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Tagged: ACT

Use Your PreACT, PSAT performance to choose a college entrance exam

September 5th, 2017

Now that most schools are in session, we hope everyone is settling into the groove of routines and schedules again.  September is the month for all juniors and some sophomores to register for the October PSAT, so this article is perfectly timed to share. School counselors will share details about the PSAT calendar and how to register.

Many seniors begin the year with plans to retake either the ACT and/or the SAT (some took advantage of the College Board’s August test date).  But juniors and their parents often ask how to determine which exam is right for the student.  Most of you have discussed with us taking an ACT practice test to compare to the PSAT; according to the US News article linked below, evaluating your performance on the PSAT and the Pre-ACT is also a helpful way to determine which exam is right.  We can compare results, consult a concordance table, and then develop a plan for tests and dates to follow.

One important note:  although the article suggests otherwise, all colleges weigh the ACT and SAT equally now, so there need not be concern about any college preferring one over the other.

Article referenced below from US News

Choosing between the ACT and SAT is a pivotal decision that all college-bound high school students must make. One of the key steps in reaching an informed decision is to sit for an official practice test – the PreACT or PSAT – which give you a better idea of what to expect when you take the official college entrance exams.

In addition to considering other factors, such as whether your top-choice schools prefer a specific standardized exam, your performance on these pre-exams can help guide you in choosing between the ACT and SAT.

Read more at US News >>

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Good things come in threes

December 19th, 2016

Cold weather and snow put us in the holiday spirit and believe it or not, when we hear of the Three Wise Men we begin to brainstorm about other things that come in threes. Let’s see: three colors on a traffic light (which we’ve appropriated for color-coding admission estimates); three tennis balls to a container; and, oh yes, three subscores in the PSAT – reading, writing and mathematics.

Juniors received PSAT reports last week, which is why the PSAT is top of mind. And with scores in hand, it’s time to solidify testing plans for the coming semester. When thinking about a master calendar for taking the SAT or ACT, it’s wise to think about the “rule of three.” In other words, students should plan for three test dates each for the ACT and/or SAT, with the understanding that great results could eliminate the need to test a second or third time in either sphere.

Ahead of each test date, students should prepare and polish. In some cases, this will mean a test prep class; in others, tutoring. A gifted and motivated student may even choose to prepare independently. But it goes without saying that all students should prepare in the way that best matches their needs and learning styles.

Many Shrop Ed students will identify two ACT test dates in the spring semester, reserving their third and final test for the fall of senior year. Many will do the same where the SAT is concerned. Early fall testing – September ACT, August (new!) or October SAT – produces results in time for Early Action and Early Decision deadlines, happily.

Students taking Subject Tests at the end of the school year will fold this College Board test date into the overall testing calendar. Although the number of colleges requesting Subject Tests has been shrinking steadily, a few colleges do continue to hold out for them.

Of course, we’re here to steer students toward the right choices and happy to answer questions that parents may have. The Shrop Ed office will be open on most days over schools’ winter break, although in some cases our office hours may be a little shorter. We’ll appreciate your generous spirit if our response time isn’t as speedy as usual. Our blog will be on holiday break, returning on January 3rd.

Best wishes to all in the Shrop Ed community for happiness, peace and joy in the New Year!

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New SAT: The verdict is…

May 2nd, 2016

If you haven’t heard, there is a new, redesigned SAT.  Maybe you’re among those planning to take it this Saturday!

This test underwent many changes before its rollout this spring, possibly the most changes ever made to the SAT.  The purpose for these adjustments is to reflect the reading and math content that students learned in high school and will learn in college. In other words, it’s a little more like the ACT than it used to be.

Some of you may have taken the first round of this exam in March, while many of you may be sitting for the exam this coming weekend.  Whether you decided to take the SAT or not, we thought it might be beneficial for you to read what the first round of students taking the exam experienced.

In this article, Kelly Wallace breaks down important information taken from the Kaplan Test Prep survey given to those who completed the new SAT.  We’ll look forward to hearing from Shrop Ed students about their individual testing experiences this weekend, too.

Article published:  March 7, 2016

Written by:  Kelly Wallace

(CNN) – If you heard a mysterious sound last weekend, it was probably the collective exhale from nearly 300,000 students across the country, relieved to be finished with the SAT — a new version that had undergone its biggest changes in a decade, maybe ever.

The new SAT test, administered for the first time on Saturday, was designed to better reflect what students are learning in high school and will be required to learn in college, according to the College Board. The changes included eliminating the vocabulary section, making the essay optional, removing the penalty for guessing, and focusing on the areas of math that matter most for college readiness, the College Board said.

Read more at CNN >>

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You Took the PSAT. Now What?

November 17th, 2015

The SAT is undergoing a makeover and the revised exam will be offered as of March 2016.  There are many positive changes with the new test but there are also some complications to go along with it.  This year’s juniors are in the toughest spot, needing to make the decision of taking the old SAT by January, waiting for the new exam this March, or placing most of their focus on the ACT.  In the article posted below Adam Ingersoll, whose Compass Education Group has a long and successful track record with test preparation, has some suggestions for juniors this year.  While I agree with most of what Adam has written, there is one point on which we differ.  I feel that this year’s juniors who do well on the PSAT, which was revised accordingly, should feel comfortable taking the new SAT this March.

That said, for many of this year’s juniors the ACT will indeed be the better test to take.  We’re tailoring our advice individually, as always, and in most cases will want to review December’s PSAT report before offering a clear recommendation.

Article Published June 2, 2015 

Written by:  Charlotte Alter

In February 2013, not many 8th graders would have been paying attention to the initial College Board announcements about overhauls of the PSAT and SAT. Those 8th graders are now juniors, and the College Board certainly earned their attention this month with the debut of the new PSAT. These lucky (?) students had the honor (?) of being the first cohort to experience the test’s extensive redesign.

Reactions were mixed, ranging from abject horror to “I guess it wasn’t that bad” to “What I expected.” Unprepped students were caught off guard by a 60-minute reading comprehension section (more than twice its previous length) and by a math section on which calculator use was disallowed.

Read more at Compass Education Group >>

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