Tag Archives: test scores

The world sure has changed a lot over the last thirty years, hasn’t it? I remember the absolute thrill of the earliest days of video games, when playing Pong or Space Invaders represented the cutting edge of fun. Yet, my son’s PS 4 renders games in real time with all the cinematic realism of feature films. If we recognize on a daily basis the quantum leaps technology makes every 18 months or so, why do we cling to a view of college that still resembles higher ed in the 20th century? Everything we think we know about college–from applying to attending to paying for the privilege–is changing at a rate that even professionals cannot keep up with. Believe me, I know. Every week, I speak with counselors, educations, and admissions professionals who study higher education from every angle. We all observe a lot more misinformation and myths than actual facts.…

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While test-optional admissions has always been a reality for some college applicants, the current prevalence of this policy introduces an awful lot of uncertainty into already anxiety-provoking process. In previous years, students whose test scores didn’t meet a school’s stated standards often turned their attention elsewhere. These days, more and more students choose to roll the dice by applying without scores–to their detriment. The media has been promoting a story that the last year of expanded college admissions, where more students than ever representing more diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic strata than ever have applied to highly selective schools, represents a triumph of test optional policies. Yet, that narrative remains misleading without data on which students were accepted. We don’t have all the numbers, but professionals I trust on the admissions side have estimated that 85-90% of accepted students to most test optional schools over the past five years sent scores,…

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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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Considering how many changes and questions the college admissions process holds for the high school graduating class of 2022, there is tremendous benefit to checking in on a regular basis to assess facts and dispel rumors. To that end, it was my great pleasure to join Eric Domroes and Karina Anderson from the Mendon HS Counseling Department for an interactive discussion with district 11th graders and parents about the current state of college testing admissions. What will you learn in this video? How are colleges considering test scores for the HS class of 2022? What does test optional really mean and who do these policies benefit? How does selectivity influence the necessity of test scores? What are the most recent changes to the SAT and ACT? How can a student determine which test to take? When should students plan to take the SAT and/or ACT? When and how should students…

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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, one of the cornerstones of any business library, introduced a concept for stretch goals that has eclipsed the work itself in terms of enduring fame. In the book, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras discussed the BHAG–Big Hairy Audacious Goal–as a a powerful way to stimulate progress: “A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s. The best BHAGs require both building for the long term AND exuding a relentless sense of urgency: What do we need to do today, with monomaniacal focus, and tomorrow, and the next day, to defy the probabilities and ultimately achieve our BHAG?” The authors focused on big, hairy, audacious goals for titans of industry and unicorn entrepreneurs, but not all moon shots need be driven by a profit motive. Anyone can set a…

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The beginning of December can be a very busy time for anyone connected with test prep or college planning.  Why? That’s when students start to get their PSAT scores back and, consequently, when parents get to see their child’s PSAT scores.  For many families, this marks the official beginning of a year or more of test-related angst and pressure. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re a parent who hasn’t yet learned what these scores mean and what your next steps should be, consider these tips to get you through the initial discovery of your child’s PSAT score: Other than for National Merit and related scholarship consideration, your child’s PSAT score means nothing!  In fact, a 10th grader’s PSAT score is not even used for National Merit Scholarship competition.  While the PSAT does offer a useful baseline to predict future SAT performance, it is, for all intents and purposes,…

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