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.

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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.

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“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 Reading

Whose Line is It Anyway? Understand WHO the Question is About

So here’s the thing—do you even know who or what the question is asking about? Many of you are getting killed on the critical reading because you don’t. If that’s happening to you, then you’re just throwing points away like quarters in a wishing pond. You know the pond isn’t really going to grant any wishes, right? Anyways, if you’ve ever …

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SAT Math

Cracking Combinations & Permutations (Counting & Listing)

Here is just a quick overview of how I approach combination or permutation questions. You know, the ones that say if there are 5 vampires and 7 werewolves available to capture Bella (Kristen Stewart), how many different teams of three comprised of 2 vampires and 1 werewolf can be sent after her? Okay, clearly I know nothing about Twilight because I’m …

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SAT Math

How to Crack Mathematical Sequences & Patterns

Humans are pattern-recognition machines. That’s why the SAT likes to test how good you are at seeing them. There are four general types of sequence/pattern questions on the SAT. Arithmetic Sequences Geometric Sequences Repeating Sequences Miscellaneous Patterns The first two (arithmetic and geometric) have formulas you MUST memorize. The latter two (repeating and miscellaneous) have special approaches you should use …

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SAT Essay

The #1 Ingredient for a 12 Essay

So true confession: I hate cooking. Come to my pad and be amazed by my exquisitely curated and decorated space, but open my fridge and prepare to be aghast. There is literally no food inside. I eat out virtually all the time, but once in a blue moon, I’ll try my hand at making something myself…like Instant Noodles. Just kidding. See, …

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SAT Reading

How to Crack Logic-Based Inference Questions

I’ve touched upon inference questions in an earlier post (remember: ask yourself WHY something was written, not just WHAT was written). But logic-based inference questions get their own special article because they are a more specialized and advanced subcategory of inference questions. These questions truly test if you know WHY something was written. They don’t just ask what can be inferred …

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SAT Reading

I Bet You Can’t Summarize for Sh*t

Sorting Through the Trash and Finding the Gems… If you’ve ever worked with a tutor, he’s probably asked you to summarize what you read to him. That’s good. It helps him see if you really got the point of the passage. But let me make one thing absolutely clear: summarizing a passage is totally different than restating its ideas. You …

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SAT Reading

Understanding WHAT You Read is Not Enough

Did you know that understanding a sentence requires more than understanding what it said? There are actually two levels of understanding: What it actually says (superficial first level) What purpose/role/function it serves (deeper second level) There is a ginormous difference between WHAT something said and WHY it was said. Remember back in elementary school when we played the most annoying game on earth…the …

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SAT Essay

Using Reverse Examples & Evidence

One of the most common complaints I hear from students is that they can’t come up with good examples quickly enough for their essays. But what I want you to know is… You don’t have to use examples that support your point directly You can also use reverse examples to support your point indirectly Let’s say you want to argue that teens need …

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SAT Essay

How to Transition Between Paragraphs — Template Part V

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series SAT Essay Template

SAT Essay TemplateIntros Are Virtually Useless — Template Part IThe Thing 90% of You Are Missing in Your Topic Sentence — Template Part IIYour Mortal Enemies: Claim and Summary — Template Part IIIHow to Analyze Like Fitzgerald — Template Part IVHow to Transition Between Paragraphs — Template Part VWe’re onto Paragraph 3 now. It’s exactly the same as Paragraph 2 …

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