Tag Archives: test scores

Despite the dream of going one and done on your admissions test of choice, ACT and SAT retakes often pay off handsomely. In fact, we’ve known for a long time just how worthwhile taking another SAT or ACT can be. In the interest of further quantifying the benefits of retakes, ACT parsed the data from students who took the ACT multiple times with the goal of improving their scores and postsecondary credentials. The October 2022 paper, Six Things You Should Know About ACT Score Gains From Retesting, drew significant conclusions: 1. Average score gains are modest (about 1 score point) Specifically, the average time from the first to the last test was 8.3 months and the average ACT Composite score gain was 1.14. 2. Score gains increase with more time between tests That said, ACT scores tend to increase more while students are in school and stagnate or even decline…

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Life in the college admissions space made so much sense before the pandemic. Everyone shared a general understanding of what schools valued and how applicants could set themselves apart and signal readiness and fit to the institutions of their choice. Once COVID hit, every bedrock truth about teaching and learning seemed to come into question as many educators and pundits alike adopted a stance that tests didn’t actually tell all that much. Things have changed since those first scary months when schools shut down. The counterargument that test scores carry validity and help rather than hinder equitable outcomes has gained credence. More and more colleges have followed internal and external research to tip towards test-preferred policies, but the public still seems uncertain about whether submitting test scores makes sense or is even necessary. With hope, David Leonhardt’s newest higher ed piece in the New York Times will add some clarity…

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The 2023 PSAT/NMSQT was unlike any other with the introduction of the new digital, adaptive format. What does that mean for PSAT scores and what they can tell us about future testing and college success? Let us help you understand just what your teen’s PSAT score means in terms of all the factors that matter at our 2023 Understanding PSAT/NMSQT Scores Parent Seminar: How can a student improve in each area of need? Does a PSAT score define your SAT destiny? Could the ACT be a better option based on PSAT scores? What scores might lead to National Merit Scholarship recognition? What can PSAT scores illustrate about success in college? What can’t PSAT scores tell you? 2023 PSAT scores will be released on November 6 or November 16, depending on when in October a student tested. Based on this, we’re offering two different seminar dates: — November 9, 6:30-7:30pm ET…

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Anyone who has ever been tested knows that nobody succeeds in bringing their best performance to every single challenge, particularly the ones that matter most. Yet, despite how utterly commonplace underperformance is, most people seem surprised when it happens and ill-prepared to learn from the experience. Like most educators, Professor Richard M. Felder was all too familiar with this phenomenon among his Chemical Engineering students. Unlike the rest, he took solid, productive action by formulating what has become a legendary Test Preparation Checklist that students can use to audit their preparation after a disappointing score. I often recommend this resource, but recently realized that the checklist applies more accurately to the kinds of classroom tests Felder administered than the standardized tests we help students prepare for. Consider this the first version of a Standardized Test Preparation Checklist that should ideal for any student or educator assessing the primary causes–and obvious…

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The State University of New York Board of Trustees recently affirmed the SUNY admissions policy regarding optional submission of SAT and ACT scores, which has triggered a spate of inflammatory articles suggesting that SUNY has adopted the same testing policy as the University of California system. That is absolutely false. Test optional is definitely not the same as test blind or test free. For the sake of clarity, here is SUNY’s testing policy with relevant parts bolded: SUNY has temporarily [now permanently] suspended SAT/ACT testing requirements for students applying for admission to a SUNY bachelor’s degree-granting college. You may now decide whether or not to include your scores for admission consideration at each college to which you apply. If you believe your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, SUNY colleges can consider them along with all other materials in your application file. If you think your scores do…

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What are the SAT and ACT, why do they matter, and what can and should teens and their families do about them during this dynamic moment in college admissions history? The admissions landscape has shifted dramatically over the last five years, so make sure you stay on top of the newest developments: — Why do the SAT & ACT still matter in the test optional era? — Does it make sense to take the SAT or ACT if a student has a strong GPA? — What does test optional really mean? — When is the best time to take the SAT or ACT? — What is the best preparation for the SAT, ACT, or PSAT? — When will the SAT be moving to a digital adaptive test?

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