Tag Archives: test scores

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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Earlier this week, I had the privilege to speak to a large group of families from the Pittsford and Fairport school districts. In this College Admissions Testing for the HS Classes of 2021 and 2022 Seminar, I explained what the tests are, why they matter, and what you can and should do about them during this singular moment in recent history. Attendees submitted questions ahead of time, so we made sure to address the following points: Does it make sense for me to take the SAT/ACT if I have a strong GPA and colleges are making it optional? What does test optional really mean? Will the SAT/ACT be required for the class of 2022? When should students in the class of 2021 or 2022 try to take the tests? How has COVID changed the role of testing? What is the best preparation for the PSAT? What habits should students cultivate…

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The greatest enemy of knowledge, according to Daniel J. Boorstin, is not ignorance. Rather, it is the illusion of knowledge. We think we possess accurate knowledge of academic readiness when we look at grades, but those numbers rarely tell the whole story. Grades tell most of the story of a student’s ability but can be subjective, unfair, or even inflated. Adding data from state or national standardized tests adds necessary clarity and context to grades, which is where the SAT and ACT come in. Both tests mainly provide value as college entrance exams. However, by pegging certain test scores to likely outcomes in college classes, they can also help forecast how students might perform once they begin undergraduate-level work . We’ve been tracking the disappointing trends illuminated by ACT College Readiness Benchmarks for years. Might SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmarks provide a rosier outlook on our nation’s future college…

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