College Admissions Archives - Write Track Admissions
How to Stay Motivated as a Student: Checking in on Your Well-Being
Are you having trouble feeling motivated enough to finish out the school year? If so, you may need to examine your overall well-being. Here’s how to do a mid-semester wellness check-in:  

Wellness for Students

Wellness is not taught to students, so many times we feel like we are only surviving from semester to semester. Society’s constant need to work is causing ‘getting by’ day after day to become a dangerous norm. According to the BBC, overworking is actually killing people. It has become the largest occupational killer. Overworking causes a fight or flight response in the human nervous system.  We must stop these bad habits as students, to prevent ourselves from becoming victims to this socially acceptable way to die. Therefore, thriving must be our goal because surviving is no longer enough. As students, we must look at ourselves as whole beings and not just as work machines. A focus on wellness is the way to do this.  Understanding wellness also gets us away from the toxic side of self-love culture. It is a holistic approach that allows us to look inwardly and outwardly at ourselves. To get started on a wellness check-in there are four questions that I like to ask myself:
  1. How am I doing physically? 
  2. How am I doing socially?
  3. How am I doing emotionally? 
The answer to these questions will add up to give us an answer for how we are doing with our overall well-being. This may help in decerning what is the root of the motivation struggle.   


Physical wellness is ensuring that the best decisions are being made when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Most people choose one or two parts of their physical well-being to focus on and overlook the rest. Neglecting one of them will most likely harm the effects of another. Physical Wellness includes (but is not limited to): 
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity 
  • Sleep
  • Skincare 
  • Haircare
  • Water intake 
  • Blue light screen time


UC Davis has a helpful guide to social wellness. Social wellness is cultivating meaningful relationships with proper boundaries and trust. As well as,  showing respect to everyone in your life. Social wellness includes (but is not limited to):
  • Proper Boundaries
  • Cultivating healthy relationships
  • Participating regularly in social interactions
  • Trying new activities
  • Meeting new people
  • Knowing and using your support system


How well we are able to handle feelings and emotions while adapting to changes and stresses in life is the core of emotional wellness according to the National Institutes of Health. College is a time of transitions and unknowns, so stress, anxiety, and depression are issues for college students. This is especially true after the pandemic. PBS News reported that 1 in 4 college students have considered suicide. Taking care of our emotional health is what we must do to continue living. Emotional Wellness includes (but is not limited to): 
  • Stress levels 
  • Happiness 
  • Coping with change
  • Acceptance of emotions
  • How you treat others 
  • The perspective you have of yourself
  • Managing difficult emotions
  • Having a purpose in life
  • Positive/negative self-talk
  • Gratitude 
  • Having a safe space to process
  • Getting professional help for mental illnesses
  In school, we will not be successful when these areas are off. If physical wellbeing is neglected then our brain has less capacity to process information. Our self-esteem plummets when our social lives are not healthily maintained. In addition, we will not have the necessary social skills to succeed in our professional life. Our emotional health can often be the foundation of our well-being, as unaddressed mental struggles can affect our functioning in life. So, as students, we need to check in with ourselves and make sure that we are wholistically doing well. If we are not, there are steps that we can take to get better. Stay on the lookout for more blogs discussing how to improve in each of these areas.     ~ Victorie Norman | WTA Communications Director
Alternative Ways to Pay for College
College Debt is everyone’s nightmare. The excitement of admissions fades one students think about how they are going to pay for college. If this is you,  you’re far from alone. Even high earners believe that the cost of college is out of reach. In fact, the Institute for Higher Education Policy says that families with incomes above $100,000 a year don’t believe they can pay for upwards of 6 in 10 U.S. universities.
Even when students can afford to pay for college, they’re still likely to graduate with a mountain of debt:
  • The average student loan borrower leaves college today with $37,172 in student loans – more than twice the amount of 2005 grads
  • The average monthly student loan payment has jumped by more than $150 over roughly the same period
Scholarships & Alternative Means to Pay for College No problem, you say. There are tons of scholarship and work-study opportunities out there. You merely have to know where to look for the ones that work for you. And, to an extent, that’s true. The operative word, though, is tons. For instance, whole books have been written about the FAFSA, an often-confusing online form required to get need-based aid. Even when you think you’ve filled out everything correctly, each school uses the information how they choose.

Alternative Means Education Financing Companies.

Fortunately, there’s another – saner – way. Alternative Means Education Financing companies, such as NextGenVest, can save you time, money, and aggravation. You leverage technology and the hive mind of your peers, plus company experts, if needed, to find and take advantage of every break you can – before the decision-makers dive into your numbers. “The scholarship hunt can be daunting and overwhelming, but with organization and preparation, it’s possible. I applied to the Marshall, Rhodes, and Gates-Cambridge scholarships at one time and researched to make sure I was a good fit. This provided me with the financial means to pursue my dream by studying at one of the top universities in the world!” ~ Nadine Jawad, Rhodes Scholarship recipient and Director of College Admissions at Write Track Admissions Think out of the box, maximize your time to research all financing possibilities out there, and make sure to tap into the expertise that exists to get that life-changing and affordable degree in your hand!   ~ Abhijith Ravinutala | Write Track Director of Professional Services & Graduate Admissions Expert   Contact Write Track Admissions to out how you can fund your dream degree!
All Things LSAT- A Practical Guide on Preparing for the LSAT
Reading Time: 4 minutes   Are you confused about all things LSAT? Do you feel unprepared and overwhelmed? Well, you’re not alone and we want to help. The next LSAT test date is fast approaching, and here are some study tips to make sure that you are successfully preparing. Most law school applications open any time between the end of August to the beginning of October. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that it’s time to start preparing, and Write Track Admissions has some tips to help you out. 

When to take the LSAT

It is best to get the test-taking done ASAP, for peace of mind and for the optimal admissions decision. Also, the longer you hold off on taking your LSAT, the later you finish your application. Law school has rolling admissions, so if  you wait to apply to your top choices, your chances of admission will have diminished. Taking the LSAT early, allows you to retake it, so that you can improve your score with time to spare.  There are several more LSAT testing dates available in 2021. Be sure to keep track of when you need to register.   

Hacks to Help you Prepare

To prepare yourself for the harsh reality of standardized testing, here are some LSAT prep tips from Write Track’s founder, Hamada:
  • TAKE PRACTICE EXAMS: Note the common mistakes you make in each set of questions and keep practicing them until you feel confident. 
  • REAL EXAMPLES: Don’t use anything but REAL past exam questions (also known as LSAT Direct Questions), because once you see and understand the patterns in real questions, you will be able to master anything they give you.
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: Make sure to simulate real exam conditions and timing. For example, do three sections back-to-back with a minute break. Then, take a 15 mins break and do two sections back-to-back. Also, use the same pencil, timer, and chair you will use/find in the exam. If they don’t allow ear plugs then don’t use them in the practice exams.

The Digital LSAT

The digital LSAT is being universally administered electronically on Microsoft Surface Go tablets. They have been pre-loaded with LSAC patented software that features a timer with 5-minute warnings, and interactive options such as answer elimination, text highlighting, and question flagging (so you can revisit those tough ones later).  The digital LSAT is comprised of Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Writing Sections. 

Here are some hacks that can help during the LSAT:

  • Figure out the question type to help you narrow down the answers.
  • The digital LSAT test allows you to flag questions. Skip ones that take you a long time to answer, and come back to them questions later. 
  • Use the text highlighting feature to flag the root of each question. The question is often hidden amongst a lot of other extraneous information. 
  • Read all the answers before selecting one to help you identify potential test, tricks, and red herrings.
  • Practice for speed, because often the exam comes down to technique, practice, and timing.
  • If all else fails, just skip hard logical reasoning questions, then come back to it at them at end.
If you follow this methodology, you will already be ahead of the game. And if for some reason you don’t score where you want to, keep a cool head and try again! Write Track’s Founder, Hamada, took the LSAT 3 times and still did not do great. However, by using storycrafting he managed to get into Berkeley Law. It is important to stay strong in the face of adversity, even when that face is the LSAT staring you down.  A strong application can help balance out test score weaknesses!

LSAT Scoring

While on the subject of test scores, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page regarding how, exactly, the LSAT is scored. Your LSAT score is comprised of a raw total of the number of questions you answered correctly. There are then converted into a score in the range of 120-180. The average LSAT score is 150… but if you have your sights set on attending a top law school, your score should be in the “well above 160” range.    If you are not meeting your LSAT score goals, contact Write Track for help with rounding out your application. We will use your story to craft a winning application, ensuring that you have the best chance at getting admitted to your dream law school, just like our founder, Hamada.     Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions  
How to Live Your College Admissions Story
What are different financial aid options now that my parents may have more reduced income?
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is going to hit everyone – hard. Some may even be feeling its effects already. And amidst all the uncertainty that is brewing, the question of college may fall to the side of the road. However, it is still important to be cognizant of the impact these trying times will have on the future of your academic career.    You may be wondering what options are available to you moving forward, especially now that you or your parents may have had a substantial reduction in income due to COVID-19. Luckily enough, there are plenty of options for students looking to attend college with income constraints in the wake of the pandemic.  

1. California’s Free Tuition Program for Community College

  As of 2019, graduating seniors having attended a high school in California, and having been accepted into one of the 115 community colleges across the state, are eligible for two years of free tuition. How does one qualify you ask? They must be first-time, full-time students (taking at least 12 units per semester). This is becoming an increasingly popular option as students look to knock out their undergrad general education requirements for free before transferring into a four year university to finish up their bachelor’s. If you are asking about why community college, check out our blog piece Should I go to community college and then transfer to a university?   

2. Colleges with Free or Reduced Tuition

  It sounds too good to be true, right? According to, there are currently 75 colleges offering free and/or reduced tuition across the United States. The list of schools runs the gamut, including top tier universities like Brown and Cornell, as well as college staples like Arizona State University and Miami University. These offerings have cropped up in light of the 44 million student debtors that collectively owe roughly $1.5 trillion in student loans. As college tuition costs continue to climb, student loan debt is skyrocketing alongside it. Many schools are offering “no-loan” financial aid packages, which aim to curtail the increasing pool of student debt, and instead seek to replace loans with grants and scholarships. Some universities require a minimum student or parental contribution (which can be met with loans), or part time employment of the student.   

Student Financial Aid

The light amidst the darkness in all of this is: your financial aid options will remain the same despite many schools closing their campuses and moving classes online. Scholarships and grants are still available; in fact, even though some schools and funds are finding their awards to be limited, other institutions are upping the ante and pouring out even more money to support their students with Student Relief Funds. Furthermore, loans will still be available, and perhaps more manageable as well. According to the office of Federal Student Aid, student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, allowing them to temporarily stop making their monthly loan payments.  If you are still concerned about your ability to fund your higher education, contact us at, and we will put you on the path to success   Aly Hartman  Communications Director – Write Track Admissions  
5 ways to keep you competitive for college admissions while on COVID-19 lockdown
With COVID-19 (coronavirus) bringing lives to a grinding halt across the world, far-off goals like getting into your dream college can seem a bit out of picture at the moment. However, it is important now more than ever to maintain your scholastic resume to ensure your success when it inevitably comes time to apply to college   Here are 5 key things you can do while staying at home now and throughout the summer to ensure you remain competitive for college admissions, in light of the restrictions brought about by COVID-19:   1. Develop a hobby/passion: Nothing stands out more on a college application than a clearly developed passion. Use this time at home to really dedicate yourself to something: learn a new skill, cultivate an existing hobby, or develop tangibles according to your passions that, if need be, you can submit alongside your college applications to beef them up. Music, dance, stock trading, home-based exercise are just some examples.   2. Take a higher-level online course: Most schools are going online anyway, so adding an extra online AP or college-level course will blend in seamlessly with your regularly scheduled academics, and set you out from the competition. Check your local community college for their selection of online classes or at your high school.   3. Entrepreneurship: Now is the perfect time to enact that lightbulb idea you had way back when. Start taking the first steps to building your project or business – almost everything you need to do so can be found online. Maybe you can even tailor your idea towards helping people in this current crisis (see point 5 below).   4. Take on a remote internship or job: As businesses shift to better accommodate everyone staying in their homes, there will be no shortage of new online-based jobs cropping up. This can definitely help you bolster your resume as we approach the summer. Stay up to date on platforms like Handshake and LinkedIn to find one that best suits your talents.   5. Tackle something creative that will positively contribute to those affected by the pandemic:  Yoga instructors are offering live-streamed classes. Writers are publishing their own readings of their books for free. Educators are putting their courses online so anyone can use this down time to better themselves academically. And even creatives are putting their work into good use like stitching masks, spinning melodies for online concerts, offering other awesome freebies to communities locally and globally. You can even start a fundraiser or offer a service that ties in to your passions… Anything that helps or is poised to brighten someone’s day is a noteworthy contribution. Basically, there is no shortage of routes to take with this one!    The point is, don’t give up hope. Really try to maximize this one in a lifetime opportunity to step out of your normal routine to truly shine and become the best college applicant possible.    Feel free to email us at with any questions, concerns or innovative ideas!   Aly Hartman Communications Director – Write Track Admissions  
Why regulating the College Prep industry is not the answer
Reading Time: 7 minutes   This past November, Enterprise Press, a Egyptian based news and trends media outlet, published a comprehensive article titled The rise of the college prep industry in Egypt (Nov. 25, 2019), which outlines the growing number of tutors, consultants, guidance counselors making up a cottage industry of “480 firms in Cairo advertising themselves on Facebook” and counting, that is highly unregulated and often misunderstood. The editors conclude by championing the need to regulate the industry least we end up with a lack of quality control that can negatively impact the chances of admissions for college-bound applicants. Yet, this is a concern not just in Egypt but across the world, including here in the U.S.   This issue is personal. I founded Write Track Admissions, a U.S.-based admissions consulting company in 2008. For over the past decade we have strived to maintain the highest levels of integrity and quality standards with our college and graduate applicants. Based on my experience, I will do my best to provide answers and guidance on how to navigate this burgeoning industry so as to help give college-bound applicants the most informed options possible.   

Why is the industry difficult to regulate?

In the U.S. for example, there are several organizations seeking to oversee the industry, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). However, despite their best efforts, the industry still remains highly unregulated. Why? Because the barriers to entry are low (anyone can claim they are admission gurus), no license is required to practice (entrants can ignore recommended quality/ethical guidelines), the global market of applicants is seemingly endless and inelastic (demand remains high regardless of economic swings), and competition to top universities as well as costs are increasing (so parents are becoming more desperate to give their child a competitive-edge).   What does this all mean? It is impossible to regulate an industry that is easy to join, high in demand, difficult to monitor, and so remote in geography (think gig economy). As a result, there are your fair share of charlatans that are selling pipe dreams at exuberant costs, and even committing fraud to get students admitted into top programs. Just look at Rick Singer and the recent college admissions scandal. However, it has to be said, these people are the exception rather than the norm.     So what is the answer? While tackling the whole industry may be challenging, I can provide guidance, based on my experience, on how to overcome an unregulated market for admissions consultants. Ultimately, I highly recommend that you become as informed as possible when considering whether you need an admissions consultant. Then be prepared to ask these key questions to find the right one for your child.      

Do you need an admissions consultant?

In deciding this, ask yourself these questions. Is your child stressed out trying to desperately manage extra-curricular activities, coursework, volunteer experience, standardized test prep, academic tutoring etc.? Does your son or daughter feel lost and overwhelming trying to figure out the ‘right’ story to stand out, which standardized tests to take, when to apply, where to get letters of recommendation? Are you having difficulty figuring out the visa process, what documents are needed for financial support, what is a suitable list of schools that aligns with your child’s goals and interests? If this is the case, then you will stand to benefit immeasurably by having an admissions consultant who will act as your child’s personalized high school counselor, coach and admissions guide.    From our experience here are just some of the pieces of advice we provided our clients in Egypt and around the world that may be relatable to you:  
    • Start the application process far in advance to give yourself time to respond to various requirements by the different schools related to testing, grade verification, financial information, additional application materials, etc. 
    • Figure out when to apply (early action vs. early decision vs. regular admissions) and manage, through a strict calendaring system, the numerous deadlines. 
    • Keep in mind the differences between the application requirements and how to frame your story to match the various essay prompts.
    • Research standardized testing exams/strategies and take the exam early in the process in case of cancelations (we saw this happen numerous times in 2019).


How do I find the right consultant?

Now that you have decided your child needs an admissions consultant, how do you find the right one, and why is it important to have the “right one”? The consultant needs to earn the trust of both you and your child in terms of what they know, what they can deliver, and how well they can motivate/guide your child through the entire process. This is especially the case given the sheer number of demands and activities already on your child’s plate.    So after many years of doing this work and through extensive research, we have found that it is imperative to ask the following questions to find the right consultant:  
1.  How familiar are you with the testing, school system, cultural traditions, and unique narratives of the country and community?
This is critical especially for international students because the most important part of the application is the applicant’s story. Acute knowledge of the unique narratives that exist is critical to this process as well as knowing the various demands on the students by the academic systems of the country or community.    
2.  How much and what kind of experience do you have?
Does the consultant have formal training? Have they themselves applied and gained admission to top programs? How long have they been working with applicants? It is important to research not just the company but the consultant that your child will be working with. One of the most important parts of this process is engendering inspiration and confidence between the consultant and your child. This comes from experience, compassion, and the consultant being “in-touch”, basically not removed from the life experiences and cultural trends of today.  
3.  How do you distinguish yourself from others offering a similar service?
What separates them from other competitors? Do they provide one-on-one consulting? Do they specialize in the country or programs your child is applying to? What is their track record for success? How international is their scope? How plugged in are they compared to others in terms of the dynamic field of admissions?  
4.  How does your process work? 
It is key to get a better understanding of how the consultant will work with your child, in terms of time commitment, means of communication (phone, video-conference, in-person or remote), actual brainstorming and editing processes etc. Also you need to get clarity on how long will the process take, payment structure (hourly or per service), and end product.  
5.  Are you making any unrealistic guarantees?
Is the consultant providing guarantees of admission? If so, this is a false statement and borderline fraud since no one should be able to guarantee admissions given the multitude of factors that go into the decision-making process (standardized scores, academic record, applicant experiences, diversity, time of submission, number of applicants etc.).   
6.  Do you have any references we can contact based on past work?
While often the work is confidential, sometimes former clients are willing to act as a reference. In that case, it doesn’t hurt to ask so that you have a better idea of the experience of the former client with the company. That being said, each experience can be different so it should help inform but not be the deciding factor for you.     If I had to guess, the admissions consulting industry is not going to go away. Top universities will only get more competitive, higher education will only cost more money, and post-college job opportunities will only become harder. Receiving that competitive edge is therefore key to getting into a top university, attaining a scholarship, and putting your child on the best career path possible. So be vigilant and informed about your options and how best to support your child through one of the most difficult yet critical junctures in their lives.     ~ Hamada Zahawi, Esq. | Founder, Write Track Admissions
The Ultimate Guide to the UC Application
Charlie Nguyen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 Read time: ~ 6 minutes   Navigating the University of California (UC) system can seem daunting to those who have not grown up in the Golden State with the presence of the 9 behemoth schools serving as a hallmark of educational culture. However, these schools are largely recognized as the go-to public universities for college hopefuls looking for some sunshine and a quality education. The campuses span the state, and branch off into Medical Centers, Research Labs, and Educational Outreach Programs, among other things. There are 9 UC campuses (all of which have undergraduate and graduate programs): Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz; there is also UC San Francisco, which is solely a graduate school with professional courses.    The UC campuses are ranked among the nation’s top universities – in both the public and private sector: 
UC Application requirements
The UC application is its own entity – completely separate from the Common App. It has its own list of requirements and its own personal statement section with prompts that are just unique enough that you will likely need to write new material from your Common App. The UC App also requires the following elements to be submitted: 
  • Official Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (ACT or SAT)
  • Any advanced class exam scores (AP, IB, TOEFL, IETLS)
  • Annual income
  • This is contingent upon your dependency status – you will need to provide your income if you’re an independent, or your parent’s income if you’re a dependent
  • Social security number
  • Citizenship status
Personal Statements: 
Much like the Common Application, the UC application has a section for a personal statement. The UC Application Personal Insight Section comprises of 2 essays – one standardized and one that varies depending on whether or not you are a transfer student or an incoming freshman. Each essay must be less than 1,000 words total, and are to be guided by predetermined prompts. Though the prompts can seem very abstract, and thus a bit daunting, here are some tips to help with the writing process:   
    1. Know your audience: Compose your stories using language and verbal skills that are appropriate for a college admissions committee. Use elevated language when appropriate and avoid casual sentences.
    2. Compose with Quality in mind: Since there is a word cap, you need to ensure you are conveying your story efficiently and effectively. Make sure your essays are concise, while also taking the time to paint a colorful picture with your descriptions. This may be a difficult balance to strike so being mindful of it from the beginning can help ensure the quality you are seeking. 
    3. Put your heart on paper: The mark of a truly incredible personal statement is emotion. This is your chance to tell your story – with all the trials and tribulations that go along with it. Don’t be afraid to lay it all out there. Imbue your story with as much emotion as you can. 
  Students often find the essay portion of their applications to be the most daunting. If you find yourself in this position, it is wise to get some professional help, as colleges are increasingly putting more weight on the personal statement portion of applications. 
Important UC Application Deadlines:
  • October 1: Application for fall of the following year becomes available.
  • November 1-30: Submission window for applications for the upcoming fall term.
  • January 1: Filing period for FAFSA and Cal Grant Verification Form begins.
  • March 1: Notification of admission for the fall term begins.
  • March 2: Deadline to submit FAFSA and Cal Grant Verification Form
  • March 30: Notification of admission for the fall term ends.
  • May 1: Deadline to submit Statement of Intent to Register for incoming freshman.
  • June 1: Deadline to submit Statement of Intent to Register for transfer students. 
  • July 1: Last day to submit an official transcript for incoming students for fall term. 
Things to Consider When Applying to a UC:
The great thing about the UC Application is that you can apply to one or ALL the UCs with the click of a button. However, while the schools are grouped together in their own system, the average test scores and GPA, and the competitiveness of entry to the schools vary significantly. For example, for incoming freshman the average SAT composite score at UCLA is 1365 and the average GPA is 4.3. At UC Riverside, the average SAT of an incoming freshman  is 1179, and the average GPA is 3.6. When applying, it is important to keep this variance in mind, as your chances of admission into the UCs will vary by school requirements.    Just as each campus has its own level of academic competitiveness, each campus has its own specialty, research opportunities, and general ambiance. Hamada Zahawi, Founder and CEO of Write Track Admissions, attended UCSB (then transferred to UCLA) and UC Berkeley Law. He advises students to keep in mind that just because you like one campus does not mean you will like them all, as they vary by climate, vibe, specialty field(s), diversity, sports programs, location etc. So it is important to gauge your compatibility with each UC campus separately, and treat them as individual schools (not one big conglomerate). To this end, it’s a great idea to take a trip and visit each school – what better excuse to see the beautiful Golden Coast of California!    Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions
Measuring Up: How does the GRE compare to the LSAT/GMAT, and which one is right for you?
Reading time: 5 minutes When it comes time to apply to Law School or an MBA program, everyone must take a standardized test. Recently, more and more schools have allowed students to opt for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) versus the LSAT (for law school) or the GMAT (for business school). This has caused some confusion among test takers as to which exam is best suited for you while still giving you a competitive edge for that particular graduate school!  
Setting the baseline: GRE 
The GRE Format: The GRE is a multiple choice, computer based standardized exam that measures the individual’s readiness for graduate school. It consists of a 60 minute Analytical Writing section (2 essays), two 30 minute verbal reasoning sections, two 35 minute quantitative reasoning sections, and a 30-35 minute experimental section that is either math or verbal. In total the GRE is about 3 hours and 45 minutes long on its own. It is more widely accepted for all graduate programs. A huge benefit of the GRE is that it allows test takers to save and return to particular questions while taking the test. If the pressure of having to answer a question immediately really gets to you, the GRE could be the better option for you if indeed the schools you are applying to accept it!   
Business School: GMAT 
The GMAT Format: The GMAT is a multiple choice standardized test reserved solely for MBA programs (and in some cases Masters in Finance etc.) available both on paper or on the computer, though it is more common taken electronically. You can register and take the GMAT whenever you want. It consists of one 30 minute Analytical Writing section (1 essay), one 30 minute Integrated reasoning section, one 62 minute Quantitative section, and a 65 minute verbal section. The total estimated time is 3 hours and 7 minutes, not including breaks.    GRE vs. GMAT: Some schools strongly prefer the GMAT (so do your due diligence and check to see what the majority of your schools prefer), while others like Stanford’s Graduate School of Business weight them equally. The GMAT’s quantitative section is said to be markedly more difficult than those on the GRE. They are far more reliant on honed math skills, so if math is your forte, the GMAT is a great way to demonstrate those quantitative skills. Further, the GRE has more geometry based questions, whereas the GMAT seems to favor logic questions. Sometimes, firms in the management consulting or investment banking industries require prospective employees to submit their GMAT scores. You may find it easier to just knock out two birds with one stone when applying to MBA programs if you also see yourself in one of those industries in the future. Also note, if you are applying to dual degrees such as an MBA/MPA, or applying to those degrees separately, then the GRE is strategically a better test, as it covers your admission into not just the MBA program but also any other graduate programs you choose, basically allowing you to diversify your options.   
Law School: LSAT
The LSAT Format: The LSAT is 175 minutes long, and the writing sample is 35 minutes long. When you factor in the time for administrative formalities and breaks, the whole process takes between 4 – 5 hours. It is now offered up to 8 times a year (double the number from previous years), and consists of two 35 minute logical reasoning sections, one 35 minute analytical reasoning section, one 35 minute reading comprehension section, one 35 minute experimental section, and one 35 minute writing sample section. The writing sample is unscored but still sent along with your LSAT scores to any law schools you apply for. Starting with the October 2019 test, the LSAT will be administered entirely digitally. LSAT vs. GRE: Law programs at some schools, such as Harvard and The University of Arizona, have decided to accept both the GRE and the LSAT to give graduate students more flexibility and broaden their applicant pool.    The LSAT is accepted at all law schools, whereas the GRE is only accepted at a select few. Though both are administered digitally, the GRE does have more commonly available paper options. Law school applicants who excel at Math and/or Vocabulary, might want to sway towards the GRE, as these sections are not included in the LSAT, thereby giving the test takers the opportunity to leverage their quantitative and verbal reasoning skills. However, the LSAT does include logic problems, where the GRE does not. If your law brain loves logic, the LSAT may be easier for you.     At the end of the day, go with whatever test you think is going to work to your advantage in terms of substance and performance results. The LSAT/GMAT isn’t for everyone, and if you fall into this category, it’s helpful to be aware that the GRE may be an option, but always keep in mind, which school accepts what exam. Emily Gold Waldman, an Associate Dean at Pace University, says that Pace’s Law program began accepting both the GRE and LSAT with the goal of giving more options for different types of test takers.    If you can’t seem to figure which test is strategically best for you, contact Write Track Admissions for a free consultation to solve this riddle! Remember this decision and your performance on the “better” standardized test can certainly have a huge influence on your chances of admissions.   Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions
The Common Application – Solved!
Reading Time:  6 minutes  –    Lazing around in July is a thing of the past for rising seniors. Nowadays, it is prime time to begin drafting college applications. Most schools (aside from certain schools such as the University of California) utilize the Common Application. But don’t underestimate the need to get on this early and to do a GREAT job so you can get the most universities interested in who you are and what you have to offer!  
The Common App
  By way of background, the Common Application is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to more than 800 universities in 49 states, as well as in Canada and some international schools. The site boasts that “No other system matches the diversity of colleges and universities accessible through the Common App”. While the Common App is not the only method of applying to colleges and universities, it is certainly the most widely used. You can access a full list of schools that use the Common App to get a sense of the reach of this unique portal.   
School Specific Supplements
  Some of the participating schools utilize supplemental application sections in which students may need to write additional essays, provide additional recommendations, or enter more information into a separate portal. When you apply to a college through the Common App, the list of required supplemental materials will be found under that specific school’s section in the application. A great way to deal with the supplemental sections efficiently is to create a spreadsheet that tracks what each school needs and when it is due.  
Creating Your Account Before August
  The newest addition of the common app becomes available August 1st every year. However, experts recommend that students create an account using the Common App website before August so that your information will roll over to the latest application cycle. This way, students can input all their general information (name, birthday, social security, high school information, etc.), and get a handle of what is required so that you have time to gather it, look it over, and ensure it is correct before the new cycle begins.   
Completing the Common App
  It is recommended that students give themselves at least 6 weeks to fully complete the common application. The first week or so should be dedicated to filling out the extensive student profile section, which requires a decent amount of information, such as the parents’ academic and employment history, a timeline of the student’s extracurricular involvement, any noteworthy awards and achievements, academic records, and a whole lot more! After that, the student will need to write out what is essentially their personal statement, in the form of a 650 word response to an essay prompt.   
Crafting the Common App Personal Statement
  The 2019-2020 Common Application Essay Prompts can be found here. The topics are exactly the same as those from 2018-2019! These prompts run the gamut of suggested topics, and provide applicants with the flexibility to tell their personalized stories in their own unique voices. It is also the student’s opportunity to paint a true portrait of themselves that extends beyond their standardized test scores and their high school academics. A great way to begin the storycrafting process is to take inventory of all your passions and achievements in recent years and see if any noteworthy experiences fit into one of the prompts. But make sure not to repeat yourself when you start to submit your school specific supplements!   With the wide range of expectations that the Common App places on a student, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, or run into problems. If you find yourself in a situation where you are stuck on any section of the Common App, contact Write Track! We offer a proprietary CAPP Service (College Application Preparation Process) where we provide you with support and guidance ranging from story crafting to school selection and everything in between, starting with strategizing for the Common App!   Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions