Tag Archives: College Board

The PSAT/NMSQT serves a number of valuable functions; not only does this test act as the first criterion for National Merit Scholarship recognition, but its scores also offer insight into future SAT results. No, the PSAT is not exactly like the official SAT or even a well-proctored practice SAT, but PSAT scores should give high school juniors a fairly accurate sense of how–in the absence of any other prep, of course–they will score on the SAT. What should we infer, then, from October’s alarmingly low PSAT scores? Anecdotal information has finally been confirmed by College Board, though not in any forum available to the general public. Fortunately, Art Sawyer and his colleagues at Compass Education Group pieced together the fragmented reports available to suss out some alarming conclusions: The number of juniors scoring 1400+ dropped 30%, from 71,000 to less than 50,000. The number of sophomores scoring 1400+ dropped 36%.…

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The college admissions is abuzz with news of a new data point College Board has been testing for student score reports. No, the SAT won’t feature any new question types, content areas, or sections anytime soon. In fact, this metric not only resists conventional forms of test preparation but also sets a standard that would have most families chasing the lowest scores possible. Meet the College Board’s new adversity score. Officially called the Environmental Context Dashboard, the adversity score is meant to quantify the challenges students face at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods. The current tool takes 15 factors into account, ranging from neighborhood poverty level and crime rates to high school class size and family stability. The full range of factors and how they are weighted and calculated are currently unknown. These scores, scaled from 1-100 with higher values signaling greater hardship, will only be available to…

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The metaphor of “many moving parts” to describe a highly complex operation can be applied to many tasks in life, including college admissions. The entire process–from choosing schools to earning top SAT & ACT scores to completing the application–can take months or even years, yet still result in frustration and failure. How can we encourage teens to lean into the college admissions process in a proactive and effective fashion? College Board has an idea: MONEY. That’s right, the organization behind the SAT has created College Board Opportunity Scholarships to celebrate and reward the effort students put into getting ready for college: WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? College Board will reward six steps in the college admissions process. By completing each step, students become eligible for the scholarship associated with that step. Students who complete all six steps are also eligible for the seventh Complete Your Journey scholarship. 1. Build…

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The College Board blew it again. After the fiasco of the June 2018 SAT, industry experts expected the test maker to deliver an impeccable exam experience for the August SAT. Instead, College Board ran a familiar play from its bonehead playbook by administering an SAT that was either partially or entirely leaked in Asia less than a year ago. WHY??? The College Board approaches security at testing sites with all the warmth and compassion of a cranky TSA agent. Yet, internal security measures to safeguard test integrity from hackers and leakers can only be described as sloppy. Reusing test questions known to have been released into the wild undercuts any pretense of a commitment to fair and valid testing. Could it be that creating new test material costs too much for the College Board? Neil Chyten of NC Global Education, Inc. pegs the cost of just one SAT test question…

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If you are the parent of a student in the high school graduating class of 2017, you’ve already had your share of academic upheaval. But the biggest change–and the one with the most profound impact on your child’s college admissions prospects–still lies ahead. But fear not, because we have delved deeply into the dramatic revisions to the October 2015 PSAT and March 2016 SAT. Not only have we broken down what is changing and what remains the same, but we share our professional opinions on what these changes mean for the SAT and for you. Would you like a free pdf copy of our guide, Meet the New SAT? Click the image below!  

The scope of the SAT redesign, in terms of style, content, and philosophy, steers this once predictable exam into uncharted waters. While the College Board has released a full practice PSAT/NMSQT Practice Test in the new format and various examples of the redesigned SAT, many questions remain. To a large extent, the PSAT administered in October 2015 and the SAT first offered in March 2016 will be brand new to the world. If your teen is a sophomore this year, do you want him or her to be among the first to sit for the new test? Probably not. Early indications suggest that the new SAT will be more challenging in many ways than the current SAT or ACT, which may be sufficient reason to avoid it. Of even greater concern are the entirely new question types and content. The great strength of the College Board has historically been the…

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