Archive for the ‘SAT value’ Category

Earning your interest: Tips for Saving Money at College

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Saving money at college

Saving money at college

Higher education lulls most students into a comfortable vortex of learning.  But that comfort does not typically work will with other aspects of your life.  Especially if you are a student on a budget.  Money stresses can quickly get the best of even the most focused student.  Financial needs hide around nearly every corner on campus.  If you stop to listen to it, you can hear the money being spent in every single collegiate activity that you partake in, from educational to social and everything in between.  You are hereby challenged to espouse an elective as you enroll yourself in “Cents and Sensibility 101”.  The bell has rung… (more…)

Does High School prepare you for the SAT?

Monday, July 9th, 2012
High School and the SAT

High School and the SAT

One of the critical phases of your high school academic career comes in the beginning of your junior year of high school. This is the time you should begin to look ahead and consider when in the upcoming months you’d like to take your first attempt at tackling the SAT.  It can be a daunting choice, as it is the rare person who enjoys or relishes the opportunity to take a standardized test.

Adding to the anxiety of taking this standardized test is all that is unknown about it.  Most people have little sense going into this time of what material is covered on the SAT or how the SAT test is formatted.  Unlike so many other tests – the Regents and the APs included – your teachers are not teaching toward the SAT test, nor do they often cover the specific questions on the test.  This places a student in a hard spot, having to seek out the SAT exam and educate his or herself on the SAT outside of the classroom.  From the sound of this, it may seem that high school does little to prepare you for the SAT test, but this actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

All of the material that the SAT bases its questions on most students will have completed by the end of the 10th grade.  You will have had enough experience in your English classes reading and analyzing literature and expanding your vocabulary to begin to tackle the reading sections of the test.  You will have written enough persuasive essays and learned enough grammar to dive into the writing sections of the SAT, and, finally, if you have completed Geometry and Algebra II you will be more than ready to understand how the SAT tests math.  All in all, by the end of 10th grade most students will have the information to answer most of the SAT test problems.  The real question becomes how to use that information.

The tricky part of the SAT is that it is not a test of intelligence, or even really a test of your command of the material you have covered in school.  Finally, the SAT is a test of how well you take the SAT. It defines its own rules and asks questions in its own ways.  The core skill to develop for the SAT is to understand how the SAT tests you.  The SAT phrases questions in intentionally confusing ways and frames its problems in a manner that you will not have seen at school.  The College Board, the people who make the SAT, are designing a test that they want a majority of people to score a 1500 on, and so they intentionally try and mess you up.

This is the part of the SAT that high school doesn’t prepare you for, the particular nuances and contours of the SAT questions themselves.  The process of decoding questions and understanding what is really being asked of you takes time and practice.  This is where an experienced SAT tutor can come in handy.  SAT tutors are specially trained to show you the ropes of the test and help you maximize your score by allowing you to bring the full force of your knowledge to bear on the test.  Another way to prepare yourself for the SAT is to take frequent mock tests. The best way to learn about the test is to practice taking it. CATES offers free mock tests every weekend, so come on by and take one as soon as you can.

What Is The New SAT Test

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

How has the SAT Test changed over time? How long has the SAT Test been around?

In 1927, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) developed the SAT Test because colleges wanted an objective way to compare students. When it came to selecting candidates for their incoming freshmen class, colleges had no quantitative way to compare the application of an A-student from the Upper East Side of Manhattan with that of a A-student from Des Moines, Iowa. The SAT Test emerged as the solution to this dilemma.

The SAT Test has undergone a number of significant revisiQons over the last 80 years, most recently in March of 2005. The old SAT Test assessed student reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed by the student in school coursework. The new SAT test improved the content of the exam by supplementing it with current curriculum and institutional practices in use not only in high school, but in college as well. The new SAT Test includes a third measure of skills – writing – that helps colleges make better admissions and placement decisions. In that way, the new SAT Test reinforces the importance of writing throughout a student’s education.

The new SAT Test asks students to write a short essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use examples to support that position. This test also includes questions similar to the multiple-choice questions on the retired SAT II Subject Test for Writing to see how well students use and understand standard written English. These questions are designed to measure the student’s ability to recognize errors and improve sentences and paragraphs. This new section, and the new SAT Test in general, helps college admissions officers see if a student is ready to write at the college level.

The Importance of the SAT Test

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

How important is the SAT test? Does it count for everything as far as college admissions goes?

At CATES, students often ask us how the importance of SAT Test scores ranks in comparison to the rest of a student’s overall college application. 1.6 million students took the SAT Test last year, so obviously the test serves as a critical component of the application, but it does not count for everything. Generally speaking, the levels of importance of the different aspects of your application break down as follows:

1. Grades – Did you challenge yourself in high school and earn great grades doing so?

2. SAT Test Scores, SAT Subject Test Scores, and ACT Test Scores.

3. Extracurricular Activities – Sports, Clubs, Community service, etc.

4. College Application Essays – Who you are “beyond the numbers?”

5. Recommendations – What do your teachers think of you?

6. Interview – How well do you present yourself in person?

Of course, there are exceptions to these general guidelines. Some schools may value the college application essay more than SAT test scores. When considering schools, ask your college counselor about how these institutions you aspire to rank these items.

As a rule of thumb, the top schools are going to be looking for strong SAT test scores. The test represents an objective measure, separate from all the idiosyncrasies of individual schools, which an admissions officer can use to gauge achievement. Additionally, as college admissions becomes increasingly competitive, you can expect to see median SAT test scores at all schools on the rise.

The SAT Test cannot replace or overshadow the great work you have done in the classroom for years, rest assured. Actually, in many ways the SAT Test presents a chance at redemption for the student who believes his or her academic record does not reflect the intellectual ability demonstrated in class. For cases like this, the SAT Test presents a great opportunity to show the admissions officers exactly what you are capable of doing.