Posts Tagged ‘sat’

College Decisions: Make It or Break It?

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

So, it’s April 1st. I, like many other high-school seniors across the US, spent all day trying to NOT think about my impending 5 pm doom–the time ALL the Ivy League colleges simultaneously post their college decisions online. After three hours of guitar, two showers and two hours on Facebook, I finally caved and checked my results, only to find rejection letters from all the Ivies that I had applied to. So this blog aims to look at how ‘life-changing’ which college you go to really is, from the point of view of someone actually hoping to attend one next year.

Stressing out about college? That was me a year ago.

College decisions this year have been generally more nerve-racking than past years. Especially with the economy, college endowments are plummeting in value, far more rapidly than any others. USA Today reports that endowments fell on average by 18.7 percent last year, forcing colleges to increase the number of students admitted who need minimal financial aid.

So, exactly what DOES go into an admissions decision? Definitely the above mentioned financial aid and circumstances. But here are the other aspects of the decisions that applicants are responsible for:

  1. The SAT/ACT scores: See my previous article on this. Conclusion: “SAT scores, as accurate or inaccurate as they may be, are NOT the end of the world. In fact, according to Glenn Elert, “For 88% of the applicants (though it is impossible to know which ones) an SAT score will predict their grade rank no more accurately than a pair of dice”. Read the rest of this entry »

SATs: Too Much, or Not Enough?

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 at 4:30 am

Butterflies in your stomach, long lines of nervous teenagers, and a sense of impending doom… yes, that does sound very familiar.And with good reason. With the last SAT testing dates approaching, many juniors have been talking in hushed whispers and having nightmares about low scores crushing their hopes and dreams of being lawyers and engineers. Here, I wish to address the all-important question: What is the SAT, and does it really make a difference?

Let’s start with the basics. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (better known as the SAT) is one among the national standardized tests that millions of juniors and seniors can take to measure their “aptitude” in three sections: Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing. The College Board, which is a “not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity,” develops these tests, which are then administered in high schools around the world. Most countries around the world have similar exams to determine who’s in and who’s out: France has the Baccalaureat, England and Wales have the GCSE, India has the CBSE and ICSE, and Germany and Finland use the Abitur tests. But, does the SAT scale up or scale down to international standards?

Read the rest of this entry »