Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

What do you do if dear child's standardized test scores are *tragic*?


98 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 03:58 PM

I cannot even bear to show these to my son. He meets the benchmark for college in only one subject area. Yup. ONE!

I have never heard of a kid bombing the test this badly. Of course, who would ever say so?I can't even type the results. I can't even say them out loud or text them to my best friend.

I have no idea what to do.
  • DawnM likes this

#2 teachermom2834

teachermom2834

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2187 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:04 PM

What grade is he?

Sorry!!

#3 wapiti

wapiti

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11354 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:04 PM

I can't quite remember, but is this a student with possible learning issues?  I would try to determine the reason for the low scores.  If time/slow speed is the main problem, an extra time accommodation might be available and could possibly make a big difference.  Did you ever end up doing testing?

Were these scores very different from scores in practice tests?  What sort of test prep did he do?


Edited by wapiti, 03 May 2017 - 04:06 PM.

  • swimmermom3, freesia and Pawz4me like this

#4 chiguirre

chiguirre

    RABble raiser

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7321 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:05 PM

Doesn't your ds have documented LDs? Did he have accomodations? If not, I'd cancel the scores and never tell him at all. If he did, they're not enough if there is a huge discrepancy between his grades and his scores. Could you ask the high school guidance counselor for advice?

 

And, finally, if worse comes to worst, he can go to CC and transfer without ever taking another standardized test.


  • Ravin, freesia, snowbeltmom and 1 other like this

#5 OneStepAtATime

OneStepAtATime

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30474 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:06 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

What do you feel might have been the issue?  Poor test taking skills?  Bad day?  Underlying learning challenges that needed accommodation?  Genuinely didn't know the material?  Took too long answering and didn't finish?  Misunderstood the instructions?

 

Has he ever taken a test like that before?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 03 May 2017 - 04:08 PM.

  • Julie of KY and swimmermom3 like this

#6 Lawyer&Mom

Lawyer&Mom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 898 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:08 PM

Has he done any test prep? My sister bombed her first SAT and with substantial tutoring was able to raise her math score by 100 points. (If you start low enough, major score improvements are possible.) She needed a combination of content reinforcement and test taking skills. (She's a super hard worker who now makes more than I do, so weak standardized test scores are only one measure of a person!)
  • MomsintheGarden and swimmermom3 like this

#7 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:16 PM

I can't quite remember, but is this a student with possible learning issues? I would try to determine the reason for the low scores. If time/slow speed is the main problem, an extra time accommodation might be available and could possibly make a big difference. Did you ever end up doing testing?

Were these scores very different from scores in practice tests? What sort of test prep did he do?

Yes. He is a junior. I did have evaluations done last summer. He has some documented LD's, but they are not "standard" things and this was not a neuropsych. He has slow processing speed and poor word retrieval. For high school, he is allowed extra time and can use audio resources to facilitate reading. I did not obtain accommodations for this test; I am embarrassed to say I could not figure out how to register and have the accommodations certified by the school. This was ACT, which is not connected to his private school. So, I just did not know how to get registered and have the school certify his need for accommodations. He told me when he took the test that not having extra time was a horrible thing and he finished no section in time allotted.

He has only done PSAT previously. Those scores were not awesome, but they weren't as low as these. We did not do SAT because counselor advised not to because the new test has not been normed. So this was his first experience with ACT, though I don't know that the unfamiliar test could possibly be the big issue.

P.s. He does have two good prep books, which he worked in some, but not in a methodical way. I did not "make" him prep in any particular way and I didn't assist him.

Edited by Quill, 03 May 2017 - 04:17 PM.


#8 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:18 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

What do you feel might have been the issue? Poor test taking skills? Bad day? Underlying learning challenges that needed accommodation? Genuinely didn't know the material? Took too long answering and didn't finish? Misunderstood the instructions?

Has he ever taken a test like that before?


He took too long. He has a major difficulty with this as it is, but a testing environment shines a glaring light on it.

#9 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:22 PM

Doesn't your ds have documented LDs? Did he have accomodations? If not, I'd cancel the scores and never tell him at all. If he did, they're not enough if there is a huge discrepancy between his grades and his scores. Could you ask the high school guidance counselor for advice?

And, finally, if worse comes to worst, he can go to CC and transfer without ever taking another standardized test.


How do you cancel the scores? He is going to be looking for the result for sure. He will know there were scores and he will assume they were unmentionably bad.

I know he can go to CC; I'm not even totally against it as a plan, but he will definitely interpret this as, "I'm too stupid to go directly to any 4-yr college." He has an inferiority complex already. This will not help.
  • DawnM likes this

#10 Daria

Daria

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2130 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:28 PM

There are plenty of schools that will take kids with scores below the "college ready" benchmark.

 

I have a friend whose kid had a composite of 13 (with double time, and every other accommodation you can get).  She got into every school she applied to, and "merit" at several.  Now, she didn't apply to Harvard or her state flagship.  She chose carefully, but there really is a 4 year school for everyone who wants to go.


  • chiguirre, Quill and SweetandSimple like this

#11 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14865 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:29 PM

My younger who has the low (average) processing speed couldn't finish the ACT or SAT. My oldest who supposedly have a good processing speed just managed to finish every section.

I would cancel the scores and apply for testing accommodations for ACT and SAT. It can be demoralizing not to finish the first section and that affects the sections after in terms of morale. My younger boy thought he failed.
  • dirty ethel rackham, NorthwestMom, Quill and 3 others like this

#12 Kinsa

Kinsa

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8841 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:30 PM

I know he can go to CC; I'm not even totally against it as a plan, but he will definitely interpret this as, "I'm too stupid to go directly to any 4-yr college." He has an inferiority complex already. This will not help.

 

No, no, no, no, no!  Going to community college is NOT a failure.  I know you know this, but I want to reiterate this.  I know that on this forum it seems that everyone is getting into one of the top 10 universities with full scholarships, but I assure you that this forum is not normal.  (LOL)

 

Case in point:  My husband did terrible in high school and barely - and I do mean barely - graduated.  He had no plans whatsoever to go to college.  He now has three associate degrees, one bachelor degree, and two master degrees.  And he earns a well-above-average income.  And guess what, none of his colleges are even colleges that anyone has ever heard of.  (Well, the last master degree was from Baylor University, so there's that one.  But I assure you that no one has ever heard of the other schools.  LOL)

 

I promise you that all is not lost.  Keep you chin up, and your son's.  There are as many paths in life as there are people in this world.  He just needs to find his own way, which will probably be nonconventional, and THAT'S OKAY.


  • Hoggirl, SkateLeft, Alice and 21 others like this

#13 luuknam

luuknam

    Feeling the Weight of Levity

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4364 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:31 PM

If he gets accommodations in high school, then you should figure out how to get them for the ACT - from what I've read, getting them for the ACT tends to be easier than getting them for the SAT, although allegedly The College Board made it easier very recently, so it might be a wash now. So, you need to get on that - he'll obviously score better with more time if he ran out of time on everything. 

 

Obviously, you'll have to tell him his scores - but, you can tell him it was your fault that you didn't apply for accommodations, so, mea culpa, these scores are BS, so don't worry about them - we'll have them deleted and make sure you retake it with accommodations (don't delete until you've got the new scores). I'm not entirely sure how to delete the scores - it was mentioned on another thread recently - something about having to send a written request to the ACT people, but Google will probably be able to help you there.


  • chiguirre, Quill, freesia and 1 other like this

#14 creekland

creekland

    Retired homeschooler!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21662 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:32 PM

Inferior complex or not, we've always worked with our kids as a team and I wouldn't change with this.  I'd pick a decent time - possibly with ice cream or another treat - and we'd talk about the scores, logical reasons for the scores, and future plans together.  I've found kids pretty much always do better when part of a team.  If you hide his scores and he figures out why, then he'll know he's inferior - and feel he's let you down.  I think it'd be super important to be able to look together at his strengths and agree that this isn't one of them.

 

It's common for kids to get low scores - very common at my high school.  Many either head to CC or trades.  I always talk this up positively with them - letting them know that everyone on our planet is different and everyone has a niche - they only need to find it.  My nephew couldn't even graduate from high school due to processing problems.  He's good at other things.  He likes knowing we don't think less of him due to physical issues he can't control.


  • Denise in IN, Alice, tentwelve and 13 others like this

#15 klmama

klmama

    Busy Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5025 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:36 PM

Can you even cancel the scores once they've been released? I thought you could only cancel within a few days of taking the test.

 



#16 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14865 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:36 PM

Deleting a score

"HOW DO I DELETE A TEST DATE RECORD?

Students own their test scores and may direct ACT to delete their scores for a particular test date from our records. (Note: Students may not delete scores used to document participation in State and District Testing.)

To delete your scores for a particular test date, you must submit a written request. Provide us with your name and home address, and we will mail you a form to complete and return to us. We will then permanently remove your record for that test date from our files. All scores from that test date will be deleted.

Write to:

ACT Institutional Services
P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
USA"
http://www.act.org/c...e-act/help.html
  • chiguirre, Quill, luuknam and 1 other like this

#17 plansrme

plansrme

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5527 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:43 PM

My junior took the ACT for the first time at the end of her sophomore year, with zero prep, and scored pretty low.  She worked half-way through the prepscholar program, which promises a four-point increase or your money back, and scored exactly four points higher on her second taking.  She was scoring six points higher on practice tests.  She is going to work through prepscholar again this summer and take it one last time in September.  I feel pretty good about her getting the six-points-higher version of her score.  Also, consider how many colleges superscore and see if that might lead to some useful strategies.  My junior is just tired by the time the last sub-test rolls around and thinks she could do better if she essentially broke the test into two takings, focusing on the first two subjects in June, let's say,  and on the last two in September.


  • Quill and luuknam like this

#18 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:45 PM

No, no, no, no, no! Going to community college is NOT a failure. I know you know this, but I want to reiterate this. I know that on this forum it seems that everyone is getting into one of the top 10 universities with full scholarships, but I assure you that this forum is not normal. (LOL)

Case in point: My husband did terrible in high school and barely - and I do mean barely - graduated. He had no plans whatsoever to go to college. He now has three associate degrees, one bachelor degree, and two master degrees. And he earns a well-above-average income. And guess what, none of his colleges are even colleges that anyone has ever heard of. (Well, the last master degree was from Baylor University, so there's that one. But I assure you that no one has ever heard of the other schools. LOL)

I promise you that all is not lost. Keep you chin up, and your son's. There are as many paths in life as there are people in this world. He just needs to find his own way, which will probably be nonconventional, and THAT'S OKAY.


I know this, and my DH is not at all academic, either - many similarities between him and DS. They even score the same on the Meyers-Briggs. I grant you, DH found his way in trades and by using his non-academic skills. My feeling is that I just don't want DS to bumble along, trying to figure out some way to make a good living that suits him. I don't know if I'm explaining that well, but routes that are not a 4yr college are more wing-and-a-prayer and that doesn't sit well with me, fanatically linear planner that I am.
  • DawnM likes this

#19 luuknam

luuknam

    Feeling the Weight of Levity

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4364 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:54 PM

but routes that are not a 4yr college are more wing-and-a-prayer and that doesn't sit well with me, fanatically linear planner that I am.

 

 

I don't agree - afaik, plumbers and electricians make okay money, to name some things, without the mountain of debt 4-year college can bring for a kid who doesn't qualify for scholarships. If you were planning on paying for college for him, you could even just put those payments in savings instead and give them to him as a down-payment for a house or something.

 

ETA: 4 year college isn't necessarily going to lead to a lucrative career, especially for a kid who struggles with academics. 


Edited by luuknam, 03 May 2017 - 04:55 PM.

  • dirty ethel rackham, Hoggirl, Another Lynn and 14 others like this

#20 dirty ethel rackham

dirty ethel rackham

    Iris Loamsdown of Deephallow

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9279 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:56 PM

:grouphug:  

 

This is not failure.  What you learned from this is that he needs accommodations to have a fair chance at this test.  Like mentioned above, I would break the news over ice cream or something.  I'd also tell him that part of it was your fault for not pursuing accommodations.  I'd also emphasize that the test is not an accurate representation of his abilities, and, especially not of his worth. 

 

Knowing that he has some learning issues can help you make a plan for the future.  1.  Get accommodations.  I am not an expert in how to do that, but there are plenty of people here who have gone that route.  2.  Have realistic expectations of what post high-school would look like.  If he has learning issues, then finding a learning environment that will allow him to thrive is important.  Maybe it will be away at a school that does a great job with accommodating kids with learning issues.  Maybe it is at home at community college where you can provide the necessary supports. 

 

And I just want to throw this out there ... having great scores and getting into great schools does not always mean it smooth sailing from there on.  I have a certified genius who had to come home from his lofty college due to mental illness.  We are having to adjust our expectations of what K's future looks like.  No PhD in physics is on the horizon.  K is currently unable to work or go to school.  This month, I'd be happy with getting up by noon, applying for jobs and actually getting one.  Id' be happy with taking one class at the community college to show that executive function is recovering.  But, right now, I have to be happy with a relative lack of hostile behavior ... the medications are finally having a positive impact on mood.  The fear and anxiety in this household has been greatly reduced. 


  • chiguirre, transientChris, Woodland Mist Academy and 6 others like this

#21 MerryAtHope

MerryAtHope

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7216 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:03 PM

Yes. He is a junior. I did have evaluations done last summer. He has some documented LD's, but they are not "standard" things and this was not a neuropsych. He has slow processing speed and poor word retrieval. For high school, he is allowed extra time and can use audio resources to facilitate reading. I did not obtain accommodations for this test; I am embarrassed to say I could not figure out how to register and have the accommodations certified by the school. This was ACT, which is not connected to his private school. So, I just did not know how to get registered and have the school certify his need for accommodations. He told me when he took the test that not having extra time was a horrible thing and he finished no section in time allotted.

He has only done PSAT previously. Those scores were not awesome, but they weren't as low as these. We did not do SAT because counselor advised not to because the new test has not been normed. So this was his first experience with ACT, though I don't know that the unfamiliar test could possibly be the big issue.

P.s. He does have two good prep books, which he worked in some, but not in a methodical way. I did not "make" him prep in any particular way and I didn't assist him.

 

Aw, I'm so sorry. Honestly, I would tell your son this was not his fault--I'd "take the blame" for not getting accommodations if he looks it up, and have him try again after you do get them. Call this first one a "practice test." Lots of kids have low practice test scores, and lots of kids retake the test too. Extended time can make a huge difference for a kid with slow processing speed. 

 

Here's the page on the ACT site for how to get accommodations. ACT responds pretty quickly, and as long as you send them the info they need, it's not too hard to get. He should definitely be able to get any accommodations he gets from the school. (I'm not exactly clear if you are homeschooling or if he's attending school? His school should be doing this if he's attending, but if it's just a place where he takes classes sometimes, they can still fill out any forms they need to and sign them--call them up, I'm sure this isn't the first time they've needed to do this.)

 

To delete his test scores, you will need to write to ACT. Scroll about 3/4 of the way down this page to the section subtitled "Scores - Score Reports" to the question, "How Do I Delete a Test Date Record?"

 

Community College is a great option for many reasons though - lower costs, it gives students a chance to ease into college rather than moving away from home right away (life skills accommodations!)--definitely worth exploring.


  • chiguirre, dirty ethel rackham, Barb_ and 5 others like this

#22 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:07 PM

I don't agree - afaik, plumbers and electricians make okay money, to name some things, without the mountain of debt 4-year college can bring for a kid who doesn't qualify for scholarships. If you were planning on paying for college for him, you could even just put those payments in savings instead and give them to him as a down-payment for a house or something.

ETA: 4 year college isn't necessarily going to lead to a lucrative career, especially for a kid who struggles with academics.


Well, DH is a master plumber, who also does general contracting and property management, so yeah, I know that is a way to a decent living. It's not really "lucrative" that I mean, though; it's clear-cut. If a person goes to college and studies a specific course, they are on a trajectory to do something clear and actionable. They don't just evolve into a property manager or a dog trainer or a pizza restaurant manager. This is the part I don't like.

Even with DH - he didn't really sit down one day and decide his fondest desire was to be a plumber. He was at CC, studying computers (back when computers still used punchcards and took up a whole room), and he hated it and said, "well, I've been helping my dad with plumbing jobs, so might as well just do that." Does anyone set out to be a plumber because they think it's a fascinating business? Or do they just do it because it's available and an option that exists?

I don't want him to just fall into something because it is there.

#23 Daria

Daria

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2130 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:16 PM

I absolutely agree with people who say that college is not for everyone.  I'm not sure whether it's for my kid.  But if this is a kid where both you and he thought he was college material last week, before the test scores arrived, then don't let one number on a piece of paper change that vision.  From 17 years of parenting, you know far more about what he needs and what he is capable of than the ACT scoring software does.  

 

I would present it to him and to yourself that it turns out that the ACT's particular type of standardized testing is not currently a strength of his.  That gives him a few options.  He can study, apply for accommodations again.  He can see if the SAT is a better option.  He can look at colleges that don't require testing, and at colleges that take kids with low scores, and at alternative routes to college (e.g. via CC).  

If you have a sense of what he wants, size, location, majors, etc . . . maybe let us know, and people can help.  You certainly won't be the only one whose researching colleges for fantastic kids who don't look quite as fantastic on paper.  


  • dirty ethel rackham, Hoggirl, Alice and 4 others like this

#24 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:17 PM

Aw, I'm so sorry. Honestly, I would tell your son this was not his fault--I'd "take the blame" for not getting accommodations if he looks it up, and have him try again after you do get them. Call this first one a "practice test." Lots of kids have low practice test scores, and lots of kids retake the test too. Extended time can make a huge difference for a kid with slow processing speed.

Here's the page on the ACT site for how to get accommodations. ACT responds pretty quickly, and as long as you send them the info they need, it's not too hard to get. He should definitely be able to get any accommodations he gets from the school. (I'm not exactly clear if you are homeschooling or if he's attending school? His school should be doing this if he's attending, but if it's just a place where he takes classes sometimes, they can still fill out any forms they need to and sign them--call them up, I'm sure this isn't the first time they've needed to do this.)

To delete his test scores, you will need to write to ACT. Scroll about 3/4 of the way down this page to the section subtitled "Scores - Score Reports" to the question, "How Do I Delete a Test Date Record?"

Community College is a great option for many reasons though - lower costs, it gives students a chance to ease into college rather than moving away from home right away (life skills accommodations!)--definitely worth exploring.


He attends a private school FT and is no longer homeschooled. He was hsed up to 9th grade.

#25 MerryAtHope

MerryAtHope

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7216 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:18 PM

I don't want him to just fall into something because it is there.

 

I really think the two issues are separate. One can have a clear plan that includes starting at a CC. I know an engineering major who started at our CC and transferred. I also know a music major who started at our CC and transferred. Both knew what they were going to do when the started, got the gen-eds out of the way inexpensively, took the basic-level classes in their major that they could, got their associate's and finished at a 4-year school.

 

One can also start without a clear plan--another student I know didn't know what she wanted to do when she started. CC allowed her an inexpensive way to pursue various interests (much cheaper than trying to figure things out at a 4-year school!). Along the way, she discovered a passion for HR and decided to pursue that. She just graduated with her Bachelor's and is considering a master's degree.

 

I seem to have one of each--my oldest really doesn't know what he wants to do ("falling into" something actually doesn't sound so bad to me right now...does your dh regret his path?!)--and my youngest plans to go into nursing. The oldest has an inexpensive way to pursue interests, and the youngest has an inexpensive way to get her RN (our CC has a great RN program). I'm really thankful for our CC!


  • chiguirre likes this

#26 MerryAtHope

MerryAtHope

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7216 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:19 PM

He attends a private school FT and is no longer homeschooled. He was hsed up to 9th grade.

 

Did the school set up his testing, or did they have you do that?



#27 Lori D.

Lori D.

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10893 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:25 PM

First,  :grouphug: Quill and family  :grouphug: . Things like this can be so stressful and disappointing.

 

Thankfully, it is not a life-ending crisis, or life-altering accident/injury! And, we don't live in a time/place where one test result permanently determines the whole course of the rest of your life. Whew! Perspective! ;) And, previous posters have given you some good ideas about how to go about re-testing, if that is the best option for you and for DS. :)

 

 

I know this, and my DH is not at all academic, either - many similarities between him and DS. They even score the same on the Meyers-Briggs. I grant you, DH found his way in trades and by using his non-academic skills. My feeling is that I just don't want DS to bumble along, trying to figure out some way to make a good living that suits him. I don't know if I'm explaining that well, but routes that are not a 4yr college are more wing-and-a-prayer and that doesn't sit well with me, fanatically linear planner that I am.

 

Meaning this very gently, because I know you're freaking out right now because of the test score arriving today (which could even have to do with filling in bubbles incorrectly by accident!)...

 

Thinking of not going to a 4-year college as "bumbling along", and "routes that are not a 4-year college are more of a wing and a prayer that doesn't sit well with me" -- yikes! I totally understand that you have strong feelings about college, and I know you are a good person and a thinking person, so I'm sure you have good reason for where these thoughts about non-college career paths are very likely coming from, but...

 

Please, please, please be very careful how you handle this with DS. Your strong feelings about the importance and need of 4-year universities can influence how your DS is perceiving his post-high school options, can limit how you help him with career exploration, and inadvertently push him toward a choice that could be a terrible mis-match for him at this stage in his life -- causing even worse feelings of failure in a student who is already feeling fragile in the self-esteem.

 

Give yourself permission to freak out or be upset for a few days.  :willy_nilly:

 

But then it will be time to set yourself aside for awhile and focus on how you can best be wise in advising THIS child, and looking at what what are this child's strengths and interests, and what current opportunities are out there to allow this child to shine now, in areas other than just academics. Help him expand his horizons and explore who he is and what options are out there.

 

One thing to bear in mind is that life does NOT shut down if you don't have a college degree. Only ONE THIRD (one out of three) Americans has a Bachelor's degree. So TWO OUT OF THREE Americans are finding careers that fit their strengths and interests without needing a 4-year college degree to do so. Sometimes that is a trade. Sometimes it is a 1-year certificate or 2-year Associate's degree in a vo-tech field. Sometimes it is entrepreneurship. Sometimes it is work-your-way-up and on the job training. Sometimes it is military. Sometimes it is a lot of exploration and bouncing around for years to get it figured out and maybe years later going for a Bachelor's degree.

 

 

 

...If a person goes to college and studies a specific course, they are on a trajectory to do something clear and actionable. They don't just evolve into a property manager or a dog trainer or a pizza restaurant manager...

 

Tons of 20s-somethings with Bachelor degrees (and a lot of college debt) out there right now working as barristas and pizza joint managers because that's all they can find. A Bachelor's degree does NOT guarantee anyone a clear and actionable, higher-paying job these days. :(

 

 

...I don't want him to just fall into something because it is there.

 

Over half of college students radically switch majors half-way through college. Most adults will radically switch career fields several times over the course of their working years. Proof that only a small minority of teens and young adults firmly "know" what they want to do early on. For the vast majority, it is a journey of discovery -- and it often changes over the course of a lifetime.

 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  As you walk through this. You and your DS can do it, Quill! :) Wishing you and DS all the BEST! Warmly, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 03 May 2017 - 05:31 PM.

  • chiguirre, dirty ethel rackham, Sebastian (a lady) and 22 others like this

#28 Plum Crazy

Plum Crazy

    The Doctor's next companion

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7220 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:25 PM

ACT is brutal on timing answers per minute. I'd try to get the accommodations. 

 

I'm pretty sure the placement tests at cc's and U's aren't timed. He might place higher than on the ACT. Worth looking into. Many U's are removing the ACT/SAT requirements. 


Edited by Plum Crazy, 03 May 2017 - 05:35 PM.

  • Denise in IN and Quill like this

#29 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:31 PM

I absolutely agree with people who say that college is not for everyone. I'm not sure whether it's for my kid. But if this is a kid where both you and he thought he was college material last week, before the test scores arrived, then don't let one number on a piece of paper change that vision. From 17 years of parenting, you know far more about what he needs and what he is capable of than the ACT scoring software does.

I would present it to him and to yourself that it turns out that the ACT's particular type of standardized testing is not currently a strength of his. That gives him a few options. He can study, apply for accommodations again. He can see if the SAT is a better option. He can look at colleges that don't require testing, and at colleges that take kids with low scores, and at alternative routes to college (e.g. via CC).
If you have a sense of what he wants, size, location, majors, etc . . . maybe let us know, and people can help. You certainly won't be the only one whose researching colleges for fantastic kids who don't look quite as fantastic on paper.


He really wants to go to a 4Yr college, mostly because he adopts grandiose ideas about extra-curricular things he plans to do. So, for example, he is playing Lacrosse right now and he LOVES it, he's obsessed with it, so if you ask him right this minute, he thinks it's not only crucial that he goes somewhere he can play LAX, but he would love to go somewhere that has an exceptional team, D1, like Notre Dame. (Not because he has a prayer of being on the D-1 team at such a school, just that he wants to play and be where he could say, "yes, our LAX team crushed it in the championships.") Or he has said he wants to go where there is snowboarding nearby, so he can be an instructor in snow sports as a job. Grandiose. That's how he rolls.

He also wants to go where there are gorgeous young women. Don't you love all these super-important measures he has for college? 😏

On the more practical measures: I was looking for in-state public due to affordability and not having him go too far away. Majors - I'm still not sure, but I was thinking of Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Cybersecurity or Computers and Tech. I planned for him to apply to Towson University, Salisbury University and UMBC in Maryland. I doubt he will be accepted at UMBC. I considered looking at something in Pennsylvania, too. Maybe York.

I'm pretty deflated right at the moment, though.

#30 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:32 PM

Did the school set up his testing, or did they have you do that?


No, I had to do it, that's why I was confused about how I get the accommodations certified.

#31 Lori D.

Lori D.

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10893 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:32 PM

I'm pretty deflated right at the moment, though.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:



#32 Diana P.

Diana P.

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10128 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:38 PM

I would invest in some testing. I would get a full neuropsychological because that is required (or used to be) to get the ACT accommodations. And I would ask the evaluator to also do career inventories. I would do this now so I had time to file the paperwork for accommodations to test in late fall.

From that point we'd have three directions to explore through summer and fall.

1. Apply to less competitive 4 year schools hopefully with scores from an extended time test.

2. Community college direct transfer programs. If this sounds disappointing to him you can couch it as a cost savings approach and maybe for choosing that you'd help him with a car.

3. Trade program, probably also through cc.

A full neuropsych will be expensive, but if ds will need accommodation continuing in college you will need that to give to the university or cc disability services.

If I was investing in private school I'd see pain for the testing as part of that investment. It's all part of getting him ready to move into adulthood. You see the education you are paying for as doing that, this is something that helps access the tools he needs to make further steps.
  • chiguirre, Hoggirl and Pawz4me like this

#33 Diana P.

Diana P.

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10128 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:42 PM

You might want to look at West Virginia too. Their out of state tuition was not outrageous a few years ago. Marshall University has a learning clinic just for assisting students with learning issues. I do not know how competitive they are.
  • creekland likes this

#34 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:44 PM

You might want to look at West Virginia too. Their out of state tuition was not outrageous a few years ago. Marshall University has a learning clinic just for assisting students with learning issues. I do not know how competitive they are.

Yeah, that one has crossed my mind. My niece attended.

ETA: WVU

Edited by Quill, 03 May 2017 - 05:44 PM.


#35 HTRMom

HTRMom

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 319 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:45 PM

4-year college is very absolutely not a clear trajectory to anything unless you major in engineering or accounting. I did go to Notre Dame and most of my friends who studied liberal arts are aimlessly bumbling. Some living at home years later. Some working retail, restaurants, etc. Some doing more school because the first school wasn't enough. I think trade school is a more clear trajectory than general college and that someone studying a trade at twenty years old has decided on his future more deliberately than someone studying literature and psychology. You *can* choose to be a plumber because you enjoy working with your hands and want a reliable living. My BIL does manual work like that completely by decision and enjoys it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • chiguirre, Hoggirl, SkateLeft and 4 others like this

#36 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:03 PM

One thing to bear in mind is that life does NOT shut down if you don't have a college degree. Only ONE THIRD (one out of three) Americans has a Bachelor's degree. So TWO OUT OF THREE Americans are finding careers that fit their strengths and interests without needing a 4-year college degree to do so. Sometimes that is a trade. Sometimes it is a 1-year certificate or 2-year Associate's degree in a vo-tech field. Sometimes it is entrepreneurship. Sometimes it is work-your-way-up and on the job training. Sometimes it is military. Sometimes it is a lot of exploration and bouncing around for years to get it figured out and maybe years later going for a Bachelor's degree.


I know this, but I have lived with no degree for the large part of my adult life. I only now have an Associates and want to, could have gone much further. I know the lack of regard or utter shock it engenders in some circles when I reveal I have no bachelor's degree and did not step across the threshold of any college until I was 38. I used to work in a law firm and there was often a pure disdain for those of us who had no degree. I mean, I'm happy I managed to get set up in something workable, but it wasn't my dream job and I quit once I was pregnant with my first child. I also think it is more difficult now than it was then to even have someone look at you if you have no degree. You are weeded out before you ever get someone to look in your direction.

I would say two out of three, or more, people are not working in a field that is all it could be. It is something they are able to do and it puts bread on the table. Of course, it is true that some of those people who are just putting bread on the table DO have a degree, but it just seems to me not so hard to get anyone to pay a minute's attention to you if you can say, "Yes! I did graduate from a college program!"
  • swimmermom3 likes this

#37 Daria

Daria

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2130 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:06 PM

I agree that you'll find good options in PA and WV.  

 

The state colleges in PA (not the State Universities, that's a different system with a different price tag) might be a good option.

 

I'd also look at some of the small MD privates.  There is a lot of financial aid money out there, so prices can be more reasonable than one would think.  

 

We're also in MD and looking for options for a kid who doesn't look great on paper.  


  • Quill likes this

#38 Pawz4me

Pawz4me

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8492 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:07 PM

I'm pretty deflated right at the moment, though.

 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

It's okay to take a few days to process things and get your wind back.

 

I too would recommend pursuing a full psycho-educational evaluation. I'm not clear on what he's already been tested for or what professional did the testing, but you need a really thorough evaluation (1) for accommodations on the ACT/SAT and (2) whether he goes to a CC or a four year school he *may* need some accommodation. A little extra time and a quiet room (if needed) may make all the difference in the world. Having that evaluation will pave the way for those. I know it may be an overwhelming thing to think about right now, but it really is a positive step to take.


Edited by Pawz4me, 03 May 2017 - 06:08 PM.

  • Lori D. likes this

#39 Daria

Daria

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2130 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:09 PM

 

One thing to bear in mind is that life does NOT shut down if you don't have a college degree. Only ONE THIRD (one out of three) Americans has a Bachelor's degree. So TWO OUT OF THREE Americans are finding careers that fit their strengths and interests without needing a 4-year college degree to do so. Sometimes that is a trade. Sometimes it is a 1-year certificate or 2-year Associate's degree in a vo-tech field. Sometimes it is entrepreneurship. Sometimes it is work-your-way-up and on the job training. Sometimes it is military. Sometimes it is a lot of exploration and bouncing around for years to get it figured out and maybe years later going for a Bachelor's degree.

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of adults out there who don't have careers that fit their strengths and interests, or meet their basic needs.  

That doesn't mean that every person needs to go to college, but finding a path without college isn't always an easy choice either.


  • Quill likes this

#40 Plum Crazy

Plum Crazy

    The Doctor's next companion

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7220 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:17 PM

:grouphug:

 

My junior took it cold for the first time in Oct and didn't finish science or math. He's always been a slow test taker. He scored lower than expected on reading and managed to bump that score up by 8 points on the next test in Dec.  Reading and English have always been his strengths. What's weird is all of his scores have varied quite a bit from test to test, but English has been the exact same score on all 3 ACT tests. His second test was actually his best composite so far. 


  • Quill likes this

#41 creekland

creekland

    Retired homeschooler!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21662 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:23 PM

How good of a Lacrosse player is he?

 

That can make a difference - and I totally get where you're coming from about college degrees in today's life vs what it was even 30 years ago.

 

Does he know what he wants to do post college?  Has he shadowed any fields/jobs?



#42 wapiti

wapiti

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11354 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:25 PM

I agree w/Pawz about taking a few days to process and then plan next steps.  It is clear that you want to keep doors open for now to prevent any regrets down the road.  You will do the best you can.  I would expect it to be a hassle, but applying for accommodations is worthwhile whether that is successful or not; you don't want to be saying "what if."

First thing I would do:  read over the ACT and College Board web pages on the process for getting accommodations.  Second, make any appts you might need, with a provider who is familiar with getting these very accommodations.  (An ed psych might do in the short run.)

Third, figure out what the optimal testing schedule is - he is finishing junior year?  Then plan for early fall test dates.  And then look backward and map out a timeframe for test prep.

While the New SAT has its share of issues, it does include more time per question than the ACT.  It has a reputation for greater difficulty to go along with that extra time (eh, I'm not sure at this moment; changes on both tests).  ACT has a reputation of being a speed test (this hasn't changed), which doesn't sound like a good fit.  Regardless, have him take *both* after prep, crossing fingers that you can get accommodations, and see what happens.  CC as Plan B will be there if needed; no need to plan that part just yet unless his preference for 4-yr doesn't work out.

 

I can't say about the financial side, but for LAX and snowboarding, depending on whether his scores end up improving enough, have him look at DU (University of Denver, private; I'm pretty sure I read someplace that they have a disability office).

 

As for the bad scores, from what you have said, clearly they cannot accurately represent what he might be able to do with more time.

 

ETA, from what I read, the new College Board process for SAT accommodations that just started last January is supposed to be much easier than it used to be. https://www.collegeb...th-disabilities  There are multiple pages on the CB site to read; here is one on extra time: https://www.collegeb...mmodations/time


Edited by wapiti, 03 May 2017 - 06:36 PM.

  • Hoggirl, Lori D., Quill and 1 other like this

#43 Lori D.

Lori D.

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10893 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:04 PM

I know this, but I have lived with no degree for the large part of my adult life. I only now have an Associates and want to, could have gone much further. I know the lack of regard or utter shock it engenders in some circles when I reveal I have no bachelor's degree and did not step across the threshold of any college until I was 38. I used to work in a law firm and there was often a pure disdain for those of us who had no degree...

 

I am SO sad to hear you were treated this way. :(

 

 

I'm sure I'm way off-base generalizing here, but it seems like the university-bias and degree-bias is more of an East Coast thing, rather than Mid-West or Southwest. In my area, no one seems to bat an eye about whether or not anyone else has a degree, whether they are working in the office for a lawyer or doctor, or are doing daycare, or carrying out a trade profession... Maybe living in such a hot, dry, difficult climate, we're all too *hot* to care... lol... So come on my way, Quill, and we'll be *thrilled* to have a conscientious, hard-working, caring person such as yourself as a part of our community! :) hugs, Lori


Edited by Lori D., 03 May 2017 - 07:04 PM.

  • tentwelve, Quill, frogger and 4 others like this

#44 Jilly

Jilly

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1934 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:06 PM

I would also suggest getting accommodations on the ACT if possible. The extra time helps so much for students with disabilities.

Also I would look at Earlham. They have a good lacrosse team, are test optional, and give out lots of merit aid.
  • chiguirre, Lori D., Quill and 1 other like this

#45 teachermom2834

teachermom2834

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2187 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:15 PM

Quill- I just want to support you in wanting a 4 year college opportunity for your ds. I think there are alot of factors and depending on the schools, a 4 year can be a better fit.

I also know from your posting that you do have some sort of budget to work with for your son's college. So you aren't asking where he can get big scholarships with that score. As far as admission goes, I am sure your ds can get into a four year school. He can get accommodations and he still has plenty of time to improve his score.

We are local to a 4 year Christian University that pretty much accepts everyone and has a reasonable price tag even at full pay. The school has a pretty good reputation and we see successful grads from there. My kids have done de there and while it isn't their choice for undergrad it is a positive environment and the teachers are very kind and supportive. My oldest ds had also had experience at a decent CC and he felt that the four year school, while more difficult coursework, was much easier to be successful at. The teachers, students, and general environment made it easier to do well.

All that to say there are schools out there that your ds can get into even with very low scores. I am very familiar with one such school and it is actually a good school. Such a school might be just right for your ds.

Another note- I believe many kids are late bloomers academically and do much better in college than high school. I live with a high school junior who has just now come into his own academically. The grandiose stuff is familiar to me too (and drove me nuts!) but he has grown out of that too. Your ds might still surprise you.
  • Lori D. and Quill like this

#46 wapiti

wapiti

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11354 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:34 PM

For high school, he is allowed extra time and can use audio resources to facilitate reading. 

 

College Board also has a possible accommodation involving audio https://www.collegeb...-accommodations

 

New for 2015-16

Begining with the October PSAT/NMSQT and March SAT, two new test formats will be available for students with disabilities that impact reading or seeing:

  • MP3 audio test format: Audio version of test, delivered on a flash drive. Allows student with reading or visual impairments to listen to the test. Get practice tests by downloading [Opens in New Window]redesigned SAT MP3 file

  • Quill likes this

#47 Quill

Quill

    Team Introvert - Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15718 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:10 PM

I am SO sad to hear you were treated this way. :(


I'm sure I'm way off-base generalizing here, but it seems like the university-bias and degree-bias is more of an East Coast thing, rather than Mid-West or Southwest. In my area, no one seems to bat an eye about whether or not anyone else has a degree, whether they are working in the office for a lawyer or doctor, or are doing daycare, or carrying out a trade profession... Maybe living in such a hot, dry, difficult climate, we're all too *hot* to care... lol... So come on my way, Quill, and we'll be *thrilled* to have a conscientious, hard-working, caring person such as yourself as a part of our community! :) hugs, Lori


Yeah, the East Coast is full of snobbery. 😀

I remember one time, there was a male secretary who worked in our firm as a "floater" on a per-diem basis. (I was a secretary.) My boss was discussing this guy with another attorney one morning after the guy had been there late into the night on a crunch job. Boss remarks, "Yeah, I don't know why Joe is a *secretary* - he's a smart guy." I'm like, "Yeah, not sure why he's a pond scum secretary if he's smart!" 😠
  • tentwelve likes this

#48 luuknam

luuknam

    Feeling the Weight of Levity

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4364 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:16 PM

I know this, but I have lived with no degree for the large part of my adult life. I only now have an Associates and want to, could have gone much further. I know the lack of regard or utter shock it engenders in some circles when I reveal I have no bachelor's degree and did not step across the threshold of any college until I was 38. I used to work in a law firm and there was often a pure disdain for those of us who had no degree. I mean, I'm happy I managed to get set up in something workable, but it wasn't my dream job and I quit once I was pregnant with my first child. I also think it is more difficult now than it was then to even have someone look at you if you have no degree. You are weeded out before you ever get someone to look in your direction.

I would say two out of three, or more, people are not working in a field that is all it could be. It is something they are able to do and it puts bread on the table. Of course, it is true that some of those people who are just putting bread on the table DO have a degree, but it just seems to me not so hard to get anyone to pay a minute's attention to you if you can say, "Yes! I did graduate from a college program!"

 

 

I'm sorry you've experienced that - neither my wife nor I have a college degree either, but we haven't had those reactions - I think most people are more surprised we don't or something (someone asked me a little while back if I was in academia... uh, not quite, my highest degree is a truck driving certificate), and my wife is an email systems engineer (i.e. programmer). That said, her job is mostly about putting bread on the table - she'd quit tomorrow if we won the lottery tonight. Realistically though, even if she were to finish her degree in computer science (she's got about two years of college (dropped out of college half a dozen times or so), but no associate's), she'd likely still have the same job, and the same "it puts bread on the table"-ness. 

 

But anyway, I'd encourage you to take your own feelings about your own lack of college out of this. College might have been the right thing for you, and it sucks you didn't have the opportunity to go when you were young. College may or may not be the right thing for your son - I can't objectively judge that. If my kid's primary goals for college were "the school must have a good lacrosse team (that I'm not going to be on)", "there must be pretty girls", and "I want to be a snowboarding instructor in winter", I think I'd be inclined to tell him to get a job or do some classes at the CC,  and be a snowboarding instructor in winter for a while, rather than spending money on a 4-year institution, even if the kid scored a 36 on the ACT (okay, realistically, he might be able to go to some 4-year somewhere for free with a 36, but anyway). Of course, my oldest is 9, so I know things might change in the next 8 years, so, you can of course take that with some grains of salt, but I suspect I'd pretty strongly push for at least a gap year (which most universities allow you to take even after being accepted, afaik).

 

ETA: And I think it would've been great if my wife could've just fallen into the work her dad did instead of floundering in college on and off for over a decade despite being quite intelligent. I think modern society sometimes puts a bit too much emphasis on self-actualization through college/work etc.

 

ETA2: I did get some pity recently from someone with a PhD in religion or something about the fact that I didn't have a college degree. That one was weird. I mean, yes, I'd like to finish my degree, and I have plans to do so at some point (my youngest should graduate high school when I'm in my early 40s), but she acted like it was so super sad that I didn't... that was awkward.


Edited by luuknam, 03 May 2017 - 08:25 PM.

  • Hoggirl, forty-two, Bluegoat and 3 others like this

#49 Crimson Wife

Crimson Wife

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18136 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:25 PM

There are a LOT of test optional schools these days if he's attending private school and not considered a HSer.


  • Grantmom likes this

#50 Corraleno

Corraleno

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7924 posts

Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:32 PM

No, I had to do it, that's why I was confused about how I get the accommodations certified.

 

He attends a private school FT and is no longer homeschooled. He was hsed up to 9th grade.

 

If he's in school FT, I'm confused as to why you had to set up the testing yourself? For the SAT, there is a very simple online process for schools to request accommodations for students who have the same accommodations at school. Approval is nearly automatic. Why did they not do this? :confused1:

The recommendation to skip the SAT "because it hasn't been normed yet" makes no sense. For one thing, there IS already an equivalence table for the old and new SAT, and secondly the ACT is much tighter in terms of timing.

I would delete the ACT score and insist that the school submit the online request for SAT accommodations. He *might* still be able to get in for the June test date; otherwise there is one in August this year.

 

The ACT process is a little more complicated, although the school should certainly help with that, even if they don't offer the test — they should still be involved in the request for accommodations.


Edited by Corraleno, 03 May 2017 - 08:33 PM.

  • chiguirre, MerryAtHope, MomsintheGarden and 2 others like this