Test Prep 101

MCAT. PCAT. GMAT. DAT. LSAT. It seems like every professional faculty has a requirement for interested applicants to write a standardized test which aims to assess the skills, knowledge and aptitude of the individual in relation to the profession. Many of these tests require immense preparation and studying in order to maximize performance on the test. For many faculties, scores from these standardized tests are an important factor in determining admittance. For instance, many law schools in Canada will consider applicants as “competitive” if they rank in the 80th percentile on the LSAT.

I remember when I found out that UofT’s pharmacy program required applicants to write the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), this task felt daunting. These standardized test carry a surmountable weight in determining whether or not you will be accepted into the program.

So how does one rise to the challenge in tackling these standardized tests?

The Apple Cider of Music: Jazz at Oscar’s

Back in autumn, rain showers were our constant companion, so we turned to apple cider for warmth. Now in winter, we can replace the rain showers with blizzards, but what replaces the apple cider?


As this week marks the beginning of February and the beginning of #JoyatUofT—a time when we celebrate the things at U of T that bring us joy—, I decided to pursue this “apple cider of winter,” and so, I went to Jazz at Oscar’s, a series organized by the Hart House Music Committee. The series showcases local jazz artists every Friday night at Hart House’s Arbor room.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to this event. I thought that perhaps it would take place in a decent-sized room with a small audience seated in foldable chairs facing a Steinway piano in the front.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Arbor room had been transformed into a rich world of sight, sound, and smell. Darkness blanketed the room, save for the light from the eatery at the back and the mauve-tinged spotlight on the stage at the front. The entire place was filled by the time I arrived, from the young to the elderly taking up all the chairs and upholstered seats available. Some of them held wine glasses, while others opted for cups of coffee. Yet all of them chattered among one another, punctuated by laughter and chuckles.

The stage of the Arbor room, lighted by a mauve spotlight.
Not going to lie, the unexpected appearance of a mauve spotlight elicited an excited gasp from me.

The “Study” Part of Studying Abroad

Last week, I wrote about things to think about when you’re choosing the courses you’re going to take when you’re on exchange. I thought I’d continue on the academics theme this week by writing about what it’s like to actually take those classes. I’m talking going to lectures and tutorials, doing readings, writing assignments, taking exams – all the stuff you would rather not think about when you’re imagining your exchange experience.