Stats from the 2009 SAT’s

August 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Posted in In the News | Leave a comment

From the Collegeboard report on 2009 SAT’s, with more than 1.5 million students taking the test:

  • Average scores on the three sections of the SAT were 501 in critical reading, 493 in writing, and 515 in mathematics.
  • Girls outperformed boys by 13 points on the writing section, but 35 points lower than boys in math and 5 points lower in critical reading
  • Students from families with an annual income above $200,000 scored, on average, 68 points higher in critical reading than students from families earning less than $20,000 per year.
  • Students whose parents did not graduate from high school averaged 420 in critical reading, 139 points lower than students whose parents had a graduate degree, who averaged 559.

What does SAT optional mean?

August 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Posted in In the News | Leave a comment

NY Times makes some interesting points to some of the larger implications of having SAT scores be optional, especially for college applicants vacillating on whether to take the SAT or not. However, we still recommend taking the test, because even if a school does not require your SAT score, many of these test optional schools use the test scores for Merit based scholarships, potentially saving a lot of money down the road.

Curbing Claims of Test Prep Score Gains

August 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Choosing a SAT Prep Course | Leave a comment

A recent article in the USA today sheds some more light on score increase claims made by many test prep companies. We previously brought this issue to light in our blog post on this specific topic. The Princeton Review has since “agreed to stop using claims about average score gains in its marketing materials.” Of course, because the College Board does not allow companies to use prior SAT problems, prep companies generate their content internally. Some companies may then intentionally (or unintentionally) load diagnostic tests with more difficult questions, leading to lower student scores on initial tests. While coaching and commercial forms of test prep have proven to increase SAT scores, and are highly recommended, just another reason to be careful about reading too much into marketing slogans oriented around score gains (especially when many of these companies charge over $1000 for some of their offerings).

Can a 30-point increase on the SAT help with college admissions?

August 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Posted in General SAT | Leave a comment

According to this article in the USA today, a 30-point increase can have a significant impact on the college admissions process.

The #1 tip USA Today has for Math? Eliminate careless errors. The best way to that in our opinion? Problem based learning supplemented with lessons, rather than the traditional lesson review supplemented with some practice problems at the end. Students have already learned the majority of the content on the SAT in school – now it’s about eliminating careless errors!

They further recommend balancing the potential benefits of test prep against other costs, primarily time and money. To use less costly forms of test prep, such as books or the internet to avoid potential risks inherent with “coaching rip-offs.” Couldn’t agree more.

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