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College Counseling and SAT/ACT Prep: Exploring Synergies


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Presented by The Princeton Review Foundation, Making Waves Academy, and College Possible at the NPEA 2014 conference in Minneapolis, MN on April 23-24, 2014.

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College Counseling and SAT/ACT Prep: Exploring Synergies

  1. 1. College Counseling & SAT/ACT Prep:  Exploring Synergies Jay Rosner, The Princeton Review Foundation Rachel Fried, Making Waves Traci Kirtley, College Possible NPEA Conference, April 25, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Jay Rosner
  2. 2. Economic  (Educa,onal)  Inequality:    The  Majority  of  Public  School   Students  in  17  States  are  Low-­‐Income  (2011)   Southern  Educa,on  Founda,on  Study,  2013  
  3. 3. Some SAT/ACT Questions to Start —  From students: Which test should I take? When? How many times? Should I do anything to prepare? —  From counselors: how do I best answer those questions? Should my school target one test? If so, which one? —  For participants: Which is the prevalent test in your area? What are your initial questions?
  4. 4. Princeton Review Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Advocacy: Test critic, ETS & Aff Act cases Programs: —  High schools (KIPP, etc.) – work w/staff to change culture —  National & Regional Partnerships – Hispanic Scholarship Fund, UW Dallas, Cherokee Nation Foundation, etc. —  ACT & SAT (LSAT, GRE, GMAT & MCAT)
  5. 5. Big Picture SAT/ACT Concepts For students, pro-active (aggressive), prepared —  SAT – guessing; ACT – speeded For schools, energized environment —  Stamina for 3 - 3.75, role modeling —  Confidence, calm from preparation Language is important for empowerment —  Discomfort (not anxiety, fear), test skew Reduce stereotype threat —  High standards/ability, growth mindset
  6. 6. Alignment:    What  Should  a   College  Prep     High  School  Provide  for  Students?       ExtraCur SAT/ACT GPA (academics) ExtraCur SAT/ACT GPA (academics) 4-­‐Yr  Sel.  Col.  Admissions:   Applica,on   Weights   Typical   College  Prep     High  School  Expenditures  
  7. 7. Average  SAT  (M  +  CR)  Scores  by  Family     Income  and  Race/Ethnicity  (2001  Data)   Source:    2001  California  SAT  Report,  The  College  Board  
  8. 8. Number  of  SAT  Takers,  American  Indians   10,677  (‘97),  to  7,622  (‘01),  to  9244  (‘11)      Source:    College  Board  web  site   0 200000 400000 600000 800000 2001 2011 Blacks Hispanics Am Ind Whites Asians
  9. 9. Number  of  ACT  Takers,  American  Indians:     10,830  (‘99),  11,386  (‘01),  to  14,970  (‘11)   Source:    ACT  Web  Site  
  10. 10. How  Some  Students  See  the  SAT/ACT   10
  11. 11. What  Jay  Tells  Students:    What   Do  the  SAT/ACT  Measure?   11
  12. 12. For Students: Jay s Opinion of What The SAT/ACT Measure —  How intelligent you are? No. —  How well you’ll do in college? No. (only helps somewhat in FY GPA) —  How good you are on SAT/ACT? YES ! If you have a high test score, it means that you’re good at the test. —  Can you improve your score? YES! Here s what you need to do …
  13. 13. Presentation to Students: What is Preparing Intensively? ACT/SAT Prep minimums (course or self-study): —  1.5 - 2 hours per day, of high-quality practice … building up to a few 3-3.75 hr/days in the week before the official test —  5-6 days per week —  5-6 weeks, right up to the official test —  3-4 practice tests, spaced out properly. Less risks a lower-than-your-best score. (SMUS) What I say to HS students …
  14. 14. How  Many  Official  SATs  or  ACTs  Should     A  Student  Plan  To  Take?   14
  15. 15. How Many Times … ? —  How many times should you plan to take the official SAT or ACT? Once. Prep well, and get it right the first time. But, have a fallback date planned, only if needed, and it’s better if you don’t use it. —  Why not plan for 2, or 3, or more times? Won’t the odds be better? Feeding the pig … —  More is not always better in this domain.
  16. 16. More  is  not  always  beJer  …   16
  17. 17. Suggestions for Counselors —  Pick the SAT or ACT, and a target test date —  Do a practice test (for stamina) —  Try to set up some test prep for the target test, get materials for other students —  One suggested goal: minimize the test prep you do, maximize its effectiveness —  Your ideas?