Tag: psat

Eighteen Gilman Seniors Recognized in National Merit Scholarship Program

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Gilman School’s excellent academic preparation has yielded results in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program acknowledges the top students who take the PSAT during their junior year.

Six members of the Gilman Class of 2018 have been named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists: Nick Auen, Bryan Huang, Bowen Jiang, Michael Johnson, Hari Menon, and Matthew Mu. Semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants in each state and represent the top 0.5% percent of Maryland’s students. They will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships that will be offered next spring.

Additionally, the National Merit Scholarship Program has named 12 Gilman seniors as Commended Students, recognizing their “outstanding potential for academic success.” They are among the top 50,000 of students who entered the program. Commended Students include: Barrett Crawford, David Gushue, Mekhi Johnson, Anh Le, Jack Mills, Jules Ouwerkerk, Aayush Pokharel, Sami Raza, Alexander Seibel, Max Stern, Kevin Zhang, and Zachary Zhao.

“The scholarship shown by these boys is impressive, and we could not be more proud to see them recognized in this way,” said Gilman Head Henry P. A. Smyth.

SAT Changes Make it Harder to Know Chances as College Applicant

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SAT scores came out today from the March test (the first of the redesigned SAT). Of course, juniors got a glimpse of what the new test would be like in October, when they took the redesigned PSAT. Now my students are racing to find out what their scores mean. College Board came up with an online SAT Score Converter, which can also be found on the app store.

Sports Star? Art Star? Math Stars Shine at Mathnasium

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inner_mainImage_aboutParents are willing to do just about anything to help their children succeed. Whether it’s athletics, art, or music, we spend thousands of dollars every year helping our kids become the star quarterback, the lead in the play, or the featured soloist in the concert.

But what about math?

Just like organizations that serve to enhance a child’s sports skills, artistic ability or musical talent, Mathnasium attracts gifted STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students and helps them master math. All of the instructors at Mathnasium are highly competent up to or beyond calculus.

“We have the brain power to help any student looking to take their math competency to the next level,” says Jim Trexler, Center Director of Mathnasium of Roland Park. “About 30 percent of our kids are working beyond their grade level, we expect that trend to continue.”

Be Smart About Homeschooling-Investigate The Mathnasium Method

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The number of children getting their education in a homeschooled setting is increasing and will continue to do so. Most parents providing homeschooling can sufficiently provide a sound, base level math education using their homeschooling tools and connections. “However, it is not uncommon for the parent to “hit a wall” when their child begins to enter the world of algebra”, says Jim Trexler, Mathnasium of Roland Park, Center Director. At this point, the parent begins exploring options with fellow homeschooling parents. Those options range from teaming with other parents, on-line tools, individual tutors, and supplemental learning companies like Mathnasium.

Tailoring SAT/PSAT Strategy to Fit a Student’s Needs

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With just a few days left until winter break, high school sophomores and juniors across Baltimore are powering through remaining tests and papers before the holiday vacation begins. But they’re also getting scores back from a standardized test they took in October: the PSAT.

Students across the nation take the PSAT as a form of preparation for the SAT. The PSAT, although half the size, possesses similar questions, organization, and time constraints as the SAT. Indeed, a section from a PSAT is almost indistinguishable from an SAT section. This is why a PSAT score is a solid indicator of an SAT score; just throw an extra zero at the end of the cumulative score and you’ll have a decent idea of how the same student would score if he or she took the SAT tomorrow.

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But no one will take the official test tomorrow, and most will follow the recommendation stated at the bottom of the PSAT score report and take the SAT for the first time in the spring of junior year. Ostensibly, the suggestion makes good sense because students are at the furthest point in their schooling and still have the time to retake the SAT, if needed, in the fall of senior year. But, like most advice, it does not apply to everyone, and the implied logic behind the suggestion tends to be ill-founded.

Savvy parents of high school athletes, for example, realize that a strong SAT score early in high school plays a pivotal role in the recruitment process. This is especially true for the 99 percent of recruited athletes whose mailboxes are not jammed with letters from college coaches. These athletes must advocate for themselves by proactively contacting coaches and sending them updates about their GPA, SAT scores, and athletic accomplishments. Coaches begin building their freshmen classes years in advance, and they won’t hesitate to convey that strong academic numbers are crucial to getting on the list.

Local Schools Announce National Merit Semifinalists

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For the fifty eighth year running, the list of semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program has been announced. Kids at local schools, both public and private, make the list.

Que Sera, Sera. Test Results Will Be What they Will Be…

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When the PSAT scores came home earlier this year that envelope was opened as fast as any birthday present. I’m not sure, really, what the results actually mean. They say the scores are rough predictors of future SAT scores. So, for instance, if you earn a 200 on your combined PSAT, you can expect to earn about a 2000 on your combined SATs. 2400 is the Holy Grail.
There are, however, some variables, they say. Your student will be months older when he or she takes the actual SAT (for the first time). He or she will have had those additional months of substantive instruction. And, very importantly, he or she might have taken an SAT prep course. Omni Test, Horizons, Kaplan, Sylvan, you name it. We willingly pay the small fortune for these courses, in hopes of helping our children improve their SAT scores by 100, 200, some say even as much as 400 points. These can be life-changing numbers for a kid whose GPA alone won’t earn that letter of admission. Or so we believe.
Oddly, we heard no comparisons. There was no chat about who in the class had done well and who had not. Something good has happened with our children, and they have learned to respect each other’s privacy. Or, perhaps they have learned to protect themselves. If you are not asking, then you are also not telling. Maybe they have begun to mature or evolve to that place where we adults now stand, where your position relative to others in the professional world is not something you talk about with polite company—it is a subject reserved for you and your supervisor, or you and your spouse or partner or closest friend.
 
For most of us, our kids have also taken the SAT by now…  Scores are in, and I can tell you the numbers do not always go up from PSAT to SAT.  I think the truth is, “test day” may be as important as the number of prep classes your child has taken.  Our daughter took SATs on the Saturday following mid-term exams.  She was fried.  No matter she had learned all the tricks for easy elimination on the multiple choice format, no matter that she understands the quadratic equation.  She was tired, and a tired kid is not a good test taker.  They don’t really focus on these common sense pieces to test prep at the fee-for-service operations.  We know she will take the SAT again – most kids do.  But now we know it is not all about the prep course (although we remain hopeful that our investment is not a waste!).  Tests are tests are tests, and sometimes your teenager performs to ability, and sometimes not.  
So, congratulations, I say! Whatever that PSAT or SAT score was, I say “good job!” As we do for ourselves in real life, I will encourage our kids to try harder, do better if they can the next time, and learn something. But, as in real life, we must acknowledge where we stand right now. Not everyone will get that 2400 on the SAT, and not everyone can be the MVP at work. For all you overachievers out there, a disappointing score might spur you to action. But for the regular kids, I say love yourself. The world will meet you where you are.    

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