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Alexandra Kaufman

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College, SATs, ACTs, Maybe I'll Just Cheat...

Posted: 10/07/11 10:00 AM ET

As school is coming around, so are tests, essays, and all that fun stuff. If you're a senior, a junior, or a highly competitive sophomore, than you will be taking (or retaking) the SATs and or the ACTs. Well, most people will be at least. I decided after taking each test twice and not doing drastically better on my second tries that I have had enough. I do well in school, I have just about straight A's and my test scores are decent. I don't like to compare myself to others, especially since some of my friends are getting close to perfect scores on their tests and their grade point averages are 100. One would think having a 95 will get you into "that" school, it should right? Unfortunately, I have many doubts. I have researched and read almost every book on colleges from Princeton's guide to ongoing discussions with my school guidance counselor and family but I still don't know where I'll get in.

It's all too real. I just wrote my second college essay last night and I should be started on my Common Application already. When talking about what schools to apply to during dinner with my family I seemed to have shocked my grandparents. They both graduated from great schools, my grandmother from Smith and grandfather from Harvard. When I was telling my grandma where I wanted to go she seemed disappointed when I said Ohio State University. She is from Ohio and it seemed to her that I can do better. Which, who knows, maybe I can? So I asked her what schools she thought would be appropriate for me. She dropped names like Colgate, Lehigh, and some others. I told her I wanted to go BIG like the football schools and the big ten, you know the schools where your wardrobe consists of t-shirts with your mascot on it and body paint. She suggested U Michigan. It surprised her when I said that I probably couldn't get in. My best friend Robin wants to go there first of all, and we both decided we should be independent in college and not go together. Second of all, my grades just aren't high enough. I had to explain to my family that a 90 is a great GPA but it's not the best. The valedictorian will probably have close to a 105 average. This is in my school where there are 800 students in my graduating class. So then she suggested University of Wisconsin, which I would love to go to. She thought that I could definitely get in because not that many people from New Rochelle even know about it. While just that morning I was looking at the pictures on Facebook from the "Wisco" party that this freshman there was at. I don't know if its because I go to a huge school or if it's my group of friends but it seems to me that getting into the school of your choice is a lot harder than the average person would assume.

When talking to my friends about their grades it gets pretty boring after a while. But when I heard my friend say "Yeah well he helped me on that section" my head snaps up. Ok, so everyone does the look over the shoulder on the smart kid's paper right? NO! I don't! I can't believe he just said that, he cheated on his SATs?! WHAT?!? So I collect myself and listen to what my friends are saying. Robin and I have similar morals. I guess knowing each other since second grade will do that to you. I look at her and she is just as shocked as I am. We both look like we are going to explode. My guy friend, the cheater, said he and my other friend helped each other before. Even though my cheating guy friend does better than me in just about every subject whether he cheats or not, I want to yell him but what's the point? He is smart he just cheats to be even smarter. Is there a difference between cheating to get that extra point on your SAT and a personal tutor? The smart kid is getting a 95 in AP Chemistry but the tutor helps him to get 100; while I am getting an 85 and struggling. I think that's equally as unfair. So when I am applying to Wisconsin and doing my Common App will there be a section where I can check off that I am not a cheater or that I have never had a tutor? I doubt it. So if I don't get it in to a certain school I can tell my family it's because I didn't cheat and didn't get that expensive math tutor. Well hope fully I'll get it anyway. Or maybe karma will come around and punish all the cheaters. Who knows.