Posted: Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 | Filed under: SAT, SAT exam, SAT grading, SAT scoring | author: By Teddy Bergman
Posted: Friday, March 9th, 2012 | Filed under: SAT, SAT exam, SAT grading, SAT scoring | author: By Teddy Bergman
What is Score Choice? What is Super Scoring? What’s the difference?
When you are taking the SAT exam many hours go into studying and preparing for the exam. You take mocktests, work on practice problems, and formulate your perfect strategy to beat the test. Then you take the SAT test and, for many people, the work ends here. Don’t be one of these people. You still have a couple strategies you can consider.
One of them is Score Choice. The College Board, the company that creates and administers the SAT, allows you to implement Score Choice if you so choose. Essentially, Score choice allows you to elect which SAT score you can submit to colleges. If you take the SAT multiple times, Score Choice enables you to select your best score and submit that score, and that score alone, to colleges. There are some schools that require you to submit all your test results and your college counselor will know which ones, but Score Choice allows you, whenever possible, to put your best foot forward.
Another tool at your disposal to help you along with your SAT process is Super Scoring. Super scoring allows you to select the best sub scores from different tests and amalgamate them into a single Super Score. That is, if your best score in math occurred the first time you took the SAT Exam and you received at 700, your best writing score occurred the second time you took the SAT Exam and you received a 650, and your best reading score occurred the third time you took the SAT exam and you received at 730, you could combine these three scores to get a combined result of 2080 through the magic of super scoring. Not every admissions office accepts super scoring, so you should check with your College Counselor, but, like Score Choice, Super Scoring is a valuable resource to be aware of.
Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2011 | Filed under: SAT exam, SAT prep, SAT scoring, SAT strategy | author: By Teddy Bergman
Should I take the SAT again? When do I know if I am done?
Taking the SAT
The SAT exam is a long and arduous process and one which most people feel can’t end soon enough. After long hours of study, countless mock tests, and the stress of the unknown, retaking the SAT can seem like the absolute last thing you want to do. Once you’ve received your SAT scores you have a choice to make. Am I satisfied with how it went or do I want another crack at the test?
The answer to this question is different for everyone and depends on how you performed and the kind of school you want to attend. The SAT score you need is the one that will get you in the running for the school that you want to attend. If you’ve reached that mark, then go ahead and call it a day. If not, you may want to reconsider retaking the SAT. Especially if you feel that you didn’t reach your goal due to careless errors.
Most students take the SAT multiple times, and it is in no way a mark of shame or failure to take the test more than once. It’s part of the SAT process. Another wonderful thing that taking the SAT test multiple times allows you to do is to take advantage of Super Scoring.
Super Scoring is a process that many admissions officers take where they compile your best sectional scores from different SAT exams into one Super Score. If your best Math score occurred the first time you took the SAT test when you got a 650, but your best Reading and Writing scores occurred when you took the SAT test again and got a 700, and 590 respectively, an admissions officer will award you a Super Score of 1940. In this way, taking the test again is a great asset in the admissions process.
Posted: Sunday, April 24th, 2011 | Filed under: ACT, SAT, SAT scoring, SAT strategy | author: By Teddy Bergman
What is the best way to keep track of time on the SAT Test?
Successful time management represents one of the most crucial components of mastering the SAT and ACT Exams. These standardized tests allocate certain amounts of time for each section, and staying within those bounds can often prove very challenging. Many students, fully equipped with the knowledge and ability to score brilliantly on these standardized exams, falter because they run out of time and/or rush through questions.
We recommend a number of concrete strategies to effectively “beat the clock” on the SAT and ACT exams at CATES (one of which we’ll go into depth on in the next blog post). These include reordering questions, skipping problems, and tailoring your test. In the end though, time really represents a psychological obstacle for students. The feeling of time ticking away can weigh on the mind of the standardized test taker, and make focusing very difficult.
To deal with this anxiety, try and alter your perspective on time in the SAT and ACT tests. Some people really flourish when they think about the clock counting down. The SAT and ACT exams become like a playoff game, and the adrenaline really gets you going. Other people do better conceiving of time as counting up – progressing in an orderly fashion to the end of each section. The test itself takes on the feeling of clockwork.
Which approach fits for you? Try both out and see which one calms you down and keeps you moving. No right way to do it exists, only the way that works best for you to achieve your goals on the SAT and ACT tests.
Posted: Sunday, April 10th, 2011 | Filed under: ACT, SAT, SAT grading, SAT scoring | author: By Teddy Bergman
Should I omit questions on the SAT test?
Any good athlete or coach knows that you don’t go into a big game without a great strategy. You practice hard, eat and sleep well, and walk onto the field on game day with a proven playbook. When it comes to the SAT Test, omitting a question represents one of the best “plays” you can run. Proven fact: Omitting questions raises your SAT test score.
Success in omitting comes down to knowing when to do it, and at CATES we advise a pretty aggressive approach. The multiple choice questions on the SAT Test feature five answer choices. While some people say you should guess if you can eliminate one of these five, you should probably opt to omit when you cannot eliminate three of the five answer choices on a given SAT Test question. At CATES, we have discovered with our students that omitting according to this “rule of three” can sometimes make the difference between a score of 590 and one of 610. At the higher end of the scale in the Critical Reading, for example, one question could be the difference between a 760 and an 800!
Why? The SAT test does not deduct points for omitting. This means that if you leave a question blank, you do not lose or gain any points, and your SAT Test score remains unaffected. If you guess correctly, you gain a point – the best case scenario. However, if you guess incorrectly, you lose a quarter of a point. So if you find yourself stuck with more than two possible answer choices, we at CATES say: walk away. Think of omission your friend on the SAT Test, while anything worse than 50/50 odds as your nemesis.
How is the SAT test scored? What is the system of additions and deductions that the College Board uses?
After you study for months, then fill out bubbles for hours, and finally wait for weeks to hear back, the College Board finally gives you your reward…a number. Your SAT test score may feel slightly anti-climactic and not like the greatest gift to receive for all your hard work – but as of right now the College Board has got nothing else to give you. So how do they come up with the SAT Test score?
Since March of 2005, The College Board has scored the SAT test out of a total of 2400 points. Prior to that, they scored the SAT Test out of 1600. Each section of the SAT – Critical Reading, Math, and Writing – can count for between 200 and 800 points. The sum of the scores from each of these sections comprises the composite score for the SAT Test.
Students receive one point for every correct answer on the SAT test; lose a quarter point for each incorrect answer; and neither lose nor gain points for omitting a question. The College Board tallies the number of points gained (and lost) for each section of the test and then rounds that sum to generate a raw score for each section. Raw scores get converted to scaled scores to produce a number between 200 and 800. These three scores then get added to reach the final SAT Test score.
And that, my friends, is how an SAT Test score is made.