conclusion Simple The work is done by the time of the conclusion. The introduction shows the structure of the essay, the body paragraphs show how the student’s knowledge can be applied to argue a point of view, but the conclusion is really just to restate the thesis and what has already been argued. Keeping with the topic of caring for those outside of one’s own country, a sample conclusion might look something like this: “The importance of caring for those outside one’s own borders is clearly demonstrated in both the Indian and African American struggles against tyranny and in the global struggle of World War Two. It is in conflict with the demands of the interconnected world that humans inhabit to attempt to cloister oneself away and not participate in the struggles of those outside of one’s own country. Only by caring for those in faraway lands can people hope to create a world where all human beings are safe and able to pursue their own happiness. This conclusion isn’t trying to do too much. It essentially parrots back the stuff that was stated in the introduction and relates all the examples back to the thesis. This is all the conclusion needs to do. When students get into their desired college and they write their honors thesis they can use their conclusions to draw important connections between examples and put their own unique spin on all the information already provided, but for the SAT, keep it simple. By using these steps students can ace the SAT essay and start off the test feeling successful. All the work for the SAT essay is done in advance so study some examples and write a few essays to develop a template that works. Happy studying! Plan on taking the SAT soon? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Don't Judge a GMAT Sentence by the Way it Sounds 
When answering sentence correction problems on the GMAT, it’s very common to use your ear as a barometer of how the answer choice sounds. Particularly for native English speakers, this is often the number one way they approach any given sentence. The problem with this strategy is that sentence correction is often much more about the meaning than about the grammar. By extension, the test makers of the GMAT know they can fool many students by simply making the correct answer choice unappealing to the students’ ears (Won’t get fooled again!). Anything that makes a sentence sound more awkward than it should is fair game to try and get test takers to pick the wrong answers. Some strategies come back more often than others, and today I want to discuss these types of errors as it pertains to the timeline of a sentence. Students often have preconceived notions hammered in during high school that a sentence must always be in the same tense, no matter what. While this is a nifty rule of thumb, it doesn’t have to be the case in every sentence. As an example, consider a student studying for the GMAT. The student could say “I have studied for the GMAT” or “I will study for the GMAT”. Both of these options make sense. What about “I will be ready for my GMAT next week because I have been studying for months”? This sentence is also fine, even though one verb tense is in the future and the other is in the present perfect continuous. As long as the phrase makes logical sense and what is being described in the past took place in the past, the sentence is valid. The trick on the GMAT that gets students confused is that you have to pick one sentence out of the five answer choices. However, none of them might be exactly what you’re expecting. In other words, if given “carte blanche”, I could rewrite this sentence in a much clearer way than any of these five middling choices. That’s half the difficulty, though, because you have to pick the sentence from among the choices that contains no grammatical mistake, even though you don’t necessarily like everything in the answer choice. Let me highlight this with a sentence correction question that regularly gives students fits: A 1999 tax bill changed what many wealthy taxpayers and large corporations are allowed to deduct on their tax returns. (A) changed what many what many wealthy taxpayers and large corporations are allowed to deduct on their tax returns (B) changed wealthy taxpayers’ and large corporations’ amounts that they have been allowed to deduct on their tax returns (C) is changing wealthy taxpayers’ and large corporations’ amounts that they have been allowed to deduct on their tax returns (D) changed what many wealthy taxpayers and large corporations had been allowed to deduct on their tax returns (E) changes what many wealthy taxpayers and large corporations have been allowed to deduct on their tax returns Going through the answer choices, it seems fairly clear that 1999 is in the past. Whether it’s 2014 or 2015 or whenever, you would not reference 1999 in the future (unless you’re Prince). As such, we can eliminate answer choices C and E because both use the present tense and make it sound like this bill is happening right now and not 15+ years ago. Similarly, answer choice B changes the meaning of the sentence. The sentence is saying the bill will change what people are allowed to deduct, whereas answer choice B modifies the meaning to just the amount they are allowed to remove. There is a significant difference between deducting 500$ for school expenses or 700$ for school expenses versus deducting school expenses or capital gains expenses. There is a niche corner case where the two may have exactly the same meaning, but the original sentence has a much broader definition and thus can’t be pigeonholed into answer choice B. This leaves the two most common answer choices: A and D. If you’re going by sound, you likely think that answer choice D is the correct answer. However, even though answer choice D sounds like what you’d expect to hear, it creates an illogical timeline. Let’s look at a sample timeline and determine when the changes were made: _____________________________X______________________________________________X 1999 tax bill present Answer choice D uses the past perfect continuous (had been allowed) which can only be used if the event described happened before another event in the past. Example: By the time I took the GMAT in 2007, I had been studying for over two months. You cannot have a tax code change in 1999 that affects the years prior to 1999. Otherwise everyone would have to resubmit their taxes for the past 6 years to reflect the change. Any tax code change can only come change future tax years. Answer choice D meaning, with the period having been changed in red. _____________________________X______________________________________________X 1999 tax bill present Answer choice A meaning, with the period having been changed in red. _____________________________X______________________________________________X 1999 tax bill present Answer choice A, even though it uses the present tense (are) can be considered grammatically correct here as long as the law wasn’t repealed. Since there is no indication of the law having been changed, answer choice A is a valid (although awkward sounding) way of rewriting this sentence. I would like to further illustrate this point using the Stampy example of the seminal Simpsons episode where Bart gets an elephant. In the episode (titled Bart gets an elephant), Homer realizes that he can make money off the elephant, and decides to charge people 1$ to see the elephant and 2 $ to ride the elephant. Upon realizing that he’s still losing money, he updates his prices to 100$ and 500$ respectively. Since this drives away all of his business, Homer visits the homes of his friends and tells them: Homer: “Millhouse saw the elephant twice and rode him once, correct? Millhouse’s dad: “Yes, but we already paid you the 4$” Homer: “That was under our old price structure. Under our new price structure, you owe me 700$” Millhouse’s dad: “Get out of my house” Hopefully this little skit helped drive home the point I’m trying to make. You cannot retroactively change what people can deduct. You can only change things going forward. Answer choice A may not be the preferred way to rewrite this sentence (Example: “changed what people would be allowed to deduct” would have been clearer), but there is no grammatical error contained within it. When it comes to sentence correction, make sure you understand the logic of the sentence and don’t depend on your ear as your only line of defense. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam. After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 6 Things You Need to Know about the New SAT 
As coincidence would have it, within a couple weeks after the College Board announced major changes to the SAT (coming in 2016), I was already planning on taking the SAT at Lower Merion High School (which, as Kobe Bryant likes to point out, is the high school he and I went to…). Sure, I am 44years old, but I take the SAT often to stay up on trends and changes to the test and to show students and parents that their tutor is capable of a 99th%ile score in any of the three sections. The “redesign” announcement has inspired fear in the hearts of students, parents, counselors and some tutors (not me, of course). With that angst lurking, it was more important than ever that I take last month’s test. Sure, 2016 is 2 years away, but that didn’t stop the College Board from somewhat jumping the gun on the changes. Last month’s SAT featured major changes consistent with the College Board’s announced plans. Before I inadvertently cause more fear, let me be very clear: the changes appeared in the SAT’s “Experimental” section (which never counts towards a student’s score). However, the College Board (administrator and writer of the test) never publicizes which of the 10 sections is the unscored experimental section. Usually, it blends in very well with the rest of the scored sections and therefore provides the College Board with useful data about how students perform on that section under highstakes conditions. However, for a professional like myself, the “new SAT” experimental section stood out like a sore thumb. For example, one reading passage had only one single question (I’ve never seen a test in the last several years with fewer than two questions). Another reading passage had a whopping 16 questions (the most questions to follow a reading passage has been capped at 13 questions over the last several years). In the 16question reading passage, there were two instances of questions that asked for specific evidence regarding one’s answer to the previous question. This was consistent with what the College Board announced regarding the reading sections (I’ll provide a list of changes later in this post). Others reported changes in the math and writing sections. What does this mean for your child’s upcoming appointment with the SAT? It won’t likely mean much if your child is in the 10th grade or higher. But if your child is in 9th grade, he or she will be in the first class to take the NextGeneration SAT. How should you prepare? Quite frankly, there isn’t too much you should do differently. The questions will still largely be similar, and most of the techniques in the Veritas Prep curriculum will not change substantially. There will be some math sections where calculator use is prohibited, so I advise you to cutback your child’s calculator dependency. And there will certainly be changes and updates to specific sections of any good SAT course to narrowly tailor to the redesigned test. But the same study habits, thought processes, and content emphases over the next few years of your child’s high school career will continue to pay off. Some of the announced changes include: – The vocabulary section will be made more relevant to modern language (i.e., words that have a chance of making it into a conversation this decade. See you later “capricious!”) – The reading questions will emphasize the use of evidence from the passage just read (as discussed above, this change was on full display in my experimental section). – The essay will no longer affect one’s overall score. – Students should answer every question, as there will be no longer be a penalty for wrong answers. This should come as welcome news to almost everyone, as the “incorrect guess” penalty has long been a source of stress for students and teachers. – The new exam will narrow its mathematical focus to a few areas, including algebra, deemed most needed for college and life afterward. A calculator will be allowed only on certain math questions, instead of on the entire math portion at current (again – as a parent you may want to wean your child off of calculator reliance over the next few years) – The overall score will be reverted back to its original level of 1600, instead of the current 2400. The reading and writing sections will be collapsed into one section worth 800. We’ll continue to post updates as these changes are previewed publicly or appear on experimental questions. In the meantime, those taking the “current” SAT should avoid any undue stress about changes that will not affect their own tests or scores, and those who will take the redesigned test should continue to excel in high school (and junior high) and build sound math, reading, and English skills while they wait for redesigned SAT curriculum to help harness it toward that 1600 score! Plan on taking the SAT soon? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Steve Odabashian received his BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and then went on to receive his JD at Villanova. He has worked in Tokyo as a foreign attorney, done pro bono work for the Committee of Seventy in several Philadelphia elections, and he is a well known pianist and comic entertainer in Philadelphia. Steve has been teaching for Veritas Prep since 2004. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Your 3 Step Pacing Plan 
What makes the GMAT difficult? For most examinees, the time pressure is arguably the biggest factor; given unlimited time, most 700level aspirants could get most problems right, but with that clock ticking and time of the essence we’re all vulnerable to silly mistakes, mental blocks, and the need to give up on hard questions. So how can you overcome the pressures of pacing? Try this threestep method: 1) Take Your Time This may seem a bit counterintuitive if you’re pressed for time, but the GMAT scoring algorithm so heavily punishes you for missing “easy” questions that you can’t afford to fall victim to silly or careless mistakes. Most testtakers could finish between 3234 quant questions and 3638 verbal questions in the 75 allotted minutes, but it’s that 37 quant / 41 verbal question allocation that forces examinees to budget time. If, for example, on quant you’d be great if you could average 2:20 per question instead of the allotted 2:05, that extra 15 seconds you’d like per question may well be your Achilles’ heel if, in your haste to get down closer to 2 minutes per question, you fall victim to: Silly calculation mistakes Setting up an equation incorrectly Leaving a problem one step short and picking the trap answer Answering “the wrong question” (e.g. they asked for y, you solved for x) These mistakes, as you’ve likely seen in your practice tests and homework sets, are quite common, so make sure that you’re aware of them and know to slow down to avoid them. Double check your work, which can largely go wrong in the first 2030 seconds of a problem (setting up a problem incorrectly) or the last 2030 seconds (answering the wrong question, skipping a calculation step because it looks like you’ll get right to one answer choice). Know your common mistakes and spend that extra 1015 seconds doublechecking for them. Too many examinees, knowing that they’d need 10% more time than they have, do a “90% job on 100% of questions” (a lot of wrong answers) instead of a “100% job on 90% of questions” (making sure that when they can get a question right, they do. As we say often on the GMAT, your floor is more important than your ceiling – missing easy questions hurts you much more significantly than correctly answering hard question helps you. So step 1 on pacing – make sure that you take the time you need to successfully finish problems on which you’ve done most of the work right. 2) Plan to Guess Here’s where you get the time back. If you still know that the above strategy – take the time that you need – will leave you 56 minutes short of where you’d need to be to finish the section, then save that time by knowing that up to 34 times per section you’ll just guess early on a problem to bank that time for when you really need it. Why does this work? If you’re doing well on a section by successfully answering most of those questions within your ability level, you’re going to see some extremely difficult questions as your “reward” based on the adaptive algorithm. You WILL get questions wrong, and the key is to not invest too much time in questions that you were probably going to get wrong anyway. The problem with guessing is much more psychological than real – when you get stuck on a problem and “have to” guess, you get that panic feeling in your mind and it shakes your confidence for future questions. Plus you’ve probably spent up to your average paceperquestion (if not more) by that point, so you’re doubly worried…time is ticking away *and* you just had to blow a guess. The remedy? Give yourself up to 4 “free passes,” questions on which you’ll just guess in the first 2025 seconds if you realize that it’s probably beyond you and/or it will probably sap a lot of time. (For example, plenty of 750+ scorers have admitted that “hard to start” geometry problems fall into this category for them…geometry with detailed figures can be very timeconsuming, so if they don’t see the path early on they know to just save that time for something more concrete) By consciously using a “free pass” instead of nervously venturing a guess, you own the guess as a strategy and not a copout, and you’ll save that time for when you need it and can best use it for correct answers. 3) Have a Pacing Plan How do you know when you need to guess? Segment each section into approximate quarters and have benchmarks for where you’ll want to be. Since the clock ticks down from 75 minutes, have those benchmarks in mind the way you’ll see them: Quant After 10 questions — 53 minutes remaining* After 20 questions — 33 minutes remaining After 30 questions — 14 minutes remaining (which leaves about 2 minutes per question) Verbal After 10 questions — 55 minutes remaining* After 20 questions — 36 minutes remaining After 30 questions — 18 minutes remaining (which leaves about 1:40 per question) (*You can adjust these benchmarks to your liking; here we’re using a little more time in the initial 10 questions, not because “they’re more important” as the myth goes, but more because you can’t use any additional time at the end of the section, so if you’re going to err on pacing it’s better to get the early questions right and hustle a little later than it is to make silly mistakes early, banking time that won’t help you later.) Whenever you’re more than a minute or so behind your desired pace, that’s when you’ll want to look at using a “free pass” within the next 45 questions to get back on track. By having a plan to check every 10 questions, you’ll avoid that pressure (and wasted time) that comes from calculating your paceperquestion frequently throughout the test (seriously, people do this – they’re so worried about not having enough time that they waste valuable time doing extra, irrelevant math problems!!) and you’ll have a contingency plan in place so that you’re not panicked if you are a little behind. If you’re behind, you have a “free pass” in your back pocket to help get back to where you want to be. Pacing on the GMAT is tricky for everyone – that’s a major factor of what makes it “the GMAT.” But if you follow this process, you can make the best out of that limited time and maximize your chance of success. Remember, 75 minutes per section is hard for just about everyone, so even if you’re not comfortable with the pacing but you have a better plan for how to use that scarce resource, pacing can be your competitive advantage. Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Brian Galvin 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT  Part III 
Continuing our discussion on number properties, today we will discuss how factorials affect the behavior of odd and even integers. Since we are going to deal with factorials, positive integers will be our concern. Using a question, we will see how factorials are divided. Question: If x and y are positive integers, is y odd? Statement 1: (y+2)!/x! = odd Statement 2: (y+2)!/x! is greater than 2 Solution: The question stem doesn’t give us much information – just that x and y are positive integers. Question: Is y odd? Statement 1: (y+2)!/x! = odd Note that odd and even are identified only for integers. Since (y+2)!/x! is odd, it must be a positive integer. This means that x! must be equal to or less than (y+2)! Now think, how are y and y+2 related? If y+2 is odd, y+1 is even and hence y is odd. If y+2 is even, by the same logic, y is even. (y+2)! = 1*2*3*4*…*y*(y+1)*(y+2) x! = 1*2*3*4*…*x Note that (y+2)! and x! have common factors starting from 1. Since x! is less than or equal to (y+2)!, x will be less than or equal to (y+2). So all factors in the denominator, from 1 to x will be there in the numerator too and will get canceled leaving us with the last few factors of (y+2)! To explain this, let us take a few examples: Example 1: Say, y+2 = 6, x = 6 (y+2)!/x! = 6!/6! = 1 Example 2: Say, y+2 = 7, x = 6 (y+2)!/x! = 7!/6! = (1*2*3*4*5*6*7)/(1*2*3*4*5*6) = 7 (only one leftover factor) Example 3: Say, y+2 = 6, x = 4 (y+2)!/x! = 6!/4! = (1*2*3*4*5*6)/(1*2*3*4) = 5*6 (two leftover factors) If the division of two factorials is an integer, the factorial in the numerator must be larger than or equal to the factorial in the denominator. So what does (y+2)!/x! is odd imply? It means that the leftover factors must be all odd. But the leftover factors will be consecutive integers. So after one odd factor, there will be an even factor. If we want (y+2)!/x! to be odd, we must have either no leftover factors (such that (y+2)!/x! = 1) or only one leftover factor and that too odd. If we have no leftover factor, it doesn’t matter what y+2 is as long as it is equal to x. It could be odd or even. If there is one leftover factor, then y+2 must be odd and hence y must be odd. Hence y could be odd or even. This statement alone is not sufficient. Statement 2: (y+2)!/x! is greater than 2 This tells us that y+2 is not equal to x since (y+2)!/x! is not 1. But all we know is that it is greater than 2. It could be anything as seen in examples 2 and 3 above. This statement alone is not sufficient. Both statements together tell us that y+2 is greater than x such that (y+2)!/x! is odd. So there must be only one leftover factor and it must be odd. The leftover factor will be the last factor i.e. y+2. This tells us that y+2 must be odd. Hence y must be odd too. Answer (C) Takeaways: Assuming a and b are positive integers,  a!/b! will be an integer only if a >= b  a!/b! will be an odd integer whenever a = b or a is odd and a = b+1  a!/b! will be an even integer whenever a is even and a = b+1 or a > b+1 Think about this: what happens when we put 0 in the mix? Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 9 Things to Consider When Choosing Between the ACT and the SAT 
In most high schools in the United States, juniors and seniors naturally tend towards either the ACT or the SAT, depending on the region. In the Bay Area, for instance, far more collegebound students take the SAT than the ACT, for no apparent reason besides the fact that most of their peers are taking the SAT. In Southern states, the ACT is more dominant. Region, however, should not be the determining factor in choosing between these two tests; their subject matter, style, and requirements differ in important ways that many students don’t consider. I’ve taken both. Only my SAT score, however, was sent along with my college applications. (My ACT score was released long after my college acceptance). I originally took the SAT instead of the ACT just because everyone I knew was taking the SAT, and because the SAT was offered on a more convenient day in my schedule. Looking back, I realize this was a poor decision on my part. If I had done my research, I would have quickly realized that I as a student was far better suited to the ACT than to the SAT, and would have saved myself quite a lot of worry. Here are the things I should have considered: 1. The ACT has a science section. This is arguably the most famous difference between the tests. In high school, I liked reading much more than I liked science, so I originally dismissed the ACT entirely. My mistake: I didn’t realize that the ACT doesn’t actually require testtakers to know any complicated science concepts. In fact, it’s more like a reading test than a science test. As long as testtakers are able to read simple graphs and tables, they need only know some basic scientific vocabulary and concepts. Even those are often defined and explained within ACT passages themselves. 2. The SAT tests complicated vocabulary and focuses more on reading comprehension. Students who lack confidence in their reading comprehension skills or who do not want to deal with complicated vocabulary should strongly consider taking the ACT instead. 3. The ACT tests more complicated math. Conversely, students who are not comfortable with trigonometry should consider opting for the SAT. 4. The ACT lets you skip the essay. The SAT essay is mandatory, while the ACT essay is optional. I recommend writing the essay if you take the ACT, but in the interest of making informed choices, you should be aware that the section is not required. 5. The SAT is longer. If you have trouble sitting still for more than three hours, the ACT might be a better option for you. 6. The ACT was designed as an achievement test, while the SAT was designed as a reasoning test. In other words, material on the ACT will more closely resemble the work that most high school students do in daily classes, while the SAT will challenge them to approach familiar subjects in less conventional ways. 7. US colleges accept both the SAT and the ACT, and treat the tests equally. Choosing one over the other will not necessarily make your application more or less impressive to an admissions office. Take whichever test you believe suits you better. 8. Practice tests and questions are available for both the SAT and the ACT. These are available on the official SAT and ACT websites and in test prep books and courses. Instead of guessing which you might perform better on, you can sample each and compare your scores. 9. If you still have trouble deciding, you have the option of taking both tests. This will likely involve more study and more test fees, but will allow you the freedom to try both options and submit whichever test score is higher. The choice between the ACT and the SAT offers students a valuable chance to play to their strengths, and to play down their weaker subject areas. Taking advantage of that opportunity can save time, effort, stress, and test prep money. Trust me; your future self will thank you for it. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: School Profile: Make Your Impact on the World at Johns Hopkins University 
Benefactor Johns Hopkins willed $7 million to start up the University that now bears his name. It was founded in 1876 on the premise that research and discovery were of equal importance to teaching and learning. Johns Hopkins University’s other ideal is not to limit education to its students, but rather to lift the collective education of society at the same time. With these principles in mind, Johns Hopkins has become a preeminent model for other research universities across the globe, and is #26 on the Veritas Prep Elite Colleges Rankings. Johns Hopkins reputation for excellence and leadership is built primarily on its health and sciences focus, which includes JHU School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and JHU School of Nursing graduate programs associated with the renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital. The University is also widely recognized as a leader in international studies, and its proximity to Washington, D.C. offers students coveted internships and jobs in the nation’s capital. The graduate program in the School of Advanced International Studies has three campuses – Washington, D.C., Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, The People’s Republic of China. The first graduating class of fifteen at JHU School of Medicine was in 1897. One of its first major research contributions came in the 1920s when researchers at the University developed the process of chlorination to purify drinking water, which is universally used by municipalities and industries today. Johns Hopkins boasts twentytwo Nobel laureates affiliated with the University. Countless government officials and public servants including President Woodrow Wilson, Vice President Spiro Agnew, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others have passed through the University. Over sixty notable academicians, mathematicians, and scientists have made their marks on the world like NASA’s Michael Griffin, physicist Frank Oppenheimer, and John Dewey, education reformer. The list goes on and on for business, literature, art, and media. Johns Hopkins vision has played out in the world through the work of its faculty and graduates in ways he probably couldn’t have imagined. If you are looking for a place to grow and make your impact on the world, Johns Hopkins University could be the school for you. Johns Hopkins University is an urban school whose primary Homewood campus lies on a former 140acre private estate in northern Baltimore, Maryland. It is home to 5,800 undergrads, the Krieger School of Arts & Science and the Whiting School of Engineering grad programs. The Federalist architecture, marked by red brick buildings, is organized into quads with plenty of open green spaces. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, with freshmen living in the older Alumni Memorial Residences (ARMS) on the freshmen quad, or studentathletes living in Wolman located just off campus on the other side of St. Paul Street, which runs parallel to campus. The student housing is the hub of social living and offers regularly scheduled social events. Many sophomores live in McCoy, a dorm similar to Wolman in age and architecture. Charles Commons is the newest of the dorms, putting its suitestyle living with various amenities and the Nolan dining hall, in high demand. Bradford and Homewood offer apartmentstyle student housing with studios, one, two, three, and four bedroom units. They are less social by design and offer more privacy for upperclassmen. Fraternities also offer housing for their members, and regularly host parties. Greek life for both male and female students is evident on campus, but doesn’t dominate the social scene by any means. The consensus among students is that Johns Hopkins is not the best college choice for a thriving social scene. Many students complain about the lack of social opportunities on campus and the strain of seriousness that permeates the atmosphere. There are opportunities to socialize through over 100 student clubs and organizations, and resourceful students are able to find plenty of options in the city of Baltimore for fun activities. Some residents of Bradford and Homewood throw house parties, if you happen to make the right relationships. This university has a seriously competitive academic atmosphere that doesn’t leave a lot of room for typical college socializing, so if partying is essential to your college experience, this might not be the school for you. The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are an NCAA Division III program in the Centennial Conference. Their water polo team is consistently one of the top D3 teams in the nation, often competing against D1 schools. The men’s and women’s basketball and soccer programs, along with men’s baseball, are also competitive. The pride of JHU sports, however, are the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, which play Division I and have amassed 44 national titles – nine of them Division I. Their primary rival is Duke lacrosse, and home games on Homewood Field draw large crowds of cheering students who sit in The Nest (student section), wearing black or blue. Traditions at JHU include the men’s lacrosse season homeopener, which generates a lot of enthusiasm, homecoming weekend, fall festival, the lighting of the quads for the holidays, and the popular and heavily attended spring fair. A newer tradition is High Table, where freshmen share a formal dinner with deans and faculty. If you’re looking to make your mark in medicine, research, science, or on the political world stage, JHU is an excellent choice to develop your platform. We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you. By Colleen Hill 


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