Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

SATs: Too Much, or Not Enough?

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 at 4:30 am

Butterflies in your stomach, long lines of nervous teenagers, and a sense of impending doom… yes, that does sound very familiar.And with good reason. With the last SAT testing dates approaching, many juniors have been talking in hushed whispers and having nightmares about low scores crushing their hopes and dreams of being lawyers and engineers. Here, I wish to address the all-important question: What is the SAT, and does it really make a difference?

Let’s start with the basics. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (better known as the SAT) is one among the national standardized tests that millions of juniors and seniors can take to measure their “aptitude” in three sections: Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing. The College Board, which is a “not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity,” develops these tests, which are then administered in high schools around the world. Most countries around the world have similar exams to determine who’s in and who’s out: France has the Baccalaureat, England and Wales have the GCSE, India has the CBSE and ICSE, and Germany and Finland use the Abitur tests. But, does the SAT scale up or scale down to international standards?

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Snow Days and Insights on Immigration

In Global Issues, Immigration on March 22, 2010 at 2:19 am

Yes, I know this comes almost a month late, but this incident was one that particularly resonated with me. So I decided to write about

Immigration, aside from being a passionate government issue, is also a question of personal identity. Does being an Indian-American make you an Indian or American?


As you must know, the recent snow storm, nicknamed the Snowpocalypse, crippled almost all of the Eastern US for almost an entire week in February. The Federal government was closed for days, as officials as well as residents tried to shovel out of almost 20 inches of snow in Northern Virginia. As everyone else in the neighborhood, as the snow subsided, my father and I found ourselves outside, trying to dig out our car from the massive blocks of snow surrounding us. It was then that this event took place.

Right underneath our building, since we live in an apartment complex, lives a middle-aged man. We call him “Kory”–he usually gets called on to fix plumbing, electricity, and in this case, to help the complex shovel snow out. He had invited over his sons that day to help us out with shoveling. Since both families are from South India, we started talking, and Kory asked me where I was going to college (more on college acceptances in a newer blog coming up!) As I told him about my in-state priorities, he went ahead to recommend me to Virginia Commonwealth University and James Madison University in the state of Virginia. Popular universities, yet not ones I had applied to–I had applied to colleges like UVA, Virginia Tech, etc.

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