Monday, January 23, 2012

Thinking Way too Much about SATs, etc.

If you have a junior in the house, it's quite possible you are obsessing about SATs, subject tests, APs -- the whole mess of tests that are just one more hurdle in getting into college. You are probably already sorting through scheduling of tests, too. The SAT in March is the morning after the opening of our school musical -- doesn't seem like propitious timing. So, that means taking the SAT in May, subject tests in June, and quite possibly, the SAT again in the fall. My head aches.

Here's an at-a-glance range of scores that some of the most select colleges are looking for. As the article points out, numerical scores are one consistent way to view applicants. Even if SATs and ACTs still remain an important part of the application, remember one important thing about these ranges: these are the median scores, and 50% of accepted students fall within the range. Another 25% are above, the other 25% below.

Even if we think that these kinds of tests don't really predict that much about the ability to thrive in college (and schools that are dropping the testing requirement seem to think that), they are part of the non-monetary price of admission. So get a tutor or have your child take some SAT classes. At minimum, persuade them to take lots of practice tests at home. Practice may not make perfect in this case, but it sure can help.

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