Can my SAT score compensate for my high school grades?

January 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Posted in College Admissions, General SAT | Leave a comment

Absolutely the SAT can help compensate for sub-par performance in high school. Although some elite schools (think Harvard, Yale, Stanford) will want to see stellar performance in both high school and on the SAT, the SAT can go a long way towards convincing admissions officers of your potential. Furthermore, every high school has different standards for achieving grades, so the quality of the courses you took and the quality of the high school you attended will make an impact as well. The SAT stands alone as the only admissions criteria that is standardized across all students, no matter what their background, and for this reason it is given a lot of weight in admissions decisions.

Additionally, it is better if there are certain periods of your high school experience where you had significantly poorer performance than the rest, that you can explain because of some issue you were going through at the time. This can be anything from an illness in the family, divorce, or simply not being mature enough to try your best in school (this works best if you were a freshman when you got your worst grades). Of course, it is better if your grades have been consistently good throughout your high school career, but temporary periods of sub-par academic performance can be explained away more convincingly with a top notch SAT score.

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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.

Can my SAT score compensate for my high school grades?

May 10, 2010 at 4:06 am | Posted in General SAT | Leave a comment

Absolutely.  In fact, most colleges place equal weighting on SAT scores and cumulative high school GPA.  Putting this into perspective, this means that all of the work you have done, and all the classes you have attended throughout your entire high school career aggregate to be as important as this one exam.  Therefore, you should regard this as the most important test you have ever taken, and perhaps will ever take. Don’t stress out too much though, as the recent decision in March of 2009 to reverse course and give students the option of choosing which scores to send to universities (named second choice), means you can retake the SAT with no impact to college admissions. Conserving the precious resources of time and money though should be the goal. By taking the PSAT twice and using our course you should be prepared to do your best on the  math section of the SAT certainly by your second taking if not your first.

How are the new and old formats of the SAT different?

May 10, 2010 at 3:19 am | Posted in General SAT | Leave a comment

In 2005, when the SAT changed the reasoning test to align with the modern curriculum of high schools and colleges, the primary assumption elemental to the change is that scores on previous versions of the SAT test would be fully comparable to and interchangeable with scores on the newer version. There are many differences between the two formats, as analogies were removed, paragraph readings were added, third-year math content was added, quantitative comparisons were removed, however the biggest change is the addition of a writing section.  Prior to the addition of the writing section, most four-year universities required their applicants to take the SAT II for Writing. However, now students are faced with an added section in the same test, which makes it more difficult to stay focused.

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