Gearing Up for School: A New Year’s Term

With exactly 9 days left before school starts, we figured it was time to get you thinking about the new year and the upcoming new term. Excusing your night of bubbly new year’s eve fun, we’ll assume the rest of the week is going into recovering from your hangover and spending a few more days with your family.

January 3rd marks the first day back to school for elementary and high school students, the first day back to work for those money-making adults, and…the first day of prepping for school for university students. As most of us don’t go back until the 10th of January, it might be important to think about how to spend this next week, post-hangover.

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Study Group or Study Date (via UpbeaT)

(The following blog post was reblogged from U of T’s student-life blog, UpbeaT)

Being part of a study group is a lot like casual dating. Sometimes, you meet someone and you hit it off instantly. You talk for hours and at the end, you get their number and genuinely hope to meet again. Other times, it’s a bust – something about the person makes you realize there is no “click” and by the time you go on your merry way, several valuable hours have been lost.

Most of my friends have never been in a study group. In accordance with the infamous U of T student experience, concerns about other students “taking my ideas” or “not doing enough work” deter many students from benefiting from being part of a study group. In doing so, they miss out on the experience, advice, knowledge and support of their fellow U of T students.

Perhaps you are interested in testing out the study group waters…so where to begin?

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How to Get Good Grades in University

If you are in university, this is probably right around the time you feel like hell, with exams, papers and a million readings that you put off, even though you swore this was the year you would keep up. Don’t fear, you are not alone.

My younger sister came home for the weekend, in a rather perplexed about her current university experience. She is travelling through her first year and, like some foreign visitors, was marred by an experience of unexpected surprises. Rather than brave the university world alone, she got smart and decided not to re-invent the wheel; instead, she opted to talk to her older siblings. It was a rather rousing debate – there are four of us, all at different universities and programs, and it seemed post-worthy for any university student who needs a little guidance to the elixir of good grades. I’ll confess – none of us are geniuses – but I maintain that because we each have averages above 3.5/4.0 GPA, we feel qualified to give a few tips on improving.

This post is a tough-love post: it is for those students who have been cruising through university, and have suddenly realized their grades are not high enough – whether it is for professional school or grad school, for graduation, for your parents, or just for yourself. One thing my sister mentioned is that university students (including herself) feel lost in their student experience, and that a little tough love from some older siblings might have helped. So we’ve decided to play “older sibling” to all of our readers and dish it out, cold (ice-cream!) style.

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Surviving Studenthood brings you The Wonders of Womanhood!

I’m not sure what it is with girls, but they have this knack for community and sisterhood. Somehow, the girls of our group here at Surviving Studenthood have decided they they need another blog, and we guys have to grin and and stick it out – although, we got dibs on the design of Surviving Studenthood, and decided to funk it up a little more.

The girls bring you ‘The Wonders of Womanhood’. I know I will be reading it, just because I am curious about what wonders women might have that men don’t – and certainly, I will get some insight on how women think. I encourage you to check it out – they’ve snagged a couple of our posts which you may not have read, and they have a few of their own.

I hope you enjoy their new blog!

Welcome to The Wonders of Womanhood! This is a blog for woman – and for men, but mostly for women 🙂 – to discuss ideas, share thoughts and commune together while we survive and enjoy the magical passage through womanhood. Anyone can be part of this blog – it's an opportunity for women to get some reinforcement from a fellow sista, and guys (or other girls) to get the inside scoop on understanding women. We are the girls from Surviving Studenthood – we write about the trials and tri … Read More

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Hunkering Down on Law School Applications

So, while we keep you posted on the 2010 Oct LSAT sitting (we suspect there may not be much for the next week-ish), we must turn our attention to those pesky law school applications which have been hiding in the rather magnanimous shadow of the LSAT. For those of you applying to Ontario Law Schools, the deadline is right around the corner, on Nov 1st, 2010. While you may be biting your nails in anxious fever about your score, don’t chew to the bone, because you need those fingers for typing!

Lets look at a couple things for applications.

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Re-Living the Oct 2010 LSAT: A Recap and Your Thoughts?

I thought the anxiety of the 2010 October LSAT would magically disappear after I wrote the test. Evidently not, as Surviving Studenthood kindly designates another post about this test despite the fact that there are only a few of us wrote it. In keeping with whole-hearted fashion of pursing every post to its fullest, we have decided not only to write a re-cap post, but to keep posting updates   – all the information we can find, as soon as we find it! – about the LSAT; such as the grading curve (that is, how many questions you can get wrong and still get a 170), when scores start to be released (as they take several hours to process – we will let you know when people start getting their scores) and any other exciting news about this LSAT!

So, lets recap:

Test Difficulty: There seems to be a tug-of-war opinion about whether this test was harder than the June 2010 LSAT. A friend of mine (and a co-writer for Surviving Studenthood!) who wrote both said she though the June one was harder, but her testing experience was different then – more commuting, more pressure, and more panic – all of which may contribute to her opinion. What are your thoughts? Was the test more challenging in Oct or June?

Section Difficulty: Reading Comprehension seems to have been a big problem for many test-takers – less for content reasons, and more for structural reasons. Apparently a passage on African-American nationalism had people’s knickers in a twist – I didn’t find it particularly challenging, but I did have to stop after reading the passage and really think about the author’s point before I moved to the questions. It has people in a rather uncomfortable and unhappy position. Apparently Reading Comp was time-consuming and had too many questions regarding inference or required referral back to the passage (e.g. detail questions).

Logic games seems to be a mixed bag – some people found it to be perfectly fine, and others thought it was not so hot. It seems wording was also a problem here: what were relatively easy games (e.g. grouping, distribution etc.) discombobulated people with strange wording. One person mentioned the car game as sporting unnecessarily round-about wording (though not a tough game once you got your head around it), and another student mentioned there were too many conditionals – requiring test-takes to re-draw out the game for every question. It seems wording rather than difficulty is what snatch away time for excellent score in this section.

If you felt that way about either of the sections, don’t worry about it – enough of a similar response from other LSAT takers will result in a more lenient grading curve (as in June 2010).

Logical reasoning seemed to be the most positively received – there is a debate going around about whether there were new types of questions on the LSAT. One student mentioned the question about the abridgment to Shakespeare’s Hamlet – which I confess had me stumped. I spent over a minute thinking “Wait, how am I supposed to know that? What are they even asking me?!” – but I think it was, subtly, an inference question. The same individual mentioned the car-theft question as well, but I confess I don’t remember it clearly enough to admit if it could be or couldn’t be categorized into an existing category of question types. Apparently one Logical reasoning section was notably harder than the other, but they both seemed to be better received than the other sections.

Testing Conditions: Like every other test, testing conditions vary around the world. I’ve read posts online of someone’s phone going off for a full minute during the test, someone else had a cougher right next to them that threw off their concentration.

From one of my favourite LSAT blogs, I read the following:

### In breaking news, our NY affiliates report a rumor that in a testing center in Columbia, the proctor asked that anyone with a phone place it on the table in the front of room. Those that did so were dismissed. Ouch.

Ouch is right. Aren’t you glad we told you not to bring your phone at all to the testing site in our previous post?

A couple of test-centers had an issue with hoodies – of course, there are always students who never bother to read the rules, and three hundred people have to sit and wait for every hooded test-taker to be escorted by a proctor one-by-one to place their sweater on the side. It happened at my testing center, and I think those students are very lucky – they could have been dismissed, like at Columbia. For future LSAT takers – PLEASE, read the rules IN FULL, well in advance of the test date – it will make your own testing experience more pleasant.

Should You Cancel Your Score?

Off the bat, I would discourage you from cancelling your scores. Often test-takers come home with unfounded test-day fears which subside when they receive their scores. For others, keeping your score is important for an accurate reflection of your true LSAT ability on a testing-day – an experience you cannot get from your practice test experience, no matter how closely you mimic the test day environment.

I talked to a student who wrote the test in June – she didn’t do so great, and she came back with a vengeance for October. While you may not be able to accurately predict how you did, there is no stigma in needing to repeat your test. All Canadian schools, and many US schools take your highest, rather than an average score. According to an admissions office I spoke to, there are too many students who re-write the test to be discriminatory. And although I suggested writing the LSAT multiple times may influence the admissions panel’s opinion about you when comparing to a candidate who only wrote it once, she firmly disagreed. Her advice (along with other admissions officer at difference schools) is: if you can improve your LSAT score, write it again – the point is to present the very best application and score you can. They recognize that students have a bad day or testing experience, and they don’t discriminate because someone had a good testing experience the first time they wrote the test as opposed to the second. In the end, you are judged on how well you fair in that testing session, and that’s that.

If you really feel the urge to cancel your score, you have 6 calendar says from your test date to notify LSAC. If you have LSAT jitters, wait it out, and spend the next three weeks immersed in something else. In my opinion, its better to know than be left guessing, but you need to go with your gut feeling. Remember, even if you do cancel your score, it will count as an LSAT sitting – and you are limited to writing the LSAT three times in a span of two years.

** Updates **

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4:37PM Friday October 29th, 2010

Its 20 minutes to 5pm, and according to our sources, NO ONE has received their scores. There has been no changing of little green icons to grey. While there is still time yet, it seems unlikely to me that everyone’s scores can be processed today – hence, no one scores will be.

We will keep you posted, but my suggestion is you enjoy a wonderful Halloween, and then come back here Monday morning and we will give you any updates we find.

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2:01 PM Friday October 29th, 2010

We’ve hit the 2 o’clock mark, with no updates on scores yet. It seems NO ONE is reporting a score release. There is talk that generally most of the scores come out between 3-4pm, but there is also a question of whether scores just might be released on Monday, as reported.

We’ll keep you posted!

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12:25 PM Friday October 29th, 2010

Okay, so some sources say the June LSAT scores started coming out around 3 – I got mine at 2:50, so maybe I was one of the earlier batches, I don’t know.

No one seems to know how the scores are released – by test centre, by score, by your favourite colour :). Haha!

Hang on tight – and leave your comments below! I get the impression the time is close – people are seeing weird changes in their previous LSAT scores, which may indicate accounts are being activated.

Hmm…

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11:37 AM Friday October 29th, 2010

I finally made it to bed last night, and got up to frantically check my email. I read somewhere that people have gotten their scores by 6AM but no such luck for me. Further research and talking to sources makes it seem that no one has gotten their scores yet, which is very interesting.

The June 2010 lsat scores were first received around 11ish, I believe – I know for sure by 3pm I had my score, but several people were waiting well into the evening. The fact that there has been no activity at all (changing of the score date from Nov 1st to Fri Oct 29th, little icons changing) is interesting.

If something happens and scores are not released today, there will be no processing till Monday. I understand LSAC is closed over the weekend, so at least there will be no agonizing during Halloween.

There is plenty of time yet – so we will keep you posted 🙂

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12:11 AM Friday October 29th, 2010

As we mentioned in this last update, it is likely today is the day we will start seeing changes. I’m so nervous – I feel sick. 🙂 But hey, we are in this together, and worrying isn’t going to help!

What can we tell you so far?

Your LSAC account will show your score before you get an email. To view your score, log into your LSAC account, place your mouse on the “LSAT” tab and select “LSAT Status” from the drop down menu. It will show your score there. A good way to tell your score will be coming in is when the green icons — not available — which stand for “not available yet” will change to grey icons — cannot be displayed — which means “cannot be displayed”. Your account is being processed and a score will be available then.

The scores come out in batches, but no one knows what the order is. Previously people on the east coast got their scores first, but it is up in the air every LSAT. We shall keep you posted on the score release progress, so check back here for details, and for other wonderful posts on surviving ‘studenthood’. Please subscribe to our blog (you can enter your email address) to get emails on all of our other wonderful posts!

Good luck to all!

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One week to go! Based on the last six previous LSATs, score have been released early. Starting Friday Oct 29th, people should start to see changes in their LSAC account – icons will change from “unavailable” (or little green icons) to “pending” or little grey icons. We shall keep you posted on the developments of scoring. Hang tight! We are almost there!

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Nothing yet – we just posted this post! 🙂 Keep coming back to check – we will post up any and every update we scour out about the LSAT on this post.

Please leave your thoughts, advice and experiences in a comment section below! What did you think of the 2010 October LSAT test and testing experience?

Approaching the Oct 2010 LSAT

If you are writing the LSAT on Oct 9th, 2010, I suspect that is the only thing on your mind for the rest of the week. A recent article I read discussed how a student posted on Craigslist an advertisement, asking a student to write the LSAT for him. Whoops. Not such a hot way to start your legal career by attempting to commit fraud.

We understand that panic can set in during the last few days, and we’d like to offer a few tips, a bit of insight, and some words of advice from us at Surviving Studenthood. We’ve got some great tips from students who wrote the LSAT in previous sittings – including the June 2010 sitting, a notably difficult test.

What are some things you need to know for this Saturday?

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Respect the TUSBE System

A friend of a friend (props for a ‘chain-post’!) was discussing how students have a terrible habit of abusing the TUSBE system. TUSBE, for those of you who do not know, is the Toronto University Student’s Book Exchange – a website where students in the Toronto Area (including those from York University, Ryerson University and all three of the University of Toronto campuses) can post their course textbooks online, free of charge, or peruse the list of available textbooks to purchase for a significant discount from other students.

Now, it seems that students have become a bit mistaken about how the system works – and after four years, I thought it would be worth sharing with newcomers how to go about TUBSE-ing (yes, I just made that up.)

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I’ve Graduated and I Don’t Know What to Do…

Hi Surviving Studenthood…

I enjoy your posts!

Thanks!

I’ve got a question for you although it is not directly related to the ‘student’ experience.

Hit us with it anyways!

I graduated just this year with a Bachelor’s degree specializing in Commerce. Congrats!

I enjoyed university, and I graduated feeling well-prepared for the ‘real world’, but now that I am ‘out there’, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I want to – for lack of better words – change the world, but I can barely find a job I enjoy. I’m confused about whether to start my own business or pursue an MBA or get a job in a corporation.

Any ideas?

George

Well George, your question may not apply to current students, but it is part of the student experience nonetheless, and we are happy to answer your question. Graduating can be scary – it is overwhelming, and a little nerve-wracking – and as we like to think of it as so, because students graduate full ideas and excitement that are ready to jump out into the real world and we know that no one wants to fall flat on their face.

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Change Tomorrow’s World: The Perfect Way to Get Involved

Our start as Surviving Studenthood stemmed from partnership from Change Tomorrow’s World. With their support, we’ve had 2,232 views within six months of starting! In our effort to recognize their guidance and assistance – from marketing to writing posts and managing wordpress – we would like to draw your attention to their upcoming search for blog writers, photographers, editors and publicity assistants. We encourage you to get involved and make a difference – their blog reaches people around the world, and features charities and students making a difference.

The following is their posting for recruitment.

If you are interested in getting involved, please apply!

Cheers, Surviving Studenthood

Dear Change Tomorrow’s World Fans! Change Tomorrow’s World is an online organization geared to educating youth about world issues in a technologically-savvy way. The aim of this organization is to educate youth and inspire them – to make a difference in their families, community, city, and the world. After a very successful starting year with 55 posts, 76 comments, over 200 followers and 8,991 total views, Change Tomorrow’s World is back again, r … Read More

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