Monday, March 24, 2008

More turn to test prep for the SAT

More students turn to test prep for the SAT.

Practice makes perfect. Or at least a better score. Test prep works - but the student must be PROactive in the preparation and not REactive like in a high school course.

Most students walk into high school classes unprepared. The teacher expects this and spoon feeds them everything that they need for an exam. The teacher writes the exam, or at a minimum know what the questions are going to be and can 'teach to the test.'

Not so with the SAT. All that we know are the general subjects for math & common questions for reading. There is no teacher that can give you a BIG HINT that, "This is very important, you may see this again." Basically telling you what is on the test.

On the SAT, a student can learn a lot about the test, but cannot work the same way that they do for a high school class.

In my opinion, those students who take a prep course and only go up a little bit face the course as if it was any other high school class. They expect the teacher to spoon feed them.

Learning methods that work, requires practice outside of the prep class and the DESIRE to score. More to follow...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Waiting Game

SAT's are taken, Transcripts are sent.

Now the WAIT. Here is a good article on anticipation for college acceptance.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another blow to SAT Subject Tests

If the proposal reported in this article goes through, the College Board will take a major hit against "Subject Tests." I believe that subject tests were originally produced for the UC system, and remains their largest customer.

Well, good riddance! I am in the business of putting myself out of business. Though I've always been the kind of student who benefits from standardized tests, I do not believe that they have any real value. I'd love to see them go by the wayside, especially SAT Subject Tests. They have no real value.

Neither does the regular SAT, but I do not see that going away anytime soon.

Campus visits

Here is a nice article about dragging your teen to a campus for a visit.

I never went through it personally. I went on my own campus visits (with my dad's car & a few friends piled in ~ thanks dad, that was an awful lot of trust). Most articles that I have read report that for the average student, visiting the campus is very important. Many students get a "feel" for their college and decide that it is right for them walking around.

I like that. I did that too.

I remember my first time on Penn State's main campus. I had already been accepted, it was fall, the weather was perfect, I could afford to go without any help from my parents and there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 thousand women under the age of 25. To my seventeen year old eyes, that was pretty amazing. Oh, and there was a football game on Saturday; that seemed fun too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BAMN protests the SAT

Members of "By Any Means Necessary" [BAMN] protested against the use of the SAT in California today. Pretty interesting article.

Get the QAS for your SAT

College Board offers the ability to purchase what they can the "Question and Answer Service."

BUY it

Even if you just got your scores back from Jan, spend the $18. You receive a new question booklet - not your actualy one, but one that has the same questions in the same order that you took them on the SAT.

If you plan on taking the test again, working on the actual SAT exam questions is valuable.

Also get the Official SAT Study guide & then go to my website: and do my "Cheat Sheets" that list exact problems to do like slope, functions, geometry, probability, etc.

Good luck on your test prep

Sunday, March 16, 2008

UC dropping SAT Subject Tests?

I am often asked about SAT Subject Tests; are they necessary, are they useful, etc?

They have been around for awhile and used to be called SAT II. Their biggest customer is the University of California system.

Now it appears that UC may be looking to drop the SAT Subject tests. Will other schools follow.

Here is the article from today's LA Times.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Clayton gets a 2400

From Union-Tribune of San Diego:

Clayton Greenberg scored a 2400!

Last year, 2.2 million students took the SAT, and 269 seniors earned a top score, including 45 in California, according to the College Board, which administers the test. Figures for how many juniors earned a top score were not available.

Clayton attributes his success on the test to hard work and lots of preparation (Never heard that before on this site!). Linda Greenberg, his mother, said her son “puts his heart and soul into everything he does.”

Do you?

Look, don't psych yourself out by saying only geeks get high scores. That is simply not true, average students can beat ANY test - if they know how to take a test.

Students Still Believe in the SAT

This article last week in the LA Times highlights how students still believe that the SAT matters - as does test prep.

Test prep works, as long as you work it.

So work it, even if all you do is practice problems in a test prep book.