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Students prepare for graduate school exams

first_imgMidterm exams are rapidly approaching, but many upperclassmen are focusing their attention on post-graduate exams. To prepare for these exams, many juniors and seniors reach out to organizations such as Kaplan Test Prep. Liza Weale, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs for Kaplan, said Kaplan Test Prep provided courses to more than 638,000 students worldwide over a single year. Kaplan offers preparation for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Admissions tests are one of the only quantitative and objective measures on applications for graduate school. “In Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 surveys of graduate school, business school and law school admissions officers, the GRE, GMAT and LSAT, respectively, ranked as the most important admissions factors,” Weale said. “According to our medical school admissions officers’ survey, a low MCAT score is the biggest application killer.” However, students can improve their scores dramatically before they send applications to graduate programs by preparing correctly, Weale said. Kaplan offers a range of programs in the classroom and online as well as private tutoring to help students prepare for these tests. Junior Tony Dang is among the many pre-med students preparing for the MCAT in May. Dang said he began slowly preparing for the exam over summer break. “The resources that I have been using so far have been the Kaplan MCAT test books for each individual subject (Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology and the verbal portion of the test),” he said. “I also have 10 practice tests that a friend that sent me for extra practice once I’m done with studying the subjects. All of the studying is individualized, meaning that I am not taking any classes in preparation for this test.” Dang said he would like to see different organizations, such as the Princeton Review, on campus in addition to more traditional companies. “I think the [University] offers adequate options to help with test preparation,” he said. “But I would like to see other organizations other than Kaplan on campus.” Senior John Anders prepared for the LSAT with a Kaplan Live Online class during summer 2010 before he took the exam in October. The instructor for the course broadcasted the lesson over a video to students across the country. “Because I took this class, I took five practice exams prior to my actual test day,” he said. “They gave me a feel for where I was before taking the actual exam.” Anders said he utilized the online LSAT tools provided by Kaplan to monitor his studying. “They have this thing called Smart Reports that analyzes your performance on practice tests and diagnoses where you could use more practice and tracks your progress,” Anders said. “I found this to be one of the most helpful tools in my preparation.” Because of the ample resources offered through Kaplan, Anders said he did not seek out resources through Notre Dame other than quiet study space in campus libraries. Anders said he was confident of the test format and types of questions on the exam, and he said he was very happy with his score. “I think knowing exactly what I was going to get on the exam was a huge confidence boost for me, and my scores represented this,” Anders said. “I have the class I took to thank for this.” Saint Mary’s senior Kristen Metzger will take the GRE at the end of the summer and was accepted to the Teach for America program after graduation. Metzger will receive her master’s degree in education at the University of North Carolina while she completes that program. Metzger said she used Kaplan resources to study for past exams and turned to their GRE preparation book because she was familiar with their format. “They also offer practice tests online that I’m sure I will take advantage of,” she said. The “Classroom Anywhere” online option is the most popular among students preparing for exams through Kaplan, Weale said. “Classroom Anywhere courses take the dynamic interaction of a live instructor — who brings all the enthusiasm and inspiration of our Kaplan classrooms — and combines it with state-of-the-art online classroom tools to translate the combination into an online environment that’s designed to enhance the learning experience,” she said. Fees for Kaplan programs vary depending on the program. Weale said thousands of free practice tests and admissions seminars are available across the country. Students unhappy with their preparation or exam score can study with Kaplan for free for the next test date or for three more months for computer-based tests. “Students in our programs see great results, as evidenced by the tens of thousands of students who come to us each year,” Weale said. “Much of Kaplan’s growth comes from reputation and word-of-mouth, so we have a vested interest in helping our students succeed.”last_img read more

DPS officer killed in double homicide

first_imgA Dept. of Public Safety officer and his fiancee were found late Sunday dead from gunshots in a parked car in Irvine, Calif.The victims, who were found in the vehicle at about 9:10 p.m., were identified as Keith Lawrence, 27, and Monica Quan, 28. Gunshots were not reported that night, and the bodies were only found after a passerby noticed Lawrence slumped over the steering wheel, according to police. Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the crime as a double homicide, not a murder-suicide.Lawrence joined DPS in August 2012 and at the time of his death was assigned to patrol operations, according to DPS Capt David Carlisle. He was an armed officer and a graduate of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy. His fiancee Quan was a assistant basketball coach for the Cal State Fullerton women’s team. Both were graduates of Concordia University.DPS Chief John Thomas released a statement Monday regarding the shooting:“It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I announce the untimely death of a member of the DPS Family, PSO I Keith Lawrence.  Officer Lawrence and his fiancée were discovered deceased earlier this morning; victims of a senseless act of violence in the City of Irvine.During his brief tenure of service here at USC, Officer Lawrence proved to be an honorable, compassionate and professional member of our department and the Trojan Family.  We are a better department and the USC Campus Community is a safer place as a result of his service.Please continue to espouse those same values of honor, commitment to duty, professionalism and compassion as we continue to add to his legacy and those that we all share as members of the law enforcement/public safety community.I would also ask that you remember Keith and his fiancée’s families in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve and begin the healing process and move forward from this tragic loss of their loved ones.”last_img read more

Politicians keep us addicted to foreign oil

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsFor the past 26 years, Congress has prohibited exploration and development of extensive areas of the federal outer continental shelf by not funding the needed studies to conduct leasing auctions. Additionally, Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton issued executive orders for a blanket moratorium from 1990 through 2012, although George W. Bush canceled part of the edict in 2005. But congressional action was still required. Currently, the United States uses about 21million barrels of oil each day, or about 7.6billion barrels per year. About 5 billion barrels are imported and 2.6 billion barrels come from domestic sources, of which about one third is from offshore. Imports consist of about 40 percent from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iraq) and 60 percent from non-OPEC nations (Canada, Mexico and Russia providing the most). Most imported natural gas also comes from Canada. In 1980, yearly domestic production was 3.15billion barrels, decreasing to 2.6 billion barrels in 2006, about 75 percent of peak output of 3.52 billion barrels in 1970. This was the result of diminishing output from existing land and offshore fields, and the prohibition against developing 95 percent of known and highly probable new resources on federal land and federal and state offshore tracts. Domestic reserves In 1980, proven U.S. reserves totaled 30billion barrels, diminishing to 22 billion barrels by 2005, primarily because of the extensive prohibitions against new development. Not counting the potential recovery of tens of billions of barrels of oil from recently explored Colorado oil sands and Utah oil shale, or the deep Gulf of Mexico oil discovery, the Mineral Management Service conservatively estimated in 2003 that there exists 406 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 76billion barrels of oil recoverable in the prohibited regions of the lower 48 states and Alaska. Several energy acts were adopted during those 25 years, encouraging efficiency and conservation, increasing research and development of alternative fuels and renewable energy, all supposed to decrease dependence on foreign sources, but omitting the most immediate and effective measure by continuing to prohibit opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and offshore prohibited regions. This was due to the undue influence of small but vocal groups of environmental extremists. Also, in 1996, Clinton vetoed legislation approved by the Republican-controlled Congress to open ANWR to drilling. Decreasing oil production ignored Between 2001 and 2006, U.S. annual oil use increased from 7.2 billion barrels to 7.6 billion barrels while domestic production decreased from 2.9billion barrels to 2.6 billion barrels and imports increased from 4.3 billion barrels to 5billion barrels. Experts predicted that if prohibited fields were opened to normal drilling and recovery, domestic production could be increased from 7.1 million barrels per day to 9 million to 10 million barrels per day, thereby significantly reducing dependence on foreign oil, especially that from unreliable sources. So, for more than 25 years, in clear view of decreasing domestic production and increasing dependence on imports from foreign nations, some unfriendly or politically unstable, the politicians played games with oil, loudly proclaiming we should reduce dependence on foreign oil while doing almost nothing but increasing dependence on foreign oil. Stan Katten is a former RAND Corp. analyst and a San Pedro resident.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! First of two parts. Federal and state politicians are responsible for the approaching energy crisis and have placed this nation in a very precarious position. While speculators drive up the prices of oil and natural gas whenever they can dream up a possible reduction in “import supply,” the real problem is one of “domestic access.” The resulting unnecessary dependence on unreliable foreign oil sources threatens our infrastructure because oil and natural gas underlie the economic and social fabric of this country. Offshore resources off limits “Today natural gas and oil drilling is prohibited in all offshore regions along the North Atlantic coast, most of the Pacific coast, parts of the Alaska coast and most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” the Energy Information Administration stated in 2005. “The central and western portions of the Gulf of Mexico account for almost all current domestic offshore natural gas and oil production.” last_img read more