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AuthorTopic: cehck tihs out
Guardian
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Profile #75
I've never taken an IQ test, although I've wanted to from time to time. I have a feeling I'd do well on it like I've done on every other standardized test I've taken in my time.

Not like any of those tests have proved accurate in judging my academic success in college. It might be hard to believe that a person who scored a 1500 on his SAT and a 35 on his ACT could possibly have a 2.35 college GPA, but I'm living proof. Academic success post-high school has a whole lot more to do with independent motivation and work ethic than actual intelligence. I'm still just as intelligent, if not more so, as I was in high school. It's just that the external motivation and structure that pushed me to success in high school have been removed. With painfully underdeveloped self-control and willpower, and even less internal motivation, I'm a thoroughly incompetent student.

In terms of the value of higher education, I've never really put much stock in it. Simply put, I don't understand the obsession so many people seem to have with progress and advancement when we've already come so far and accomplished so much. All the work we've done in the past to make our lives more comfortable and secure hardly seems worth it when the stress and turmoil we bring upon ourselves on a daily basis makes us unable to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It seems to me as though we could be working a hell of a lot less, and enjoying our lives a whole lot more, if we just focused on maintaining what we've already established.

In terms of learning simply for the sake of educating oneself and becoming better read, such learning should be entirely optional, not required for all those who wish to find jobs. If I'd rather spend time with friends and drink instead of reading and analyzing some convoluted Henry James novel, that should be my right.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
FAQSELF
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quote:
Originally written by behind stingy cactus:

Speaking of SAT, what do you guys make of the GRE, or other graduate tests?

The GRE wasn't horrible, and frankly, it matters a whole lot less than the SAT. Very few grad schools give much more than a cursory look to the GREs. They serve mostly as a warning flag to schools- if a student is trying to go to grad school in the sciences, but has a low math score, then they'll be worried. Similarly, Humanities schools get worried about low verbal scores (and writing, although I took the test when the third section was logic).

However, unlike the SAT, the GRE is not a status symbol among nerds. You can brag about your SAT score, but no one cares about how high you scored on the GRE. If it's high enough for CalTech, then that's what matters :) .

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Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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The GRE was much like the SAT, with a comparable math section and a much more difficult verbal section. I also had the logic section instead of the new written section.

For me the trickiest part probably was taking the test on a computer versus the old fashioned paper format. You can't go back and change answers or skip and return to particular questions, and the test grades you progressively. This wouldn't be so problematic except that each question has a difficulty rating and a corresponding answer "weight." If you miss a few questions, the test will automatically track you to a set of easier questions, worth less points.

I'd like to think I'm pretty good at standardized tests, but the LSAT was hands-down the hardest test I've ever taken, mainly due to the time constraints. It's also a completely "teachable" test, which I think is a bit unjust for people with few resources, but then, that seems to be life.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 09:59: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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Shrodinger, it's interesting what you pointed out about the difference between GRE/SAT, I'd noticed, mostly from films, I guess, that people would talk about their SATs scores, and not their GREs. I wonder if that's because by the point in their lives that they take the GREs, it really doesn't matter bragging about it anymore. The place where you ended up doing your post-graduate work will say more than anything about your aptitutes.

I took the GRE also in the days of the logic section. The only one I aced. I did poorly in the math section (had spent my undergrad in humanities) since I'm terrible with spaces and rather bad with ratios (we really didn't touch upon that in high school here, besides a little trig, and mostly formulaeic.) For the verbal part, my brain froze. Literally after the exam was over, I began remembering the right answers.

What I discovered, though, was that, perhaps coincidintally, of all the places I applied to, only the two that didn't require GRE accepted me, and I don't think those two were better or worse than the rest.
(My GRE score, for the record, was horrible. I think something like 570 or 590)

I took the SAT once, long ago, but that was even worse, the scores must be here somewhere.

I don't know what I can say about the education in this country compared to yours. I only know a little about the education in Spain and the States. It seems that HS here is similar, in terms of subjects, to that of the States (we do get to see a lot of history about our country, zero about U.S. history (not being our country and all), and one Universal) Math doesn't reach differential equations nor summatories (is that the English name?) Last year of Physics is an introduction to electronics (the Newtonian Physics is the fourth year), Chemistry is organic in fifth and general in fourth. Literature is the usual recycling (a few hispanic works, a little Shakespeare, that's about it)

The private schools here are, by and large good. However, your idea of private schools may be different than what we have. In this country private schools proliferate far, far, more than in the States, for instance. They are not as prohibitive nor as fancy-pancy. Most public schools are terrible, horrible, deplorable. They have been like that for years and years and years. One or two do save themselves (this is in the Capital, haven't heard much from other cities)

Higher Education here is pretty good. It has been going downhill a little lately, specially in public Universities (two of them, by the way, used to be ranked rather high and were respected internationally. With a lot of problems, including teachers not getting paid, there has been some migration.)

One of the things about the career choices you have here is that Humanities, as such, is very, very restricted in terms of what you can do once you graduate. Teaching. . . where? Schools, perhaps the same university that saw you graduate, and that's about it. Journalism is all right.

Mostly people study Business and Engineer oriented careers since that's where their opportunities for work lay in (few as they are these days.) The three more common forms of Engineering are: Chemical (oil), production (general, they are taught a little administration and they may hope to be managers one day) and electronic (specializing in communications. You wouldn't believe how huge cell phones are here) Civil used to be popular, but construction is at a kind of stand-still these days.

What problems I may have with HS education is that the teachers were, often, not very motivated. Students like me didn't much care about what was being taught (but that may the age, personality, etc.) But looking back, I think it gave a general idea of the currents of knowledge and it allows people to gather a general idea of different aspects of it, and also it may begin to point a person into what she may want to do in the future.

As petty as this may sound, if I had to go back and change one thing in the pensum for my HS it would be sports. Not their presence, that's great, but the fact that we got no choice in what to play. Basically every year they would say, for this half this part of the class will do this, that will do that. Instead of playing something like Soccer or Volleyball which I loved, or swimming, which I loved even more, I ended up 90% of my HS life, playing Basketball, which I like playing it as much as I like seeing Italian Soccer teams winning anything. Not a darn bit.

I wonder if in any schools you also have no choice in which sport to participate.

Oh, and I also had to go to church once a week. But it was a Catholic school so that went with the territory.

We have no SATs in these parts.

(Anything I tell you now is roughly 15 years old, it may have altered slightly. If.)
There's a standarized test which works nation wide.
The questions were: a little math (very easy, believe me.), hardly any verbal skills, an a bunch of general culture questions.
Partly because this country is small and the number of universities is also small, each university has its own admission test. They are basically variations of the standarized one. I don't remember any major difference.

I also took the test for Spanish universities. That was tougher by far, at least for us here.
Math went as far as differential and summatories (see sp. question above). Verbal questions were also difficult and we needed to know grammar back and forth. For those who pursued science, we needed to know, as far as I remember, a lot about biology for some reason. Some Physics (that was easy, only Newtonian and basic at that) and some Chemistry (mostly Organic, also easy)
For me the toughest part was Grammar. Schools in this country are notoriously lack in their teachings of Grammar. Just a few basic rules way, way back in grade school.
Oh, and I also, even if I took the science exam, needed to know about Spanish lit.

From what I saw of the results of the Spanish test, the majority of the results were in the 3-6 area (over 10) and most departments/schools required 5.5 (or so) and above. An anecdote which though not very interesting shows how funny life is sometimes: I wanted to study film (first journalism, though, which was a popular subject that year, or computer science), and in one university (Pamplona) they accepted me in either philosophy, history or literature. I laughed and said those were for wusses and never would study them. As it turned out, those were my majors (philosophy a minor).

I don't give subject much thought these days, but I used to think that the Spanish test (a lot essays) was more comprehensive than the SAT. I don't know.

Never taken an IQ in my life. Been tempted some times. I don't really know much about them, seen some questions here and there. But, the way I see it, I am just smart enough to know how dumb I really am. And I know just so much to know how little I really know.

(tl, sorry)

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quote:

"I suffer from spiritual malaise," said Cugel meaningfully. "which manifest itself in outburst of vicious rage. I implore you to depart, lest, in an uncontrollable spasm, I cut you in three pieces with my sword, or worse, I invoke magic."
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Posts: 604 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
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quote:
Intelligence does change over time. It may increase, decrease, or waver around a central point, but it does change. Not for everyone, not all the time, not over small periods of time, but for a sizable number of people over long periods of time, it does change.
Yep. In general, at the moment you graduate from university, you're as smart as you'll ever be in your life.

quote:
Also, my IQ scores have varied over a 50-point range, and I'm not the only one. That's why I'm saying they are of questionable validity.
Well, they're likely to vary more at the high end of the scale, because the test is less reliable there. I scored 155+ at age 3 (the test was ended early because my dad interrupted me when I was trying to answer one question) and 180-205 at age 10.

Furthermore, even for average subjects, IQ certainly varies with factors such as mood, wakefulness, nutritional state, and a host of others.

quote:
Thuryl: you're basically describing subject tests.
More to the point, I was basically describing the Australian education system. :P

quote:
I have mixed feelings about subject tests, because while they do have the advantage of focusing on topics that are actually taught in school, they also show more bias along ethnic, gender, and income lines than general intelligence tests.
At some point, it becomes necessary to show that you're good at something in particular as well as at things in general. Either it's going to happen during your formal education, or immediately after it.

quote:
Ash: I feel that there should be certain things that are taught in school. Reading seems like a big one. Basic arithmetic. Some algebra.
Oh, yes. Calculators haven't made arithmetic obsolete, either. My father, a teacher, has in his career come across plenty of high school students who can't use a calculator because they don't understand the basic concepts behind fractions or square roots.

quote:
But I do agree that the overwhelming majority of what is done in schools through the end of high school is garbage for most people. Schools very badly need to change.
This is nice to say in general. It gets harder once you decide which particular bits to cut out. The majority have at least some redeeming value.

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quote:
Originally written by behind stingy cactus:
summatories
I like this word much better than the English word. I think you're talking about integrals.

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Wow... everyone has had a lot of intelligent things to say. I count myself fortunate that I go to a very good public high school. Everyone here is very motivated to learn. Unfortunately, many students around the country do not have the opportunity to go to a good college, or to college at all.

Out of curiosity, I would like to know where the Spidweb community's resident students applied to and attend college. I would like to try and get a feel for the general level of intellectual motivation here. (from what I've seen in general, it's pretty high.)

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Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by andrew miller:

Um, one of the reasons your nation and mine are as economically well-off as they are is because of their education systems.
We could argue about cause and effect, but I won't bother. :P

[quote]It may not make sense to you now, especially if you're inside it currently, but formal education systems, even through the high school level, create skilled workers. What does "skilled" signify? I think at a basic level, it refers to the added capacity for abstract thought that enables employees to adapt to new, more complex tasks and solve more complex problems. Anyone can push a button repeatedly on an assembly line or process meat; not everyone can manage employees at a restaurant (you likely need a high school diploma for this) or even do basic filing. At some level, jobs such as these require a baseline level of analytical thinking ability.

That the quality and existence of the formal education system matters is evident if you compare the wage rates in different nations. Across the board, nations with a "comparative advantage" in unskilled labor (large numbers of uneducated people) have much greater poverty rates than those with an advantage in skilled labor. Also, consider Singapore - over the last seventy-five years or so, its economy has transitioned from being unskilled labor-based to a skilled labor- and capital-based economy, largely through its dedication to a formal education system for its populace, and as a result has witnessed tremendous benefit financially.

Believe me, I know first-hand how school sucks! :) However, there is a rhyme and reason to it.
[/quote]I've been out of the education system for four years. I didn't really give it a chance, so I freely admit that I don't have a fully balanced view of things. On the other hand, you've probably never tried getting a job without an education, so you probably don't either.

I'm not arguing that formal education is not a path to employment and success. It's the only way a lot of people are aware of, and it's probably the most common route. I'm just saying that (particularly with skilled labour) it's a very inefficient way to go about things. If I wanted to get a job as a restaurant manager, the last place I'd go is to TAFE or Uni.

Possibly my perspective is warped by unnaturally positive experience, but I like to think there was more to it than freak luck.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 12:40: Message edited by: Ash Lael ]

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It does seem like the majority of what we learn in university and high school tends to be useless later in life. Do you really need to know how to analyze literature? Are the biological workings of plants important in your daily routine? Do you frequently use calculus?

The answers to all of the above are no for most professions. It would seem that one could do just as well without wasting time on them, and the time could be better spent in a vocational school once you know what profession you wish to pursue. I know China's educational system has proven otherwise, though: most vocationally trained workers were initially more productive but fell behind generally educated workers within a few years. I'm no education expert, but that indicates to me some tangible benefit of general rather than specialized or no education.

The other question is what we would do with students if we took them out of schools. Would we just add many more teenagers and twenty-somethings to the workforce? Is that necessary or productive? There are definitely problems with the education system just as there are problems with almost all systems, but I'm far from convinced that removing it would be of any benefit.

—Alorael, who has no trouble with the idea that schools tend to do best with the average. Anyone who deviates too far from average is in trouble. The ever-increasing workload and the stress and health problems associated with it are rectifiable as well. They can be fixed without canning the school system entirely.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by wz. arsenic:

Out of curiosity, I would like to know where the Spidweb community's resident students applied to and attend college. I would like to try and get a feel for the general level of intellectual motivation here.
This might be better as a separate topic, but still:
For undergraduate education I applied to:
College of William and Mary, Washington U St Louis, Harvey Mudd, U Deleware, U Virginia, and Princeton. I was rejected from the last and went to the first.

For graduate education I applied to: U of Arizona, U of New Mexico, Washington U St Louis, and CalTech. I went to the first, despite nice offers from the other three.

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A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by wz. arsenic:

[QBOut of curiosity, I would like to know where the Spidweb community's resident students applied to and attend college. I would like to try and get a feel for the general level of intellectual motivation here. (from what I've seen in general, it's pretty high.)[/QB]
When I applied to colleges three years ago, I applied only to schools in the Midwest, being from the Chicago area. I applied to Michigan-Ann Arbor, Wisconsin-Madison, Illinois-Urbana Champaign, U. of Chicago, Northwestern, and Wash.U-St. Louis. I was accepted to the first four on the list, rejected for Northwestern and wait-listed for Wash.U, neither of which I had ever had an intention of attending.

In the end, my decision was rather simple to make. My dad works at Illinois-Chicago, so with a half-off tuition waver from the in-state tuition, U of I was many times cheaper than any of the other places, and comparably strong academically as well.

I'm in my third year at U of I, majoring in Integrative Biology. As for where I'm planning to go with that, I'm not yet decided. I started off my college career with veterinary school in mind, but after a few disappointing semesters in school, in which certain crippling motivational demons reared their ugly heads, I realized that such sustained high academic performance as would be necessary for that particular path was quite beyong my means. I then considered pharmacy school briefly, then realized I wasn't at all interested in the field. At present I tentatively plan to be a zookeeper, although that could change at any moment.

As for intellectual motivation, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere in my case. I just don't really care for learning, unless the subject just grabs me. Not too many do.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
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For undergrad, thinking I wanted to study music, I applied to Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), Millikin University (Decatur, IL), Otterbein College (near Columbus, OH), University of Evansville (Evansville, IN), and the University of Kentucky. I'm pretty sure that I didn't aim high enough, although all had solid music programs. I ended up attending Lawrence, the best out of the bunch, though it was also the most expensive. I ended up with a degree in Classics.

For grad school, I wanted an affordable education suitable for a career in the Foreign Service, so I specifically only applied to the University of Kentucky, as KY is my home state. I got in without any problem.

I'm currently on pins and needles waiting to hear from law programs. I've applied to Georgetown U., G.W., George Mason U., American U., and Catholic U. All of these programs are in the DC area because my fiancee lives here and I'm rather attached to her. :) So far, I've been rejected by Georgetown (the LSAT didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped, and recent increases in applications culled my application), admitted by American and Catholic, and I'm waiting to hear from Mason and G.W.

My advice to any and all? If you're planning to go to college/med school/law school/etc. and you currently find school easy and boring, don't shoot yourself in the foot by not caring, thinking it doesn't matter and not getting good grades. If I could change anything about my high school/undergrad experience, it would be to go back and put in the extra five to thirty minutes a day it would have taken to get A's, because it makes a huge difference in terms of a.) where you can get in, and b.) how much money they may throw at you to go there. In these fields, the name of your school WILL make a difference, unfortunately. By being unable to get into a top 25 law program, I've pretty much excluded myself from being elligible to work in any of the top firms in the nation, which means a lower earning potential. Money isn't everything, but it's a shame that I closed doors to it by just being lazy. From my perspective, it wasn't worth it.

[/end rant] :P

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 13:50: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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I applied to FAR too many schools, because I didn't really do my research and narrow down my choices, and the Common App and UC app covered most of my schools already.

I applied to:
Harvard
Princeton
Brown
MIT
Amherst
Vassar
Carleton
Grinnell
Wash U, St Louis
UC Berkeley
UCLA
UCSB
UCSD
Claremont McKenna

I got into all of them but Harvard, Princeton, and Brown, the last of which I was waitlisted at.

I ended up going to UC Berkeley because it was far cheaper than the others, and so far it's working out well.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Wow, 87 (not including this one) posts and this actually still has something to do with what the topic was originally about.(kind of)

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 13:59: Message edited by: EviL_TiM ]

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Posts: 258 | Registered: Wednesday, March 9 2005 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Schrodinger:


For undergraduate education I applied to:
College of William and Mary, Washington U St Louis, Harvey Mudd, U Deleware, U Virginia, and Princeton. I was rejected from the last and went to the first.

I also applied to the first and last schools on your list. I'm still waiting to hear from them, as well as from Harvard, Bowdoin, Carleton, Haverford, and Union College. I've been accepted to U Vermont already. I should be getting a decision from W & M any day now; friends of mine have already heard from them.

I've heard from many people that where one gets their undergraduate education doesn't matter when compared to which graduate school one attends. I intend to go to grad school; hopefully I'll be able to look back at this time and laugh at how much stress I'm experiencing.

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I've only been out of high school long enough to be lazy. I'm studying with a mentor as an introduction to biochemistry and physiology/pathology. I'll go to UCLA for premed most likely in two years. I would have to do two years at junior college first.

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I'm currently studying biomedical science at the University of Melbourne, on account of the fact that all these fancy American universities of yours are a little far away from where I live. :P

quote:
I'm not arguing that formal education is not a path to employment and success. It's the only way a lot of people are aware of, and it's probably the most common route. I'm just saying that (particularly with skilled labour) it's a very inefficient way to go about things. If I wanted to get a job as a restaurant manager, the last place I'd go is to TAFE or Uni.
A business management course may be inefficient if all you ever want to do is manage a restaurant all your life, but what if the restaurant industry slumps and thousands of people who don't know how to do anything but manage restaurants are left with no jobs and no marketable skills? A general education creates people who are able to work in a variety of fields as the requirements of the job market shift.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 14:43: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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I think of high school as more of a screening process than anything else. If no one makes you try to analyze literature, do calculus, deconstruct historical trends, or translate Latin, how will you find out if you are good at any of it? Maybe someone like Thuryl or the Creator would discover and develop his talents on his own, but I think I would just sit on my behind and do nothing. That said, were there any way that I could get out of my state-mandated four years of English, I would jump on it immediately.

Personally, I think that high school in America is more about conditioning than anything else. It gives most everyone some sort of common experience to take with them into their later life. Everyone has to take US government, everyone has to take American Literature, and these help shape youth into good American citizens. Things like sporting events, school plays, school dances, and clubs are something that impact, however tangentially, the lives of every American teenager. In this way, the demos of the future have a kind of tenuous unity. Of course, the definition of "respect" as compliance with authority is another useful component of the American indoctrination (education) system.

BSC - Sports are chosen freely, if at all, in American high schools. Personally, I play American football, and it is perhaps the most enjoyable portion of my high school experience. Intellectual pursuits are all well and good, but sometimes I just need to put on a bunch of protective equipment and do my worst to someone else with the same equipment on (for four-second intervals, with twenty-second breaks in between - I hate running).

Finally, I am, at the moment, in favor of standardized testing, because, despite my sloth, generally antisocial nature, and complete practical ineptitude, I will most likely receive a few thousand dollars of scholarship money for having gotten a perfect score on the PSATs, as inapplicable to anything as they might be.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 18:01: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by PoD person:
I will most likely receive a few thousand dollars of scholarship money for having gotten a perfect score on the PSATs, as inapplicable to anything as they might be.
This is less likely than you might think. National Merit truly sucks at actually awarding money, because that's not really what their main goal is, and if you expect anyone else to hand out merit-based scholarships, you are in for a rude awakening.

Well, unless you're planning to go to a lesser-known school that specializes in merit scholarships, but those are unusual to say the least.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Do SATs count for any portion of ones high school mark? In Canada we have government exams which count for 40% of your grade 12 mark and now 30% of grade 10 and 11 marks. It seems odd that Uni's would simply look at SAT scores and accept or decline based on one test. School is not supposed to be relevant. It is intended to broaden the mind. Take most Calculus for example it doesn't even have a use in the real world. But some day it might. Sure most of school is bull****. However its not meant to be relevant. My calculus 3 teacher summed it up quite nicely, that 90% of math has no use. One is not smarter after leaving University. they may posses more knowledge. But the raw intelligence level will not increase past age 20. As that is when ones brain stops building neural pathways. Motivation goals and so on account for any differences in intelligence beyond age 20.

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U of T, Waterloo, Queens. And I barely got into UT computer science... go me! :/

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Profile #96
SATs are only relevant if someone is planning on going to a university straight out of high school (grade 12) for undergrad. One can have a poor score or completely avoid the SATs by going to two years of community college. Of course people can get into community college with a GED, so they can go to college if they are 18 years old without attending high school at all.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 19:34: Message edited by: Dolphin ]

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Nena
Posts: 2032 | Registered: Wednesday, January 26 2005 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #97
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

A business management course may be inefficient if all you ever want to do is manage a restaurant all your life, but what if the restaurant industry slumps and thousands of people who don't know how to do anything but manage restaurants are left with no jobs and no marketable skills? A general education creates people who are able to work in a variety of fields as the requirements of the job market shift.
Really? I think the experience of having held down a position of responsibility and having proved yourself capable of managing employees would count in your favour much more than having studied a bunch of unrelated subjects x years ago.

And really, 'Life Experience' is very valuable. Managing a restaurant for an extended length of time is very unlikely to turn you into a person who only knows how to manage a restaurant and nothing else.

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Sex is easier than love.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
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Member # 4592
Profile #98
(Kel--> yes, that's what I meant. I guess "summatories" was me using Spanglish. :) )

My HS grades were mediocre (C-). I tried some U in Northern Florida, home of the Gators (forgot the name) Was rejected.

Saw an add in a Spanish newspaper for admission in Saint Louis University campus in Madrid.

Applied, was accepted. My dad had to be there to do some work that would entitle him a retirement stuff. So, that seemed like a good place (had few options, anyhoo)

Spent a semester there, moved to St. Louis. Changed majors. (looked at Wash. U for Astronomy, but it didn't exist. So I changed to something else)
Graduated from Lit, History and minor in Phil ("specialized" in Medieval stuff)

For graduate schools I actually applied to a bunch. Twice.

First time: Notre Dame* (I wanted that one so badly I'd've sold my soul to the Barney for it), Chapel Hill and. . . one more I don't recall.

The second time I applied to: Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley (pretty sure), For. . . something in NY, Yale, Georgetown and some other Ivies. Also to University of Toronto and Brown. The last two, which required no GRE, accepted me. U of T had a nicer Medieval program and if my memory serves me right a kick ass Medieval library. . . but I already had the student Visa for the U.S.

Also. . . Brown = Providence = Lovecraft.
Believe it or not, my final decision was vastly influenced by HPL.

Got a Masters in History there. Wasted two years working on a Thesis that never saw the light of day (was working on something for which I could find no secondary sources, just tons of primary ones. Interest dwindled. Not being able to work also served as influence to finally quit. Would've saved two years and still have gotten the degree if I had quit earlier)

For anybody thinking about doing graduate work:

-) Make sure the school you're going to is good at what you want to specialize in. Name and pedigree just go so far. If you've no idea, then go wherever you go. But if you have a very distinctive idea, search for the department or person you wish to work under.

-) If you need to take some time off, do so. You're young and won't die any time soon (I hope!) and if you rush into it you may crash and burn. Or not. You know thyself best.

-) Do a workable thesis for your Masters, specially (it's also nice for PhD). My mistake was being an arrogant dumbass and thinking I could pull it off. If I had listened to others who knew best I would've done something else, still would have gotten my degree, but wouldn't have that chip on my shoulder.

*--> funny annectode: I was told by several people who knew better that I should try and contact Notre Dame and see why I wasn't accepted. This was because I strongly suspected it was because of my lack of Latin. I was told that if that was the case maybe I could talk with them into some agreement. Cement heads prevailed (mine) and did nothing.

Months later my sister and her then beau (now husband) stopped by N.D as they went to I don't remember where. My brother-in-law's idea. They actually managed to talk to a gentlemen who told them that, indeed, it had been because of Latin. That they would've been able to work something out if I prove I knew, or where really studying it.
I turned the offer down (I acted, back then, in some inscrutable ways. The desease surfaces, still, once in a while)

Morale, such as it is: if they tell you "o" in place, but you think you know why, and that the reason is something you can work out, you lose nothing by calling them up, or visiting if possible. Worse thing you'll get is a "no" and you already got it.

Good luck!

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 21:09: Message edited by: behind stingy cactus ]

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quote:

"I suffer from spiritual malaise," said Cugel meaningfully. "which manifest itself in outburst of vicious rage. I implore you to depart, lest, in an uncontrollable spasm, I cut you in three pieces with my sword, or worse, I invoke magic."
Random Jack Vance Quote Manual Generator Apparatus (Cugel's Saga)
Posts: 604 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Shaper
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #99
quote:
SATs are only relevant if someone is planning on going to a university straight out of high school (grade 12) for undergrad. One can have a poor score or completely avoid the SATs by going to two years of community college. Of course people can get into community college with a GED, so they can go to college if they are 18 years old without attending high school at all.


That's horrible. What a oppressive system. The only thing I needed for University straight out of High School was French or any other second language. LOL G.E.D., that reminds me of a Chris Rock bit, something about it being a GOOD ENOUGH DEGREE that basically anybody can get.

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Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00

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