Soumya’s parents just looked at her SAT scores online and found that she only needed ten more points on her math score to qualify for a prestigious gifted program. Determined to help their daughter however they can, they enroll her in an afterschool tutoring program (more on test prep). Soumya retakes the SAT and when her scores come in, her parents find that she actually performed 20 points lower in math than she did before. Her parents are shocked and quickly blame the tutoring service. … [Read more...] about Should my child retest? Scores can go in two directions
One of the most common questions that parents and educators ask when they receive their seventh grade students' above level test scores from either the SAT or ACT as part of talent search participation is this: How much better will students do on this test in high school when they take it again? … [Read more...] about How Will They Do in High School?
Do extremely high test scores identify individuals who will grow up to achieve extraordinary accomplishments? This is the broad question asked in a collaboration between Duke TIP and researchers from Vanderbilt University who led the longitudinal Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY). The study also assessed whether test scores identified different types of academic promise and whether outcomes from Duke TIP participants would be similar to outcomes from SMPY participants. … [Read more...] about Above-Level Tests Identify Extraordinary Academic Potential
Nothing in this post will help prepare you for taking the SAT. …But that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool. I took the SAT back in March. No, not the new SAT. I got bumped from that. I’m talking about taking the very first SAT from 1926, thanks to a very cool link from the Smithsonian website. Another nice feature of the Smithsonian site is the added yellow pop-up information boxes that give additional context information about the test (for example, in 1926, multiple choice items were pretty new … [Read more...] about Some History of the SAT
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you take the SAT at the age of 36.” Mark Twain said that, I think. Please forgive any minor transcription errors. Dear Matt, May 7 is your big test day. I humbly offer a series of loosely connected, slightly cryptic quotes to impress upon you the momentousness of the occasion: First, to quote you to you: “[S]tudents are impressionable. Their mindsets are shaped by the way the adults in their lives act…” … [Read more...] about Impressionability and the Unanswerable Questions
I present to you an ode to the grammar questions that no longer appear on the SAT. Every sentence in this post, with the exception of the previous sentence (but not the sentence you’re currently reading), contains a grammatical error for which the SAT and the College Board no longer holds students accountable. Arcane and frustrating to some, we must now bid adieu to these short-lived grammar questions. No longer will you see “Sentence Error” or “Improving Sentences” questions while you’re taking … [Read more...] about Ode on a Grammatical Turn
This past Saturday, while TIP’s researcher Matt Makel did not get to take the test, more than a quarter-million high-school students did. When it was all said and done, they participated in several surveys and took to social media (#SAT) to vent their reactions. You can see a nice summary here, courtesy of the Chronicle for Higher Education. Did the College Board make good on their promise to deliver a fairer and more straightforward test? Let’s just say the debate has begun — but student … [Read more...] about Initial Reactions to the New SAT: Mostly Positive
Looks like we’ll be blogging about the new SAT a little longer than we anticipated. Five days before I was scheduled to take the SAT on Saturday, March 5th, I received an email from the College Board informing me that my test date had been bumped to ensure that everyone taking the test for college and scholarship application purposes would have an available seat. Obviously, I would feel horrified if I had taken the spot of someone who needed scores in the next few months, so I will happily wait … [Read more...] about Stay with us a little longer…
I had done my best never to lie (a general life policy of mine) when registering. The closest I probably came to telling something that wasn’t quite true was saying that I was “schooled at home” when I could not figure out how to register as a nonstudent. Listing the high school I attended almost 20 years ago felt irrelevant. I tried at various points to answer that I was no longer in school, but it was never clear how successful I was at communicating that fact. The SAT said it wanted the name … [Read more...] about On registering for the SAT…again
Being asked “how did you do?” or “what did you score?” can be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. This is true if you are 12, 17, or even when you’re 36. Whether you choose to share your scores is up to you. My scores from high school were good enough for me to be accepted by Duke University early admission. My dad enjoyed pointing out that my acceptance coincided with Duke hitting its all-time high on the US News & World Report college rankings (tied for 2nd). That ranking assuredly had … [Read more...] about What did you score?