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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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