Posts Tagged ‘college board’

Keep Calm & Study On: 5 Tips On Preparing For The SAT

The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute exam that tests all the skills you are learning in school like reading, writing, and math. Taking the SAT exam is one of the most essential steps in the college application process that leads to eventually attending the college of your choice. It can also be one of the most intimidating initiatives. But since it’s necessary, here are five tips on how to prepare:

1. Practice Tests, Practice Tests, Practice Tests

They say practice makes perfect, right? Whether or not you’re enrolled in a SAT prep course, nothing will prepare you for the SAT as much as actually taking the SAT! So carve out some time once a week (or at least once every two weeks) to take a practice exam. Although sitting and taking a test for nearly four hours isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, it is a great idea to prepare your mind and body to be able to sit and focus for that long.

Head to the SAT College Board online for free practice tests.

2. Write Essays

The SAT exam allows you twenty-five minutes to write an essay on an assigned topic. Although it seems unlikely - it is possible to plan, construct, and proofread an essay in this short amount of time. The essay will always be the first section of the SAT exam and the prompt will touch on issues like justice, the value of knowledge, or learning from past mistakes. Practicing your essay before your exam will ensure that on the actual test day you are comfortable with this quick style of writing.

Practice with these potential essay prompts on College Board.

3. Study Up On Your Vocabulary

One word: FLASHCARDS! Brushing up on your vocabulary will be essential to succeeding on the SAT exam. No, that doesn’t mean you need to start reading the dictionary in your free time. Check out this list that Quizlet made of College Board’s most commonly used vocabulary words to sharpen up. Becoming familiar with these words will aid you during the sentence completion and reading comprehension sections.

4. Guess Or Skip?

While you’re taking the exam you will likely run into some questions that you may find confusing and others that you plainly won’t understand at all. Instead of wasting time trying to figure it out or stressing about it – just skip it. All of the questions in the SAT exam are worth the same amount of points so spend more time answering the questions you’re absolute about. One big key to SAT success is time management!

5. Difficulty Levels – Learn The Test Structure

One of the main factors in doing well on the SAT exam is understanding the fashion in which its structured. The questions on the SAT are arranged by difficulty. Basically, the questions at the beginning of the sections are easier than the ones at the end. Therefore, spending an equal amount of time on each question doesn’t really make very much sense. By answering the questions at the beginning of each section quickly, you will allow yourself more time for the difficult questions at the end.

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What Does Your College SAT Score Mean?

Categories: Admissions Advice

SATToday, the students who took the March SAT will finally be able to refresh the CollegeBoard website and see their scores.

But now everybody’s wondering, “What does my score mean?”

According to College BoardSAT scores are on a scale from 200-800, with additional subscores for the essay (ranging from 2-12) and for multiple-choice writing questions (on a 20-80 scale). You probably knew that already, though.

So what you really want to know is what these scores mean to college admissions?

Here’s what CollegeBoard.com says about your score:

Your SAT scores tell college admissions how you did compared with other students who took the test. For example, if you scored close to the mean or average — about 500 on SAT critical reading and 500 on SAT mathematics — admissions staff would know that you scored as well as about half of the students who took the test nationally.

But this is also probably old news to you–of course your SAT score will help admissions officers see where you stand among your peers.  You want to know what your SAT score means for your college search: Where can you get in? What’s a safety school? What’s a reach school?

While an SAT score can help you navigate your college options, it’s not the end-all be-all of your college career.  If you score kinda low the first time, don’t get down on yourself, tear out all of your hair and announce to the world that you’re never going to get into college. Just don’t.

Do, however, take time going over your exam.  Use your resources at school and online to see what you can improve. If there’s a will, there’s a way.  Find the option that fits your goals and financial capabilities. There are SAT tutors, classes, books and even very helpful online products to help you increase your score. Then, take the test again.

So after you get a score you’re content with, what can you do with it?

Option #1: Tape your score to the wall beside your bed so you have something beautiful to wake up to every morning.

Option #2: Apply to college.

Since most of you will probably opt for #2, you should find where you score fits into different colleges.  Every college has a different average of accepted students’ SAT scores, so it can get pretty confusing. Making a Cappex profile will make this process super simple by showing you your chances at each school based on historical data.

And now that you found that colleges you want to apply to, your’e probably asking, “but how much of admissions in based on the SAT score?”

Again, for each college it varies.  One college might value the SAT dramatically more than another. If you’re super curious, speaking with college admissions departments will give you a better idea about what they’re looking for.

While it’s difficult to speak for all schools, we’re gonna go ahead and put an umbrella statement out there because the questions about SAT scores are pouring down on us: There’s more to your college application than your SAT score.  A score can show aspects of your intelligence, but it barely cuts the surface of a student’s personality, wisdom or drive.

Saturday’s SAT Test-Takers Visit Reality (TV) Before Heading to College

jersey shoreYou might say you’ve never watched The Jersey Shore, but you’re probably lying.  In fact, not only have you “accidentally” watched half an episode because nothing else was on, but you just can’t believe Ronnie and Sammi are at it again or how much Snooki seriously loves pickles.

Jersey Shore and countless other reality TV shows–Teen Mom, American Idol, Real Housewives, Top Chef etc.–are undoubtedly popular shows among college-bound students, but should they be referenced in an SAT exam?

According to the New York Time’s The Choice blog, March 12th’s SAT test-takers were treated to a writing prompt questioning the boundaries of reality TV.

Some believe that this prompt was biased and that SAT prompts almost never reference popular culture.  One commenter on the blog wrote: “I bought the College Board Official SAT Prep book, both the first and second editions, and none of the essay topics provided in those books had ever given a reference to pop culture.”

The prompt, as provided by College Board read:

Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular.

These shows depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living their everyday lives. Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled.

How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?

Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?

Do you think student test-takers were at a disadvantage if they actually have never or rarely watch reality tv?  Or, do you believe the pop culture reference was fair game with enough context?