Tagged: College Board

Websites for College Detectives

The preoccupation of juniors outside of school, is developing their college application list.  For most families there is a discouraging overabundance of facts, figures, brochures, even recruitment phone calls from current students. The  information can be overwhelming not to mention the opinions of relatives and friends.

Here are some websites where you can find useful information without scouring the cyber universe.

Search for Colleges        https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org

You will find lists of colleges by location, major, selectivity, cost and more.  Easy to use and search can be saved.

Tour the Campus in your PJs       https://campustours.com

Lots of good info here starting with the number of students, admission stats, type of college and other details.  Virtual tours, maps of campus so you can find the admissions office if you go in person, videos and unscripted interviews make this a top resource.

Can I Get In?        https://collegeraptor.com

Not only does College Raptor generate lists based on student profiles and performance but they also estimate your chances of admission.  There are many factors that enter into holistic admission reviews; Raptor looks at academic background only.  The prediction is useful only in helping a student balance the college application list.  Too many colleges in the Reach category may reduce chances of admission to any of the choices.  Too many colleges in the Likely Admit range may send a student to a college without enough challenge.

A solid college list has options in the Likely admit, Target and Reach categories.  All colleges will be ones that the student will be happy to attend if admitted.

Listmania             https;//diycollegerankings.com

Looking for colleges that superscore the SAT?  Meet at least 50% of need?  Have a Kosher kitchen?  Start here!   Most of the lists are free. Skip the lists that ask for payment; if you subscribe to the newsletter you may get that information anyway.  Check the blog, too.


Whether  you are working on your preliminary list, choosing colleges to visit or finalizing the ones you will apply to, I can help.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.








SAT Subject Tests: What You Need To Know

As the clock ticks down to the end of junior  year, students are scheduling and prepping for standardized tests.  Most will choose the SAT or the ACT and take the AP exams for the courses they complete this year.

As of March 2018 only 7 colleges require SAT Subject tests: Cornell (some departments), CalTech, Harvey Mudd, Harvard, MIT, svMcGill (or the ACT), and Webb Institute.

Fourteen more recommend subject tests: Georgetown wants to see 3 tests; the others, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Lafayette, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, Rice and Yale, University of Delaware (strongly recommend for Honors), University of Georgia suggest 2. “Recommended” should be read as ‘required”

Check with each university for specifics on which ones are preferred.

SAT 2, or subject tests are aligned with the material covered in a high school curriculum.  Unless specified, colleges don’t care which tests are submitted.  Engineering programs are likely to expect to see  either Math 1 or Math 2 and Physics.

The tests offered are Math 1 (SAT math); Math 2 (pre-calc)

Biology with emphasis on Ecology or Molecular Biology; Chemistry and Physics

US or World History

Literature adds poetry and drama to the SAT literature questions

Languages.  Many native speakers take these tests; not being a native speaker doesn’t impact the scores significantly.  Test prep is suggested.

Each test is one hour and a max of 3 may be taken on the same day.  Register for one test to save your seat.  On the day of the exam you can choose which exams to take and in which order.  You may take fewer or more than you registered for.

Subject tests are offered on all test dates except March.  The Language with Listening is ONLY offered in November.  The multiple choice test is as highly valued as the test with  listening.

Scoring     Tests are scaled 200-800 and also by percentile.  Math exams have many testers score 800 so the highest percentile coordinated with the top score is around 80th percentile.  Good news is that you can miss 4-5 questions and still receive your 800; a 750 or better can be reached with 8-9 incorrect answers.

You will find 5 answer choices and there is a quarter point penalty for guessing.

Score Choice     You are permitted to take the same test more than once and can choose which scores to send unless a college requires all scores.

Accommodations that you have for the SAT apply to subject tests as well.

If you want to confer on which tests to take and when to take them, lets talk! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679






4 Million Jobs and 8 Million Unemployed

New Partnership Highlights Importance of College and Career Readiness

What does it mean to be college and career ready?

It is often cited as the desired outcome for K-12 education, although too few students leave high school fully prepared for college or the workforce. And college and career pathways largely remain a bifurcated system in the United States to sort or track students into very different experiences. All students need to be college and career ready. This is why I am excited about the recently announced partnership between the organization I lead — Project Lead The Way (PLTW), and the College Board.

The partnership increases access to more opportunities for all students to be college and career ready. It combines the strengths of two leading organizations — widely accepted college credit opportunities through the Advance Placement® (AP) Program and PLTW’s multidisciplinary, applied learning programs in biomedical science, computer science and engineering. Both organizations are known to improve student outcomes and help ensure successful transitions to college and career. The partnership creates pathways through a combination of PLTW courses and AP courses — PLTW courses that introduce all students to the field, AP courses that provide an opportunity for college credit, and PLTW specialization courses that focus on knowledge and skills needed for rewarding careers. Students may also earn credentials signaling their readiness for college and careers, as well as opportunities such as internships and scholarships.

This work could not be more critical. Today, U.S. employers have more than 4 million unfilled jobs, yet there are over 8 million people who are unemployed and millions more under-employed because they lack appropriate skills. By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require post-secondary education or training. And, by 2018, 92 percent of traditional science, technology, engineering and math jobs will be for those with at least some post-secondary education and training. Increasingly, career readiness is dependent on college success.

While this is a tremendously exciting partnership for both organizations and the entire nation, students are the real winners. This partnership aims to break down silos and barriers in schools. It provides students and schools the opportunity to redefine college and career ready in a meaningful way, combining rigorous coursework and applied learning across subjects. It also gives students a more in-depth look at the many career opportunities available so that they can make informed decisions about investing in post-secondary programs. A number of schools across the U.S. are already deploying this innovative model — Brooklyn Tech in New York, Timber Creek High School in Florida — by bringing these courses together for their students.

To ensure all students are ready to compete in the global market place, we need to expand access to challenging course work, introduce students to in-demand and high-paying career opportunities, and provide mentoring, internships and other real-world experiences. The partnership between PLTW and the College Board will create significant value for students, education institutions, communities and the broader U.S. workforce.

Vince Bertram is the president and CEO of Project Lead The Way, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM curriculum and teacher training. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “One Nation Under-Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis.” Connect with him on Twitter @vincebertram.

Interesting Data from the November 2014 SAT

If you took the November SAT you may have been surprised both by the ease of the math section and by your score.

This particular exam had few difficult math questions which raised raw scores for many test takers. More students earned perfect or near-perfect scores than usual.

Because the scaled scores, 200 to 800, come from plotting the raw scores on a bell curve, top scoring students found that their scaled score was lower than expected.

On the math section of most administrations of the SAT, students who miss only one question might receive a score of 770 or 790; With so much weight in the upper end of the raw score distribution, one missed question was scaled at 750 and 2 misses at 720 to maintain the curve.

College Board does an admirable job in producing tests that reflect the students’ proficiency. Comparison of tests from year to year and test date to test date show consistency in raw and scaled scores.

Students using the SAT scores to qualify for merit aid should take a close look at the criteria for all of the colleges they are applying to and determine if it is in their best interests to take the SAT again, to rely on a previous test if they are satisfied with this set of results. Another option is to take the ACT in February.

Over the next few days I’ll contact college admission offices to see if they are aware of the anomaly in math scores and further, if they will adjust their admissions decisions accordingly. If you want to know what I find out, respond to this post, email me at stephanie@accessguidnace.com, or call 610-212-6679.

The information on which this post is based came from Applerouth Tutoring. The article can be found at this link: