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How Not To Prepare for Your Entrance Exams - Pearl Academy


One step closer to entering the college of your dreams.

The Pearl Academy gates swing open and you’re faced with a new world- a hotbed of creativity where great minds, perspectives and industries converge to create ground breaking work.

But, before you pass, you’re faced with a test. Surely by this point you have already spent several sleepless nights priming yourself with the tools and information necessary to overcome the final obstacle in your way to getting what you want: a future in design.

All the prescriptive manuals, guidelines, tips, tricks, hacks and how-tos must have been feverishly consulted by now. (We hope.) You’ve done well so far figuring out what you need to do in order to:

>Crack a College Entrance Exam
>Breeze through an interview like a maestro
>Bust out an immaculate portfolio that’s guaranteed to impress

There’s tons of “How To Get Into College” and “How to Crack the Entrance Exam” videos, articles and books out there for you to follow the roadmap to success. This isn’t exactly another one of those.

Instead, we’re going to quickly walk you through the things you really don’t want to do in order to seal the deal at the end of the day- just so you have all your bases covered. You know, going through all the things the traditional guide book won’t discuss.

Sometimes, when you’re so focused on getting everything right by the rule book, you forget to take into account all the not so right things that might slip you up.

Just like a banana peel lying on the sidewalk you just didn’t notice. Or maybe you did notice but stepped right on it, underestimating it as a potential threat because it was just a silly, harmless banana peel.

So let’s get to it.

Studying thoroughly for any test is pretty much the only real way to crack it. However, here are some potentially disastrous scenarios you really don’t want to find yourself in during prep mode.

1.You start studying a month. . a week. . a night before the exam. You’re cramming information into your brain last minute, quite confidently believing any of it going to stick.

2.You drink 15 cans of Red Bulls before tackling a mock paper thinking you’re going to be infused with magical, creative powers. Pablo Picasso may have created masterpieces in this way, but you’re not Picasso (Yet.)

3.Watching youtube videos about cats, blasting Ed Sheeran on repeat and simultaneously playing candy crush on your phone. Consider yourself the Master of Multitasking all you want, scientific research is certain that doing too many things at one time dramatically diminishes productivity.

4.Texting your crush all through study hour. Really, that coffee date can wait- after your exam.

5.Allowing stress and unrest to get the best of you, turning you into an unshowered, delirious, incoherent monster your parents want to disown.

We acknowledge that design schools are liberal, free thinking spaces where you’re allowed to challenge the status-quo. It might be tempting to want to break the rules while giving your test in order to showcase your creative brilliance. We strongly recommend that you resist the following approaches on the day of your exam:

1.Doodling passionately in the margins, across answers or even as answers in place of writing. No matter how thought provoking your sketches are, they run the risk of offending your examiner if you blatantly ignore instructions.

2.Listening to your carefully curated inspirational playlist put together for optimal performance on examination day. Okay, maybe you’re being polite with headphones and sure, music might help you focus, but this might just get you kicked out.

3.Peeping into your neighbors sheet to copy/compare/scoff at their work while they are taking the test.

4.Covering your test paper in glitter, spraying Chanel no. 5 on it and dotting all your i’s with stars to give it your personal, distinctive essence that will surely make an impact on your evaluator.

5.Taking a picture of your exam paper and uploading it to your instagram so your followers can see your witty responses OR taking selfies of yourself in the exam hall to show off your #OOTE (Outfit of the Exam) on #JudgementDay.

Your personal interview is where you’re scanned and judged as a potential fit for Pearl on the basis of your presentation, behaviour and responses. There are numerous things you could do during your interview we’re convinced you shouldn’t do, but we’re going to keep this list short and sweet.

1.You show up wearing a really, really over the top outfit. Forget form and function, you’re here to make a statement that makes Lady Gaga pale in comparison. Just remember there’s a fine line between looking artsy/eccentric and plain, borderline insane. Pearl is also a school of business, mind you.

2.You show up 36 minutes late and brush it off nonchalantly, because it’s fashionable.

3.Your session degenerates into an angry, screaming match with your Interviewer because your political/religious/intellectual/dietary views fail to align.

4.You keep checking your facebook notifications through the session. You just posted a really great picture of your coffee, duh.

5.Fabricate fantastic stories about your past to appear more exciting or experienced, ultimately putting your own foot in your mouth because you forgot your own false facts mid-story.

The portfolio is your golden ticket to design school! This is where you allow your creativity to shine to its greatest potential, dazzling the examiner into granting you well-deserved access to Pearl Academy- where you obviously belong. So let’s make sure you don’t do the following things that will most probably mess up your chances of being accepted.

1.You decide to present an encyclopedia of work. We get that you consider every single piece of your life’s work as crucial and that you dedicated your life entirely to art, but we really don’t need to see that amazing, perfect bowl of fruit you painted as four year old.

2.You present your masterpiece and only your masterpiece. Because this is the only piece of art you’ve created that is relevant and clearly revolutionary.

3.You slip a couple of pieces into your portfolio that aren’t your original work to come off as more skilled. Really, the mona lisa?!? Examiners are much smarter than you think.

4.You decide to reject all standard requirements for putting the Portfolio together and present your portfolio with a whole new and improved model using 3D printing, sound effects and puppetry.

You forgot that a portfolio is required altogether. Oops. Maybe you need to stop reading this and fix that- quick.

We wish you all the very best in your Entrance Exam this Saturday, future Creators of Pearl Academy!

See you on the other side.

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