Tag: Streamline Tutors

An Exercise in Critical Reading: Why the SAT will Change in 2016

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Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by professional tutor Ian Siegel, who owns and operates Streamline Tutors.

Please read the following post carefully, as you would an SAT passage.  Critical reading questions — consistent with those found on the current SAT — will follow!

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In his speech March 5 announcing an overhaul of the current SAT, College Board President David Coleman owned up to criticism that the current SAT reinforces socio-economic inequality because the wealthy have greater access to quality test prep than the poor.  He also conceded that the current SAT is out of touch with today’s middle and high school curricula and explained that the new test would better reflect what students learn in class.  According to Coleman, these changes represent the “College Board’s renewed commitment to delivering opportunity.”

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.

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