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4 Best High Sierra Backpacks For School




Whenever you go to high school or college, you better have a really big and sturdy backpack.

This is because you will need the space to carry books, notebooks, a laptop and maybe even some personal items.

High Sierra is a well-known brand that makes such backpacks, and they are among the most popular brands among students and parents alike.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best High Siera backpacks that highschoolers and students can buy today.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

Generous main compartments and multiple pockets

Includes a dedicated TechSpot tablet sleeve

Primary padded back panel and a yoke-style, S-shaped mesh padded shoulder straps

Zippers need some improvements

Check price

Topping out our list is the High Sierra Loop Student’s Backpack which has pretty much everything a student can ever ask for.

This includes a spacious interior with pockets that allow good item organization, and the straps and paddings make it comfortable to carry, even after hours and hours of carrying.

Made with 600D Duralite

Features a special water-resistant coating

Organizer compartment with multiple pockets, including a zippered mesh pocket, and more

Single-tube telescoping handle

Fully-padded, dedicated laptop compartment designed to carry your laptop computer

The handle could be a bit more comfortable

Check price

If you have back problems and can’t carry too much weight, then a bag like the High Sierra Freewheel Backpack might be what you need.

thanks to the telescopic handle and wheels, it can easily be used as both a backpack and a troller, and the water-resistant material makes it great if you get caught in the rain.

Can accommodate most 17-inch laptop models

Large main compartment, an organizer compartment with multiple pockets, and more

Padded shoulder straps and back panel provide comfort and ease when carrying gear

The zipper could use some improvements

Check price

The High Sierra Swerve Laptop Backpack is one of the best all-around student’s backpacks that you could ask for. It can store a 17-inch laptop while keeping it safe and secure, and it also has enough space in the main pocket and in the organizer to keep things compacts and neat.

More so, it is extremely comfortable to wear and it comes with a zippered accessory pocket with a USB port so you can listen to music or charge your phone on the go.

Made from Duralite

S-shaped shoulder straps have comfortable mesh padding

It comes with an integrated media/cell phone pocket

Has a headphone port

The straps may be a bit hard to adjust

Check price

No matter what you need to carry, the High Sierra Fat Boy Backpack, Flower Pop/Black/Crimson, 19.5 x 13 x 7-Inch has you covered, thanks to the incredibly sturdy Duralite build that makes it resistant to ripping and water.

More so, you won’t even feel it thanks to the extra layers of padding on both the back panel and the straps, and the headphone port will let you list to music while you travel between classes.

A good backpack is a vital part of any high schooler or college student’s arsenal, as it may stick with them for a few good years until they finish their studies.

That is why it is good to always go for a top-quality item that has as many useful features as possible so that your child can have an easier and more enjoyable school year.

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Troubleshooting Macos High Sierra Problems

Are you having difficulties with macOS High Sierra? While most Mac users who update to macOS High Sierra have no issues with the system software, there are small groups of users who have experienced a variety of problems with the software update. This tends to happen with every major system software release, either due to compatibility issues, third party apps, bugs, or a variety of other reasons. This article attempts to gather a list of some of the reported macOS High Sierra problems, along with possible troubleshooting solutions to those issues, though by no means is this exhaustive.

MacOS High Sierra download fails

Some users report errors trying to download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store. If this happens, the first thing you should do is be sure your Mac is connected to the internet and has a functioning internet connection.

Often simply relaunching the App Store is sufficient to remedy a download problem as well.

Quit out of the Mac App Store

Relaunch the Mac App Store and try to download macOS High Sierra again

Rarely, you may need to reboot the Mac as well – this should not be necessary however.

MacOS High Sierra Installer is Incomplete or Unable to Make a USB Drive

Some users report they are unable to download the complete macOS High Sierra installer app, and instead wind up with a small 20mb version that attempts to download the remainder of the installer during the installation itself. This prevents the user from creating a USB installer for MacOS High Sierra.

A workaround for this issue is to use a third party tool to download the complete macOS High Sierra installer as discussed here.

MacOS High Sierra Installation Fails

If installation fails, usually in a very obvious manner with an error message when attempting to install the High Sierra update, the solution is usually to redownload the installer and then reinstall macOS High Sierra.

There are various error messages that may be seen in this including: “The path chúng tôi appears to be missing or damaged.  Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.” or, rarely, more obscure error messages with “macOS could not be installed on your computer” or “An error occurred while verifying firmware. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.”

If you get package missing errors or damaged application errors, delete the “Install macOS High” from the /Applications/ folder on the Mac, then re-download the installer from the Mac App Store.

Reboot the Mac, then attempt to re-install Mac OS High Sierra using the “Install macOS High” app again. This should resolve most issues with failed installation attempts.

MacOS High Sierra cannot be installed, or refuses to install on a Mac

If macOS High Sierra will not proceed with installation on the Mac, usually with a notification along the lines of “macOS High Sierra cannot be installed”, it is likely because the Mac is not compatible with High Sierra.

You can check the compatibility list for Macs that support macOS High Sierra here, generally speaking if the Mac runs Sierra and is reasonably modern, it should work.

“Installation of macOS could not continue” error

Some Mac users are encountering an installation error stating “Installation of macOS could not continue. Installation requires downloading important content. That content can’t be downloaded at this time. Try again later.”

Troubleshooting this issue usually involves multiple easy steps: confirming the Mac has active reliable internet access, and then trying to install macOS High Sierra again.

Sometimes a reboot can be sufficient to remedy this error as well.

macOS High Sierra Installation Freezes, Stuck on Black or White Screen

Very rarely, a macOS High Sierra installation fails and remains stuck on a black screen, or all white screen.

If you see an all black or all white screen, the first thing you should do is wait, since the issue may resolve itself, even if it takes a few hours.

Also, with an all black screen, be sure your screen brightness is turned up on the Mac. There are a few reports of the installer screen dimming for whatever reason, and simply turning up the brightness on the display reveals the normal installer screen.

If the installation has completely frozen on a blank screen, you may need to reinstall macOS High Sierra. Try rebooting the Mac and running the High Sierra installer again, or if you have a macOS High Sierra USB boot installer drive, run the installer from there.

If the installation is truly frozen, you may need to reinstall macOS High Sierra via Recovery Mode, by rebooting the Mac and holding down Command+R and then choosing to reinstall macOS.

High Sierra Installation Failed Completely, Mac OS Won’t Boot

This is rare, but there are some reports the installation of High Sierra fails. If the installation fails and the Mac operating system won’t boot at all, usually getting stuck on a blank gray screen, you may need to reinstall system software on the Mac. But first you should try resetting NVRAM / PRAM on the Mac.

Turn off the Mac, then turn it back on again and immediately hold down the OPTION, COMMAND, P, R keys concurrently

Continue holding COMMAND OPTION P R until you hear the boot sound chime again, it usually takes 15 long seconds or so

If the Mac will not boot up after resetting NVRAM, you likely need to reinstall the system software. You may be able to do this with a High Sierra boot drive if you have one available, otherwise you can use recovery mode to reinstall. You can boot into Recovery Mode by rebooting the Mac and holding down Command + R, then choose to reinstall macOS.

If you are unable to reinstall macOS High Sierra, and the Mac will not boot up normally, you can also reboot the Mac and hold down Command+Shift+Option+R and choose to reinstall macOS over internet recovery, which will reinstall the version of Mac OS that shipped on the Mac instead.

APFS Not Working With Fusion Drives or Normal HDDs

APFS support is not currently implemented for Fusion drives or HDD drives in macOS High Sierra versions, but Fusion and HDD support for APFS is expected to arrive in a future software update version.

If you are currently running macOS High Sierra with a Fusion drive of standard spinning HDD, be sure to update system software when new versions arrive to receive support for APFS when it arrives.

MacOS High Sierra Freezing or Stalls

There are mixed reports of Macs freezing, stalling, or otherwise not responding after installing macOS High Sierra.

Some users report that their cursor and keyboard becomes unresponsive with High Sierra, but music or audio will continue to play. This is often triggered after a video starts playing on the Mac, through YouTube, Facebook, or similar services. In such a scenario, the Mac must be forcefully rebooted to regain functionality of the keyboard and mouse or trackpad again. A workaround to that frustrating issue may be to user an alternative web browser, whether it’s Safari, Safari Tech Preview, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

There are other reports of Macs completely freezing up with a stuck cursor or a stuck beachball cursor that does not respond or move as well, also requiring a forced reboot of the Mac to regain functionality. These problems could be the result of a bug or compatibility problem with macOS High Sierra, either in core system software or with a third party app or service in use on the Macs. Updating apps and installing available software updates may remedy the problem. If this situation remains unresolved to the user and becomes unworkable, downgrading macOS High Sierra using a prior Time Machine backup is one workaround, though it will move the user back to a prior version of system software to do so.

If you are experiencing issues with external displays not functioning properly, try resetting the Mac SMC.

WindowServer causing heavy CPU activity

There are mixed reports of unusually high WindowServer processor activity with some setups in High Sierra. High WindowServer CPU usage can sometimes be resolved by disabling transparency effects in Mac OS.

Be sure to update any updates to macOS High Sierra that are available, as well as any third party graphics drivers if applicable.

Display Artifacts or Screen Graphics Distortions

Some Mac users have reported issues with unusual display artifacts and graphical distortions on their screens. This could be related to issues with the new graphics engine in macOS High Sierra and certain hardware components, or it could be related to third party software or drivers installed on the Mac. Graphics issues that relate to the core system software are likely to be resolved in a future software update, whereas graphics issues dependent on third party software or drivers will likely require an update from those manufacturers and/or developers.

Mac Won’t Wake from Sleep with High Sierra

Numerous users on chúng tôi report difficulty with a Mac waking from sleep since installing High Sierra.

The typical troubleshooting steps of resetting SMC or VRAM could be a solution to issues with sleep and wake. Apparently Apple Support has told some users in this scenario to simply reinstall macOS via Recovery mode.

One workaround is to restart or shut down the Mac and then boot up again every time the Mac refuses to wake from sleep, but that’s obviously fairly annoying.

MacOS High Sierra 10.13 Wi-Fi Problems

Some users have reported that macOS High Sierra has difficulty connecting to wi-fi networks. Usually this is a simple matter to resolve, often just toggling the service off, restarting, and turning wireless back on again is enough to fix it:

Turn Wi-Fi OFF from the wireless menu in macOS

Reboot the Mac

Turn wi-fi ON from the wireless menu

We have created a separate guide to fixing wi-fi problems on macOS High Sierra here which may be helpful.

If that fails, then try the tips to remedy wi-fi problems with macOS High Sierra that worked with Sierra as discussed here, it’s a series of universal wi-fi troubleshooting steps that can help wireless connectivity problems in nearly all versions of macOS system software.

Additionally, there are mixed reports of difficulties connecting to wi-fi networks that are hiding their router name (SSID). If you connect a Mac to a wi-fi router with hidden SSID then a temporary workaround is to unhide the SSID (router name) and make the SSID visible again. This requires logging into the wi-fi router and that process varies per wireless router vendor.

Some apps are not working in macOS High Sierra

Most apps that worked with Sierra should work with High Sierra, but nonetheless some compatibility issues can persist with High Sierra. Examples of apps reported to have problems with macOS High Sierra include some versions of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Indesign, Logic, Compressor, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, amongst others. In almost every case, installing the latest version of those apps, along with any other available software updates to macOS, should resolve the problems.

The best approach to this is to update the apps, from the Mac App Store Updates tab, or if the app offers direct software updates, then to install those.

Check with the app developer to see if a new version of the app is available, and to make sure it is compatible with macOS High Sierra.

iMessages not syncing properly with MacOS High Sierra

Some users are noticing that iMessages are not syncing properly after updating to macOS High Sierra. Sometimes iMessages may arrive late, or be out of sync with an iPhone, or various other issues.

If you have difficulty with iMessage, disabling and re-enabling Messages within the “Accounts” section of Messages preferences can sometimes remedy the problem. Some users have success logging out and back in again as well.

Updating to the latest version of macOS High Sierra is recommended when possible.

The Mac feels slow after installing MacOS High Sierra

If you just installed macOS High Sierra on a Mac and it feels slower than usual, it’s likely because of indexing and other maintenance tasks going on in the background pertaining to Spotlight, Siri, Photos app, iCloud, and other system functions.

Simply leaving the Mac turned on and letting it sit idle as it processes necessary background tasks is usually enough to resolve performance problems experienced right after updating macOS system software.

In fact, many Macs may feel faster with macOS High Sierra, particularly with disk related tasks like copying and moving files, due to the new APFS file system. Again, if you have performance issues, simply waiting a while can often resolve the problem.

If performance problems persist, investigating apps or processes using high CPU usage through Activity Monitor is a good starting point. Sometimes an errant process may be running in the background and slowing things down by consuming computing resources.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips for macOS High Sierra


The Joy In Teaching High School

“You are the only teacher who acts like you like us.” A student said this to me in class a few years ago. My classroom is my happy place, and I truly love my job. But I know not all teachers feel the same way I do, and the students notice.

Teenagers are fun. They’re witty, creative, inquisitive, passionate, and totally unpredictable. Yes, they have pimples, their voices squeak, they are awkward and sensitive, they smell bad sometimes, they say inappropriate things, they test the boundaries. But they make me laugh every day.

This wasn’t always the case for me. Years ago, I had become so focused on curriculum and objectives that I had lost sight of the most important element of my professional existence: teenagers. A few changes in my behavior helped improve my relationship with the students, which led me to my current perspective.

Finding Joy Among Teenagers

Connect with them personally: Getting to really know the students pays off. Go to their games and their dance recitals. Eat at the restaurant where they work. Let them show you who they are besides your student.

Teenagers who feel that you care about them will be more receptive to your requests and more respectful of you as a teacher. Bonus: Students who feel valued by you will be more willing to take risks for you, and we know how essential this is to the learning process.

Make note of at least one thing you have in common with every student and share it with the class. It can be a simple fact: “Joe, you like the Steelers? Me too!” They may shrug it off at first, but if the Steelers win, you will hear about it. By valuing each student’s individuality, you have a good chance of increasing engagement in the class.

Put the information you learn into your lessons. Alex plays lacrosse, so use his name and sport in an example. Alex gets validation that you were listening and you care. Simple, but effective.

Give out compliments freely but sincerely: You may not expect it, but the teenagers in your class are starving for approval. No matter how much attitude Janie has given you lately, compliment her sincerely on anything that matters to her and you’ll make great strides in winning her over.

Students love to hear compliments on their hair or shoes, but they also love it when you know the score of their game last night and that you heard they played well. Be able to mention some of the amazing things they do when they’re not disrupting your class, like being a part of a club, participating in a talent show, making the honor roll, or winning a pageant.

Compliments are easy to give and show that you’re paying attention to your students as members of society. This is new role for teenagers, and your compliments will show you care about how they are fulfilling that role.

Give them choices: Offering options to teenagers gives them a feeling of power, something they really have very little of in their new roles as members of society. You must remember how, as a teenager, each new tiny bit of freedom was exhilarating. Tap into that—let them feel like they have some control over their learning.

There are lots of ways to do this, and it doesn’t have to mean more work for you. In high school, we have some flexibility in the curriculum to allow for student input. Ask if they would rather read about the death penalty or euthanasia, or if they’d rather give their opinions in writing or orally this time. Allowing them to map their own learning will increase their engagement.

Ask their opinion about a completed unit or activity: “Did you like doing it that way? Should I do this again with my next group? Was this a worthwhile activity?” You’ll be surprised by the maturity in the answers you get. Most teenagers don’t want to waste their time in class, and they’ll be brutally honest if that lesson you spent hours planning was a total flop. Listen to them and take their feedback seriously. You’ll earn their respect quickly if you’re sincere.

It’s always fun to shake up routine with options as well. Let them arrange the classroom for a change, or have them design an order for the day’s agenda. Offer two possible due dates for an assessment. Little things that won’t really be a big deal in the end will make them feel like their lives are important to you.

Adolescence is a magical time. Revel in it. Engage, nurture, honor, and listen to your students first, and then worry about the teaching. Make your class your happy place.

Best Anti Theft Backpacks In 2023

Would I be wrong if I say that our portable gadgets have now become as important as our bank? In the bank, we store our money, gold, and a few other valuables. Take a moment and think about your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop that you frequently carry around. Don’t they store tons of valuable data, content, files, memories, and even actual money and rewards? This is where anti-theft backpacks come in the picture to assist us in keeping our devices safe and theft-proof.

Whether you are a student with a Chromebook and a tablet, whether you are a working professional with your company MacBook, whether you are a stay-in-mom who uses iPad to control the smart lights in your home or see the live stream of the baby cam when out diaper shopping, anti-theft backpacks are for all of you.

Here we have reviewed some of the best anti-theft backpacks for laptops. The products mentioned here are stylish, comfortable to carry, water-resistant, and some even have RFID pockets. And as always, most bags discussed here won’t burn a deep hole in your pocket. Let me help you find an anti-theft bag suitable for you.

1. Korin Design Travel Laptop Bag

Slash-resistant fabric has been used on the exterior. The bag comprises five major storage compartments, and thus carrying your laptop, and additional gadgets like an iPad or Surface Tablet will be neat and hassle-free.

Its one of a kind weight reduction system, and the wrap-around shoulder strap helps to relieve the weight on your shoulders. The bag also has a USB charging port that makes charging your mobile phone on the go.

The bag also comes with a rain cover and is available in grey and black colors.

2. Sosoon Business Laptop Backpack

First of all, the price of this Sosoon Business Bag is very affordable. This makes it perfect for students, commuters, and even travelers. There are five main pockets and two on the sides that make it convenient to carry a water bottle and an umbrella.

In addition to having a comfortable design, all thanks to the adjustable shoulder straps and massage mats, the Sosoon bag, like all other bags in this list has an anti-theft design.

This backpack is also equipped with a USB and an earphone port design. And did I tell you that it has a lifetime warranty in case you face a quality problem!

3. AMBOR Laptop Backpack with USB Charging

This particular travel laptop backpack from Ambor can fit a big laptop up to 17.3″ inches. So if you have one of those big gaming Windows laptops, this bag might just meet your needs. The large size also makes it suitable for short business trips or as a hiking bag.

The anti-theft design includes a combination of locks and metal zippers. Ergonomic S-shaped padded shoulder straps and breathable fabric ensure that you feel comfortable carrying it even when the bag is loaded.

The backpack is lightweight, tear-resistant, and carries a one year warranty with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. kopack Shockproof Slim Laptop Bag

A super organized big bag, with excellent fabric texture and elastic sponge padded shoulder strap along with an affordable price tag, makes Kopack Backpack a perfect companion for college, trips, and seminars.

The bag sports anti-theft dual-layer zippers and gives a slim, professional look. It is water-resistant and available in half a dozen beautiful colors.

5. Bopai Business Laptop Backpack

Not that the other anti-theft bags mentioned here look meh, but if there was to be a Miss Bag competition, I guess this one with its water-resistant microfiber leather and ballistic nylon material would take the crown. The bag looks professional.

A hidden zipper at the back lets you keep your wallet, money, check, and cards safely. 45-degree open design of the main compartment allows you to conveniently put your laptop and accessories in the bag and take it out quickly when needed.

6. Markryden Business Bag with USB Charging

Want a stylish looking backpack that fully opens at 90 degrees? Well, look no further; here is one that lets you open freely even up to 180 degrees. This means that you can lay the two main compartments flat and organize your laptop, cables, iPad, chargers, etc. perfectly according to your taste and neatness.

Markryden Anti-theft Laptop Backpack has a charging USB port, a pocket for power bank, a pocket for your Apple Pencil, or any Pen and more. The bag is made from waterproof and cut-resistant fabric.

7. WENIG Multiple Pockets Laptop Backpack

Bestseller and super affordable with excellent customer ratings. What more can you ask!

Wenig’s anti-theft backpack has a password lock. The bag has a plethora of pockets, 15 to be exact. This lets you organize the contents in the bag.

It is multipurpose and comes with a combination lock, USB cable, 12-month warranty, and 30-day money-back option.

8. Fintie RFID Protection Laptop Backpack

A simple and clean design, multiple divider pockets, reinforced top handles & wide padded shoulder straps with a breathable mesh back panels make it the perfect bag for regular everyday use.

What is even sweeter is that this bag has a pocket with RFID Blocking. This ensures that your credit cards, driver’s license, passport, etc. are secure as it protects your personal information from being stolen. The bag also comes with TSA accepted lock, making it your go-to companion for flights.

9. MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack

The abundance of storage space and pockets make this slim anti-theft bag a perfect companion. Ventilated padding and comfortable airflow back design will come in handy when you have to take this bag out on a long subway or bus ride.

Water resistance, durable Polyester fabric, and metal zippers ensure security & long-lasting usage. You also have plenty of options to choose from, as this bag comes in two sizes and nine colors.

I guess it is the comfort, safety, and durability that has made this bag a top bestseller. It has received great reviews by over six thousand people.

10. XQXA Travel Business Laptop Backpack

A bag so universal that everyone in your family, whether they are school going kids or college freshman, you or your spouse, every member can use this multipurpose bag. RFID blocking front pocket gives you peace of mind and allows you to keep your credit cards, passport, and other documents from being cloned and misused.

XQXA backpack is durable, comfortable, and lightweight. It also has an external USB charging port with a built-in charging cable and a headphone opening. It can also comfortably fit a large 17-inch laptop.

This bag can be the perfect gift for any family member or friend.

That’s it!

These related posts will be a perfect read…

Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

How To Apply For Graduate School

Applying to graduate school may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!  The whole process can be broken down into 7 key steps:

Specific graduate school application requirements may vary between type of program and school, so be sure to check carefully on each school’s website. However, the main steps are usually the same.

Choosing programs to apply to

Choosing a program is the first step of the process. Start by talking to alumni and current students of the programs you’re interested in, as well as individuals in the career field that you’re hoping to pursue afterwards. Ask them questions like the following:

Do I need a graduate degree at all? It might be possible to pursue this field using the experience and education that you already have.

How important is school prestige in this field? In fields like law, prestige is extremely important, whereas it matters very little in many medical careers, like nursing or physical therapy.

Do the faculty and staff of this institution make adequate time for their students? Especially in research, the quality of supervision and teaching determines how much you get out of a program.

Do I have a realistic shot of getting into this program? Aim high, but don’t waste application fees on schools out of reach, and make sure you have a few backup programs you’re pretty sure you can get into.

How much will the program cost? Many graduate programs offer some sort of financial aid, but others expect most students to front the whole cost through loans and other forms of financing.

What is the job market like for alumni of this program? Many programs list the career outcomes of their graduates on their websites. If one doesn’t, you should feel free to contact an administrator of the program and ask for it.

Master’s vs. PhD

One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is whether to apply to a master’s or a PhD program. Master’s degrees, which take 1–2 years to complete, usually develop skills for a particular career, whereas PhDs, which can range from 4–7 years, are meant to prepare for an academic or research career.

Master’s programs focus mainly on coursework, although they usually also include a semester-long thesis or capstone. In the US, most PhDs include the coursework required for a master’s in the first two years of the program. Afterwards, you’ll spend most of your time preparing a dissertation, a long piece of original research.

Both master’s and PhD programs provide a wage premium (the extra amount that you’ll make over someone with just a high school diploma) of 23 and 26%, respectively. Master’s programs sometimes provide scholarships, but this is rare. PhD programs, on the other hand, often waive tuition fees and provide a living stipend in exchange for being a teaching or research assistant.

Though the master’s degree premium is lower and the upfront cost is usually higher, master’s programs allow you to enter the workforce—and earn the higher wage—much faster than PhDs.

Planning your application timeline

The most important tip for applying to graduate school is to start early! No matter which type of program you’re applying to, you should start considering your plans around 18 months before beginning your program.

Most programs have strict deadlines—usually 6–9 months before the start date. Others have what are called “rolling” deadlines, meaning that the earlier you send in an application, the earlier you get a decision. Either way, you should usually aim to get in all your applications before the new year for a start date the following September or October.

Make sure to carefully plan out your timeline for applying. Each step will take longer than you think it will, so leave plenty of extra time! Below is a table giving an idea of how much time you’ll need for the essential application tasks.

Task Amount of time

Studying for standardized tests 2–5 months, depending on the number of attempts you need.

Requesting recommendation letters Start 6–8 months before deadlines to give your recommenders plenty of time.

Writing a statement of purpose Start the first draft at least a few months before the deadline, as you’ll want to do plenty of redrafting and editing. If the program requires more than one essay, start earlier!

Requesting transcripts Do this early, in case something goes wrong—at least 1–2 months before deadlines.

Filling out the application forms Give yourself at least a month for this—there will often be extra details you need to look up, so it’ll take longer than you think.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Try for free

Requesting transcripts and recommendation letters

As well as transcripts of your grades, most graduate school applications also require you to provide 2–3 letters of recommendation from former professors or supervisors.


You’ll normally need to provide transcripts from every postsecondary institution that you attended, even if you weren’t a full-time student there. This includes time spent studying abroad or classes taken at universities while still a high school student.

Make sure to check the language requirements of the transcripts. If yours aren’t in English and you’re applying to a US or UK university, you’ll most likely have to get them translated by a professional translator. You can usually find services online where you upload your transcript and receive a translated and certified copy within a few days.

Recommendation letters

The letters of recommendation are one of the most important parts of an application. You should think carefully about who to ask and how to do it. These steps can aid you in finding the best letters possible for your application:

Decide who to ask. This should ideally be a former professor that you knew well outside of the classroom, but can be a manager or research supervisor who can speak to your ability to succeed in graduate school.

Request a meeting. It’s best to discuss the recommendation letter in person if possible. If you know your recommender well, you can skip this step and go straight to:

Ask for a recommendation. It’s a good idea to ask if they can provide a “strong” letter of recommendation, which allows them an easy out if not!

Share your resume and statement of purpose draft. These can help your recommender write a strong letter that fits with your application’s overall story.

Remind your recommenders of upcoming deadlines. If it’s within a few weeks of the deadline and you haven’t heard back yet, send a polite reminder.

Taking standardized tests

Most American graduate programs require that you take a standardized exam, while most non-American programs do not, although requirements have shifted greatly in recent years.

Exam What does it involve?

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) General

Most graduate school programs in the United States require the GRE.

Tests verbal and math skills, as well as ability to write a well-argued and logical essay.

Usually administered on a computer in a test center, showing the test taker his or her preliminary scores at the end of the session.

GRE Subject

Specialized exams testing students on their knowledge in one of six areas: biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, mathematics, and English literature.

Many graduate programs that require a high level of math require their applicants to take one of these exams.

LSAT (Law School Admissions Test)

Required for law school admissions in the US or Canada.

Tests logical and verbal reasoning as well as reading comprehension.

Administered digitally, usually in a test center with other students.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)

Digitally-administered exam for business schools admissions in the US and Canada (although many now also accept the GRE).

Tests verbal and math skills.

Adapts to the test taker, showing harder questions as questions are answered successfully and easier ones if they are answered incorrectly.

MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)

Exam of choice for medical school admissions.

One of the longest standardized exams, at 7.5 hours.

Tests chemistry, biology, and psychology knowledge, in addition to verbal reasoning skills.

Writing your resume

You will most likely be asked to submit a resume or CV. Make sure to pay attention to the length limits. If none are given, try to keep it to one page if possible or two pages if necessary.

You don’t need to include every activity you’ve participated in, but make sure to include those relevant to the type of program you’re applying for.

You could include things like:


Awards and honors

Skills (such as computer programming or language skills)

Professional experience

Volunteering experience

If you’re applying to a professional program, such as business school, you should focus more on your professional accomplishments. For other programs, you’ll want to concentrate on your academic and research accomplishments.

You can download our resume templates as Word documents and adapt them for your own use.

Resume template 1 Resume Template 2

Writing a statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose is a short essay that should tie together the rest of your application. Aim to give the admissions committee a clear idea of why you’ll be a good fit for the program and your motivations for applying.

Make sure to carefully read the instructions for your statement of purpose. Some programs provide prompts that you have to respond to in your essay. If you’re applying to multiple programs, tailor your statement to each one.

A strong statement of purpose should include:

A introduction to your academic and personal background

Your experience and accomplishments

Your motivations for applying to this particular program

Your academic goals for the program, including specific topics you’d like to explore

Your career objectives for after the end of the program

The statement of purpose should not just be your resume in paragraph form. Add value by describing how you personally contributed to any projects or learned from classes that might be listed on your resume.

Writing a personal statement

Some graduate school applications also require you to submit a personal statement.

A personal statement can usually be a bit less formal that a statement of purpose, giving more space to your personal background. It should craft a narrative of who you are and how your life has led you to apply to graduate school.

Here are some tips for writing a strong personal statement:

Start with an attention-grabbing opening.

Describe your personal and academic development over time.

If you’ve faced obstacles in your academic path, describe how you’ve overcome them.

Discuss why you’re interested in this field, connecting it to your past experiences.

Look forward by describing your career ambitions and how this program will help you achieve them.

Preparing for interviews

The graduate school interview is the last step of the process. Not all schools conduct interviews, but if yours does, make sure you’re prepared:

Read the website of the program you’re applying for.

Talk to previous students about their experience interviewing.

Prepare answers to commonly asked questions.

Read papers in the field of study that you’re interested in.

Many interviews ask the same questions, so you should have a clear idea of how you’ll answer these. The most common questions include:

What would you bring to this program and why should we admit you?

Tell us about the research you’ve completed or contributed to.

What interests you about this program?

Who would you like to work with in this program?

What are you planning on doing after you complete this program?

Frequently asked questions about grad school applications

10 Favorite Writers For Middle School Students

These authors are consistent top picks of middle school students and may help inspire a lasting love of reading.

Books have the power to show early adolescent readers that they’re not alone in their feelings and circumstances, provide positive examples for how readers can speak up for themselves and others, offer understanding of those who are different from them, provide insight into real-world situations, and serve as a mental health break and escape from the real world.

Throughout my career, however, I’ve heard from teachers and parents that middle school kids just don’t enjoy reading. There’s a consistent theme that even students who loved reading in elementary school no longer read for fun as they move through the middle grades. Middle school students, however, do enjoy reading if they’re given books that interest them, that they connect to, and that are on their reading level.

There are many authors writing for middle-grade students who truly understand and capture the essence of what it is to be in middle school today. Introducing these authors and their work to students can reinvigorate students’ joy in reading and inspire them to read through series or authors’ collections. Here are 10 that are consistent favorites with my students.

1. Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft’s New Kid graphic novel trilogy expertly captures the unique and often overwhelming experience of navigating middle school, especially when you’re the new kid. The graphic novel format of his books captures the readers’ attention and keeps them engaged throughout the trilogy.

His books, which include a diverse cast of characters that reflect the authentic complexity of middle school kids, not only are entertaining but also tackle important issues that impact students in our world today.

2. Barbara Dee

Each of Barbara Dee’s books engages readers by developing characters and plots and embodying the honest and authentic middle school feelings and experiences. If students read one of her books, they almost always read multiple, and the most common reason is that they identify with the characters.

All her books are fantastic, but a consistent favorite is Maybe He Just Likes You. This book empowers readers to speak up, gives them language to describe sexual harassment, and shows why it’s important to talk to a trusted adult.

3. Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds’s range of books allows students to grow up with his writing, from books perfect for late elementary school to traditional middle grades and then more complex young adult novels.

Students enjoy the complexity and authenticity of his books. He also offers a range of styles: graphic novels, verse, fiction, nonfiction, and more. Recently students have enjoyed reading Long Way Down, both the narrative verse novel and the graphic novel version of the story.

4. Kelly Yang

Yang uses her own experiences to shape stories that resonate with students by showing vulnerability, addressing complex issues, and providing hope. Her new book, Finally Seen, has become a fast favorite with students, and they continue to love all of the Front Desk series. 

5. Jasmine Warga

Jasmine Warga’s middle-grade novels are beautiful and complex, explore the power of friendship, and use lyrical verse to capture the reader’s attention. Her books are all very different, but her voice shines in each of them.

Warga’s most recent book, A Rover’s Story, is unique and was an instant hit for many students. It combines science, magic, friendship, and resilience, and can be read by younger readers at a surface level or more deeply explored for themes by older students.

6. Alan Gratz

Students who enjoy historical fiction, and even many who don’t usually like it, love Alan Gratz’s books. He takes actual historical events and accounts and builds fictional stories that capture the human impact of these events on adolescent children.

Students enjoy reading about these events through the eyes of someone their age, and the books often motivate students to research and learn about that historical event and time. Two consistent favorites are Ground Zero and Refugee. He also recently published a graphic novel, Captain America: The Ghost Army, which students love.

7. Raina Telgemeier

Older elementary and younger middle-grade students can’t get enough of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels. Many students have read all her books multiple times and grow up with them. These are books that students want to own so that they can reread them over and over.  

Readers are drawn in by the colorful graphics and continue reading because the stories are funny and entertaining and feel real to them, and they see themselves in her books. I have heard Telgemeier’s books referred to as girl books; however, please don’t categorize them this way. Boys also love her books, particularly Ghosts, Guts, and her graphic novel versions of some of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books.  

8. Jewell Parker Rhodes

Her writing style is accessible for all ages of middle-grade students, while being intellectually stimulating for upper middle grades. Ghost Boys and Towers Falling are consistent student favorites.

9. Stuart Gibbs

His main characters are very relatable and feel like someone that students would want to be friends with, adding to their connection and interest in the stories. He also has a wide range of tales, many of which are in a series and range in topic from solving crimes at a spy school to saving animals. He recently published graphic novel versions of some books from his popular Spy School series. If students enjoy his books, they have many choices to read before they run out. 

10. Nicole Melleby

Nicole Melleby’s books address a multitude of challenges that young readers face in middle school with honesty, nuance, and authenticity. Her novels include topics such as identity, mental health, friendship, and complex family dynamics.

Melleby’s books invite readers to see themselves in the characters, reflect on their own emotions, and have empathy for others through story lines that capture their attention. Student favorites include The Science of Being Angry and How to Become a Planet, both of which capture something essential about adolescents’ mental health.

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