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Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Unless you’re an identical twin, chances are you’ve never met someone that looks exactly like you. But imagine just how weird it would be to come across your very own look-alike, your doppelganger.
The German word doppelganger translates to “double-goer,” which was originally the sinister idea of an evil twin, and superstitions claimed that encountering your look-alike would bring trouble. Today, though, I think we consider it pretty lucky to meet a spitting image of ourselves.

As it turns out, doppelgangers are more common that you think, because there is only so much variety in faces. In fact, the claim is that you have 7 doppelgangers out there, meaning your “unique” face is actually one in a billion! There’s no doubt that you have a twin somewhere out there—the question is whether you will ever happen to be at the same place at the same time.

Thanks to the viral nature of the Internet, doppelgangers are becoming more and more common. A few weeks ago, a girl found her doppelganger at the mall, posted a photo to Twitter, and got dozens of other girls tweeting at her to say they were also long lost twins! People are even finding historical look-alikes for celebrities, for instance actor Alec Baldwin and former president Millard Fillmore.

I am still waiting to turn the corner one day and run into my own doppelganger, but the odds don’t look very high. Instead, you can take to the web to try to find yours! The Twin Strangers Project now connects identical faces from around the world with an algorithm that matches your facial features to someone else’s. You can try it out for 6 months and connect to a million twin strangers for $3.95. Or you could try a reverse Google search for free and find visually similar images to your own face… it’s worth a shot!

Have you met your doppelganger? Or are you, like me, still waiting to find your identical twin?

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How many tears will you shed in your life?

Have you ever thought of quantifying the little things that happen in your life? Like how much you eat in a lifetime, how long you sleep, or other interesting factoids. Read the infographic and comment what surprises you most!

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Monday, March 27, 2017

What is the Eagle Project?

An Eagle Project is a service project done by boy scouts in which the Scout helps out a school, religious institution, or community and is part of the Eagle Scout requirement. The Scout would direct the project and lead it to its completion while enlisting the help of others. Because of this, the Eagle Project is a symbol of leadership while also being a special contribution to your community. And remember, you should get the help of friends to complete your project - teamwork is key! Here are some ideas for where to start:

Here are some ideas for where to start:

Make a shed for your local elementary school or church! Sheds can be useful for helping the school or church keep gardening supplies or other items. Or, the school can use your shed as a ball shack. Plus, you’ll learn how to build and design your own miniature building!

If you are the computer kind of person, maybe you’ll want to make a database for your local museum. For example, you could program a database with pictures and descriptions of different cars or planes! Your database could even be on display for the public to use at a museum if you did the project for the museum.

Blaze a ¼ Mile Trail:
Perhaps you are the adventurous kind of person and your greatest desire is to hit the woods. But this time, blaze your own trail instead of using an existing one! You can blaze a trail through the woods with friends for your local park or reserve.

Butterfly Garden:
If you enjoy the beauty of nature, you could plant a butterfly garden to attract butterflies to your local school or church! Make your school more beautiful by adding butterflies and flowers to the scene. You could also take this as a chance to learn about different flowers and how to grow them.

Beach Volleyball Court:
                Maybe your passion is for sports. If so, you could make a beach volleyball court! The same applies to a tennis court, baseball field, or whatever sport you’re interested in. You could be the first to play on your very own court!

                You could make a carnival for your local community, and fundraise for your church or school! This is a way to not only have fun organizing the carnival, but also creating a big impact in your school or community. You can invite all your friends for food and entertainment.

Remember, these aren’t the only ideas for an Eagle Scout Project. Be creative! Helping the community is a broad category, so you can use your wildest imaginations. Good luck with your project!

Other  Fun Eagle Project Ideas:
1.      Arch Bridge
2.       Benches
3.       Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Table
4.       Helicopter Landing Pad
5.       Painting Map of the USA in an Elementary School
6.       Movie Night
7.       Web Page

Post Written by Howard W, Homework Assistant


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hip Hop and Shakespeare

Hip Hop and Shakespeare

Recently, I watched an interesting TED talk by award-winning hip hop artist Akala, a social entrepreneur who works at the convergence of two art forms that many would consider completely different: hip hop and Shakespeare. His music and production company explores the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, and that of influential modern hip-hop artists.

Hip hop and Shakespeare share a broader appeal, with surprisingly similar themes and influence. Hip hop is frequently the expression of people who don’t feel as though they have a voice, such as youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods. While Shakespeare may appear elitist, most of his audiences were the people, those who could not read and faced the constant turmoil and poverty common to the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Both art forms communicate social messages while providing entertainment, with themes of self-boasting of one’s ability and potential and political commentary being especially common.

Image result for to be or not to be iambic
Similarly, the mechanics and effects of hip hop and Shakespeare are alike. The iambic pentameter, described by Akala in his TED talk as the “heartbeat of life”, is used to communicate feeling. Shakespeare is often commended for his illumination of the human experience, how perfectly he was able to capture complex, yet common, human emotions in words. The feeling expressed by hip hop and Shakespeare utilizes imagery, metaphors, irony, tone and diction. Lyricism and authenticity, or keeping it real, is sought out and praised. Both reflect themes of social change relevant at the time, a platform for issues such as racism, poverty or social structures.Whether in dance and fashion or language and philosophy, hip-hop and Shakespeare have undeniably impacted and inspired people of many different times and backgrounds.

What are your favorite hip-hop artists and Shakespearean works? How have they influenced your life today?

Post by Swathi P., Homework Assistant

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The 2017 Australian Open

2017 Australian Open
The 2017 Australian Open was a special tournament due to the fact that four old legends, each toward the end of their tennis careers, were finally able to face off again. For the past few years, those four players have been consistently defeated and replaced by younger, newer players who were rising up into their peak performance. Yet, at the 2017 Australian Open, we finally saw Roger Federer compete against Rafael Nadal for the Men’s final! It was a huge surprise, as Nadal had been out of competitive play for months, and Federer has not been doing as well as he did before. Serena Williams battled Venus Williams for the Women’s championship, an amazing and equally surprising occurrence. Venus had been falling out of her prime time, and to see her play for the championship was revolutionary.

The 2017 Australian Open was a revival of the clash of rivalry between both Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal and Serena against her sister Venus. Both Federer and Nadal had been injured in the past year, and after taking a break from professional tennis were stomping out competition that had defeated them last year. After a close, long fought match that almost lasted 5 hours, Roger Federer prevailed against Rafael Nadal to take the championship!

Serena defeated her sister Venus in a close match, finally assuming the title of world champion yet again. As sisters and also the best of the best, they have always had a rivalry between them that had begun earlier than Federer had even known Nadal. The former champions had retaken their thrones against their long standing rivals, making the 2017 Australian Open a memorable visit of years before that we may never come across again.

If you want to watch tennis live, there are grand slams including: the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, all coming up this spring. You can watch these tournaments live online for free! Hopefully we’ll be able to watch exciting matches just like in the Australian Open in the months to come.

Post Written by Howard W., Homework Assistant

Source: http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/18577175/australian-open-2017-hard-remember-more-significant-slam

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



Living in the Silicon Valley, the significance of the STEM fields –science, technology, technology, engineering, and mathematics – is especially clear. STEM was introduced to shift the focus in the classroom to a more interdisciplinary approach, in hopes to foster the in-depth analysis, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills critical for solving real world issues. Education began to collectively use the academic subjects to further boost student innovation. As successes and jobs increase as a result of these measures, the importance of the incorporation of arts and design, creating STEAM, becomes even more relevant.

STEAM: science, technology, engineering science, technology, engineering, arts and design, mathematics. Activism for the inclusion of art has been spurred by scientific research on the benefits of developing the spatial thinking and creativity in driving innovation. The arts help students develop cognitive processes that assist in core subjects; in countries where an arts education is mandatory, such as the Netherlands, Japan, and Hungary, students consistently rank highest for maths and science test scores.

Especially recently, several universities and institutions have taken steps to incorporate STEAM in both learning and the real world. The University of Florida paired up with Sesame Street to include arts and design to their curriculum: to encourage the application of arts and design into future careers, the musical show highlights their interdependence, with examples such as geometric shapes in art. Environmental art activism has created many powerful messages, such as the one to the right. The California College of the Arts, designers created videos and art on the scientific basis of climate change, presented to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in South Africa to increase funding for environmental issues.

Architects designing monuments with historical significance, the use of micro-controllers and shape memory metal to create paper-based electronics, chemical engineers producing safe and appealing makeup; where do you see the creativity and innovation of STEAM in the world, and how do you plan to incorporate it into your life?

Post by Swathi P., homework assistant.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Joke's on You!

Having a bad day? In need of a laugh? Or maybe you’re ready to take whatever is coming your way? Whatever mood you’re in, I’ve compiled a list of just some really good jokes. And plus, it’s always good to have a nice pun in your back pocket for when you’ve got to break the ice!
A farmer counted 196 cows in the field. But when he rounded them up, he had 200.

I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Sometimes I tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward. That’s just how I roll.

Q: How do you drown a hipster?
A: Throw him into the mainstream.

Q: Why does Humpty Dumpty love autumn?
A: Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Q: What’s the best thing about Switzerland?
A: I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.

Q: What stays in one corner but travels around the world? 
A: A stamp.

Q: What is trigonometry for a farmer?
A: Swine and Coswine.

Q: Why did the shark keep swimming in circles?
A: It had a nosebleed.

Doctor: You need a crown.
Patient: Finally someone who understands me!

Q: What do you call it when a chicken sees a salad?
A: Chicken Caesar Salad!

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why Vegan?

The trends are rising. Especially among teens, it’s becoming popular to ditch your meat for beans and tofu. Being brought up with the mindset that meat provides my necessary protein, I've never considered opting out of animals and animal products. But once you learn these facts, you just might want to try out this diet.

Just think of the animal ethics that surround raising animals in large quantities with limited space. Many people I know have gone vegan after seeing bloody animal parts at the supermarket or watching a documentary that showcased the ugly truth to raising livestock. It's pretty horrible in the slaughterhouses, and many animals are overstuffed so they give the most meat possible.

Think of the environmental impact. It takes thousands of pounds of water to produce just one pound of steak, due to the water that a cow drinks in its lifetime and the water used in processing the steak.
- Further, methane is a byproduct of raising livestock, due to “enteric fermentation,” or cow farts to put it bluntly. Methane, like carbon dioxide, is one of the largest greenhouse gasses that contributes to global warming.
- Additionally, humans have fewer resources because so many of our crops go to animals.

Think of your health. Some people have sworn that vegan eating has put them in the best fitness of their lives. Skipping animals and animal products reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, research shows. Further, many people undergo a healthy weight loss and maintain a low blood pressure.

I just realized that even if I were vegan, I would still have
fruits which are my favorite
Think of your health. If you are not smart with your diet and don’t find alternate ways to get typical nutrients from dairy or meat, then you can definitely subject yourself to malnutrition. There can be many health benefits to going vegan, but it takes time and effort to build your meals so that you are getting enough of the proper nutrients. You will have to do some initial research to make sure you are fueling your body properly. Many people lack energy and lose their source of Vitamin B12 and iron.

Think of your personal beliefs. I simply think that eating animals is natural for an omnivorous creature like us humans, and thus the repercussions of raising livestock is part of the process. Hey kids, it’s the circle of life, after all.

Think of your appetite. From a non-vegan perspective, I’m just thinking of all the beautiful foods I will be missing out on if I go vegan. I’m sure there are substitutes, but like, would I really want to live the rest of my life never again having an In N Out burger or vanilla milkshake? No thanks, I’ll stick to my current diet.

So what does your diet consist of? Have you tried veganism or vegetarianism before, and if so, what are your thoughts? As I go off to college next year where the cafeteria will have endless options, I hope to become a vegetarian for the environmental benefits. Hope this post has you considering your options and weighing the benefits of going vegan.

For more information, you can visit  http://www.govegan.org.uk/why-vegan/ or https://authoritynutrition.com/top-5-reasons-why-vegan-diets-are-a-terrible-idea/

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Monday, March 13, 2017

Music Streaming

Remember the age when we bought digital downloads of music, or better yet, physical CDs? The idea of purchasing music has recently been replaced by a cheaper alternative: streaming.  Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, and Pandora are some of the most popular services I’ve encountered. Although I’ve dealt with pesky ads interrupting my music, I’ve enjoyed expanding my musical knowledge through the personalized features that accompany these apps. Here’s my run-down on each of these websites/apps, and which ones might be worth investing in for the premium service.

 Pandora and I go way back. I’ve had an account for five years now, and the more music I listen to, the better Pandora caters to my taste. You can create a playlist for an artist, song, or album, and Pandora will play that music and similar music. The ads are infrequent, perhaps playing 3 to 4 times an hour, and you do have a limited number of skips. But let me tell you, Pandora is an awesome place to expand your musical familiarity, as it introduced me to many of my favorite songs and singers. The premium service, Pandora One, has no ads and more skips, costing $4.99 per month.


      Apple Music (not to be mistaken with iTunes), is a recent feature that Apple added to their interface. You can stream unlimited music for $9.99 per month, as opposed to paying the (rather pricey) $1.29 per song on iTunes these 
      days. While there is a cost associated with the service, Apple boasts a free 
      3-month trial period. For iPhone and Mac users, this service is convenient 
       and streamlined for listening to music.             
Google Play is like a lesser known version of Apple Music, but for Android phones. I’ve found it very similar to Pandora, in that I can stream playlists and rate songs with the same “thumb up” and “thumb down” system. While Google Play does have a free streaming feature, I think the most annoying part is that you’re required to link it to a credit card before you start streaming, something rather inconvenient if you do not own a credit card like myself! The ad-free, unlimited version is $9.99 for a monthly subscription.

 Spotify! This app became really big in the past year, with the notion that you can look up any song and play it on demand. Spotify allows you to listen to the exact song you want to hear, unlike the shuffle playlists on Pandora and Google Play. Here’s the thing: the Spotify ads are SUPER annoying. They play part of a song, so you start jamming along, and then you realize it’s an ad and it is ruined midway.  The premium service is $9.99 a month.

When considering the frequency/annoying nature of ads, the number of skips per hour, the song selection, and the accessibility of each of these streaming services, it seems that Pandora takes the prize for me. Pandora has always been #1 in my heart, and it appears that it will continue to do so.
How do you prefer to listen to music? Share below if you like to stream or listen to your personal library!

Written by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Fight Against World Hunger

Most people in the United States are aware of an increasingly problem around the globe: world hunger. Charities are constantly fighting against hunger, both in the United States and around the world. But what if I told you that we actually have enough food to feed the world? If we did, wouldn’t it be so easy to fix our problems of world hunger and prevent further devastation of the environment in developing countries? In fact, the United States does have food to contribute, just that it is mostly wasted.
Unfortunately, America wastes the most food out of all the countries in the entire world. 50% of our produce is thrown away and not sold to the public. One reason for the waste of food in America is that food in America is very cheap. Many people can afford to throw away food that has been left over after dinner. When companies harvest produce, such as apples, they always check each one to see if it fits quality standards. If an apple is lopsided or has a blemish on its skin, which are natural occurrences, companies simply throw it away instead of going through the trouble of attempting to sell it. Many Americans would refuse to eat an apple, simply because it was oddly shaped. Restaurants, unable to sell leftovers, simply throw them away. With the waste of food by producers, restaurants, and consumers adding up, one can easily see how America does indeed have food it can use to help people in need.
The reasons for this are awareness and efficiency. Many Americans are not aware of the amount of waste it produces. Companies like to keep secret anything that might seem immoral to the public. If people do not know that the problem exists, then people cannot solve it. Next up is efficiency. Companies are made for money, and do what they need to maximize their profit. If they have food that is not shaped in an appealing way, they might dispose of the food instead of spending money to ship it and then have it be thrown away after not being bought.
What can you do to help? First of all, change must begin from within, not without. Set yourself up as an example, and others will follow. Show people that you are willing to conserve and not waste food simply because you can buy more. Then, tell people about the problem. The more people who realize why there are others who are hungry the better. But the best way to improve the situation is to work with the companies.
In order to fix the problem of food waste, many charities have begun to get food from companies that they would not sell. Instead, this food is given for free to people who need it. If expanded, this can reach across the globe, so that no food produced would be wasted, and no children would have to stay hungry. Another expanding idea is the idea of buying leftovers from restaurants and selling them at half price, so people who desperately need food can have access to it for less money. In reality, the key to enough food is simple: stop wasting it.

Post Written by Howard W, Homework Assistant

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hapara - The Student's Nightmare

During this past month of October at Mountain View High School, the administration has imposed upon the students something even worse than homework or a standardized test: Hapara. Now, you might ask, what is there that can possibly be worse than homework? To many students at Mountain View High School, Hapara is definitely worse than having to write an essay or giving a speech in English class. Indeed, what makes Hapara so scary to some is that it is a chrome extension. That allows teachers to view everything you do on your browser.

Many students at the school dislike Hapara because they feel that it is an intrusion upon their privacy. Students used to be able to get away with messaging on Facebook or playing games in class, but now the teacher can call them out if they do so. Teachers can even spy on students’ tabs when not in the room. One day, we had a substitute teacher, and apparently some students weren’t paying attention in class, because the next day our teacher was very disappointed due to people being off task during our Socratic Seminar (although I do not know why she scheduled a seminar for a day on which she wasn’t at school – it was a very bad idea, nonetheless). Although it helps teachers keep students on task, with Hapara, teachers can view their students’ entire Chrome browsers. It takes away from the students’ freedom and the idea of a personalized computer. While at school, students do their work with the constant thought in the back of their head that someone is watching them.

On the other hand, teachers approve of Hapara because it gives them more power in control in the classroom. From a teacher’s perspective, it is disrespectful for students to be playing games or messaging people on Facebook in class while the teacher is trying to get them to pay attention. What do you think about Hapara? Write your opinions in the comments below.

Post Written by Howard W., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Helpful Tips for New Drivers

After almost two years with my driver's licence, I've acquired some useful knowledge that makes driving a more enjoyable experience for myself and my passengers. I've chosen to spare you all the obvious (but, of course, incredibly important!) information regarding safety and the law--Driver's Ed does a great job of that--and instead share just my personal perspective on being a new driver.

Before the Test

1. Driver's Ed: Just. Get. It. Done. That is all.

2. Mandatory driver's lessons can be really helpful, especially if you get them done early. Schedule them all for the first month or two of having your permit, because you will actually get a lot more comfortable and confident. Also, if after your first lesson you would prefer to have a different instructor, don't hesitate to ask for a change! Most companies will be happy to accommodate you. 

3. Consider going the distance to a better DMV. While the Santa Clara DMV may be the largest and most convenient, it is also the most crowded.  And of course, the crowds can contribute to a stressful experience. If you have the option, I highly recommend scheduling your driver's test at a more obscure DMV such as the one in Capitola. Not only did I find the workers to be more friendly, but the driving route was easier and also pretty scenic. When I passed, we went to celebrate with a pastry from Gayle's Bakey in Capitola, making the day more of a memorable experience. 

Before your test, Google the route so you can practice beforehand. For most DMVs, you'll be able to find the possible routes easily. Arrive at the DMV well before your appointment so you have time to practice the routes and take note of any tricky intersections or pedestrian-filled roads.

5. Read up on all the DMV requirements long before you show up for your test. More than one of my friends were prevented from taking their test (and forced to reschedule their appointments, which, trust me, you don't want to do) because they weren't accompanied by someone 25 or older or because they forgot the proper identification. While these can be taken care of right before, other requirements require more time to fulfill. Check that your taillights are working, that you insurance is up to date, and more with enough time that you'll be able to fix the problems before your appointment. 

6. Practice using all of the buttons in your car. Your test examiner will ask you to use the headlight, defroster, horn and other functions. You don't want to fail for this reason!

You will learn more about driving in your first 30 seconds behind the wheel than you will from all of Driver's Ed. If completing the online course feels very hypothetical, don't worry. Your real-life driving experience will prepare you very well for passing your test and becoming a safe driver. Just try your best to power through the content with as little procrastination as possible; you'll thank yourself later. 

Once you are licensed:

1.If you have a smartphone, try to take it with you when you drive. It's a great copilot. Below I've listed some of my favorite apps for driving.
Google Maps: Obvious but good. I've found it to be more reliable than Apple Maps, which comes pre-loaded on iPhones. It will also usually tell you the lane you should be in before turning or merging. 
Waze: Waze relies on users to input data regarding traffic and potential obstacles and calculates more efficient routes. 
Podcasts: Ok, so this one doesn't count since it comes pre-loaded. Podcasts make driving a great opportunity to learn something new. Browse the web to learn about Podcasts that might interest you and queue them up for when you travel. 
Drive Safe.ly: This app connects to your notification center and reads aloud any incoming text messages so you can stay focused on the road. 
Find My Car: Find My Car saves your location when you park, so you can use its GPS function to find your way back to your car when you're ready to go.  

2. If you have a car, consider stocking it with some useful items and tools. Besides the obvious stuff like jumper cables, a flashlight, and a first aid kit (read more about the essentials here) I have a couple things that I keep on hand in my trunk.
Reusable Shopping Bags (which are now necessary to avoid the bag fees at grocery stores)
Snacks (I like those single portioned Goldfish for when I get hungry at school)
Extra shoes (a pair of spare tennis shoes have saved me on multiple occasions when I didn't have the appropriate footwear)
Agave nectar (I keep a bottle of the natural sweetener to add to iced coffee because it dissolves better than sugar. I could write a whole post on the glory of agave nectar)
Twister Mat (here me out, the Twister mat is the single most useful thing on this list. In need of instant entertainment? Twister mat. At a picnic and forgot a blanket? Twister mat. Sandy feet are getting your backseat dirty? Lay down the Twister mat and rest your mind. 

Post by Allie C., Homework Assistant

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Top 10 Richest People in the World

In case you were wondering, here’s a countdown of the Top 10 Richest People in the world, starting now!

1.       Bill Gates (duh)
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is undoubtedly the richest man in the world. His net worth is about $85.9 billion. Microsoft has effectively monopolized the computer user interface, which caused the company to expand and gained Gates a lot of wealth. Gates now works at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as CEO and cofounder.

2.       Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega is the founder of Inditex, which includes the Zara clothing stores. With a net worth of $71.8 billion, Ortega originated in Spain. His clothing stores have spread from Europe to America.

3.       Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and works as an investor and CEO. From his real estate company, Buffett has earned a net worth of $72.4 billion. In addition, he earns big bucks from investing.

4.       Carlos Slim Helu
Carlos Slim Helu is the honorary chairman of America Movil, a mobile phone company in Latin America. Although having a net worth of $49 billion, Helu has dropped over $27 billion over the past year due to economic problems and Trump’s election influencing his business.

5.       Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon.com, has a net worth of $68.6 billion. He founded Amazon.com originally in order to sell books, and has expanded his company from there. Also, Bezos has an aerospace company, Blue Origin.

6.       Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO and cofounder of Facebook. His net worth is about $52.2 billion, and he lives in Palo Alto, California.

7.       Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison is the CEO and founder of Oracle, a software company. Ellison has a net worth of about $47.9 billion, which he earned from his company.

8.       Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg is the CEO of Bloomberg, a software company that works with financial software, data, and media. He has a net worth of about $41.8 billion.

9.       Charles Koch
Charles Koch inherited his father’s oil and gas business and created Koch Industries as the CEO, which became a company that works with chemical manufacturing in addition to gasoline. His net worth is $43.5 billion.

10.   David Koch
David Koch works with his older brother Charles in Koch Industries as the Executive Vice President. He has a net worth of $43.5 billion. At MIT, David was a star basketball player held its record for most points scored in a basketball game for 46 years.

Written by Howard W, Homework Assistant

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Preparing for the SAT/ACT

If you are planning to go to college, you have probably heard of the SAT and the ACT. In fact, most if not all colleges require you to take one of them at some point in your high school career. But you may ask, which test should I choose: the SAT or the ACT? This choice is infinitely important for your college career because many people score marginally better on one test than another. The reason is that the tests are extremely different from one another and value different sets of skills. If you want to show colleges your good side, you may want to research about the two. But don’t worry! As one who has taken both tests before, I have already researched the difference. Here are some main points:

The ACT is much more strenuous than the SAT. Don’t think of this as a bad thing until you have considered the entire picture. The ACT requires you to do questions with a much more daunting time limit. For example, the English section of the ACT has 75 questions which need to be done in 45 minutes, while the SAT has 44 questions for 35 minutes. At the same time, the questions on the ACT are easier than the ones on the SAT, but require you to finish them very fast. The advantage that the ACT has is that you have a much bigger room for error and that each mistake you make counts less towards your score than on the SAT. In the SAT, you have more time for questions which allows you keep a slower pace, but the questions are harder and may be more confusing. As a side note, the ACT has a Science section instead of two math sections like in the SAT, so if you are good at reading graphs and data and do not want to do as much algebra, the ACT is a right pick for you.
The SAT and the ACT tests may seem daunting, yet there are many ways you can prepare for them to show colleges your best self. As always, PRACTICE is the most important factor into getting the score you want. Just search “SAT practice tests” or “ACT practice tests” and download the PDF documents. Both the SAT and the ACT have at least 6 practice tests online that you can use. When practicing, print out the test part and the answer sheet, NOT the entire document. Much of the document is filled with testing advice, which you probably do not need to use ink and paper on. When taking practice tests, attempt to mimic the testing conditions as closely as possible. Make sure that you go by the time limits for each section, and try to wake up Saturday morning to take the practice test during the time the actual test will take place. Afterwards, you can use the scoring guide on the practice test PDF to score yourself, and remember to check the questions you got wrong! Learning from your mistakes is the best way to improve your test grade.
In addition to doing practice tests, there are places online where you can practice SAT/ACT questions, like khanacademy.org/sat, which can give you directed problems based on your PSAT test performance. Good luck on your SAT/ACT test!

This information is current as of this writing, and always remember to consult with your school's college counseling department for advice on standardized tests.

Post Written by Howard W, Homework Assistant