Tag Archives: Testing

Determining ACT? SAT? or Both?

Good news! All colleges accept both the ACT and SAT tests without preference being given to one over the other. Some schools are even test optional. So how does a student determine which test to invest in? Consider PRE-Test Scores Up until April 2014, the pre-ACT was called the PLAN test. It was based on a 32 point scale. This scale allowed easy conversion to predictive ACT scores by adding 3-4 points to a PLAN composite. These predictive scores are also listed on your PLAN score report. For students graduating in 2016 or earlier, they are operating off PLAN scores … Continue reading

Finally, MY TURN! Chapter 1

It’s my turn!! I’ve worked for 15 years as an independent college counselor assisting families on college selection, application, career selection and admission. Finally, I have a high school junior, and I get the privilege (yes, I just said privilege) of embarking on the journey from a different perspective. Most certainly this will result in moments of wanting to pull my hair out (as my clients have attested to me), but hopefully many more of fun and joy. I’m frequently asked, “What would you do if he were your son?” when parents are seeking advice from me. In effort to … Continue reading

Rising Senior Summer – Be Prepared for Fall Apps

For many of you, it’s hard to believe just months from now as senior year is starting you’ll need to be ready to apply to college. That statement may leave many of you feeling behind. So how do you maximize summer so you’re ready and not overwhelmed come fall? 1. Finalize list for application. Most college applications go online August 1st, including the Common App which over 500 colleges use. LEAP recommends you start these apps when they come available to so they don’t crowd your fall schedule when you’ll have a lot more to do. To be ready to … Continue reading

How NEW is the Overhauled SAT?

I went into the CollegeBoard SAT meeting announcing sweeping changes in 2016 to the SAT a bit skeptical, and I have to say that is where I remain. The first 30 minutes were spent on telling viewers (mainly those of us in the college admissions game) how altruistic the CollegeBoard is. While their heart of accessibility is certainly great, I was hungry for the meat of change. While the changes do create a new test for the second time in a decade (sweeping changes were also made in 2005), on the surface I’m not convinced there’s much cutting edge here. … Continue reading

Lessons Learned from PSAT Results

‘Tis the Season – PSAT results season, that is.  In October most juniors and many sophomores took the PSAT.  Unlike the SAT and ACT where you get results in just over two weeks, PSAT results are finally delivered two months later before you head off on winter break. So now that you’ve got the PSAT score report in your hands, how do you make sense of it? Scores are based on a scale of 20 to 80.  Your Selection Index, used for National Merit purposes (see below), is a total of the three parts (critical reading, math and writing).  It might be … Continue reading

Don’t Let Poor Planning Wreck Your Test Scores

Juniors and seniors may be considering fall ACT and SAT testing.  Diving in headfirst without planning can result in less than optimal test scores and a series of problems. Seniors Most seniors testing are actually in a retest scenario knowing that 57% of all students improve their ACT score on a second attempt. If you’ve only tested once as a junior, retesting is recommended.  The higher your starting score the less likely you are to improve on a subsequent attempt. For seniors who have already tested more than once, you need to know what is at stake if you are … Continue reading

So You Didn’t Get a Summer Job

Whether you put off the job search too long or are a victim of the economy, there are still plenty of ways for college bound students to have a productive summer. Rising Seniors A busy fall during application season is unavoidable, but pacing yourself starting this summer can ease the stress and still allow you to enjoy your senior year. Be a researcher. A realistic goal is to have a finalized list of colleges for application by August 1st when the Common App and many others will go online. Starting your search on the web is great and you’ll likely … Continue reading

Crystal Ball: the PLAN Test

The PLAN Test is an ACT based test normed to 10th graders.  Many schools around the country give the test to their 9th and 10th graders as it has high value.  For those living in the Greater Cincinnati area whose school does not give the test, LEAP gives a retired version of the actual test several times each year. Why invest the time in taking the PLAN test? Predict future ACT scores. While the scale of the PLAN test is 32, versus the ACT’s 36, it does cover the same content areas as the ACT and therefore can give a … Continue reading

Honoring ACT and SAT Score Choice

Back in the spring of 2005, SAT joined ACT in allowing for Score Choice. This means regardless of the number of times a student takes either test, the student is able to CHOOSE which single score report (or more) they would like to send to the colleges at the time of application. This policy, in my opinion, goes along with all the other privacy laws we’ve gained in recent years. I like it! Who’s Not Playing Fair? Unfortunately, there’s a rather small group of selective schools who believe they are above the policy of score choice and have a school … Continue reading

Don’t Get Turned Away on Test Day

In the wake of the SAT testing scandal on Long Island last year, ACT and SAT are putting similar security changes in place starting with the 2012-13 testing cycle. Sadly, the dishonesty of a few impacts the whole.  Don’t rely on what your older sibling or friend had to bring on test day to get in the door, or you might just be turned away. Smile! At the time of registration, students must submit a picture of themselves. Be sure it’s an individual picture with no sunglasses or hats and your face is easily discernible – you can find examples … Continue reading

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