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Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

There Is No Royal Road to Knowledge

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT reading passage questions Contrary to the influx of criticism claiming the SAT test favors the wealthy (who are more likely to affort test prep services), I strongly believe there is no royal road to knowledge, and the SAT test is no exception. Sure, on average, test prep services such as SAT tutoring
and SAT test classes can have a positive impact by raising a student’s SAT score. However, with strong determination any student can apply the same principles used in prep services to maximize their score.

There Is No Royal Road to Knowledge (transcript)

Hi, I’m Karl Schellscheidt welcome to ePrep! There is a famous saying that I bring up with my students often and that is “There is no royal road to knowledge.” And what that means to me is that even if you are born into a very privileged family or even a royal family you have to learn the way everybody else does.

I use that phrase often with my students when they get frustrated. I can not tell you how many times a student has tried a critical reading section and they get frustrated because in the sentence completion portion the vocabulary just does not allow them to get most of the right answers, so they get frustrated. Developing a great vocabulary starts with developing your very own vocabulary list. I say to them “Hey listen, you know what, no big deal.” “Just start learning the words and start memorizing them, I know it does not sound like something fun to do but there is no royal to knowledge.” What that means is everybody has to learn the same way.

If you are born into a privileged family you are not given a vocabulary. You may be born into a family where you have parents who are highly educated and speak a very high caliber of English. For most of us we have to learn a lot of words and we have to learn the hard way. Take the time to build a great vocabulary by creating your own vocabulary list. There are a lot of great websites that feature top SAT vocabulary lists. These vocabulary words are not only important for the SAT vocabulary section, but also to incorporate into your life-long vocabulary. The other thing I say to students very often is if you only do what they ask you to do in school, you are not going to become special. You are not going to separate yourself from the pack. Just on a lark, find somebody who you think is a success in life and see if they had a point in life where they did something extra to get ahead. I guarantee you that person will say “absolutely, yes.” They will point to a time in life where they did something extra to get ahead and distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack.

So if you think that you can get through doing what they tell you to do, not being as diligent as you should be you are kidding yourself. You really need to do something extra to get ahead in life. If it happens to be vocabulary or it happens to be studying math concepts remember there is no royal road to knowledge. Everybody has an equal chance to educate themselves and if you do it the rewards are great. You will go pretty far in life and to me what that means is having options in life.

I went to a great university and I have really smart friends and some guys are out there making millions of dollars a year and others are making no money teaching kids and being volunteers. I think the common denominator between me and most of my friends is that we have options in life. I think most of the options in life come from education. There is no royal road to knowledge and if you pay your dues you will get ahead. Good Luck, keep yourself going.

Karl Schellsheidt
ePrep, Inc.

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