Continuing with the theme of this week, today’s post includes the advice that current students offered incoming students regarding improving specific skills.  Here’s what they said:

If you need to, consider doing some language immersion to prepare for the foreign language exam, and take the test as soon as possible.

Bone up on your language and get the oral and written exams out of the way. This is especially true if you do not feel confident in your language skills.

I brushed up on foreign language skills using “TellMeMore,” which I think is better than Rosetta Stone if you already have some knowledge of the language.  I also reviewed economics as well.

To prepare for my language exam, I read the news in my language every day.  The content of a high quality newspaper is similar to what you’ll see on the written part of the exam, so I found that hugely helpful.

I took an intensive language course — it was a great experience (in Guatemala) and helped me to pass both written & oral exams the first time.

During Orientation week, the workshop on the citation software RefWorks was interesting, but also overwhelming. Using RefWorks is not absolutely necessary at Fletcher, though it can be helpful. However, it requires an initial investment in learning how to use it.  I would recommend either getting familiar with it before Orientation at Fletcher, or disregarding it.

For non-native English speakers, or those unfamiliar with the education system in the U.S.:

I looked more into what it means to write research papers, attend large classes, and aspects of the system of grading such as “grading on a curve” — in a word, facets of student life in the United States with which I was not so familiar.

1. I suggest English preparation, especially writing.  2. I researched Fletcher, Tufts, Boston and Somerville/Medford.  3. I talked to my undergraduate professors who studied in the U.S. to get a sense of what it would be like to study abroad and to plan my study fields.

But there will always be those who disagree.  Among those who wouldn’t do the prep work again, are two who said:

It wasn’t necessary to try to fill gaps in my skills — there were plenty of opportunities to do that at Fletcher.

If you’re planning on taking the Economics 201 placement exam, don’t spend too much time studying for it — it’s really easy.  A couple of weeks reviewing some very basic concepts should do it.

Of course, blog readers, that last comment might come from an economics whiz so, as with all this advice, keep your own situation in mind before deciding what to do.

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