Saturday, May 28, 2011

The NUSHSCollegeTalk Reader's Survey

The more religious of our readers will have noticed a new tab on the far right of our top navigation bar titled "Reader's Survey". As part of our ongoing efforts to cater articles and content to our readers, we at NUSHSCollegeTalk are hoping that you'll spare a few minutes of your time to complete the survey. You have our assurance that the results of the survey will be subject to the maximum extent of statistical scrutiny afforded by what knowledge we still remember from statistics class.

You can also click here to go to the survey page.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Surprise

April 30th - something amazing comes your way. Don't even blink.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Medicine tests (UK and Australia)

Dear juniors,

The ISAT season has begun. It will run from 4th April to 28th October this year. Those who are applying to Australian medical schools, please take it before your June application deadlines!

At the same time, I want to refer you guys to my previous post on the four UK and Australian admisisons tests for medical school: Read up, get yourselves acquainted and do better than I did =)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oxbridge applications (again)

As with every year, we get a bunch of questions about applying to those two schools. Here's the quick rundown:

Both schools require interviews. Cambridge will fly a couple of admissions tutors to Singapore and they will interview you (except for medicine - you have to fly there). Oxford has been doing Skype interviews of late.

So, deadlines:

Cambridge – 20 September if you want to be interviewed in Singapore. If you don't mind flying to Hong Kong or the UK, your deadline is 15 October.
Oxford – 15 October

Your UCAS application must be submitted by those dates as well. A little known fact is that you can add schools to your UCAS app even after submitting it. So you don't have to have finalized all your choices to apply to Oxbridge. Just make sure you write a decent essay, and later, once you've decided how to allocate your remaining 3-4 options, you can add them and your application will be sent to them (until UCAS's system-wide deadline somewhere in early January).

Also, do keep in mind that you can only apply to either Oxford or Cambridge, not both.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NUSHS Open House 2011

Posted on behalf of Roy Ang, representing NUS High School and the NUS High School Alumni.

Hey all,

I would like to inform you that NUSHS will be having its Open House this Sat, 9 April 2011.

Do help to spread the news to your friends and invite them to come down to show support for the school, visit your juniors, or just have fun and hang out.

Last year, some alumni members have come down to help out in the college counseling booth and share about your positive school experiences. The feedback was that it was impactful and useful (that was feedback given to the school). It is also very assuring to our potential students’ parents that with our diploma, our Alumni are accepted into renowned universities (and courses) in many parts of the world.

Those of you who might be interested in helping out at the college counselling booth, please drop Ms Hwang Ying Chien and Mr Allan Uy an email about it.

Hope to see you there!


Monday, April 4, 2011

The Hidden Backdoor – How Impressive is Impressive?

So you’re a student who’s diligently studying their way through high school. You want to get into the top universities around. Here’s your plan: Get as many As as possible. Get as many 5s as possible. Throw yourself into a gazillion student leadership organizations. Participate in as many things as possible. Surely they’ll note my impressiveness and grant me a place.

Think that’ll definitely get you into the dream university?

You, and the other few thousand students around the world who think just like you, might want to think again.

Thanks to Fang Yi for finding and sharing this link!

Friday, April 1, 2011

College Application Essays - The Definitive Guide

It's that time of the year when Year 6 students get down to business preparing for their college applications.  The process normally starts by writing up a personal statement or admissions essay of some sort. What most people come to realize, is that the process can become horribly painful. Every year students are reminded to start early, and I think we seniors are the prime examples of why you should not start late, but that's what everybody says, and that's what nobody does. 

So here's some help for those who are starting on your essays:

  1. Write in reusable blocks. Many questions from universities are actually paraphrases of the same kind of question over and over again. Why do you want to do a particular subject, what's special about you, what have you done that's significant, why do you want to attend a particular university?
  2. Draft, draft and draft again. It's not uncommon to go through drafts numbering in the tens in order to come up with something that is remotely acceptable. This is one of the most important essays you will write in your life, and it pays to put in more effort.
  3. Make full use of help available. The College Counsellors exist for a reason, and you help them do their job by coming up with something to seek their advice on. I've never been turned away whenever I asked for help, and I daresay you won't be so long you provision ample time.
  4. If all else fails, I've found that using Application Essay Generators helps. As part of the wide-spanning series of upgrades we've planned for CollegeTalk we've been putting together something like that based on our understanding of application essays. While we don't proclaim to be experts, and we admit that we did rush this out, you should be able to get a bit of inspiration. If at all, it should also help take some stress off the tedium of writing essay after essay with looming deadlines. 
Click here to go to the Application Essay Generator Beta

So how many of you did we manage to fool? Unfortunately there's no such thing as an application essay generator, though I'm sure we all wish one existed. Inspiration often comes from unexpected sources, so start early and keep at the writing!

Oh, and from all of us at NUSHSCollegeTalk, Happy April Fool's.