Tag Archives: score reports

The last several years may have heaped one indignity or tragedy after another on our reeling world, but the 21st century to date is marked by major innovations as well. Not only do we enjoy 3-D printing, blockchain, and online streaming, but finally threw off the tyranny of reporting all test scores to colleges in favor of more sane score reporting policies. Many schools will accept a student’s single best SAT or ACT score rather than looking at every test score. Even better, more and more schools will superscore tests, taking the single best score of each SAT or ACT section to create a better composite than a student earned naturally… and honor that score without bias. Not every college accepts superscores. Additionally, more schools currently accept SAT superscores than ACT superscores, primarily because ACT used to strongly oppose superscoring. However, in 2019, ACT released the results of several studies…

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Everybody knows the old saying, “You reap what you sow.” Just as high school juniors (and some sophomores) take the PSAT in October, so do they receive their scores in December or maybe early January. In some ways, taking the test is the easy part. While there are some good reasons to take the PSAT, the college application is not one of them, since schools won’t use these scores for admissions purposes. This explains why some students–and their parents–might find understanding PSAT scores trickier than answering test questions. To understand the PSAT score report, you must understand both the arbitrary scale and a deceptive similarity to the SAT. PSAT SCALE Anyone who has come up through the American education system understands tests scores on the 1-100 scale or in letter form from A to F. We also grasp the complexities of 4-point GPAs in comparison to 5-point scales. But what…

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As much as people like to view the SAT and ACT as grueling rites of passage or proxy IQ tests, these exams serve one primary purpose: college admissions. Most colleges rely on the SAT and ACT to add context to high school grades, which are themselves far more influential in admissions than test scores. As our nation’s ultimate standardized tests, the SAT and ACT (usually) provide valid, reliable, and fair data that allow comparison of students across the country and the world. However, the admissions landscape seems to become more complex every year. Some schools have been exploring test-optional, test-flexible, or even test-blind policies. Even the schools that require test scores from all applicants chart individual paths to evaluation. Luckily, while you may feel like there are as many score policies as colleges out there, they all tend to follow three big trends: SINGLE HIGHEST TEST DATE Some schools want…

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While tests like the SAT and ACT cannot help but inspire a certain amount of anxiety, the terror of test day subsides quite a bit once you realize that you have the power to hide disappointing scores. Suddenly, the big tests become a lot less scary, now that we live in the era of Score Choice. SAT SCORE CHOICE Score Choice™ is the mechanism by which test takers choose which SAT scores or individual SAT Subject Test scores to send to colleges. The default SAT score report includes all scores from every test a student has taken. Score Choice allows applicants to selectively suppress scores before issuing reports. Thus, if the Score Choice option is not used, all scores are sent to selected colleges. Be advised that Score Choice applies only to score reports sent to colleges; the score reports students and their high schools receive include scores from all…

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Not long ago, I wrote about how PSAT scores, contrary to College Board claims, may be predictive but are not perfectly aligned with future SAT scores. Specifically, PSAT scaled scores and percentiles don’t tell the full story of a student’s accomplishments and prospective SAT scores. Recently, another significant disconnect between a student’s PSAT and SAT scores came to light. The student in question scored 100 points lower on a practice SAT Math section than on his PSAT Math, which is unexpected now that PSAT math tests the same content as the SAT. Careful analysis revealed a problem that should have been obvious: time per question. This student, who happened to score exceptionally well on the PSAT Math section, ran out of time in SAT Math, particularly in the No Calculator section. How different is the pacing between these two tests? MATH – NO CALCULATOR PSAT: 17 questions in 25 minutes…

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In the kingdom of test preparation, no currency carries more value than recent full-length, official exams. College Board and ACT, Inc. mint these treasures but rarely share them, except for those few pivotal hours on test day. However, both test makers do release a few tests a year to the general public, but only to those students who took a particular test and request either the Test Information Release for the ACT or the Question-and-Answer Service for the SAT. SAT QAS is offered for only three test dates a year: March (excellent), May (decent), and October (excellent). Teens who sit for any of those tests and pay a small extra fee will receive a booklet copy of the SAT questions, a report including their answers for the specific testing administration, the correct answers and information about the type and difficulty of test questions. But just because you can order a…

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