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How can we help ds to be faster on the PSAT/SAT?

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#101 wapiti

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:30 PM

Really dumb question:  so, you put the snack in the backpack... where does the backpack sit during the test?  At the front of the room or near the student?  Maybe a lunch tote would be better instead - I think the calculator should fit inside.  And no phone at all in the backpack; what time to pick up, 12:30-ish ?


Edited by wapiti, 22 August 2017 - 07:59 PM.

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#102 Arcadia

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:59 PM

Really dumb question: so, you put the snack in the backpack. Where does the backpack sit during the test? At the front of the room or near the student? And no phone at all in the backpack, correct? What time to pick up, 12:30-ish ?

Where my kids took, the backpack sits under their desk. Phones are allowed but must be powered off and not taken out of their bags/backpacks until outside the exam zone. So kids are not allowed to take their cellphones out of their bags when they leave the classroom, they have to wait until they are out of the demarcated exam zone.

Pickup is around 12:30pm. SAT with essay can be later if the test site starts at 9am.

I put my kids drinks and snacks in their lunch bags, the kind kids bring to school. They have a 10 min break and a 5 min break so I typically pack two 250ml packet drinks/cans of soda and some snacks.

ETA:
"Turn Off All Electronic Devices
You’ll need to turn off all electronic devices during the test and even during breaks. This includes cellphones. Be sure to turn off your watch alarm, if you have one."
Source: SAT test day checklist https://collegereadi...t-day-checklist

Edited by Arcadia, 22 August 2017 - 08:02 PM.

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#103 MomsintheGarden

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:45 PM

I like the idea of a snack, Arcadia. I am also wondering if more exercise would help, maybe running?
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#104 Lilaclady

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

Sometimes, some exam centers don't allow back packs so I pack the snacks in a gallon size ziplock bag so they can see what it is.

The AP center has a place outside the hall where the students have to leave everything so they only had the snacks after they were done.
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#105 wapiti

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:09 PM

Hmm, CB seems a little ambiguous on phones:

 

To ensure that no one gets an unfair advantage on test day, test center staff are encouraged to collect and hold phones and other prohibited electronic devices during the test administration, including break periods, or to deny admission to anyone who is in possession of a phone or other prohibited electronic device.

 

 

Seems safest to not bring it at all.  We will just choose a pickup location out front.


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#106 Arcadia

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:22 PM

I like the idea of a snack, Arcadia. I am also wondering if more exercise would help, maybe running?

My "hyperactive" kid was told by the psychologist that he was allowed to run, jump, dance in between test sections for the WISC (IQ) test a few years ago. So why not for any restroom/snack breaks during any other test.

My kids did brisk walk to their test rooms because the distance from the notice board with the classroom allocation lists to the rooms itself was quite a walk.

The first break is 10mins and is after the Reading section. Kids aren't allowed to talk. My younger kid could practically do the Macarena or Riverdance during that break because he does not like sitting still. It would be awful for him to not talk and not move.

The second break is 5 mins and after the Math - No calculator section. I know both my kids did some stretching and head rotation exercise because they do get stiff neck after two sections.

The third break is 5 mins and before the essay. My kids didn't take the essay. They were "starving" when they came out so I would packed food and drinks for three recess (break time) worth when they take SAT with essay. Apparently test taking makes my kids hungry at faster interval than 2hrs.

Maybe you can ask your child to do a practice test with the official break times. Ask your child to do simple stretching exercises like head rotations, bending to touch toes, fingers cross stretch behind back.

There is lots of shoulder tension when sitting down and taking tests. My high school PE teacher taught me to unknot my knotted muscles (trigger points) on my shoulder during 11th grade. I knew I had knotted muscles on my shoulder blade area but didn't do anything about it until my female PE teacher massage those knots away. Now I do that for my kids as my older boy does feel pain after mostly sitting still for hours of outsourced class work.

Below quoted explains and the link tells you what you can do if your child or you have knotted muscles due to too much sitting and stress.

"Trigger points are tight knots of muscle fiber that can’t relax. According to Daniel J. Leizman, MD, a specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management, trigger points are predominantly in the trapezius muscle, which stretches from the base of your skull, down to the middle of your back and over to your shoulder.

“You could have multiple trigger points in one muscle, maybe a few inches apart,” says Dr. Leizman. “Muscle often feels denser and tighter at a trigger point — more rope-like. When you push on it, pain spreads throughout the muscle area.”" https://health.cleve...ger-point-pain/

Edited by Arcadia, 22 August 2017 - 11:34 PM.


#107 Arcadia

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:32 PM

Hmm, CB seems a little ambiguous on phones:

Seems safest to not bring it at all. We will just choose a pickup location out front.

Further down on the same page

"Test centers are serious about security and quiet, so prohibited devices—which include cellphones, tablets, and MP3 players—must be turned off and put under your desk. Better yet: Leave them at home."
https://collegereadi...c-device-policy

Designating a pickup location is the best.

Some of the high schools here has been on lockdown before so parents feel better if their kids have a powered off cellphone with them. If a lockdown occur on test day due to an armed burglar in the vicinity, the last thing parents care about would be void SAT scores from cell phone use. The high school where my younger boy took the SAT was on lockdown in 2009 due to a teenager with a loaded gun nearby.

Edited by Arcadia, 22 August 2017 - 11:35 PM.

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#108 wapiti

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:49 PM

It's annoying me that the rule on possession of a turned-off cell phone isn't clearer - turned off under desk vs possible denial of admission, big difference.  I think I'll have her leave it at home even though I have no idea what time she'd be done with the essay - I will get there at 1:00 and wait, I suppose.  Read the forums in the car on my phone, lol.  (Lockdowns - and more typically lockouts - occur in our area with some frequency, usually because there's a suspect being pursued by police within some sort of radius that is miles big; this happens at least a couple of times per year.  Ds11's school had a lockdown already this school year due to an unauthorized salesman.  Doesn't worry me.)


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#109 RegGuheert

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 07:49 AM

For my oldest, breakfast on test day was at 7am and we reach the test site around 7:40am. They tend to start earliest at 8:30am. He is starving by the time the 10mins break comes around. I usually pack a snack and a soda for him because he gets a "low sugar crash". He is good at knowing whether he needs the snack or the soda. My snacks are all in the mostly junk food category like fruit strip, beef jerky, M&M, Mars bar (ETA: he is a slow eater so can't finish a burrito or burger in time). I don't want to deal with a cranky kid after SAT or ACT so it is junk food day on test days. This kid doesn't eat eggs, and things like granola bars or Clif bars doesn't sustain him beyond 2hrs. He would do stretches during break if he feels stiff. I did warm up exercises like jogging on the spot during exam toilet breaks when I was a teen.

My younger eat eggs but would be hungry within 2hrs. However he doesn't get the "low sugar crash" like his brother. I still pack junk food for his SAT test 10 minutes break just in case he is hungry as a treat. This kid can do jumping jacks during breaks and is my "hyperactive" child.

Thanks!  I like the snack idea.  Registration for the PSAT is two weeks from today.  I will try to find out about their snack policy at that time.  I'm thinking something quick like string cheese might work for DS17.

 

My younger boy is prepping for the math subject tests. All the questions he got wrong was due to overthinking. My older explained to him and "translated" test English to layman English. He is doing the subject test for the experience because he always do better for outside tests than at home :p

I'm also convinced that DS17 does better on actual test days.  I believe adrenaline improves both his speed and his stamina.  Last year at the PSAT he got his highest score on Math With Calculator.  As such, perhaps this is not such a huge concern, but I am hopeful that he can have some successes during his prep work here at home to help build confidence.



#110 Arcadia

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:20 AM

Registration for the PSAT is two weeks from today. I will try to find out about their snack policy at that time.


"You may bring snacks or drinks to have during a break. They must be placed under your desk during testing."
Page 4 of the Fall 2017 PSAT student guide https://collegereadi...-nmsqt-2017.pdf
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#111 RegGuheert

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 01:28 PM

This year we also have the 2016 Official PSAT and will receive a practice exam for each child when we register them (four children). We are hopeful it will not be identical to a previous administration, but we do not know.

I paid for our 2017 PSAT tests today.  Unfortunately the practice exam which is included in the booklets is identical to the practice exam which was distributed in 2015.  As a result, I have no new PSAT tests to give DS17.  Just PSATs he has previously seen and some SAT exams.


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#112 amsunshine

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 01:53 PM

Ugh. That's so weird! Maybe it's because the 2015 PSAT was changed to the new version and they don't have enough samples of practice exams? They probably figure kids only take it twice. Still, it seems a little lazy on the part of CB. It will be interesting to see what they put out next year.
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#113 RegGuheert

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:38 AM

The official PSAT for DS17 is four weeks from today so I figure it's a good time for a status update.

 

DS17 took the sixth and last test from the Ivy Global 6 Practice Tests book yesterday.  He did well:

 

Reading: 50/52

Writing: 42/44

Math No Calculator: 20/20

Math With Calculator:  34/38 in the allotted time, 36/38 after about 10 minutes longer.

 

I believe that is close to NMF status, but not quite in our state.  As you can see, his speed is much better than it was when I started this thread, but he is still fairly tight on Math With Calculator.  In this case, he spent his time on a problem which he knew how to do, but he made some math errors while working on it.

 

Looking forward DS17 will take the official College Board SAT Practice Test #8 next week.  He will then take PSAT tests from the College Board the following two weeks.  Unfortunately, I have no PSAT tests which he hasn't already seen, so those will not be new to him.  Finally, he is taking the October 7, 2017, administration of the SAT as his final "practice" before the PSAT on October 11.  I just pray that he has a good test day for the SAT so that he does not become discouraged.  That decision was a trade-off between getting another official practice in with some risk of discouragement versus having an extra few weeks of prep to do for the SAT in November.  He chose this approach, which I fully support.  Hopefully he will be fully done with both the PSAT and the SAT on October 11!

 

Since the math problems seem to be the most popular part of this thread, here is the problem which consumed DS17's time yesterday:

 

Line L passes through the points (-3, 1) and (1, 3), Line M passes through the points (2, -4) and (7, 11).  If L and M intersect at the point (x, y), what is the value of x + y?

 

A)  4

B)  5

C)  6

D)  10

 

He eventually got the right answer, but I don't see the shortcut which allows for a rapid solution.  Normally with a problem of this type, there is a way to quickly solve for x + y.  Does anyone see a way to do this quickly?  TIA!

 

I have to say that it has been interesting this year doing PSAT prep this year with DS17 along with his twin siblings DD15 and DS15.  They are all so different!  Neither of the twins have problems with speed on these tests.  DS15 is what MomsintheGarden calls a "plodder".  He is uber-consistent and works very hard.  His scores reflect it.  He achieved a NMF score last week and only missed by a bit this week because he missed six reading questions (not yet consistent there).  DD15 is the opposite of consistent.  For instance, yesterday she got a perfect score on Math No Calculator and then missed 10 out of 31 on Math With Calculator just a few minutes later. :willy_nilly:

 

Thanks again to all who have provided their anecdotes, expertise and support in this thread!  I hope that PSAT and/or SAT prep is going well for your children this year.


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#114 RegGuheert

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 03:59 PM

PSAT prep is done!  DS17 will take the SAT on Saturday and the *official* PSAT next Wednesday.  His abilities on these tests have improved immensely.  He completed all of the last three official College Board practice tests that he has taken.  He achieved the following scores on those tests: SAT #8: 1520, PSAT #1: 1500, PSAT #2 1500.

 

At this point I will say that he is "ready" with full knowledge that the PSAT has very little room for missed questions if the goal is to achieve NM Finalist status in this state (VA).  I've asked DS17 to relax between now and Saturday and rest in the confidence that he knows the materials well.

 

Thanks again to all for the many forms of assistance provided in this thread!  Hopefully others will benefit (or have benefited) from the discussions here.

 

I will update as we receive his scores.  Good luck to all the other 11th-grade students taking the PSAT next week!


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#115 RegGuheert

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:56 PM

DS17 took the SAT this morning.  It sounds like he did well, but he unfortunately did not complete the Reading section of the test.  He thinks he guessed on seven questions due to running out of time.  This is something that happened on the PSAT test last year, as well.  It seems that he is used to being able to keep time using a clock during the practice sessions and he did not come up with a way to time himself properly in the actual testing situation.  We are trying to find an appropriate timepiece for him to use and to make sure he knows how to use it before the PSAT on Wednesday.

 

OTOH, he completed the other three sections of the test, including BOTH Math sections!  Of those, he only struggled with one problem on the Math With Calculator section related to a circle.  It sounds as if the circle was a red herring and he could have easily solved the problem with the Pythagorean Theorum, but that solution did not come to him.  As long as his accuracy was good on the other problems, he should achieve a high math score.  (His #1 school choice does superscore.)

 

We've encouraged him not to worry about what happened in the Reading section since he usually finishes it in time.  Hopefully we can come up with an appropriate timepiece that he can use.

 

Did anyone else take the SAT today?


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#116 daijobu

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:06 PM

Just the SAT subject test in Level 2 math for my dd16.  The curve is pretty generous, so we aren't really worried.  As I write this, she is destressing by tutoring some adorable kids at the dining table in Math Kangaroo.  

 

She'll be taking the PSAT next week and the SAT at the end of the month.  

 

 


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#117 RootAnn

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:38 PM

I'm glad you guys had him take the SAT right before the PSAT so you could catch things like the time-keeping issue. I'm having DD take one more PSAT practice test this weekend in prep for the "real thing" on Wednesday.


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#118 daijobu

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 10:14 PM

I'm glad you guys had him take the SAT right before the PSAT so you could catch things like the time-keeping issue. I'm having DD take one more PSAT practice test this weekend in prep for the "real thing" on Wednesday.

 

It's funny you write that because isn't the PSAT supposed to prepare you for the SAT?  But now it seems the NM Scholar thing has eclipsed the SAT.  


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#119 RegGuheert

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 05:56 AM

It's funny you write that because isn't the PSAT supposed to prepare you for the SAT?  But now it seems the NM Scholar thing has eclipsed the SAT.  

Certainly for us it has.  At many schools, merit scholarships based upon achieving NM Finalist status are worth significantly more than any SAT-based scholarships.  In the case of DS17 and his target school, a NM Finalist will earn probably about $70,000 more worth of scholarships than will one based solely on the SAT (regardless of the SAT score).

 

ETA:  Funny thing:  If we lived a mile from here to the northeast, achieving NM Finalist would be significantly easier than it is living here!  In fact, DS17 likely would have achieved it last year under those conditions.


Edited by RegGuheert, 08 October 2017 - 05:58 AM.

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#120 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 11:24 AM

For various reasons, my teen wasn't able to take the PSAT in 10th for a trial run. We've read over materials for the test as part of her test prep, but just to make sure we're not overlooking anything....

 

#2 pencils, ID, and approved calculator are all that's needed, correct?

 

Do students typically bring water and snacks for the PSAT?

 

Are any codes needed? It's my understanding codes for major will be provided on-site.

 

Sorry if I missed this being discussed elsewhere.

 

ETA: Ack! I just realized I somehow skipped some posts in the thread about snacks. Apologies! Going back to read more carefully now!


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 08 October 2017 - 11:27 AM.

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#121 RootAnn

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:13 AM

Bumping this one more time for anyone who could use the wisdom in this thread before tomorrow (snack!).

Dd did amazingly well on her last practice math (all questions correct on math with calc!), but struggled on the Reading section (again!). No idea why. She blames it on the thinking from the Erica Metzler book I made her go through. I hope she can shake it off for tomorrow as she needs all the English points she can get (since the score from those sections are doubled for the NM Selection index).
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#122 Arcadia

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:27 AM

Good luck to all the teens taking tomorrow! Calm nerves for the parents as well.

Just realized all the people affected by the Santa Rosa fires won’t be able to take the PSAT tomorrow or even Saturday. High Schools are evacuation centers right now. Their school counselors would have to submit the alternate entry request for them.

“If a Student Misses the PSAT/NMSQT® Administration
A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance, but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the competition. The student or a school official must write to NMSC as soon as possible after the PSAT/NMSQT administration to request information about procedures for alternate entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program. To be considered, a request must be postmarked no later than April 1 following the PSAT/NMSQT administration that was missed. The alternate entry request should include the name and address of the student; the contact information of the person making the request; the name and address of the student's high school; and a brief explanation of why the student missed the PSAT/NMSQT.”
http://www.nationalm...&gid=2&pgid=398
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#123 JoJosMom

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:43 AM

Good luck to all the teens taking tomorrow! Calm nerves for the parents as well.

Just realized all the people affected by the Santa Rosa fires won’t be able to take the PSAT tomorrow or even Saturday. High Schools are evacuation centers right now. Their school counselors would have to submit the alternate entry request for them.

“If a Student Misses the PSAT/NMSQT® Administration
A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance, but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the competition. The student or a school official must write to NMSC as soon as possible after the PSAT/NMSQT administration to request information about procedures for alternate entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program. To be considered, a request must be postmarked no later than April 1 following the PSAT/NMSQT administration that was missed. The alternate entry request should include the name and address of the student; the contact information of the person making the request; the name and address of the student's high school; and a brief explanation of why the student missed the PSAT/NMSQT.”
http://www.nationalm...&gid=2&pgid=398

 

I have to believe that the College Board, despite its myriad flaws, will have procedures to help students who are prevented by a natural disaster from taking the exam on the regular date.

 

Please God, don't let them prove me wrong.  :001_rolleyes:
 


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#124 amsunshine

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:39 PM

Ugh.  Dds' school just told dd9th today they are changing their PSAT policy for 9th graders and making them take the PSAT10 in the spring.  Could they have been any more last minute?  I've sent an email appeal, and we will see what they do.  So frustrated.


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#125 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:11 PM

Did they give any explanation? (For either the change or the short notice?) How frustrating!


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#126 amsunshine

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:19 PM

Did they give any explanation? (For either the change or the short notice?) How frustrating!

 

No.  And actually, I'm not even sure if they intend to have the 9th graders take the PSAT9 or the PSAT10 in the spring! Regardless, I don't think either is a good substitute for the actual PSAT/NMSQT.  I know CB says the PSAT 10 is the "same test" but they also say the questions on each test are supposed to make sense "for your grade level", so I suspect that at least the math portion is at least a little easier on the PSAT 10, and definitely easier on the PSAT 9.  I would not be as frustrated if they had given us a heads up about this before we signed up, but they didn't and my older dd10th took it last year at this same school, so this is a total surprise.


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#127 amsunshine

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:59 PM

Well -- good news.  The counselor didn't respond directly to me (don't think she likes me) but sent out an email to the 9th graders who wanted to take the PSAT that they can take it tomorrow if they so choose, or they can take the PSAT 8/9 in the spring.  :glare:   Whew -- we avoided the PSAT 8/9.

 

Good luck to all dc taking the test tomorrow!!


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#128 RanchGirl

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 06:44 PM

My 10th grader is going to take the PSAT tomorrow for the first time.  We planned it to be practice for the real event in 11th grade.  But he took a practice exam yesterday and scored high enough to be a semifinalist in our state (using the cutoff from the last few years).  This was a surprise to both of us.

 

Maybe this was a fluke, but IF he scores high, will I have the option of changing his grade to 11 and graduating him early?  He would love to take a gap year and focus on his non-academic interests (singing/acting/dancing).

 

ETA:  In reading on the college board site it does seem we will have the option of having him graduate in 3 years and marking 10th grade would be ok in that situation.  I guess we'll worry about how to accomplish that later if it becomes an issue!  But if anyone else has been through this I would love to hear your story.


Edited by RanchGirl, 10 October 2017 - 07:33 PM.

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#129 RegGuheert

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:36 PM

:hurray:  Woohoo!! DS17 completed the ENTIRE test today and feels that he did well!  He believes he is in the running for NM Semifinalist status!  (This coming from a Guheert child, all of whom typically say they have "NO IDEA" how they did on any given test. :tongue_smilie: )  Of course we won't know how he did until December or January, but I must say that he did all that he could to give himself a shot at it.

 

DS17 took the SAT this morning.  It sounds like he did well, but he unfortunately did not complete the Reading section of the test.  He thinks he guessed on seven questions due to running out of time.  This is something that happened on the PSAT test last year, as well.  It seems that he is used to being able to keep time using a clock during the practice sessions and he did not come up with a way to time himself properly in the actual testing situation.  We are trying to find an appropriate timepiece for him to use and to make sure he knows how to use it before the PSAT on Wednesday.

Well, we didn't have a wristwatch so I disabled the beeper in a timer and sent that in with him, but the test administrator would not let him use it.  He didn't argue the point and instead used the room clock for timing.

 

We are convinced that having him take the SAT on Saturday was a very good decision.  While he was more than a bit disappointed about not completing the reading section of that test, the value of alerting him to that potential issue BEFORE the PSAT was very high indeed.  He made SURE not to repeat that today.

 

One other thing that came up today during the test was that I had inquired during the "pre-bubbling" session about whether we were allowed to bring trail mix containing peanuts and/or peanut-butter-filled pretzels, or whether the school is a nut-free zone.  I was informed that the school was a latex-free zone but NOT a nut-free zone.  As it turns out, my children took the PSAT in a "nut-free classroom" and were not permitted to have their snacks in that room.  Fortunately, they DID allow them to eat their snacks in the hallway.

 

This has been a long, challenging road for DS17, but hopefully he has achieved his goal.  We won't know the answer to that for a couple of months.  In any case, he is DONE with PSAT prep.  But we will have his SAT scores next week and I will post them here.  His SAT scores are certainly high enough for the scholarships at his school since they superscore, but we won't know if he needs to retake the SAT for NM finalist status until we learn how he did on both the PSAT and SAT this time around.

 

Interestingly, the twins (DD15 and DS15) also felt that they did very well on today's test.  I don't know if that means the overall average scores on this year's PSAT will be higher or not, but it does bring up a possibility that we have been contemplating:  If one or both of them achieve NM Semifinalist status this year, we will consider advancing them one year to claim the available scholarships.  This is less likely with the twins than with DS17 since they are less consistent on the reading and writing sections, but they certainly have it in them.  We'll cross that bridge if/when we get to it.


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#130 Arcadia

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:47 PM

“You’ll receive your 2017 PSAT/NMSQT scores December 11, 12, or 13. Score availability depends on the state from which you’re accessing your online score report. You’ll get an email once your scores are ready.”
https://collegereadi.../getting-scores

ETA:
None of my kids are taking. I am just being a busybody while following the NorCal fire news.

Edited by Arcadia, 11 October 2017 - 03:50 PM.

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#131 RegGuheert

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:50 PM

Dd did amazingly well on her last practice math (all questions correct on math with calc!), but struggled on the Reading section (again!). No idea why. She blames it on the thinking from the Erica Metzler book I made her go through. I hope she can shake it off for tomorrow as she needs all the English points she can get (since the score from those sections are doubled for the NM Selection index).

Yes, if they ace the reading and writing sections, they have a bit of leeway on the math, but NOT vice versa.  I'm sorry to hear about the Metzler book.  (If it were one of my children, I might be inclined to think that sounded a bit like "I'm going to move the blame to Mom," but I certainly don't know your daughter...)  As I had stated upthread, I stopped DS17 from proceeding with it since his reading and writing scores were so high during test prep this year, not because of the content of the book.

 

The simple fact is that NONE of our children have ever been completely solid on the reading sections of these tests, including DD24, DS19 and the children who took the test today.  This is PARTICULARLY true with test from vendors other than the College Board.  I have gotten to the point where I just say "It's reading and it's from another vendor, so let's not bother going over your misses from this test."  Still, DD24 and DS19 both did very well on their reading sections.  I hope your daughter and all of our children did that today!


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#132 amsunshine

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:01 PM

Yes, if they ace the reading and writing sections, they have a bit of leeway on the math, but NOT vice versa.  I'm sorry to hear about the Metzler book.  (If it were one of my children, I might be inclined to think that sounded a bit like "I'm going to move the blame to Mom," but I certainly don't know your daughter...)  As I had stated upthread, I stopped DS17 from proceeding with it since his reading and writing scores were so high during test prep this year, not because of the content of the book.

 

The simple fact is that NONE of our children have ever been completely solid on the reading sections of these tests, including DD24, DS19 and the children who took the test today.  This is PARTICULARLY true with test from vendors other than the College Board.  I have gotten to the point where I just say "It's reading and it's from another vendor, so let's not bother going over your misses from this test."  Still, DD24 and DS19 both did very well on their reading sections.  I hope your daughter and all of our children did that today!

So, do you just use past tests from College Board?  Any other suggestions?  I think it was your family that likes Ivy Global?  Is Barron's any good?

 

My dds both need to work on the reading/writing sections more than math.  They seem to consistently miss between 3 and 5 total on those sections and are having a hard time improving at that level. We have Erica's grammar workbook, which seems pretty good for drills.  I wish she had a reading workbook like she does for grammar.

 

Thanks for letting me pick your brain!


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#133 amsunshine

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:03 PM

“You’ll receive your 2017 PSAT/NMSQT scores December 11, 12, or 13. Score availability depends on the state from which you’re accessing your online score report. You’ll get an email once your scores are ready.”
https://collegereadi.../getting-scores

ETA:
None of my kids are taking. I am just being a busybody while following the NorCal fire news.

 

LOL!  Thanks for the link -- we were just wondering about the exact date.


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#134 RegGuheert

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:26 PM

So, do you just use past tests from College Board?  Any other suggestions?  I think it was your family that likes Ivy Global?  Is Barron's any good?

No. Yes. Yes. No, well maybe a little.

 

Here is our current approach (number of each type of test we have is in parentheses):

 

The lists of tests below are in order of highest quality to lowest quality, but I administer them in the OPPOSITE order, giving the lowest quality tests first and then increasing the quality as the students approach the actual test.  That said, I DO mix things up some so that they don't take all six Ivy Global tests in a row, for instance.  Plus, the twins complicate things since they cannot use the same book at the same time.

 

9th grade or younger:  Each year I give them one or two of Barron's PSAT practice tests that we have on CD-ROM (2) and online (1).  The goal is to get them used to the test format while not "wasting" the better test prep materials until later years.

10th grade:  We focus on PSAT prep materials in 10th grade and use a combination of the following materials: 2015 or later College Board administered PSAT tests (3), 2015 or later College Board PSAT practice tests (2), Ivy Global PSAT practice Tests (4), and Barron's PSAT practice tests from books (6).  We also had DD15 and DS15 take two of the SAT practice tests and put their answers into Khan Academy along with transferring their test results from 9th grade so that they could do directed online SAT prep with Khan Academy.  MomsintheGarden also has them do the Khan Academy High School Statistics mission (not AP Statistics) to help in that area.  They get credit for that on their high school transcript.

11th grade:  We focus on SAT prep materials in 11th grade (to over-prep for the PSAT) and use a combination of the following materials:  2016 or later College Board SAT prep tests (8), 2016 or later College Board SAT tests from the Q&A service (1), Ivy Global SAT practice tests: (6).  DS17 took an SAT on the Saturday before the PSAT as an additional practice test.  Also, MomsintheGarden had DS17 start preparing for AP English Language and Composition immediately following the PSAT in 10th grade.  Her thinking was that having him read quality literature would help him with is reading comprehension skills and also that preparation would help him learn how to critically analyzed literature.  (He didn't end up taking that AP last year because the AP Chemistry test was too consuming, but he will take it this year.)

 

I will say that our children are all strong in the writing section due to their many years of Rod and Staff training as well as competition in the National Spelling Bee.  That's not to say they don't miss questions there - they do - but it is often a matter of being more careful.  Sometimes it is a challenging topic such as the proper use of dashes.  Did I get them right in the earlier sentence?  I'm still not sure! :tongue_smilie:

 

This is quite a bit of practice, but I am happy with the results.  When DS17 dropped down from doing SAT prep this year and took two PSAT practice tests, he got a 1500 on each of them (though he had seen them both a year ago).

 

Regarding the quality of the Ivy Global tests, I have to say they are very high quality, but are just a bit below the quality that comes from the College Board.  Here are some specifics:

 

1)  In the Reading section, I sometimes found myself having difficulty justifying the answer Ivy Global listed as the correct one.  Unfortunately, those tests do not have answer explanations available, so I did not have a good way to give feedback on reading unless I could see it myself.  With the College Board SAT practice tests, I sometimes have the same problem, but I can always go to the PDF with the answer explanations for each test to find out why they chose a particular answer.  DS17 consistently scored lower on the Ivy Global SAT Reading sections than he did on the College Board Reading sections.

2)  I found the Writing section of Ivy Global to be very close to the College Board sections and DS17 tended to get similar scores on Ivy Global and College Board in this section.  The same issue related to answer explanations applies in this section as well.

3)  I found the Math sections to be a bit more challenging in the Ivy Global SAT practice tests than in the College Board SAT tests.  Some problems were harder and/or more time consuming and DS17 did not complete several of the Math No Calculator sections in the Ivy Global tests.  That's not a bad thing for a practice test, but it can make it difficult to gauge where the student stands.  It can also be a bit demoralizing.  Again, the lack of answer explanations was a bit of an issue.  In the math sections, I can always get the answer, but sometimes I don't always find a fast way to do it.  I recently posted one of their problems upthread to see if there was a quick way to do it and I got no reply.  By way of contrast, challenging College Board math problems almost always have a fast way (and slower ways) that they can be solved and those different ways are discussed in the answers PDF file.

 

My dds both need to work on the reading/writing sections more than math.  They seem to consistently miss between 3 and 5 total on those sections and are having a hard time improving at that level. We have Erica's grammar workbook, which seems pretty good for drills.  I wish she had a reading workbook like she does for grammar.

This is precisely where DS17 was when he took the official PSAT in 10th grade.  But when he started prepping for this year's test in June, everything was different:  He often missed 0, 1, or 2 questions with an occasional time when he would miss something like 5 (these results were on SAT tests having 52 questions).  But the lower scores were usually on the Ivy Global tests.  Frankly, I think the prep for AP English Language and Composition really made a difference for him.  MomsintheGarden also believes that his brain has simply matured during that time.

 

BTW, I also gave DS17 the following goals for his official PSAT test:  Miss two or fewer questions on Reading and miss no more than one question each on Writing, Math No Calculator and Math With Calculator.  My thinking is that he needs SOMETHING to shoot for, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect a perfect score on ANY section since mistakes inevitably happen.  The goal is to try to limit them to a suitable level.  (Hopefully he did that today! :tongue_smilie: )

 

The twins (DD15 and DS15) have already consumed all of the PSAT prep materials we have, so they will be using SAT materials almost exclusively next year (except for one or two PSAT practice tests right before the official test).


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#135 amsunshine

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:32 PM

No. Yes. Yes. No, well maybe a little.

 

Here is our current approach (number of each type of test we have is in parentheses):

 

The lists of tests below are in order of highest quality to lowest quality, but I administer them in the OPPOSITE order, giving the lowest quality tests first and then increasing the quality as the students approach the actual test.  That said, I DO mix things up some so that they don't take all six Ivy Global tests in a row, for instance.  Plus, the twins complicate things since they cannot use the same book at the same time.

 

9th grade or younger:  Each year I give them one or two of Barron's PSAT practice tests that we have on CD-ROM (2) and online (1).  The goal is to get them used to the test format while not "wasting" the better test prep materials until later years.

10th grade:  We focus on PSAT prep materials in 10th grade and use a combination of the following materials: 2015 or later College Board administered PSAT tests (3), 2015 or later College Board PSAT practice tests (2), Ivy Global PSAT practice Tests (4), and Barron's PSAT practice tests from books (6).  We also had DD15 and DS15 take two of the SAT practice tests and put their answers into Khan Academy along with transferring their test results from 9th grade so that they could do directed online SAT prep with Khan Academy.  MomsintheGarden also has them do the Khan Academy High School Statistics mission (not AP Statistics) to help in that area.  They get credit for that on their high school transcript.

11th grade:  We focus on SAT prep materials in 11th grade (to over-prep for the PSAT) and use a combination of the following materials:  2016 or later College Board SAT prep tests (8), 2016 or later College Board SAT tests from the Q&A service (1), Ivy Global SAT practice tests: (6).  DS17 took an SAT on the Saturday before the PSAT as an additional practice test.  Also, MomsintheGarden had DS17 start preparing for AP English Language and Composition immediately following the PSAT in 10th grade.  Her thinking was that having him read quality literature would help him with is reading comprehension skills and also that preparation would help him learn how to critically analyzed literature.  (He didn't end up taking that AP last year because the AP Chemistry test was too consuming, but he will take it this year.)

 

I will say that our children are all strong in the writing section due to their many years of Rod and Staff training as well as competition in the National Spelling Bee.  That's not to say they don't miss questions there - they do - but it is often a matter of being more careful.  Sometimes it is a challenging topic such as the proper use of dashes.  Did I get them right in the earlier sentence?  I'm still not sure! :tongue_smilie:

 

This is quite a bit of practice, but I am happy with the results.  When DS17 dropped down from doing SAT prep this year and took two PSAT practice tests, he got a 1500 on each of them (though he had seen them both a year ago).

 

Regarding the quality of the Ivy Global tests, I have to say they are very high quality, but are just a bit below the quality that comes from the College Board.  Here are some specifics:

 

1)  In the Reading section, I sometimes found myself having difficulty justifying the answer Ivy Global listed as the correct one.  Unfortunately, those tests do not have answer explanations available, so I did not have a good way to give feedback on reading unless I could see it myself.  With the College Board SAT practice tests, I sometimes have the same problem, but I can always go to the PDF with the answer explanations for each test to find out why they chose a particular answer.  DS17 consistently scored lower on the Ivy Global SAT Reading sections than he did on the College Board Reading sections.

2)  I found the Writing section of Ivy Global to be very close to the College Board sections and DS17 tended to get similar scores on Ivy Global and College Board in this section.  The same issue related to answer explanations applies in this section as well.

3)  I found the Math sections to be a bit more challenging in the Ivy Global SAT practice tests than in the College Board SAT tests.  Some problems were harder and/or more time consuming and DS17 did not complete several of the Math No Calculator sections in the Ivy Global tests.  That's not a bad thing for a practice test, but it can make it difficult to gauge where the student stands.  It can also be a bit demoralizing.  Again, the lack of answer explanations was a bit of an issue.  In the math sections, I can always get the answer, but sometimes I don't always find a fast way to do it.  I recently posted one of their problems upthread to see if there was a quick way to do it and I got no reply.  By way of contrast, challenging College Board math problems almost always have a fast way (and slower ways) that they can be solved and those different ways are discussed in the answers PDF file.

 

This is precisely where DS17 was when he took the official PSAT in 10th grade.  But when he started prepping for this year's test in June, everything was different:  He often missed 0, 1, or 2 questions with an occasional time when he would miss something like 5 (these results were on SAT tests having 52 questions).  But the lower scores were usually on the Ivy Global tests.  Frankly, I think the prep for AP English Language and Composition really made a difference for him.  MomsintheGarden also believes that his brain has simply matured during that time.

 

BTW, I also gave DS17 the following goals for his official PSAT test:  Miss two or fewer questions on Reading and miss no more than one question each on Writing, Math No Calculator and Math With Calculator.  My thinking is that he needs SOMETHING to shoot for, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect a perfect score on ANY section since mistakes inevitably happen.  The goal is to try to limit them to a suitable level.  (Hopefully he did that today! :tongue_smilie: )

 

The twins (DD15 and DS15) have already consumed all of the PSAT prep materials we have, so they will be using SAT materials almost exclusively next year (except for one or two PSAT practice tests right before the official test).

 

 

Thank you so much!  This is really helpful for me.  


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#136 daijobu

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:49 PM

ETA:
None of my kids are taking. I am just being a busybody while following the NorCal fire news.

 

No kidding.  I went to pick up dd and it looked like the fire was at the high school, not 100 miles away.  The red light coming in through my windows looks eerie.  


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#137 Arcadia

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:50 PM

In case you are unaware of My College QuickStart

“My College QuickStart shows how you did on the PSAT and provides a personalized SAT study plan.
...
Scrolling down the screen, the Your Answers tab shows your response for each test question, the correct answer, and the difficulty level of that question. You can filter your view of the questions by skill or difficulty level as well as questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or omitted. For example, try viewing the easy questions you got wrong. If you click on a question number, you’ll see the question and answer explanation. You can review the questions you got wrong and see why you got them wrong.”
https://www.collegeboard.org/node/6136
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#138 amsunshine

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:52 PM

No kidding.  I went to pick up dd and it looked like the fire was at the high school, not 100 miles away.  The red light coming in through my windows looks eerie.  

 

So scary!!  I hate fires.


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#139 Arcadia

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:54 PM

No kidding. I went to pick up dd and it looked like the fire was at the high school, not 100 miles away. The red light coming in through my windows looks eerie.


The smoke smell has reach my home and I am about 90miles south (near to Levi’s). My skies are foggy but not reddish :(
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#140 wapiti

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:56 PM

I'm kind of irked about the standard deviation problem but I suppose it's to be expected (Common Core).


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#141 daijobu

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:12 PM

I'm kind of irked about the standard deviation problem but I suppose it's to be expected (Common Core).

 

Dd agrees with you.  She's glad she took AP statistics last year.  


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#142 wapiti

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:47 PM

Dd agrees with you.  She's glad she took AP statistics last year.  

 

No such luck over here.  I'm surprised to hear that the math was harder than the SAT (as perceived by my student).


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#143 RegGuheert

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:22 PM

No such luck over here.  I'm surprised to hear that the math was harder than the SAT (as perceived by my student).

 

I asked DS17 if the math was harder on the PSAT than the SAT he took on Saturday:  "Maybe a little."


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#144 RootAnn

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:28 PM

No such luck over here.  I'm surprised to hear that the math was harder than the SAT (as perceived by my student).

 

DD agrees with your student. She took the SAT in Aug. We'll see how the scores match (or don't).


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#145 RegGuheert

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

Since DS17 *may* have made the NM Semifinalist cutoff for VA but he didn't complete the reading section of the SAT he sat for last Saturday, we decided to go ahead and schedule him for the November 4 sitting.  We feel he is fully trained at this point and now is the best time for him to complete his testing.  One issue we have if we don't do this is that we are completely out of prep materials for him.

 

So no further SAT prep beyond reviewing his October 7 test results when they come in and perhaps a bit of review of statistics on Khan Academy.


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#146 wapiti

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:39 PM

Do you guys think this increases the likelihood that CB will put more stats, such as standard deviation, on future SATs?  Has it shown up there before?


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#147 Arcadia

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:07 PM

Do you guys think this increases the likelihood that CB will put more stats, such as standard deviation, on future SATs? Has it shown up there before?

My kid who took the June 2017 SAT probably can’t remember if there was a standard deviation question. Both my boys revised their statistics though for probably less than 30mins when they did test prep. The actual calculation of SD is not required, just the conceptual understanding.

“Use statistics to investigate measures of center of data and analyze shape, center, and spread. The student will calculate measures of center and/or spread for a given set of data or use given statistics to compare two separate sets of data. The measures of center that may be calculated include mean, median, and mode, and the measures of spread that may be calculated include range. When comparing two data sets, the student may investigate mean, median, mode, range, and/or standard deviation.” https://collegereadi...g-data-analysis

ETA:
Page 14 example 13 https://collegereadi...ta-analysis.pdf

Edited by Arcadia, 12 October 2017 - 02:17 PM.

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#148 wapiti

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:58 PM

From what I gather from random kids on the internet, the PSAT question involved calculating SD from the spread by simple division (?).  Obviously I don't know the wording and can't see the graph but the answer was a number.  Hopefully the random kids on the internet are right because I think my kid guessed correctly.


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#149 Arcadia

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 03:45 PM

I have to believe that the College Board, despite its myriad flaws, will have procedures to help students who are prevented by a natural disaster from taking the exam on the regular date.


Santa Rosa city schools students will be taking on 25th October which is the official alternate date. Schools will remain close next week though for the Santa Rosa City Schools.
“What is the new date of the PSAT?
October 25th. Location: TBD”
https://docs.google....FqU/mobilebasic

#150 ElizabethB

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 04:18 AM

Since DS17 *may* have made the NM Semifinalist cutoff for VA but he didn't complete the reading section of the SAT he sat for last Saturday, we decided to go ahead and schedule him for the November 4 sitting.  We feel he is fully trained at this point and now is the best time for him to complete his testing.  One issue we have if we don't do this is that we are completely out of prep materials for him.

 

So no further SAT prep beyond reviewing his October 7 test results when they come in and perhaps a bit of review of statistics on Khan Academy.

 

If he does some nonsense word training and over learns the 2 letter vowel teams, that may improve his reading speed and allow more time per question and allow him to easily finish the reading section.  I've had students who have taken my Syllables class as a co-op group class just for spelling or word root study who were reading at or above grade level who improved their oral reading speed after doing the nonsense words and syllables. They have said that they were able to read their books faster, too, but I've not timed before and after silent reading speeds, I've just added those tests recently.

 

You can work through it quickly with the transcript and then just do the nonsense word fluency, the nonsense word syllable division, and a few syllables.  For over learning the 2 letter vowel teams, go over their their sounds daily with the one page chart, link #9 in the student folder.

 

http://www.thephonic...lesspellsu.html

 

You are most likely to improve your reading speed if you read the nonsense words at less than 100 WPM or have a slowdown on the MWIA or read below 500 WPM silently, otherwise it might not be worth trying.  The tests are all at the end, the last section, including a short nonsense word speed test.


Edited by ElizabethB, 14 October 2017 - 04:24 AM.

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