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Jon Semcer December 31, 2013 at 08:15 am
By the way, the above post is based on 42 years experience as a high school counselor, director ofRead More guidance, assistant to the principal , private college counselor and consultant to school districts
Jenna January 22, 2014 at 02:03 pm
I suspect John has caught a lot of undeserved grief, but he's absolutely right. More testing toRead More reach greatness makes sense, and starting as a sophomor makes sense. John is right that senior year IS too late. There's a misleading statistic that deserves explanation: the College Board reports that seniors improve significantly on their SATs over their junior year scores. This is NOT the reason to delay one's SAT into senior year. The reasons for the improvements are many, but an extra 6 months doing school work is the least important of them (because the SAT is testing things learned from grades 6 to 10, not curricula inherent in grades 11 and 12.) The real reasons students see significant improvements on their second SAT are more likely to include: 1) Testing Maturity, 2) Directed SAT-coaching, 3) Prior SAT practice testing, 4) Desire to really do well as college is closer, 5) Desire to keep up with peers who have posted high scores. None of these influences requires senior year testing. The increases seniors see are increases that SECOND TESTERs see. That second test (and even a third test) can be later in the Junior year. My clients at Ivy Bound often see 100 point improvements a mere two months after a first test. The first three of the five above elements are in play when a student who takes a November or December SAT sits again for a January or March SAT. As for the last two elements, we like when our students have the mindset that "college CREDENTIALING is approaching", and that "i'll post early scores that my peers will later see". Since it's not senior year learning that propels SAT scores, it's second testing and the things students do to make second testing better, heed John's advice: do multiple SATs as a Junior. Perhaps you will scorch the test then and not even need a senior year SAT. Mark Greenstein, Founder Ivybound
Jon Semcer January 22, 2014 at 02:59 pm
What we have driving all of this about senior year testing is a number of factors: 1- the media (Read More newspaper reporters) writing articles on college admission and testing of which they know very little except the one or two interviews they did for the article; 2- some parents talking in isle #6 of Kings or Shoprite about their child's experience as if that experience represented the typical experience of all students taking the SAT or ACT ; 3- relying on urban myths as fact; 4- families wanted to go with their "gut feeling" about too much testing and finally 5 - not staying in touch with their school/ college counselor from freshman year on and only going in for information/ ideas/ opinions either end of junior year or early senior year. As was stated before --- the more exposure, the more practice, the familiar a student is with a SAT/ ACT the chances of success improve --- all things being equal ( the students has the academic skills in reading, math and writing) but even then a student can improve their scores if they know way ahead of time where their weaknesses are.
Beth Cassie November 18, 2013 at 04:12 pm
Mark makes some good points about planning for test taking. At College Bound Mentor, we believe thatRead More a testing plan needs to be personalized to the individual student. We encourage students to identify upfront which test (SAT or ACT w/writing) fits them better. Then we develop a testing strategy based on their activities, their availability to do test prep, and their academic profile. For instance, if a student identifies the ACT as their preferred test, do any of their target schools require SAT Subject tests? Many colleges will accept the ACT with Writing instead of the SAT plus two SAT Subject tests. What level math is the student taking? In some cases, the student has not mastered the content covered on the ACT early on in the junior year. If a student plays a fall varsity sport, can they do test prep in the winter? Our goal is to help students be in control of the process by developing a testing plan that works best for them. Lisa Bleich, President College Bound Mentor Beth Cassie and Traecy Hobson, Associates/Mentors at College Bound Mentor www.collegeboundmentor.com
Jenna November 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm
VIRTUES OF ENLISTING A COUNSELOR To TAILOR A COLLEGE APPLICATION PLAN: To Beth and other PatchRead More readers with college-bound teens: My blog post absolutely encourages individualized planning. I not only want parents to take advantage of professionals like those at College Bound Mentor, I like to have them enlist EARLY (by fall of sophomore year) with folks like you. The tailoring a dedicated counselor can do saves students (and parents) a lot of time, grief, and money. So.. to your reply that "a testing plan needs to be personalized to the individual student. We encourage students to identify upfront which test (SAT or ACT) fits them better. Then...develop a testing strategy based on their activities, their availability to do test prep, and their academic profile", I HEARTILY agree. I just can't give all options in one article. And I don't profess to know the options that a seasoned counselor does. My specialty is helping students to better ACT and SAT scores. Your suggestion about discerning whether ACT or SAT is the better test for a student is excellent. My firm believes in doing this over 4 sessions of 2.5 hours each with at-home practice tests OR with one 3-hour test that gives a computerized assessment of ACT vs SAT. Since few students will open up 4 straight mornings for practice testing, the one-time 3-hour option is probably most appealing. My firm administers this 3-hour ACT vs SAT diagnosis to its clients for $50. It allows us to march forward on one and only one test and saves the student from spending extra, often frustrating, time. It saves parents money in two ways -- 1) not paying for an extra course of study and 2) zeroing in on the right test can lead to the big scores that land the family scholarship money from colleges. Thank you for pointing out the benefits of versatility -- I hope all New Yorkers and New Jerseyans with teens will inquire further with you. Mark Greenstein Founder and Lead Instructor msg@ivybound.net 860-666-5550 x 306
Claire October 31, 2013 at 07:26 pm
I wonder why schools put so much emphasis on ability at age 13 - 17 and not care about ability atRead More ages 18 - 23 when kids really mature. Why is your fate decided?
Jon Semcer November 1, 2013 at 06:36 am
That is not true --- when students enter college in NJ they must take the College Basic Skills testRead More for math and English class placement, so if they have matured they have a second chance to show their academic ability. Second , if students want to be admitted to special programs after being admitted to the college they will have their academic progress checked after their first year or in some cases their second year. Students who graduate and want to continue their education can sit for the Graduate Record Exam ( most seniors are 21 or 22 when they sit for the exam). Colleges, the faculty and their advisors want students to find success because the status of the school depends on it --- who would apply to a school where few student graduate from ( graduation rates are public information). Students can also take other exams to enter grad school after they have " matured". Make no mistake about it -- no one's fate is sealed for forever unless they allow it and take no action to help themselves with hard work and setting goals for themselves. High school is no joke and students have heard that message over and over and listening to it is the key to doing the best they can all the time --- four years goes by quickly. Life does offer second chances to those who did not listen and want to find educational or economic success. One final word, it is easy to blame others for not finding success.
Jenna November 4, 2013 at 11:40 am
Hi Claire, and all readers: The reason ability is so frequently assessed for teenagers is that ageRead More 17 and 18 is when "ability" is prominently MEASURED. Nobody measures high school course work, and only few industries measure employees' productivity in their 20s. But at age 17 and 18, College Acceptances are compared nationwide. At age 17 and 18 one's final SAT scores are measured WORLDwide. One's learning at ages 20 - 35 is probably more important than at ages 13 - 17. That's where you learn things that help OTHERS. It's where your professional (or pre-professional, if in grad school) skilles are honed. But again, no national scale measures your work as a Digital Designer, HVAC engineer, accountant, or physical therapist. It's not a "fate decided" situation. Starting one's career at age 19 in a profession where college is not needed can be very rewarding. And students can and do turn things around in college. But make no mistake about it, teens who want college but start with a mediocre "track record" have higher hurdles. The well-equipped Rutgers grad will have a harder time seeing the same initial opportunities as the equally well-equipped Princeton grad. And the equally well-equipped CUNY grad likely has it harder still. Old-ties are less important than before, but here too the Princeton alumni network is likely to provide better assistance throughout LIFE than CUNY's.
Juanna September 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm
Most my children have taken SAT tests over last 2 year. What is the score needed to have a goodRead More chance for a good school in NJ (Rutgers, Montclair State, William Paterson etc.)? Thank you.
Jenna September 15, 2013 at 09:36 pm
@Juanna -- Of the schools you mentioned, Rutgers will be the most competitive. Except for studentsRead More with a hook (recruitable athlete or to some extent underprivileged minority) Rutgers needs the SAT scores to exceed 1200 on Math and Reading. Their median is a little higher (likely 1260). None of the NJ schools besides Princeton care about the SAT Writing score. Thus for all but Princeton, 1600 is the perfect score. If Patch will accept this article, it's a good way to view all scores and how they relate to competitive college acceptances. If the article can't be published, you can email me directly - jenna4ib@yahoo.com. We also have a free parent conference the first Sunday of each month from 9:15pm - 10pm eastern. We meet by phone on 712-432-0400 passcode 429601#. This is meantr fopr parents whose teens are gearing for competitive college admissions.
20yearmiller July 2, 2013 at 09:27 am
Sales pitch or not, this is good information. One thing not mentioned is that higher SAT scoresRead More increase the chances of getting financial assistance for low and even middle income families. My child took the SAT again the beginning of his senior year(after studying hard all summer) and scored 200 points higher. This made a huge difference in the number and quality of schools he was accepted to. It also made financial assistance much easier to get, which was huge for my family. Without good SAT scores the better and best colleges generally will not accept the student, period. You mentioned the few exceptions, which, believe me, are few and far between.
20yearmiller July 2, 2013 at 11:44 am
My comment above is meant for the blog 'So I did well on the SAT-am I done'? I'm confident Ivy BoundRead More is a good place to prepare but my kid did not use their service.
Nunya bisness August 25, 2013 at 04:01 pm
Distinguishing?