Students vs. SAT/ACT Reply

For many students, one of the biggest goals in their high school career is to receive a decent score on their SAT or ACT. Although people have different definitions of what is considered adequate, BSGE students have standards set fairly high. Along with diploma grades and extracurriculars, the score on these standardized tests weigh heavily on a student’s future. It can the deciding factor for the colleges one gets accepted to, and thus the rest of their life.

Because of the overwhelming importance put on these exams, it is expected that students do everything they can to prepare for the tests for them to perform at the best of their abilities.  However, SAT or ACT prep is not offered directly from BSGE, so students find their own ways of studying. The tenth grade is the first time students take the PSAT, which is supposed to be a guideline for what to expect the following year and in the twelfth grade on the real SAT, as well as mattering for the National Merit Scholarship.  Some students do study for the PSAT, but most wait until after the they receive their results to start taking the tests seriously. More…


BSGE 2015 Graduates’ College Destinations Reply

Laura Agosto will attend Baruch College.

Alyssa Alvarado will attend Hunter College.

Nicholas Anastasio will attend University at Buffalo.

Mariana Arias will attend Queens College.
The Dream US Scholarship recipient.

Sumbul Baig will attend Long Island University’s Pharmd Program.
Merit Award recipient. Assemblywoman Catherine
Nolan’s Lamp of Learning Award for Community
Leadership and Academic Merit recipient.

Steven Becker will attend Binghamton University.

Christopher Birsan will attend Baruch College.

Grace Camia will attend the University of Southern California.
New York state 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient.

Grant Cannon will attend Gordon College.
Harold John Ockenga Scholarship recipient.
Department of Education of the City of New York Cooperation in Government Certificate of Recognition for Exemplary Service and Outstanding CitizenshipRecipient.

Gavriela Carver will attend Cornell University.
New York State 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient. City Council Citation Speaker’s Achievement Award for Demonstrating Academic Excellence and Commitment to Public Service recipient.

Noelani Certuche-Moreno will attend Penn State Abington.
Provost award recipient. Bunton Waller Scholarship recipient. More…

Editorial: Students Preparing for College; too Busy to Prepare for Life Reply

Throughout this school year college applications have loomed ominously over our heads. We Juniors are told we need to start thinking about how appealing we will be to colleges which means not only worrying about our grades and our SAT scores but also partaking in extracurricular activities (for CAS hours). One scenario we are presented with over and over again is if two people apply to a prestigious college, have perfect SAT scores, perfect grades but one of them didn’t do much outside school and the other joined lots of different clubs and engaged in various activities outside school the latter will be accepted. Not only are teenagers expected to perform off the charts in school but to be socially, creatively and physically fit. Colleges are looking for leaders, virtuosos, accomplished athletes; charismatic, “interesting”, ideal individuals. In other words they are looking for evidence of a so-called defined identity, a “strong personality”. To me that expression makes no sense. It’s ridiculous because not only do colleges have a narrow criteria for people they are More…

Know Before You Judge: BSGE’s College Acceptance Board Reply

Each year the very same process occurs beginning in January and ending in late June when passerby hover around the blue bulletin board that inhabits the lobby. The list of seniors and their accompanying college acceptances, paired with the amount of financial aid they received from each university are stapled on the wall so that students, staff, parents and virtually anyone walking into BSGE can see and comment. These displayed words and numbers are frequently met with either admiring acclaims, “Wow, she got into Stanford AND Columbia!” or critical remarks such as, “This person only got into CUNYs… This person didn’t receive any money from this school…”

Overall, it creates a very controversial environment, which was not intended when the idea of posting seniors’ acceptances on the wall, was born. The purpose of the college board was to glorify and congratulate Seniors on all the amazing schools they were gaining acceptance to, and to show how much money they received to attend these schools – an especially important factor in our current economy. It was a way to bring positive light to BSGE, and also a way for prospective students and parents to get an idea of what kind of schools BSGE’s seniors were gaining acceptance to.

But as most ideas with good intentions evolve, this board has received such negative connotations that many Seniors experience discomfort at the thought of having their name and college acceptances on the board. More…

Legal Outreach Helping One Kid At A Time Reply

Many BSGE students have passed by the curious neighboring building to BSGE, with its yellow stripes on the outside and sleek design. But most are unaware of what inhabits this building, besides anxious BSGE Seniors taking their exams on a few days every May. This building is home to a Legal Outreach program, an educational and enriching program that some of the BSGE student body participate in.



The Summer Legal Outreach program (SLI) prepares kids from underserved communities in New York City to participate in higher education programs. They teach kids how to develop skills for the real world and build confidence. This program starts from the summer before 8th grade to the end of the 12th grade. Students attend this program during the summer and after school to work on their communication and life skills. College Bound’s help in boosting self confidence appeals to a wide range of students, even those that are not very interested in law. Legal Outreach has two programs, SLI and College Bound. If a student joins SLI, he or she is automatically eligible for College Bound. All the students in College Bound get accepted to the top 50 universities such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell and other selective universities.

However, this year many students quit this program because of how challenging and rigorous it was. This being the case, the Legal Outreach Program decided to take only ten students this year because of the number of dropouts. An applicant from our school, Yashna Ahmed 18′ says “this program will help encourage me and will successfully help me become a great speaker.” Also, since this 4 year program includes internships outside of  Legal Outreach, she says “it will help me achieve good character and educate and further aid me in pursuing things I love.”


ACT vs. SAT: Which one should YOU take? Reply

It’s that time of year again: the temperature has dropped below freezing, we are finally seeing snowfall on the weather forecast… and the dreaded first mentions of the word “SAT” have appeared among juniors. The class of 2016 will be the last grade to take the older SAT before major changes are implemented next Spring. For those who have not already taken the SAT or ACT in October, November or December, the standardized test, in one form or another, is now very much on the horizon for 11th graders.


Although many students consider the SAT the obvious choice for standardized testing, the ACT is also accepted by colleges and universities, and neither test gives an applicant an advantage. Instead, it is important to pick the test that you feel you are better suited to. Since the tests measure different skills, some students feel that one test is better for their way of thinking than the other. While the SAT has infamous vocabulary questions and trickier reasoning, the ACT requires content memorization but is easier to decipher. While the SAT may be better for a student with a long, focused attention span and strong logical reasoning, the ACT’s advanced math and science sections may be better suited to a student strong in these subject areas. More…

The Current vs. Redesigned SAT Reply

During the spring of 2016, a new version of the SAT—the Standardized Admissions Test—will be distributed among high school juniors. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the role of the SAT, this exam claims to assess your college-readiness and is usually taken by 11th and 12th grade students in high school. SAT scores are a crucial part in the college admission process, however more and more schools are becoming SAT optional. Unlike the current SAT, this redesigned SAT contains more questions that are relevant to what you are learning in school and greatly focuses on the skills you need for college and career readiness.


By creating a new SAT, the College Board wants to fix a major flaw in the current SAT: its majority irrelevance to the high school curriculum. Many of the components involved in this current exam are not taught in high schools, which may prove to be disadvantageous for students because they will have to prep for themselves in order to prepare for the exam. For example, the current SAT reading section contains many obscure words that are rarely used or taught at school. In preparing for the SAT, many students pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to enter prep classes and purchase study books. The new SAT, on the othe More…

College-Related Tensions for Seniors Across the City Reply

During the Fall Semester, high school seniors around the country, and quite possibly the world, undergo a shift in moods within their graduating class. The cheerful and open environment that they once held with their peers from 9th to 11th grade has now disappeared with the appearance of the looming college application process. At least, that is what most high school seniors go through – except at BSGE.

When asked about their thoughts on the current level of tension within the Class of 2015, most BSGE seniors felt that there was an absence of said tension. Max Fischman ’15 commented, “Our grade is so close to the point that we are really supporting one another in the college process rather than trying to gain an upper hand.” Another senior, Marcos Delgado ’15, agreed, saying, “I feel like most BSGE students I know are actually encouraging of one another when it comes to the college process.”

This supportive feeling throughout the senior class is quite unique, especially when it comes to other New York City high schools. Former BSGE student and now Bronx Science senior Andrew Piliero explained the current negative interactions between seniors in his high school. More…

The Fault in Our Science Department Reply

As many BSGE students know, our school is small. One result of this is that our science department, while still very good, doesn’t have everything it could have if this were a larger school. Specifically, we have no physics class and no HL science classes. In the IB program, HL stands for “higher level,” as opposed to SL, which stands for “standard level.” While both are IB courses, and therefore quite advanced by necessity, HL classes are more advanced than SL.

Many BSGE students are very annoyed at these features that our science department does not have. Having no physics class can put us at a disadvantage when students try to decide if they should stay here or go to a different school for 9th grade, and then again when students compete for college spots with people from other schools. Emily Costa ’17 said that she thinks that “physics is a very important subject for a school to have, and it would be great for BSGE. When 8th graders decide on a high school, the lack of a physics department may cause students to favor other schools.” Leeana Johnston ’17 explained that many people who choose to stay despite these problems regret their choice, because “there are many students that apply to MIT but no one ever gets in because none of them have taken these standard, basic courses and that puts them at a disadvantage. This school is supposed to open up your options and allow you to get into better schools, but the fact that we are not offered those classes takes this away.” For a school like ours, which attracts people who are quite capable of getting into universities such as MIT, this is a huge problem.

Not every student sees this as a major problem, however. Talika Basantani ’18 said that in her opinion the lacking science department does not matter so much, because “In BSGE, we take more semesters of high school classes than any other classes. For example, taking ten semesters of high school math instead of six or eight.”   She added More…

BSGE’s Parent Coordinator Has Her Own Advisory Reply

Until recently, Margaret Pasach’s only job was parent coordinator of BSGE . But this year she has also taken up the job of having her own advisory. She is the first parent coordinator to be assigned her own advisory, additionally a 12th grade advisory which is not an easy task.

When asked about why Ms. Pasach has her own advisory, she explained that the previous 12th grade advisor was no longer available, so the position was given to her. Ms. Pasach added, “I didn’t ask for it, necessarily, but at the same time I am really happy to be doing it. Because I enjoy getting to know the students.”

From her experience as parent coordinator, she is already accustomed to clarifying concepts and BSGE programs to parents and students. She says she enjoys helping students and parents alike because it is what both her roles demand of her, as parent coordinator and advisor. More…

BSGE Demystifies IB Reply

Have you ever wondered what our school name BSGE means? It stands for Baccalaureate School for Global Education and it refers to the IB (International Baccalaureate) program established in BSGE in 2005. The IB program has been applied to over 4,000 schools (public and private) in 147 countries, over one quarter of them in the United States and 24 in New York. Students of these schools are aged 3-19. Our school focuses on two of the four programs, the pre-diploma program and the diploma program. In this program students aged 16-19 follow a rigorous two-year curriculum leading to the final examinations. This program helps students to develop physically, emotionally, More…

A Year at Minds Matter Reply

Minds Matter is a nonprofit organization that works with low-income high school students to help them prepare for college. The level of effective college preparation that Minds Matter offers is reflected in their 100% acceptance rates for graduates accepted into four-year colleges and universities. It has several locations nationwide, including one in New York. This year, Central Park East High School is the chosen location for Minds Matter to host its program every Saturday, except on holiday weekends. Students, called mentees in this program, engage in writing and critical thinking classes during which they read articles and hold debates. Students are also given their own SAT math textbooks because they have math classes as well. On some days, mentees take practice SATs to track their progress. Typical sessions last from 10am to 2pm, with a break for lunch at around 12pm.

The first day of Minds Matter for sophomores is the orientation event, when mentees get to meet the team leader and mentors who were assigned to them. Each mentee is assigned two mentors. While the team leader is in charge of organizing assignments and group activities, the mentors help More…

Tips on the College Process Reply

  1. Abandon all reasonable expectations.
  2. Don’t overload on reach schools.
  3. Get your personal statement done early. Go to the summer program if possible.
  4. File all financial aid information on time.
  5. Finish all your supplements by Peter’s deadline.
  6. Don’t apply to too many schools (too many is more than 15); you’ll have more supplements to do and more application fees to pay.
  7. Visit the schools you want to apply to before you actually do (if you can). You may save yourself time and money if you end up not liking it.
  8. Apply for scholarships.
  9. Pay attention and take notes during all the college meetings in the fall. You could end up finding a school that you really like.
  10. Interview for as many schools as possible. It’s a great way to show the school that you’re interested and for the schools to get to know you better.

The Dough of the College Pizza Pie Reply

Once the applications have been sent and the pending acceptance and rejection letters are on the horizon the financial aid process, the second half of the college process begins. While Peter gives out the College Manual to 11th and 12th graders, which includes information about financial aid, it never hurts to review the basics.

Peter Wilson, BSGE’s college counselor, called for a mandatory meeting with students and their families in order to inform students of the types of financial aid and the forms that need to be filled out. The burden of paying for college is heavy and students are expected to shoulder it. Mr. Wilson stressed that parents cannot be the ones expected to carry all of the weight and students must be aware of the business of higher education.

Need-based aid is based entirely on the economics of your family. It is calculated by adding the income of parents and their assets, then dividing that number by the dependents, or More…

Analyzing the College Process Reply

After the senior class of 2013 decided what colleges they will be attending, they were able to reflect on the long and arduous process they underwent for over a year. Students at BSGE have a unique opportunity during the college admissions process because they can work closely with the college counselor, Peter Wilson, and attend his summer college workshop. However, attending BSGE also makes some of the admissions process more difficult. As the school year More…

Class of 2013 College Destinations Reply

Senior Group 2013

2013 Senior Final College List

Ricardo Aguayo                                 Brandeis University (POSSE Foundation Scholarship: $170,728)

Kyra Allen                                          Northeastern University (Northeastern U Grant: $72,000)

Mohammed Amin                             City College: Grove School of Engineering

Steven Armanios                               Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Dimitri Baskous                                 Binghamton University

Maria Belchikova                               Rochester Institute of Technology (Achievement Scholarship: $40,000)

Jessica Belkin                                     Binghamton University

Jessica Bodeta                                    Queens College


BSGE Offers SAT Class Reply

BSGE SAT Classes This Summer

BSGE SAT Classes This Summer

This summer, BSGE is offering Princeton Review SAT Fundamentals classes for just $399. The original price is $499, but college advisor Peter Wilson was able to negotiate to a lower price. Unfortunately, the class is $399 only for those who enroll by June 21st. The 34 hour class will be spread out over three weeks from July 16th to August 1st. There will be 18 hours of live instruction, 4 full-length practice tests with diagnostic score reports and SAT professionals to help you study the exam material. Classes will be held a block away from BSGE at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Rising Juniors and Seniors who are not satisfied with their SAT work are advised to take the class in preparation for upcoming SATs, the next one being October of this year. The final deadline for enrollment is July 5th. Students are suggested to enroll early due to limited space.

#IBDone – BSGE Juniors and Seniors Complete their IB Exams Reply

IB exams, mandatory tests taken by juniors and seniors at the end of the school year, are usually two weeks long. This year, the exams took place from May 2nd to the 22nd and were taken for the first time at a building just around the corner from BSGE, one that most students pass every morning–a grey building with a yellow “lightning bolt.” Most BSGE juniors were very nervous because this was their first IB exam. In addition, these IB science exam grades are the grades that colleges see on the transcripts (that is because senior year IB exam grades are released usually after college acceptance letters are mailed out). According to Isabella Hernandez ‘14, “the environment was very comfortable…but I am really relieved it’s over.” Lauren Ouaknine ‘14 was also relieved. She said that “it was strange that a whole year of studying and testing gets condensed into a few hours” of sitting in an unfamiliar room and taking one of the most important exams for the junior year. What some students have not realized, however, is that IB Science classwork and lab reports also count towards the final IB grade. For some this is unfortunate, as some students do not try their hardest in these classes. Others, such as Isabella, find this beneficial. She said, “I was ecstatic knowing I had already passed before taking the test because of my lab grade.” Despite the mixed feelings towards the IB exams and the experience taking them, many future IB exam takers should note that the exams themselves are not so terrible–just relax and have a good night’s sleep beforehand!

How Much Does College Really Cost? Reply

Many students face a financial burden applying to college. Not only is the price of attending college really expensive, but the process of applying is too. Students may rack up a huge bill before they even get to college.

Each college charges an application fee. This fee can range from $35 to $80 per application. On top of this, the college board charges you $9.50 to send your SAT scores to each college you apply to. If you need your results rushed, they charge an extra $27 for that. Sending ACT scores is $10 per college you send it to. The fee for taking standardized tests is very high as well. The ACT is $35 per time you take it, and the SAT is $50. If you want to take the subject SATs, the price ranges from $35-$46. Fee waivers are available for both the SAT and ACT for students who are eligible.  SAT prep is also something that, though not technically necessary, is very highly recommended for maximum success on More…