SAT

SAT

Major Changes are Coming to the SATs: Here’s What You Can Expect

1600 is perfect again! On the SAT that is. On March 5, the College Board announced its plans for a redesigned SAT which will be introduced in the spring of 2016.

SAT

The updated exam will feature three sections: “evidence-based” reading and writing, mathematics, and an essay. The essay portion will be optional, which goes against the previous change made to the SAT in 2005.

Makers of the SAT said the new exam will feature “relevant” vocabulary words students are likely to encounter in college, a more in-depth focus on fewer math topics, and questions asking students to cite specific passages supporting their answers.

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ACT Scores Reveal High School Students are Not Ready for College

Across the country, high school juniors and seniors are preparing for college. When I was in high school years ago, I was in tons of organizations, volunteered, and took more honors and AP courses than a high schooler should take. I did everything I could to build my resume for college and kept my GPA high. The next item I had to put on my college resume was my ACT score. Let’s just say my ACT score proved that I wasn’t as brilliant as I thought.

What is the ACT? The ACT is a national college admissions exam, testing students in five subject areas of English, math, reading, science, and writing. The highest an individual can score on their ACT is 36. Scoring a 36 almost guarantees admission into any university in the nation and large amounts of scholarship money. Across the country, universities request students to send college applications with an ACT and SAT score. But, in the Midwest, it is common for potential college students to send in just an ACT score.

Kansas ACT scores for 2012 are similar to the previous year, according to The Wichita Eagle. The data released Wednesday revealed students in the class of 2012 are not ready for college. About half of all US high school students scored below the average ACT score, a 21.1. High school classes of 2012 in Kansas had an ACT score average of 21.9, compared to last year’s average score of 22. Read the rest of this entry »



The Future of College Admissions: SAT, ACT, and Admissions Rates

Many students think of the ACT and SAT as tests they have to take to get into college. They study a little bit, take the test, and then apply to the schools where their scores are deemed acceptable. However, the world of college admissions is changing and these tests might not hold as much sway in the future.

Currently, there are 850 colleges and universities in the USA that have an SAT/ACT optional admissions policy. This means that students do not have to take these standardized tests in order to be accepted. Some of the schools that have adopted this policy include Indiana State University, Johnson & Wales University, and Kansas State University.

Some people are in favor of this new trend concerning college admissions because they argue that the tests are “a cocktail of trickery [that do not allow] enough time, and [require] idiosyncratic ways of thinking,” as Anthony Russomanno of the Princeton Review said. The SAT and ACT were originally designed to create a bell-curve distribution of test scores, but opponents say that this does not prove the tests are fair. Instead, they say that the tests would be fair if students could study for them in a similar way that students can study for other tests, such as AP and IB exams. Read the rest of this entry »



Shmoop Makes Learning More Fun

Shmoop website logoHave you ever wanted to learn about an academic subject – such as literature, economics, Shakespeare, or biology – but did not want to be bored to death as some old professor droned on and on about it? Well have no fear. There’s a new website that will teach you these things while also making you “a better love (of literature, history, life).” It’s called Shmoop.

Shmoop is a website that makes learning and writing more fun and also more relevant for everyone. They do this by reviewing topics that you really care about in a voice that is simple to read and actually pretty funny. They also teach you how to write papers, speak more intelligently in classes, and “make studying less of a snooze-fest.” Sounds like a good thing to me!

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Cheating on the SAT is Not a Good Way to Get Into College

College Board SAT acorn logoDo you remember that movie, The Perfect Score? It came out in 2004 and was about six high school seniors who stole the answers to the SAT test in order to ace it and get into Princeton University. Well, I’ve often heard that life imitates art, but a new story makes this phrase seem way too real.

Seven people were arrested recently for being involved in a SAT cheating scam in Long Island, New York. Samuel Eshaghoff, 19, was the oldest student who was arrested; the other six students are minors, so their names are not being released. Eshaghoff faces felony fraud charges and the others face misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors claim that Eshaghoff impersonated six students at Great Neck North High between 2010 and 2011. He charged each student between $1,500 and $2,500 to take the SAT test for them. He then would go to a testing center that was not the students’ own school so that authorities would not realize he was using a fake form of identification to impersonate the other students.

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High School Senior College Checklist

As an upcoming high school senior, you may be thinking ahead to college. There are a lot of different things to do and dates to have on your calendar. For those that plan to continue their education beyond high school, several things must be done so that you are properly prepared for your freshman year of college. Making a list and prioritizing it by deadline is a helpful way to make sure that everything is taken care of in plenty of time so that you can have things lined up and enjoy your last year of high school. A little bit of planning now will ensure that you have nothing to worry about later. Below are a few things to keep in mind so that no deadlines are missed.

FAFSA: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, for the academic year of 2012-2013 is not currently available, but it will be on January 1, 2012. You only need to file once for each academic year and filing early is always best. The deadline for the 2012-2013 academic year will be June 30, 2013. Receiving free money like government grants can truly depend on how early you file, so keep that January 1 date in mind.  Once those government grants are gone, the only options available for federally funding your education would be student loans or work study programs. When filling out the FAFSA, you will need your parents’ tax and income information for 2011 and you can choose what schools you want your award information sent to. You can pick several schools to receive this information, which is helpful if you haven’t picked your college when you start filling out your FAFSA.

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High School Students are Spending Thousands of Dollars on Private Tutors

It is not uncommon for high school students to need a tutor to help them get through their most difficult subjects. Some parents hire tutors to help their students prepare for the SAT, while other parents hire a tutor to help their students throughout the entire semester. According to The New York Times, private tutors have been standard practice at many NYC private schools for a generation. Although this trend is certainly not new, there is something unusual about it: the cost of hiring a private tutor.

“There’s no family that gets through private school without an SAT tutor,” said Sandy Bass, the founder of the newsletter Private School Insider. “increasingly, it’s impossible to get through private school without at least one subject tutor.

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The Princeton Review’s SAT Score Quest App Helps Students Prepare for the SAT

All high school students know that taking the SAT exam is a milestone in your education process. You have to study for it for days on end, actually take the exam, wait for it to come back, and then, you might have to do the entire process all over again if you did not get the score you wanted.

Now, from the Princeton Review, comes a new iPad app called the SAT Score Quest. This app offers key concepts and advice for many difficult tasks on the SAT, such as how to use process of elimination to select the correct math answer and how to determine which vocabulary word to use based on context. Then, once you learn the core concepts, you can apply those concepts in the practice SAT sections included in the app. After you have completed each section, you can find out how you did with a free Score Report. You can also track your progress and see how far you have to go to reach your goals.

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Free SAT, ACT and PSAT Testing During Test Fest

Princeton Review LogoMarch is The Princeton Review’s National Test Fest, and to celebrate, they’re offering free practice college-entrance exams. Taking a practice test not only gives you the opportunity to get familiar with the test format, it also can help you figure out where you need improvement and how to best prepare for the actual exam.

The Princeton Review also offers high school students an evaluation tool to help them determine if they will do better on the ACT or SAT. Called The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA), it helps you make the most of your options as more and more colleges and universities accept both exam scores.

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