Ah statistics! You gotta love 'em! Except when you don't....
But if you DO like numbers, this blog post is for you! Let me explain the concept of "reach, fit, and safety" for math lovers!
To find a reach, fit, and safety college, you have to look at "Admissions Data" found online and in books. Little tip; just Google the school name and the words "admission data" and you'll find it. Then compare it to your child's test scores to the college test scores. That's all well and good, except some places make it seem all mathematical and confusing, as if you needed a degree in statistics to really understand it. For example, they may list test scores by indicating 25th/75th Percentile. Here is an example:
Admissions Data Example
Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading: 520 / 630
SAT Math: 520 / 625
SAT Writing: 510 / 620
Let me explain what it all means, using this example.
It says say SAT Math: 520 / 625.
The lower number comes from students who are attending that college.
25% of kids attending that college scored below 520 when they took the Math SAT in high school.
25% of kids attending that college scored above 625 when they took the Math SAT in high school.
50% of kids attending that college scored between 520 and 625 when they took the Math SAT in high school.
Quick and easy solution; when they say SAT Math: 520 / 625, turn the line on the side.
25th/75th Percentile Scores 520 / 625 Means that most kids score 520 - 625.
If your child is in that range, they are a "fit" for that school when it comes to Math.
If your child scores below 520 on the SAT Math, they might still get in, but it's less likely. That's a reach.
If your child scores between 520-625 on the SAT Math, they are likely to get in. That's a fit.
If your child scores above 625 on the SAT Math, they are very likely to get in. That's a safety.
If you hate numbers, let me explain in words.
Reach School: The SAT or ACT score range is higher than your score OR school is highly selective, and you meet the other college requirements Fit School: The SAT or ACT score range is about the same as yours, and you meet the other college requirements Safety School: SAT or ACT score range is less than yours, and you exceed their requirements
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