SAT 1 – What is it? Advice from Kathy Compagnon

The SAT I is a multiple choice general skills math, English language and writing exam administered by The College Board and given seven times during the school year. The tests are graded on a scale of 800 each; a score of 700+ is desirable; 650-700 should be acceptable depending on the other elements of your dossier. Practice does make perfect.

You can register for the SAT I on line at While you may take the test as many times as you wish, most people stop at three, and you should plan three opportunities, starting in Premiere, into your overall scheme. Traditionally, the university admissions committees retained only your highest scores from each exam, but received all scores nonetheless; there is a new option, Score Choice, whereby you would send only one complete score, but the jury is still out on which universities will accept that option.

You do need to prepare this exam; lycee students are not accustomed to the multiple-choice format, math vocabulary needs to be acquired, and speed and accuracy are essential. You should use the summer vacation to practice, and take the exam in October of 1ere. Practice books are available from Kaplan, The College Board or Amazon. There are also many prep programs you can find on line. Some people opt for private tutors; group study and consistent individual practice are also effective. Figure out what works for you. If you do opt for tutoring, make sure it is effective!


(Taken from « US Universities – A Guide », by Kathy Compagnon at

IELTS in 1ère

If you are planning to apply to a UK or US university and need IELTS, you should  now identify a test date in Geneva (see Ielts) as well as a preparation day in Bern the week before.  Plan out when and how often you are going to take advantage of the 30 hour online course they give you when you register.  Obviously, you need to register to do this.  All this information is at – absolutely invaluable!

Study at a Top Chinese Unviversity This Summer?

Here is an email I recently received..

The Summer Scholars Program is filling up quickly! To ensure your students don’t miss this summer opportunity, direct them to apply online now at:

What is the Summer Scholars Program?

The new Summer Scholars Program is 14 days filled with engaging, experiential  learning at the UBC’s beautiful Okanagan campus.

During the Summer Scholars Program, your students will:

  • explore environmental science and tackle the hot topics of sustainability
  • study with top professors and leaders in the field
  • experience one of the world’s leading universities
  • discover the inspiring outdoors of the Okanagan Valley

This program runs from July 15 to 28, 2012.

okanagan campus

What does the program offer?

The Summer Scholars Program is a non-credit course that will give students a solid foundation in sustainability and the science behind environmental issues.

Your students will be guided through field research by experts, and gain valuable hands-on experience while they:

  • complete a final study project, perfect for their college applications
  • participate in a fully supervised program of classes, field trips, and recreational activities
  • explore Canada and meet students from around the world

Are your students eligible?

The program is open to students between 16 and 18 years of age, entering one of their final two years of recognized high-school study.

There are no pre-requisites for entry, but students must be in good academic standing and will be asked to provide a transcript.

To learn more, and to apply online, visit the Summer Scholars Program website.

About UBCokanagan campus

UBC is consistently ranked among the world’s top 40 universities, and is internationally recognized as a model for the understanding and practice of sustainability.

UBC’s Okanagan campus offers outstanding new facilities for research and teaching. It is located in the friendly city of Kelowna, in one of Canada’s foremost recreational regions: the Okanagan Valley.

We look forward to welcoming your students to UBC’s Okanagan campus this summer.


Amanda Victoor 


Just discussed IELTS with a current Terminale student.  He had work experience in the summer between 1ère and Terminale in London, so took the opportunity to do a week-long course at the Victoria School of English, near Sloane Square, London.

The course was very good, he said.  Most UK universities he asked said they preferred IELTS.  Also, because he was particularly good orally, he wanted to take an exam which rewarded that skill more (TOEFL is much less interactive in its online oral section).

The reading is very tough, he said – you have little time to read the texts.  Lots of practice is needed.

Writing was his weaker area, but he made up for it on the reading and oral, achieving overall a level 8 (out of 9) – more than enough to satisfy the very good UK universities he is applying for.

Summer Experiences – 2nde, 1ère

Here are some possibilites  (below).  And here is the website –

Let me know if you plan to go.


• How about a life-changing summer adventure in a fabulous European city likeBarcelona, Florence or Cambridge?

• Perhaps pick up some Chinese and Business skills (and some delicious dumplings) inShanghai & Beijing, China?

• What about a Customized Internship in Londonin Entrepreneurship, Fashion, Music or more than 20 other Industries?

• Or, you can think globally, but study locally at University of Pennsylvania’s Social Justice Research Academy