Get Me To College Part 3: Testing


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Here is "Part 3: Testing" of a comprehensive guide to college readiness:
Get Me To College A College Readiness Primer
Written by Dr. Rebecca Joseph
Please use this but cite me. I provide free or low-cost consulting to those working with under-represented students and also lead workshops to schools and community groups around the country and Canada.

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Get Me To College Part 3: Testing

  1. 1. Part 3: Testing Dr. Rebecca Joseph
  2. 2. TO LEARN MORE  Email    Phone  323-646-5759  Facebook  Getmetocollege Freeadvice  Twitter  @getmetocollege  Website  (focus on first generation and under-represented students)
  3. 3.  Grades  Academic Rigor  Standardized Test Scores  Strong applications  Great essays  Counselor Reports  Extracurricular Activities  Teacher Letters of Recommendation  Other Unique Features WHAT COLLEGES LOOK FOR IN MATCH STUDENTS NACAC 2013
  5. 5.  They were never intended for current use  Colleges use these tests to compare students  Understanding test options and readiness will empower students in the admissions process STANDARDIZED TESTS!
  6. 6.  SAT I—Reading, Math, and Writing  ACT with writing-Reading, English, Social Science, and Science  SAT Subject Tests-One hour multiple choice in several content areas  AP tests-Three hour content specific tests  IB tests-Year end tests for students in IB programs. THE TEST OPTIONS
  7. 7. BEST PREDICTORS  Research shows  SAT Subject Tests  AP Tests Are BEST predictors YET SAT AND ACT Still Prevail
  8. 8. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?  70% of students do the same on both tests.  For 30% of others, let’s look at differences
  9. 9.  Can I take the tests too many times?  Yes, of course. Taking it five or six times is torture and students rarely go up after the third time.  No. Take it as many times as you think will help students.  Note: Students would be wise to try it at least once or twice in spring of junior year and once or twice in fall of senior year. There are huge increases between junior and senior year. Think of 16 versus 17 years old and 17 versus 18. There are huge critical thinking gains. RECOMMENDED STANDARDIZED TEST TIMELINE
  10. 10. SAT VS ACT (1) ACT  content / SAT  problem solving (2) Some students may score higher on one test than on the other Act’s less dependence on vocabulary favors students of limited English proficiency, for students with higher GPAs (above 3.4), and for females. SAT good problem solvers do well. (3) Less emphasis on defensive test taking strategies ACT does not penalize for wrong answers so more students can take risks and guess, while SAT does penalize. (4) ACT provides a more detailed score report SAT(highest possible individual test 800) provides scores for three sections and for essay (scale of 6). Total score is three sections totaled (highest possible 2400) ACT provides details subsection scores (highest possible score (36) broken by math content area and for essay (scale of 12). They provide composite score as well. (5) Both offer score choice. ACT--you can send by test date SAT I-you can send by test date SAT II-you can send by test and date Yet UCs and top colleges will not accept SAT score choice.
  11. 11. RECOMMENDED STANDARDIZED TEST TIMELINE  Sophomore/Junior Fall-Take the PSAT (SAT readiness) and/or PLAN (ACT readiness). If there is real strength in one versus the other, focus on that test. If not try both…through junior year spring.  Then go with ACT or SAT…Don’t overstress your child….  If you go ACT route, your child still needs to take SAT IIs for top colleges, including UCs through high school class of 2011.  Develop a testing schedule that includes  SAT Subject Tests at end of sophomore and junior years.  SAT/ACT in spring of junior year and fall of senior year.  Consider test prep…courses, books, tutoring...Test prep does help. Aptitude and content knowledge are not fixed. The tests , especially testing strategies, are coachable.
  12. 12. SOME GOOD NEWS… COLLEGES ARE BEGINNING TO REBEL  April 20, 2009  NYU announces new test policy ACT or SAT Or Three SAT subject tests Or Three AP tests For SAT II and AP options  1 test humanities or literature  1 test math or science
  13. 13. COLBY ALSO JOINS…  Colby requires official results of one of the following:  the College Board SAT Reasoning Test  the American College Test (ACT) with writing  the SAT Subject Tests (in three different subject areas)  Colby will use the set of test results that best advantage each applicant. COLBY ALSO JOINS
  14. 14. STANDARDIZED TESTING NOTES  More than 750 colleges do not require tests!!!  See the following site for the most up-to-date testing requirements of top colleges:  My app All College Application Essays has all testing requirements for more than 750 colleges.
  15. 15. GREAT NEWS!!  Many schools allow ACT to count for SAT and 2 Subject Tests. Check.  Please take Subject Tests at end of year that you take the classes.  Make sure to get contact your counselor for free waivers. If you get free or reduced lunch, then you qualify.  
  16. 16. DIFFERENT ROUTES TO UC…  Eligibility in the Statewide Context Students who meet minimum requirements for coursework, grade point average and test scores are admitted by this path.  Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) Students who rank in the top 9 percent at participating California high schools may be admitted through ELC. Must meet GPA and testing requirements.  Eligibility by Examination Alone Students may qualify for admission by achieving high scores on the ACT Assessment plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test, and on two SAT Subject Tests.  eshman/
  17. 17. TO LEARN MORE  Email    Phone  323-646-5759  Facebook  Getmetocollege Freeadvice  Twitter  @getmetocollege  Website  (focus on first generation and under-represented students)