Insider Guides: .

  • The Truth About World-Class Extracurriculars That Open the Gates to the Ivy League & Top Colleges
  • Crush the SAT & ACT...without Slaving Over Practice Tests
  • Don't Know What to Write? Find Your Perfect College Essay Topic

Do you dream of waltzing through those majestic iron wrought gates at Stanford, MIT, Harvard, one of the other Ivy League schools, or any elite caliber school? (Yes, I know Stanford and MIT are not part of the Ivy League, but I'm grouping these schools together with their top-tier peers.)

That's incredible, and I applaud your ambition. I get it. The allure is undeniable. A world-class school with prestigious Nobel Laureates and distinguished faculty, amazing programs and facilities, and of course the name brand recognition that comes from one of these elite schools.

But what does it take to get in? There's a mountain of "advice" out there, often contradictory and often too vague or generic to be helpful. Most of all, this advice often comes from counselors who haven't personally gained admissions into the Ivy League or another top school.

READ THE FULL GUIDE 

PARENTS…

  • If you’re sick of having to nag your teen
  • If you’ve tried to teach them self-motivation & responsibility, only to realize how behind they’ve fallen
  • If you’re worried the SAT/ACT will be the thing holding them back from a great college & future success

STUDENTS…

  • If you think you’re a “bad test taker”
  • If you’re tired of second-guessing yourself (because every answer looks potentially right)
  • If you feel that you can’t do math, reading, grammar, or science to save your life

Then come discover how to get a top-tier score that can fling open the gates to the college of your dreams using the Bruce Lee Framework.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL GUIDE 

“Many a night, I found myself slouched in a black, leather chair, staring at a blank computer screen, wanting to scream or cry. The systematic, flashing cursor of an empty Word document always seemed to taunt me. I would sit, letting my emotions wash over me, as my mind raced urgently to create a story.”

Those were the opening lines of my college essay that got me accepted at Brown University (and a slew of other places, including all of the University of California schools).

Looking back at those words now, over a decade later, the feeling I have towards writing today is as true as it was then. And so it is with all the hundreds of students whom I’ve helped navigate this college process. We don’t know where to begin our stories, so the blank screen seems to sneer at us.

It feels a little meta to be writing about not knowing what to write, but this article will take you through the exact process I’ve honed over more than ten years to help identify and brainstorm the best topics for your personal statement.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL GUIDE 

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SAT Writing

What I Learned From Ashely Olsen about SAT Grammar

When I was 13–the legal age when I could go on the Internet, open an email account, and really surf the Web–I discovered the world of online chat rooms. I especially loved Yahoo Chat. I could connect with people I never would have had a chance to meet. As a huge bookworm who spent all his free time at the library devouring …

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Test Prep General

Someone I Care About Has Been Kidnapped!

Imagine this for a moment: you’ve just been kidnapped, and your captors want to play a game. If you can solve a logic question, they’ll let you live. Otherwise, well, they won’t. It doesn’t really matter what the logic question is, but let’s just say you don’t know how to work through the logic or solve the question the “real” …

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Test Prep General

Perfectionism is the Enemy of the People

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a perfectionist. This is not a good trait. My friend likes to say I have an “extreme reach barrier,” which simply means I become paralyzed, unable to act, because I have all these lofty goals. Reaching or aiming so high actually causes inaction because the greater the ambition, the greater the intimidation. …

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Study Hacks

The Verdict is In: You’re Sentenced to 30 Minutes!

We all do things that are highly unproductive. We tell ourselves we need this downtime to unwind. After all, it’s been a long day at school. You had a long sports practice or after school music rehearsal. You just broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend. Whatever reason you have…listen, I get it. I was the same way myself. In high school, I procrastinated like …

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Study Hacks

Stupid Alert: You Might Want to Sit Down

At some point, we’ve all been a little brain dead. I once thought 10/5 was 5. Can you spot my flawed thought process here? (Hint: I subtracted, rather than divided). But the girl in this video below really takes the cake. I guarantee it’ll be the funniest 5 minutes of your day. I was dyyyyiiing. You might want to sit down for this. …

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SAT Reading

The “Divide and Conquer” Technique That Increased Reading Scores 100-200 points

I’ve lost count of the number of students I’ve shown this “Divide and Conquer” technique to who have come back wide-eyed the VERY next tutoring session, and said things like: “That reading strategy is so much better than what I used to do.” “Dude, Peter, that technique really works. I barely missed any questions!” “OMG, why the hell didn’t they teach me this …

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SAT Reading

The “Professor X Technique” for Improving 100 Points on Reading

I’m not a foodie. Which is why, the other night, I somehow found myself staring at the deserted aisles of the frozen dinner section at 1 in the morning.  There I was, standing under the awful fluorescent lighting, contemplating whether I was more in the mood for Hungry Man or Lean Cuisine. It was a sad sight—a grown man picking out …

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SAT Math

Functions Got You Down?

Friggin’ functions, right? Do they got you down? Don’t despair because I’ve created a fantastic playlist explaining them. This is a BIG concept on the SAT that makes up anywhere from 4-6 questions per test (out of 54 math questions, so that’s a lot. 7.4% to 11.1% of the math section!). It also tends to be ripe with traps because it’s …

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SAT Essay

Increase Your Eloquence & Sophistication Through Transitions

The other day, I offered to help grade essays for a class of students who had written practice SAT essays. I instantly realized why I would never, ever, ever want to be an SAT essay grader for the Collegeboard. Reading through these horrible essays, I just put my face in my hands and wept. If I could give these students …

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