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jimnyc
04-18-2017, 09:32 AM
Hey Kathianne - regarding SAT scores

Jordan just got his scores this morning and got a 1320 on his SAT's. How does that fare for most schools, and should we consider him taking it again? He wants Rensselaer first, for now, but also has UConn on his list. Seems just shy of range for the first, and just about in range for UConn. Perhaps Rutgers, and has the scores mostly for that one too. NYU, but 1320 is the lower end of their acceptance. Still a tad early, but will have to start narrowing it down eventually.

Kathianne
04-18-2017, 10:22 AM
Hey @Kathianne (http://www.debatepolicy.com/member.php?u=8) - regarding SAT scores

Jordan just got his scores this morning and got a 1320 on his SAT's. How does that fare for most schools, and should we consider him taking it again? He wants Rensselaer first, for now, but also has UConn on his list. Seems just shy of range for the first, and just about in range for UConn. Perhaps Rutgers, and has the scores mostly for that one too. NYU, but 1320 is the lower end of their acceptance. Still a tad early, but will have to start narrowing it down eventually.


He's a sophomore, right? (I'm bad at keeping track, even with my own-they grow so fast!) If he's on the 'cusp' of the schools he's interested in, he might want to consider looking at 'all' the requirements. Do they require or allow essay on their applications-those that do often count that as more or less important than test scores. Almost all include an area of 'tell us about yourself' which is a mini-essay of sorts. He should certainly focus an emphasis of how he is a good 'fit' for the university. He needs to concisely list his community service, clubs, offices held. Like a resume it's a mix of 'my interests' and 'how I'll make the university even better.' If he has a serious interest for a major and has taken courses that already demonstrate his focus on it and the school is 'known' for that department of study, the essay can be used to shift the focus-though I'd also arrange for a meeting if possible with department chair and ask for 'guidance,' at smaller schools that is sometimes possible-it worked for me at U of C, though I also had a bit of pull there. (If you or wife know any alumni, seek them out.)

Repeating tests can help some, but is useless for others. I repeated and scored 1 pt higher. Yes, 1 pt. I'm a good test taker, once I start no panic. I wasn't sick the first time either. Obviously if someone is very anxious or not well the day of the test, results aren't going to be optimal. Test prep can help if the person 'knows' the material, but has test taking problems. If they don't know the 'tricks' of test taking or it's just one area of a test that is pulling down their score-you need to really analyze the test results for the latter, tutoring might help. (That's a decision to probably make with your son and school counselor and parents). His school counselor should be able to evaluate his courses and whether he was missing any critical subject/core contents for the test. (For instance if he was waiting for a math class thus missing a part that would be on the test.)

It's a complex answer to complex issue. Some schools winnow through applications by test scores first-so if there's nothing to help it stand out, (alumni or department interest), if son is amiable, I'd try the test tutoring route and repeat the test.

If the school isn't overwhelmed with applications, doesn't put heavy emphasis on test results, I'd focus on the other areas of the application system.

Last, how does the son feel about the test results? Probably most important, imo. If he feels he did his best, it is tricky to force a repeat. If on the other hand, he feels that 'something was off,' he might like the challenge. What you don't want to do is undermine his confidence that he'll only be judged by these scores-especially if repeating has less than desired results.

If he's a sophomore, he has time to evaluate, as well as put a plan B into play. If he's already down to 3 'choice schools' that's really narrow. Obviously he would apply at all 3, then see where he's accepted or not. Wait-listing is not a bad thing recently, college apps are down and falling. He knows the schools requirements and acceptance rates. If he has the handbooks and gets copies of the campus publications-he can probably gain some insight to building the essays or at least get a feel if he sounds like 'he'll be a good fit.'

A plan 'B' should include at least 1 school not on his top tier, but good for his subject interest and where he is nearly a 'shoe in' for acceptance. If worse comes, he should enter with a decent attitude, but focus on transferring in 1 or 2 years-SAT won't matter, his college work will. He may choose not to transfer, the school may have been a great choice for him.

Also part of 'plan B' is dependent on the universities he's applying at. If he's applying for 'engineering' but scores aren't ideal, it may be he could be accepted with an 'undeclared major' or 'general studies'; but rejected if he applies for engineering. Go for the less rigorous, focus on changing majors in years 2 or 3. Indeed, there are some schools that seriously discourage nearly all freshmen from declaring a major, though more true of liberal arts schools than say engineering schools or those hoping to be pre-med for instance.

That's pretty much what I have to say on this subject. ;)

jimnyc
04-18-2017, 10:32 AM
He's a sophomore, right? (I'm bad at keeping track, even with my own-they grow so fast!) If he's on the 'cusp' of the schools he's interested in, he might want to consider looking at 'all' the requirements. Do they require or allow essay on their applications-those that do often count that as more or less important than test scores. Almost all include an area of 'tell us about yourself' which is a mini-essay of sorts. He should certainly focus an emphasis of how he is a good 'fit' for the university. He needs to concisely list his community service, clubs, offices held. Like a resume it's a mix of 'my interests' and 'how I'll make the university even better.' If he has a serious interest for a major and has taken courses that already demonstrate his focus on it and the school is 'known' for that department of study, the essay can be used to shift the focus-though I'd also arrange for a meeting if possible with department chair and ask for 'guidance,' at smaller schools that is sometimes possible-it worked for me at U of C, though I also had a bit of pull there. (If you or wife know any alumni, seek them out.)

Repeating tests can help some, but is useless for others. I repeated and scored 1 pt higher. Yes, 1 pt. I'm a good test taker, once I start no panic. I wasn't sick the first time either. Obviously if someone is very anxious or not well the day of the test, results aren't going to be optimal. Test prep can help if the person 'knows' the material, but has test taking problems. If they don't know the 'tricks' of test taking or it's just one area of a test that is pulling down their score-you need to really analyze the test results for the latter, tutoring might help. (That's a decision to probably make with your son and school counselor and parents). His school counselor should be able to evaluate his courses and whether he was missing any critical subject/core contents for the test. (For instance if he was waiting for a math class thus missing a part that would be on the test.)

It's a complex answer to complex issue. Some schools winnow through applications by test scores first-so if there's nothing to help it stand out, (alumni or department interest), if son is amiable, I'd try the test tutoring route and repeat the test.

If the school isn't overwhelmed with applications, doesn't put heavy emphasis on test results, I'd focus on the other areas of the application system.

Last, how does the son feel about the test results? Probably most important, imo. If he feels he did his best, it is tricky to force a repeat. If on the other hand, he feels that 'something was off,' he might like the challenge. What you don't want to do is undermine his confidence that he'll only be judged by these scores-especially if repeating has less than desired results.

If he's a sophomore, he has time to evaluate, as well as put a plan B into play. If he's already down to 3 'choice schools' that's really narrow. Obviously he would apply at all 3, then see where he's accepted or not. Wait-listing is not a bad thing recently, college apps are down and falling. He knows the schools requirements and acceptance rates. If he has the handbooks and gets copies of the campus publications-he can probably gain some insight to building the essays or at least get a feel if he sounds like 'he'll be a good fit.'

A plan 'B' should include at least 1 school not on his top tier, but good for his subject interest and where he is nearly a 'shoe in' for acceptance. If worse comes, he should enter with a decent attitude, but focus on transferring in 1 or 2 years-SAT won't matter, his college work will. He may choose not to transfer, the school may have been a great choice for him.

Also part of 'plan B' is dependent on the universities he's applying at. If he's applying for 'engineering' but scores aren't ideal, it may be he could be accepted with an 'undeclared major' or 'general studies'; but rejected if he applies for engineering. Go for the less rigorous, focus on changing majors in years 2 or 3. Indeed, there are some schools that seriously discourage nearly all freshmen from declaring a major, though more true of liberal arts schools than say engineering schools or those hoping to be pre-med for instance.

That's pretty much what I have to say on this subject. ;)

Wow, some excellent advice in there!! Thanks!! I'll be printing this one out for him. :)

He's actually a junior this year. He does have actually like 12 schools on his "list", but those few seems to be his tops, and mine as well since they are the closest to home. :) But of course we will support him no matter where he wants to go, so long as it's financially feasible, whether that be via cash, scholarships or loans.

You make good points about retaking the test. He felt he studied extremely hard and was well prepared, and thought he did his best, so perhaps a second test may not be beneficial. He didn't say that he wanted to, I just know he has very high expectations for himself.

I'm hoping that a decent above average score like this will help with the hunt and get the ball rolling. But at the same time, while 1320 is great, it's not exactly Ivy league numbers, so we'll see!

Thx again!!

darin
04-21-2017, 04:46 AM
So crazy. In my mind I see him still about 5 years old.

Maybe we do a thread showing pics of our kids when we joined the board and pics now? That'd REALLY help us feel old.

Gunny
04-21-2017, 05:46 AM
So crazy. In my mind I see him still about 5 years old.

Maybe we do a thread showing pics of our kids when we joined the board and pics now? That'd REALLY help us feel old.I can post a pic of ME from last year if I want to do THAT. About 60 lbs of me seems to be missing.

Ms Party Hearty was about 18 when I joined the board. NO WAY on the pics of that insolent, disrespectful teeny-bopper.:laugh: (She's STILL daddy's little girl :) )

Abbey
04-21-2017, 07:51 AM
So crazy. In my mind I see him still about 5 years old.

Maybe we do a thread showing pics of our kids when we joined the board and pics now? That'd REALLY help us feel old.

I'll see what I can rustle up.