Incoming students have been hearing a lot from the Registrar’s Office lately.  If you’re one of them, you may have started slogging your way through the many details (email accounts, Orientation schedules, final transcript submission, etc.), but I hope you’re also paying attention to the tips on pre-Fletcher preparation.  No, we’re not talking about reading all the professors’ or students’ book picks.  Just a little common sense advance work, and here’s my take on it.

For everyone:  Set aside some time to be certain you understand the requirements for your degree program.  Sure, you’ve looked at all this stuff before, but it’s different now.  At this point, your focus should be on giving yourself the best chance of picking classes in September that will either take care of requirements, or boost you toward your academic goals, or (even better!) both.

For native English speakers:  Make sure you’re ready to take and pass the language proficiency reading exam on Saturday, October 2.  Is it technically required that you pass the exam in October?  No…but why would you put it off?  Even if you’re not sure you can pass this time, take the exam.  Really.  Do not put it off.  And if you’re going to need some pre-test practice, now’s the time for it.

And for non-native English speakers:  Regardless of the strength of your language skills, you’ll benefit from giving them a pre-Fletcher workout.  Are you a slow reader in English?  Do lots of reading!  Is listening comprehension your personal challenge?  Listen to U.S. radio shows!  Even native speakers find the program challenging — add in language difficulties and you’re starting at a considerable disadvantage.  You still have nearly two months to narrow that gap, and you’ll be glad you did.

I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing pre-Fletcher summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere), but I also want you to hit the ground running.  Devote just a little time to setting yourself up to succeed — it will be time well spent.

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