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What is a Good Score on the SAT?

What is a Good Score on the SAT?

What is a good score on the SAT? Everybody asks me that!


There is no formula or calculation for what makes a good score.  A good SAT score is the best score that YOUR child can earn. But to guesstimate how your child is doing, I can suggest a scale based on the general population of the US. It doesn't fit every family, and it may not fit your child, but it can help you begin to think about test scores and what they might mean.

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Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit (Plus Free Book)

Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit (Plus Free Book)

Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit


Like the SAT, the PSAT is a college admission test overseen by the College Board. It meets most state homeschool testing requirements and covers reading, writing, and math, but doesn't include an essay. The PSAT is a fairly inexpensive test compared to most annual assessments. In addition to being practice for the SAT, the PSAT can help you find a college, indicate career options your student might not have considered, and can lead to scholarships.

You can read the whole article, Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit right now. It's taken from chapter two of my book, High School Testing.

Would you like to learn more about all the high school tests your child should take for college admission and scholarships?


Check out my Coffee Break Book, High School Testing: Knowledge that Saves Money. Regular price is $2.99 on Kindle. You can pick up your FREE copy this week for Kindle/Kindle app! It's only free from September 1-5, 2016 so grab your copy here today!



Once you've read it, I would be so grateful if you left a quick review to let me know what you think. Thanks so much!

Love free books? Enter your email address to join my monthly newsletter, where I announce in advance when my books will be free. Please share this link with your homeschooling friends. Every homeschooler loves freebies!

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Schedule Test Preparation

Schedule Test Preparation


Affiliate disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.

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Help! My Child isn't a Good Test Taker!

Help! My Child isn't a Good Test Taker!

Help! My Child isn't a Good Test Taker!


Are you wondering what to do if your homeschooled child isn't a good test taker? Click on Lee's video, below (or here) for some simple strategies for anxious parents.

Are you struggling with a child who just isn't a good test taker? Please share!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

If you need help with tests such as the SAT or ACT, check out the High School Testing (Online Training) class for some help, just $15!
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How to Prepare for the SAT or ACT

How to Prepare for the SAT or ACT

How to Prepare for the SAT or ACT


Are you wondering how best to prepare your child for the SAT or ACT? Click on Lee's video, below (or here) to learn a quick and easy way to help your child prepare.

Are you in the midst of preparing your child for the SAT or ACT this year? Please share!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

If you need help with tests such as the SAT or ACT, check out the High School Testing (Online Training) class for some help, just $15!
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Is the SAT a Graduation Requirement?

Is the SAT a Graduation Requirement?


Is the SAT a Graduation Requirement?


Are you concerned that your teen might not do well on the SAT and you're wondering if it really is a graduation requirement? Click on Lee's video to learn more!



Is your teen gearing up to take the SAT? Are you worried about the SAT? Please share!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

Looking for help with the SAT and other high school tests? Check out the High School Testing (Online Training) class, just $15!
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How Do I Stop Worrying About the SAT?

How Do I Stop Worrying About the SAT?



Is your child in high school? Have you started studying for the SAT together? Are you worried about the upcoming changes to the SAT? Click on Lee's video below to help you stop worrying about the SAT.



Are you or your child worried about taking the SAT? Let me know in the comments below!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

For more help navigating high school tests such as the SAT, check out my online training class: High School Testing (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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CLEP or AP: How Do You Choose?

CLEP or AP: How Do You Choose?



Do you want your child to earn college credit in the high school years? Are you considering CLEP or AP? Click on the video below to learn how to choose between CLEP and AP!



What concerns do you have about CLEP and AP? Has your child already taken CLEP or AP classes or tests? Let me know in the comments below!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

For help choosing between all the different forms of high school testing, including CLEP, AP, and more, you might like my online training class: High School Testing (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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Where Can I Find Information on the SAT and ACT?

Where Can I Find Information on the SAT and ACT?



Is the SAT or ACT exam looming ahead for your child? Click on the video below to learn where to find out more information about these tests and stop panicking!



Is your child taking the SAT or ACT next school year? Or have they already taken their test and you have some tips to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

For homeschool testing (SAT, ACT, etc) help, you might like my online training class: High School Testing (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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Coping with Changes to the SAT

Coping with Changes to the SAT

Confused about recent changes to the SAT?. In this video, I discuss what you can expect.



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Breaking News! The SAT test will change in Spring of 2016

Breaking News!  The SAT test will change in Spring of 2016
The College Board has just announced extensive changes to the SAT, saying that both the SAT and ACT "have become disconnected from the work of our high schools."

So they are changing the test. CHANGE. I know what you're thinking. Change; that dreaded word that reminds us all about changing diapers.


What is changing on the SAT?

The test questions are different

  • NO penalty for wrong answers

  • Offered in print AND on computer at selected locations

  • Only THREE sections: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay

  • The new exam will be about 3 hours, plus 50 minutes for the Essay

  • The Essay section will be OPTIONAL


The scores will be different

  • Scoring will go back to a 400-1600 point scale

  • Reading & Writing are combined and scored on a 200-800 point scale

  • Math will be scored on a 200-800 point scale

  • The Essay reported separately


The Essay is optional

  • The Essay prompt will be shared in advance and there will be focus on the essay of analyzing a source

  • The Essay score is reported separately

  • Since colleges want the ACT test with optional essay, I suggest you take the SAT with optional essay.


The test will include more subjects

  • Math focused on 3 key areas: Problem solving and Data Analysis, Algebra, and Advanced Math

  • Problems will be grounded in real world context: in Reading & Writing, students will be asked to edit and revise texts

  • Both sections will include problems from across the curriculum (science, history, geography etc.)

  • Students will be asked to read and answer questions and do analysis in science & social studies contexts

  • An excerpt from one of America’s founding documents or "part of the great global conversation" will be included in every exam


When is it changing?

  • The first new test will arrive in Spring 2016

  • No immediate changes, and you don't have to immediately buy a new book

  • If you're taking the SAT this year or next year, you can stick with what you have been using

  • Whichever test you take, make sure to study for it: Schedule Test Preparation

  • When new study guides arrive, I tend to prefer Princeton Review materials best


Where to learn more

Executive Summary

  • The SAT is changing in 2016, now is no time to panic

  • Keep doing what you are doing

  • In fall of 2015, try to find new study guides that cover the new format


Are you in the middle of studying for the SAT with your high schooler? What are you doing to prepare?
For more information, you can ready my complete article: Big Changes Coming with the Redesigned SAT

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Living Overseas? How to Plan a College Visit

Living Overseas? How to Plan a College Visit
I have so many military and missionary members and subscribers, sometimes I feel like I travel the globe as I talk to people.  It's so fun! I often get questions about how my military and missionary friends can plan for college visits.



When homeschoolers live overseas, make the best use of your breaks in the US.  Visit colleges, as many as you can, during your visits back to the US. For overseas families, try to find colleges that are near a support system for your child, near relatives or your church that the student is comfortable with.  Visit those colleges each time  you are in the US, so the setting becomes familiar and home-like.

If you can plan ahead for a break, the very best time would be spring of junior year, perhaps March to June, or anytime between February and August.  During that time, you can visit colleges, take the SAT twice with ease, and start the application process before leaving for overseas again.

There is an option to take the SAT overseas, but the testing center may be quite a distance from your location.  Here is the US, it's much easier to find a testing location, and so you might find it more convenient while you are in the states.  If possible, try to complete your application to colleges before you go back, so you can interact with the admission office if necessary, asking questions as you go.  For that reason, make sure your homeschool records are thorough and complete before December of junior year, so they are ready for your visits and college applications.

If possible, look into the possibility of taking the PSAT where you live. It is helpful to take the PSAT in 10th grade, overseas if necessary.  That way you will be able to locate a site “near-ish” to you and navigate the process when the scores don't count.  That will set you up to take the PSAT in 11th grade, because you'll know exactly how to do it.  If you do some college searches during 9th grade, then you should be ready to start visiting college in 11th grade, to see if they are still a good fit for your almost-18 year old.  Take the SAT or ACT in March of junior year, and then sign up to take the SAT or ACT in June as well.  Taking it twice can improve scholarship potential - taking it more than twice doesn't really help.

College visits will be extremely helpful for college admission and scholarships. If you get a chance, read this article about college visits, because I think it could help: How to Win a Scholarship Competition



Learn the steps you can take right now to meet all of your homeschool high school goals.

 
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Homeschool High School Testing: AP Exams

Homeschool High School Testing: AP Exams
Many parents write to me asking about high school testing options. Sometimes it seems confusing, but each test is simple to understand once you know what makes them unique and how they can work to your child's benefit. Tammy wrote to me recently about AP Exams:



I saw an ad in the local school bulletin.They are having AP Exams. Is that something my son can take to show his "intelligence" in a subject or is it more like the CLEP Exams?! I know I didn't word that properly, but you know what I mean, I believe.Or is it a test to take to see if you can take an AP class? I think he might be ready for the SPANISH AP Exam. would be wise to take this?  He's nearly done with RS Spanish, has one more level, but by time he takes the test, he may be done. Thanks!
~ Tammy

AP exams are subject exams.  They measure how much your student knows in a subject like economics or history. They are not a general test that show grade levels, so they can't be used like a standardized test.  They aren't an intelligence test.  They aren't the same as the SAT or ACT college admission test.  AP tests cover just ONE subject per test.

AP exams are very similar to CLEP Exams.  You can read a comparison here:  AP and CLEP Comparison.

The AP exam is taken at the end of an AP class.  However, ANYONE can take an AP test, even if you haven't taken an AP class.   In public schools, they don't always offer every AP class that kids want or need.  Those children are allowed to study a subject on their own and take the AP test without having an AP class.  Basically they are doing it just like we do - homeschooling the class and taking the test.

You don't have to take a test to get into an AP class.  You don't have to have an AP class to take the AP test.

If you decide to take any of the tests, it's a good idea to give a practice test at home first, to be certain your son can pass.  Once you are certain he can pass, then you can do some additional study to increase the score. Some  AP teachers suggest that students register for and take both the AP and the SAT Subject test for each class.  That way if kids do poorly on the AP and choose not to report the score to a college, they will still have the (easier) SAT test scores to show for all their hard work.

I think it's a good idea to take a subject test after completing a third year of foreign language.  College that require extra testing will often require it in foreign language more than other areas.

For more information you might want to get a comparison of the high school tests.  I have an audio course that covers SAT, ACT, AP, CLEP, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT and PLAN.  That class, "High School Testing" is also a free bonus if you purchase the Total Transcript Solution or the Comprehensive Record Solution.



See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are there to help you share helpful posts with others who might need encouragement.  Go ahead and give it a try.  I promise that nothing will blow up!
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How Early is Too Early for the PSAT?

How Early is Too Early for the PSAT?
Michelle asked: I was wondering if there is a minimum age requirement for the PSAT.  I have students who are interested in taking it earlier than in 10th grade.

Hi Michelle,

The College Board is the company that makes the PSAT, and their website is www.collegeboard.com.  They would love nothing more than having you take the test as many times as possible, because that is the product they are selling.  Students usually take the test in junior year, because that's when it counts for scholarships.  You can take it in the sophomore year for fun, so that you have a better chance at scholarships the following year.  I know that in some parts of the country, a few public schools will actively encourage their students to take it in 9th grade.

Information on the PSAT is here:
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html

Here is information about what the test contains:
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/prep.html

The test does include some algebra and some geometry.  For that reason, taking the test early may only cause frustration.  If the student simply CAN'T score well, because they don't have the requisite math, then the test will only be an exercise in frustration.  You don't want to put your child into a situation where they will feel badly about a test they will need to take next year or the year afterward.  Taking the test very early can backfire.

Consider your goal for the test.  Do you need a cheap annual assessment?  This may fit the bill, since it's only $13.  Do you want to know how well they will score so you can choose a college?  It may not be an accurate test, because you are measuring the child against students who are much older, so their percentile grade might not represent their score in 2 more years.  Do you want it for SAT practice?  You may get more meaningful practice at home, using SAT prep books where you can TEACH the unknown concepts, instead of test them without teaching.

There may not be anything wrong with taking the PSAT earlier than junior year, but consider what your goals are for the test. What is your reason for taking the test?  Do they have enough math to avoid frustration?  Can you substitute another test that contains subjects they know?  If taking the test will meet your goals, that's fine.  If not, then skip it until 10th or 11th grade.

Taking the test in 9th grade?  Another fine example of how the parents always know best.  The parent is the only one who has ALL the information to make these decisions.  In public schools, their guidance counselor would only have *some* of the information.  In a homeschool, we can look at every side of the issue to decide!  It's very uncommon to take the test in 9th grade, but it does happen.

I hope that helps!


If you need more help with high school tests, I have an audio course that describes them all in detail.  Here is the information about "High School Testing" on audio CD. This audio course is available for free with the purchase of my e-book, "The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts." It's one of the fabulous free bonuses that come with the book!
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Finding a PSAT test location

Finding a PSAT test location
Eva asked: "Out of curiosity, I tried to find a location for the PSAT near us up here at Lake Tapps, Washington.  I left the last two digits of the zip code field blank, and no matter which city name I entered, no locations were found.  If it exists, would there be an advantage to finding a private Christian school which is a PSAT test site?

Eva Gallagher, Alpacas of FairMeadowsFarm.com & SpinAlpaca.com

Hi Eva,
Try searching at this site using "Washington" and scroll down until you see a high school that is nearby.  It may be a few towns over :-)

Some say that there is an advantage in having a private Christian school, because the environment is a little bit nicer.  That may be true, but I would also look for a school that tests BOTH the SAT and the PSAT.  That way your children are testing in the same setting both times, making sure that the PSAT environment is as close as possible to the SAT environment.






If you need more information about the typical high school tests (PSAT, ACT, SAT, SAT II, etc.), check out my High School Testing audio CD.
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