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


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#51 fourisenough

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:35 PM

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.

I'm not sure this is always true or particularly healthy thinking. My DH earned a bachelors degree in a social science field then played professional soccer for a couple of years. He made so little money playing soccer that he couldn't even qualify for an apartment with two teammates. So, the leasing manager, liking his personality, hustle, and attitude, offered him a part-time job renting apartments to supplement his income and get him into an apartment. He is now the president of a property management company. (And a few years ago, he hired that same leasing manager into his Marketing department after she had been at home raising kids for many years.) I would say that at least as many people 'fall into something because it's there' as those who have a clearly-defined career trajectory.

Keep an open mind about your DS's options. He may turn out to be much more successful than a kid who aced his standardized tests. Success has a lot to do with grit, drive, resourcefulness; maybe much more to do with these things than pure academic abilities as narrowly-defined by a high-stakes (timed!) test like the ACT. Keep your chin up so you can help him keep his up!
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#52 Hoggirl

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:46 AM

(((Quill)))

My mom had no college degree (she was a radiology tech), and I know how hard it was for her given the social circle she was in being married to a physician. So many make ridiculous assumptions and place too much emphasis on the wrong things in life. I am sad for you that you have been hurt by thoughtless comments.

You have gotten some great advice here already. I would throw in the idea of not making this an "either/or" situation. One can explore college options and trade options at the same time. As others have suggested, pursue accommodations. For those talking about the school's role in this, I will throw in that, in my (limited) experience, private schools are often not equipped to handle this very well. My friend whose ds has accommodations found this true at the college level as well. His big state U was far more equipped and was much more used to handling them than the private LAC where he was also accepted. This played into his decision process in selecting the big state U. However, in addition to pursuing accommodations, I would look into other options (trade schools, certificate programs at a CC, CC to four year) as well. I had a another friend whose ds tried the college route which turned out not to be for him. He went to welding school (which was expensive), but she said it was the best money she ever spent. He's doing better financially then her middle ds who has the college degree. Don't make it an all or nothing decision TODAY about which path he must take. Do not let other people in the world define what success is for you or your children.

As an aside, grab a copy of the book, The Millionaire Next Door, and have a read. Maybe have your ds read it as well. There is much to be said for the time value of money,
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#53 Quill

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

So, the small UPDATE for today is that I spoke with the guidance counselor at DS' school today. She advises to scrap the ACT altogether, go with SAT, since his PSAT scores, while not outstanding, were respectable, and plan for accommodations doing SAT in the fall. She advises to sign up for the June SAT now, which will probably be without accommodations, but expects he will do at least as well as he did on PSAT. Take the summer doing review and then take SAT again in the fall.

She said getting the accommodations is actually easy because they send a notice to the school and then the school just has to verify that the student does need these accommodations.

She also said frame it to DS as no big deal, that I just wanted to see if ACT would work out better but it didn't so, NBD. Just move on. I think this is a plan that I can work with. Meanwhile, I am looking at some other colleges that were not on my list before, in case his test scores really never do shine.
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#54 Corraleno

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

So, the small UPDATE for today is that I spoke with the guidance counselor at DS' school today. She advises to scrap the ACT altogether, go with SAT, since his PSAT scores, while not outstanding, were respectable, and plan for accommodations doing SAT in the fall. She advises to sign up for the June SAT now, which will probably be without accommodations, but expects he will do at least as well as he did on PSAT. Take the summer doing review and then take SAT again in the fall.

She said getting the accommodations is actually easy because they send a notice to the school and then the school just has to verify that the student does need these accommodations.

She also said frame it to DS as no big deal, that I just wanted to see if ACT would work out better but it didn't so, NBD. Just move on. I think this is a plan that I can work with. Meanwhile, I am looking at some other colleges that were not on my list before, in case his test scores really never do shine.

 

I would be very careful about having him take the test without accommodations. I have read that if a student does "OK" on the test without accommodations, it can hurt their chances of getting them. I would sign up for June, push the GC to apply for his accommodations immediately, and see if they can get them approved for June. But if they don't come through in time, I'd be inclined to cancel the June test date and wait for the August one.


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#55 chiguirre

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

I agree with Corraleno about not taking an official test without accomodations. If you want to give him a chance to practice with real testing conditions, Huntingdon tutoring does mock tests. They cost more than the real thing but Geezle's high school's PTA does them as a fundraiser. There is probably something similar in your area. They might even let him test with accomodations but I'm not sure about that.


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#56 Quill

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

I would be very careful about having him take the test without accommodations. I have read that if a student does "OK" on the test without accommodations, it can hurt their chances of getting them. I would sign up for June, push the GC to apply for his accommodations immediately, and see if they can get them approved for June. But if they don't come through in time, I'd be inclined to cancel the June test date and wait for the August one.


Okay - she said she didn't know if it is too late to get acc. for June but that I could register today and try.

#57 Diana P.

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:59 AM

I would get on the college board website and scour the accommodation requirements. It is news to me that you don't need a full neuropsych. That requirement could have changed since I went through this. My ds needed a full neuropsych, plus OT eval (specific to my ds' disabilities) and verification from school that he used accommodations at school. And the neuropsych had to be recent within 3 years.

So testing to show he had a disability and needed accommodations and proof that he actually used them. From what you are saying the counselor says you only need proof he uses accommodations.

#58 Corraleno

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:15 PM

The CB has just implemented new "streamlined" procedures for 2017, which make it easier for kids who get accommodations in school to get them for the SAT.

 

(Unfortunately for homeschoolers, the new system doesn't apply to us.)


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#59 Arcadia

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:24 PM

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 .

I'm listing my "slower processing speed" kid scores which I am deleting later so please don't quote the scores. It's just to provide a data point to OP with regards to ACT and SAT time squeeze exhaustion.

(deleted scores)

This kid likes hands on so we are looking at engineering schools with co-op programs.

Edited by Arcadia, 04 May 2017 - 03:13 PM.

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#60 katilac

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:31 PM

 Did he have accomodations? If not, I'd cancel the scores and never tell him at all.  

 

I would never do this - like Quill said, he's aware that he took the test and a score is pending, lol. And a poor score is nothing to be ashamed of, so I wouldn't act like it was. 

 

 

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.

 

I had to read this a few times before realizing you didn't specify academic merit. Yes, students can also get merit aid for music, art, leadership, all kinds of things.  

 

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.  

 

I would definitely act like it was not a big deal, and mention that we should have looked into accommodations, but I'd be wary of 'taking the blame' and assuring him that he would have done much better otherwise. First of all, that's not the way to encourage him to study, lol, plus - what if he doesn't do better? He's going to feel even worse. 

 

Quill, it sounds like you've settled on plan for test taking. All you can do at this point is set up accommodations, and all he can do is prepare. It will work out. 

 

I will say that both dh and I have degrees, and neither of us ever had a clear trajectory. He never longed for the unending glamor and excitement of the electrical distribution world, lol, but someone offered him a job, and it's still paying the bills a quarter of a century later. If you love your job and are deeply fulfilled by it, that's great, but most people are going to have more mundane careers. Like my mama says, there's a reason it's called going to work and not going to fun. 


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#61 dmmetler

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:32 PM

Marshall University may be worth checking out. They have a really nice program for kids with LD-and therefore are used to seeing capable kids who don't test well.

 


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#62 Daria

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 02:13 PM

 

I had to read this a few times before realizing you didn't specify academic merit. Yes, students can also get merit aid for music, art, leadership, all kinds of things.  

 

 

 

She did get one scholarship that her school had that was automatic for any student who was a girl scout for at least X years, but she also got academic merit at a number of schools based on her GPA (which was numerically high, but contained many remedial classes in a special education school).  

 

My son will graduate with a relatively low GPA and low scores.  We're looking at small privates with strong Learning support.  Most of the schools he's looking at have acceptance rates close to 80%. Generally at these schools, 99% of admitted students receiving merit.  In reality, it's not merit aid, it's a way of reconciling what people are willing to pay with the fact that they want to set a high tuition that looks impressive on paper. 

 

I recently ran a net price calculator for his top choice school, and put in various stats.  I got curious and kept putting in different numbers to see how it impacted the total.  For each combination of GPA/ACT score, it came back with merit.  For example, if he applied with a 2.0 GPA (significantly below their 25th %ile, and 20 ACT (slight below their 25 %ile), with an EFC of $100,000 (these are not my kids' stats, particularly not that EFC), he'd get $18,000 automatic merit. 

 

What I'm saying is that if you have a kid who is looking at schools that are forgiving of transcript/test score issues, don't look at the sticker price, because it's not a real number.

 

Quill, if you want me to share specific information about what I know about MD and close by schools in this category, feel free to PM me.


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#63 Vida Winter

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 02:15 PM

So, the small UPDATE for today is that I spoke with the guidance counselor at DS' school today. She advises to scrap the ACT altogether, go with SAT, since his PSAT scores, while not outstanding, were respectable, and plan for accommodations doing SAT in the fall. She advises to sign up for the June SAT now, which will probably be without accommodations, but expects he will do at least as well as he did on PSAT. Take the summer doing review and then take SAT again in the fall.

She said getting the accommodations is actually easy because they send a notice to the school and then the school just has to verify that the student does need these accommodations.

She also said frame it to DS as no big deal, that I just wanted to see if ACT would work out better but it didn't so, NBD. Just move on. I think this is a plan that I can work with. Meanwhile, I am looking at some other colleges that were not on my list before, in case his test scores really never do shine.

 

Agreeing with this. The ACT is a speed test. Some of the SAT questions are trickier but it gives more time to finish. No need to cancel ACT scores if you didn't send them to colleges - just don't send them and they will never know.



#64 Quill

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:08 PM

Arcadia, if there was any number on DS's ACT results that didn't end in "teen," I would be happy. 😏 I see what you mean by waning focus, but seriously, if there was any number on there that you have listed, I would be satisfied.

#65 Lilaclady

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:19 PM

I would be very careful about having him take the test without accommodations. I have read that if a student does "OK" on the test without accommodations, it can hurt their chances of getting them. I would sign up for June, push the GC to apply for his accommodations immediately, and see if they can get them approved for June. But if they don't come through in time, I'd be inclined to cancel the June test date and wait for the August one.


I agree with this but personally, I will not do the June SAT. I will register for the August one and push for accommodations. That will give him some time and if it did not come through, then do the next test date. It will slo gone him more time to prep. All the best

#66 luuknam

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:32 PM

Arcadia, if there was any number on DS's ACT results that didn't end in "teen," I would be happy. 😏 I see what you mean by waning focus, but seriously, if there was any number on there that you have listed, I would be satisfied.

 

 

I think her point was that her slow-processing kid scored better on the SAT than on the ACT, not the actual scores.


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#67 swimmermom3

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:39 PM

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.

 

It's one test. It's not definitive of your son as a person or as a student. The first time my son took the ACT, his scores were "okay," but definitely not competitive. The science section just wiped him out.  He put considerable time in "drilling and killing" the practice material and 6 months later his scores were competitive. He processes slowly and methodically and because we did do so much standardized testing, he did have to drill for particular test to keep his speed where it needed to be.

 

Several of the schools he applied to were "test optional."  Are there other ways to make you student shine or make him intriguing that don't involve testing?


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#68 Quill

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:16 PM

I agree with this but personally, I will not do the June SAT. I will register for the August one and push for accommodations. That will give him some time and if it did not come through, then do the next test date. It will slo gone him more time to prep. All the best


I hear you, but I am trying to do the June one to comply with something the school requires. They want all juniors to have done at least one test by July 2017, which he has, but this is not the one I want in his file. The counselor's thinking is that, since he did okay (not awesome, but average) on PSAT in 10th grade (with no accommodations), his June SAT is bound to be at least average and that can go on his "requirement" page. He will still have at least one, maybe two more attempts for this fall, so summer practice may raise those scores enough to be productive.

#69 Quill

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:20 PM

It's one test. It's not definitive of your son as a person or as a student. The first time my son took the ACT, his scores were "okay," but definitely not competitive. The science section just wiped him out. He put considerable time in "drilling and killing" the practice material and 6 months later his scores were competitive. He processes slowly and methodically and because we did do so much standardized testing, he did have to drill for particular test to keep his speed where it needed to be.

Several of the schools he applied to were "test optional." Are there other ways to make you student shine or make him intriguing that don't involve testing?


Maybe if it were an interview. He is a charming guy. He is creative and innovative. When he has an idea or something captures his attention, he goes 110%. It's just hard to show that on paper.
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#70 Arcadia

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:50 PM

Maybe if it were an interview. He is a charming guy. He is creative and innovative. When he has an idea or something captures his attention, he goes 110%. It's just hard to show that on paper.

Internship projects, extracurriculars and letters of recommendations all helps.

What kind of creative and innovative? My younger would be happy manning a booth at Maker Faire or any tech fair for example because he loves to demo and chat about nerdy geeky products.

The deadline for accommodation for the June SAT date has passed :( I don't know if the college board will expedite on a case by case basis.
https://www.collegeb...lities/calendar

Besides the ACT or SAT, is there other standardized tests that his school would accept for his file?

He put considerable time in "drilling and killing" the practice material and 6 months later his scores were competitive. He processes slowly and methodically and because we did do so much standardized testing, he did have to drill for particular test to keep his speed where it needed to be.

Besides the drilling, being able to just guess and move on has helped my younger since there is no penalty for guessing on SAT and ACT. Being stuck on a question and not moving on has been a time suck for my younger the first time he sat for a timed test. He finds it easier to guess than to skip the question.
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#71 Bluegoat

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:43 PM

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.

 

Oh, I really don't think this is true.

 

And the other thing is, while it isn't always the case, for a student who doesn't easily take to that kind of academic environment, I think it's important to ask what kind of career you envision it leading to.  Because it may be that another type of education will lead to something that would be a better fit in terms of doing well and enjoying it.


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#72 swimmermom3

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:34 PM

Maybe if it were an interview. He is a charming guy. He is creative and innovative. When he has an idea or something captures his attention, he goes 110%. It's just hard to show that on paper.

 

Quill, some of the schools are going to an interview format as part of the application process. I don't know if it has been talked about on the board, but it is well worth researching.
 


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#73 hopskipjump

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:49 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.
 

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:  I've had similar experiences. Mostly, people assume I have a degree - heck, they assume I have multiple degrees most of the time. It often happens when I'm talking to multiple-degreed parents whose kids are in private schools about homeschooling. They'll carry on about how my kids are turning out "great" because I'm so well-educated myself... and then I have to interrupt (Nope! Just a high school graduate here! :seeya: )... then they inevitable painfully awkward backtracking because they thought for sure that I "was the most educated person in the room." Nope! :smilielol5:  Well, maybe. Well-read, most-studious person, perhaps. But, not the most educated by far. :001_tt2:

 

DH tells me that assumptions can work both ways and if I feel awkward correcting these people about my lack of education, I should just let them prattle on about what a genius I am (lol) and let it go. But, I can't. :leaving:

 

Now that I'm ready to return to the workforce, the lack of a degree is stifling. I can't waltz into a place and assure them that they want to hire me even though I can't check off any of the boxes on the application!

 

So - I feel your pain.

 

Sounds like the counselor has a good plan of action for your ds. And this is a very good reminder for me to have dd practice taking the SAT. So far I've only had ACT on my brain, but she may fare better with the SAT.

 

:grouphug:
 


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#74 Quill

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:57 AM

Oh, I really don't think this is true.

And the other thing is, while it isn't always the case, for a student who doesn't easily take to that kind of academic environment, I think it's important to ask what kind of career you envision it leading to. Because it may be that another type of education will lead to something that would be a better fit in terms of doing well and enjoying it.


Well, this is a challenge, too, because DS doesn't have some clear-cut vision for what he will do, either. The large proportion of majors or ideas for what he would like have been due to my own observations of him. I can see that he is well-suited to something like law enforcement, security or military/paramilitary because he is action-oriented, needs a changing work environment (so, not a desk job) and has a strong sense of justice. Or if we want to talk about something "safer," computers and tech are something he likes, but again, if would probably be better if the environment changes, not doing computers or tech for the same company.,

#75 Diana P.

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:07 AM

You mentioned military. Is enlisting not an option?
Also, if actually interested in military, New Mexico Military Institute is a 2 year college that has the ability to commission officers and gives them 3 years to finish their bachelor's degree. And it's pretty inexpensive. The total costs (room, board, uniforms) are cheaper than in state costs for many schools. Criminal Justice is one of the concentrations there.
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#76 Quill

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:41 AM

You mentioned military. Is enlisting not an option?
Also, if actually interested in military, New Mexico Military Institute is a 2 year college that has the ability to commission officers and gives them 3 years to finish their bachelor's degree. And it's pretty inexpensive. The total costs (room, board, uniforms) are cheaper than in state costs for many schools. Criminal Justice is one of the concentrations there.


Military is an option but I don't want him to go direct enlist. I want him to have (and he wants to have) the college experience. He might do something like National Guard while attending college.

I don't aim for him to go anywhere that would require a flight to get to. I mean, I would consider it if some extraordinary opportunity unfolded that could not be had in this region, but all things being equal, I don't want my kids going to school somewhere undriveable.

I know there is a military school in Virginia (Virginia Military Academy) but - I forget why - there was something that made me say it probably wasn't an option for him. It might have been hard to get into if you have no military connections. I don't recall.

#77 Diana P.

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:04 AM

Military is an option but I don't want him to go direct enlist. I want him to have (and he wants to have) the college experience. He might do something like National Guard while attending college.

I don't aim for him to go anywhere that would require a flight to get to. I mean, I would consider it if some extraordinary opportunity unfolded that could not be had in this region, but all things being equal, I don't want my kids going to school somewhere undriveable.

I know there is a military school in Virginia (Virginia Military Academy) but - I forget why - there was something that made me say it probably wasn't an option for him. It might have been hard to get into if you have no military connections. I don't recall.


Have him look himself. I just threw options at my ds. He made the final decision. My ds initially thought military was what he wanted and was looking at ROTC, but he also dragged his feet on applications. Initially he was only looking in state based on our finances. He looked at the military 4 year nonacademy (VT VMI NORWICH Texas A&M) but 2 were not optional for financial reasons and he wasn't a competitive applicant for another. I did some research and find the 6 military junior colleges and found NMMI was affordable. Then I asked if he'd heard of it. He had. I suggested he throw that into his considerations. It was the only school he applied to. It was his decision.

The nice thing about the NMMI program is you get to start your career as an officer before finishing your degree.

As a mom I found comfort in knowing his environment kept him organized the first year of college (everyone gets up and does PT, they know you are in class, evening study period) for my 2E kid that was a big help in being successful that year. BUT I know there is no way I could have made him go. Even at 17 it was his decision completely.

My ds only stayed a year, for some personal factors. But it was a good experience and all his classes transferred. He still communicates with friends from there and regularly​ attends local (DC area events related to the school).
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#78 Nicholas_mom

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:34 AM

Hey Quill - (((((HUGS)))))))

 

Check out Franklin Marshall in Lancaster, PA.  In lieu of SATs scores, you can submit 2 writing samples.  How cool is that? 

 

Then there is Penn State at York, PA and York College but I cannot remember details for them.  I know there was another PA college that also said "University recognizes that SAT/ACT are not indicative of students ability and SAT?ACT are not needed."  One I think was St. John's College in Annapolis and I can't remember the PA one.  I looked at so many colleges/Universities in PA they are starting to get jumbled in my head!


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#79 MysteryJen

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:41 AM

:grouphug: Quill. Processing issues are really tough. The ACT might be the worst test in the world for slow processing. My dd2 is dyslexic with a low processing speed and it has been the processing speed that is really the biggest problem in school. And it is the thing that can't really be remediated, it is just her speed at processing information. 

Getting a full neuropsych evaluation was incredibly helpful, I would pursue that. And, I know this sounds weird, but it was very helpful for my dh, a career counselor who is also a psychologist might be a great partner in helping your ds figure out what he loves and is good at.

The counselor recommendations are right on. If you can't get accomodations for the June test, I would not take it. I would prep all summer, take it in September with accomodations and let that score be the one. No need to kill yourself or your kid, just get a score. And go from there. 

 

Lots of kids have lots of issues on standardized tests. Most of them get into college. I am sorry for the snobbery about a degree  :glare:. I do think that is more East Coast than West. 


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#80 Myra

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

I would also suggest sitting down with your son and take the practice SAT tests together - question by question.  My  youngest didn't do so great on his first, not bad, but not solid either.  My college son sat down with my youngest and did just that.  After they went through one practice SAT orally and together (discussing how to get each answer and eliminate choices for each question). I had my youngest take 2-3 practice tests timed then going over with him the questions he missed.  He raised his SAT scores 100 points for each section!  Now I am not saying this will work for everyone, esp. with situation with learning disabilities. 

 

On the other hand, I also have a friend whose daughter got into Eckerd College in Florida with SAT scores of 400 per section.  She was admitted with academic probation and will now be graduating this May.   So don't give up hope!

 

 

 


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#81 Arcadia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:23 AM

I am sorry for the snobbery about a degree :glare:. I do think that is more East Coast than West.


We faced snobbery from my school district office staff here (NorCal) to the extend that we start putting the Dr honorific when talking to them on the phone, sending letters and emails to them. The attitude change is astonishingly horrible. The staff was so much more polite on the phone when my husband use the Dr honorific when they ask for his name. My neighbors had the same treatment. I get much better treatment saying my degree is from engineering then if I just say that I have a degree. Apparently I am ill qualified to help my kids in math unless I have a STEM degree. Snobs are everywhere. I can understand how OP might feel given that my husband and I get all kinds of stereotypical insults from strangers.
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#82 Bluegoat

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:30 PM

Well, this is a challenge, too, because DS doesn't have some clear-cut vision for what he will do, either. The large proportion of majors or ideas for what he would like have been due to my own observations of him. I can see that he is well-suited to something like law enforcement, security or military/paramilitary because he is action-oriented, needs a changing work environment (so, not a desk job) and has a strong sense of justice. Or if we want to talk about something "safer," computers and tech are something he likes, but again, if would probably be better if the environment changes, not doing computers or tech for the same company.,

 

Computer stuff with the military might appeal.  Lots of military systems are IT heavy these days.

 

Or maybe he's like something outdoorsy, like forestry.

 

The college experience thing - it can be great, but honestly I think a lot of places - a majority really - don't offer one that is so very worthwhile.  Often it only happens if the student is really looking to make that happen.


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#83 MomsintheGarden

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:51 PM

Aw, Quill.  You've been given some great advice here.  I don't have any more to give, but I just want to say that you are a terrific mom.  From what you've said about your son, it sounds like he will be just fine in the end, especially with you helping and guiding him.  He is fortunate to have you.


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#84 Nan in Mass

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:08 PM

Lots of hugs. All these replies are making me very glad we didn't try the ACT. We only did the SAT. because I was pretty sure that my boys would have bombed anything that tested anything but math and English skills. They excelled at thinking up perfectly legitimate but nonstandard interpretations of test questions. They also excelled at misreading questions. Hurrying made that worse. To get high enough scores to apply to the technical colleges they needed for the careers they wanted, they had to do a significant amount of test prep. I think the most useful thing they did was go over practice tests one question at a time with someone else. That way they learned what sort of answer certain wording wanted. They also learned how to skip or guess via elimination questions they were unsure of and then go back to them at the end if there was time, which there probably wasn't. That way, they at least answered the questions they knew, rather than not getting to them.

If test prep fails, there are some 2 year college programs that lead to some very cool careers. There is a cc in Maine that has a wilderness guide degree, for example. Our cc has a pilot program. There are certificate programs that lead to interesting careers, too - tugboat captain, ship's cook, professional diver, paramedic or emt, welding, cameraman for a film crew... Knowing those things are a possibility might help combat the self esteem issues. At least they did for my middle one.

Nan
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#85 Arcadia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:39 PM

For drill and kill on the SAT, we used the practice tests PDFs from college board. They have 8 practice tests with answers on their webpage now https://collegereadi...-practice-tests

My kid did under timed conditions and then finished the unanswered questions. So I have two sets of scores for each practice test and could see the difference between timed and untimed. We did the same thing for the official ACT practice tests on this link http://blog.prepscho...-online-sources

My kid was faster on the Khan online SAT practice test and slower on the color the bubble version so we end up doing more of the print the PDF and color the bubble version for test prep to build up speed.

ETA:
I would still try for the August date with accommodation of extra time then the June date without accommodation. :grouphug:

Edited by Arcadia, 05 May 2017 - 08:43 PM.

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#86 Vida Winter

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:02 AM

For drill and kill on the SAT, we used the practice tests PDFs from college board. They have 8 practice tests with answers on their webpage now https://collegereadi...-practice-tests

My kid did under timed conditions and then finished the unanswered questions. So I have two sets of scores for each practice test and could see the difference between timed and untimed. We did the same thing for the official ACT practice tests on this link http://blog.prepscho...-online-sources

My kid was faster on the Khan online SAT practice test and slower on the color the bubble version so we end up doing more of the print the PDF and color the bubble version for test prep to build up speed.

ETA:
I would still try for the August date with accommodation of extra time then the June date without accommodation. :grouphug:

 

Thanks for posting the ACT links!
 



#87 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:48 AM

I didn't read all the responses but I just wanted to add that my husband and I both worked through the SAT and the ACT and greatly disliked the ACT- it was really a test of speed reading- some parts you didn't even have time to read the whole passage but benefited more from just looking at the questions and skimming the passage. It felt much more like a test of speed and working memory. This was for the science and reading sections.

The SAT felt more like a test than a test of speed.
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#88 goldberry

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:08 PM

Quill, just hugs to you and your son.  How rough!   :grouphug:

 

The only thing I have to offer is that test prep, especially repeated practice tests, REALLY helped DD.  She went from a PSAT at the low end of average to an SAT in the high above average range.  In addition, different routes are absolutely okay.  DDs dear friend who is genius material is totally not ready emotionally for college or leaving home.  She is starting at the CC and when they gave up the "standard" college plans she was so happy about it.  


Edited by goldberry, 07 May 2017 - 12:10 PM.

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#89 DawnM

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:04 AM

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

 

Darn. I was excited to look until I started digging.  Most of these are either bible colleges with very limited majors, specialty schools (like Art Institutes for profit) or designed for a specific ethnic group.  

 

With where we are, we would choose CC over those.  

 

Hopefully there are better choices outside of our area but I didn't have a chance to look and probably won't spend much time as we don't really have the funds for the private colleges that are further away with 2 kids in college at the same time.



#90 creekland

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:49 AM

The college experience thing - it can be great, but honestly I think a lot of places - a majority really - don't offer one that is so very worthwhile.  Often it only happens if the student is really looking to make that happen.

 

This is probably specific to your experience or IRL circle.  I know far, far more who enjoyed their experience and talk happily about it for years (regardless of where they went - as long as it was a b&m school - or their major) than those who wish they hadn't gone.  Some of this is my circle, of course, but a bit of it comes from kids at school who return later to share their experiences (or I run into them later in life) - a pretty wide circle ranging from first gen to legacy and average to tippy top students.


Edited by creekland, 09 May 2017 - 06:40 AM.

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#91 Nan in Mass

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:49 AM

Darn. I was excited to look until I started digging. Most of these are either bible colleges with very limited majors, specialty schools (like Art Institutes for profit) or designed for a specific ethnic group.

With where we are, we would choose CC over those.

Hopefully there are better choices outside of our area but I didn't have a chance to look and probably won't spend much time as we don't really have the funds for the private colleges that are further away with 2 kids in college at the same time.


That's too bad. There are quite a number in our area. All the ones I can think of are private, cc, or for profit, though. The privates are really nice schools but expensive. I would be cautious about the for profits but not eliminate them entirely. Some are doable. Some are skum of the earth. My relative in an engineering program has done some interesting extras set up by the school. Academically it seems fine. He is there because he receives a huge scholarship, but I think the school takes advantage of all the students who are desperate to go to college but not very likely to succeed there. They take their money for a year and then flunk them out with some difficult classes. On the other hand, one could say that they give anyone a chance and give them a year to adjust before hitting them with the necessary difficult classes. It is more comfortable, of course, to be at a school that does the weeding during the admissions process, but that only works if you can get in.

Nan
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#92 Momto2Ns

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:41 AM

I just wanted to comment about taking the test in June. First, while the rumor exists that if a kid tests, does ok, then applies for accommodations they won't get them, ds did just that and got the accommodations. 

 

Second, that the College Board has always taken 8 weeks, not a day less, to approve accommodations. However, someone up-thread mentioned a new streamlined process, so maybe since he isn't a homeschooler, the accommodations will come through that fast. The ACT board only took a couple of weeks for us even as homeschoolers, so you could go ahead and do that application too. For ds (a slow processor), the ACT with accommodations was the perfect fit; you might not want to give up that option. 


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#93 Daria

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:23 AM

Darn. I was excited to look until I started digging.  Most of these are either bible colleges with very limited majors, specialty schools (like Art Institutes for profit) or designed for a specific ethnic group.  

 

With where we are, we would choose CC over those.  

 

Hopefully there are better choices outside of our area but I didn't have a chance to look and probably won't spend much time as we don't really have the funds for the private colleges that are further away with 2 kids in college at the same time.

 

I was actually pretty impressed with the list.  

 

There are lots of arts schools, and Bible colleges and Jewish schools, but there are also a lot of state schools (e.g. a bunch of CSU's, a bunch of schools in Texas, etc . . . ) , and lots of private schools ranging from those who serve as a second chance to kids who have struggled (e.g. Dean) to schools with a national reputation (e.g. Bates, Colby, American University).  

 

That doesn't mean there's a school for everyone.  But when I first started looking, I expected it to be a list of either schools that are close to open admissions, or small liberal arts colleges, so I was pleased with the diversity of the list.  


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#94 Quill

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:13 PM

I was actually pretty impressed with the list.

There are lots of arts schools, and Bible colleges and Jewish schools, but there are also a lot of state schools (e.g. a bunch of CSU's, a bunch of schools in Texas, etc . . . ) , and lots of private schools ranging from those who serve as a second chance to kids who have struggled (e.g. Dean) to schools with a national reputation (e.g. Bates, Colby, American University).

That doesn't mean there's a school for everyone. But when I first started looking, I expected it to be a list of either schools that are close to open admissions, or small liberal arts colleges, so I was pleased with the diversity of the list.


I think that's a very impressive list, too. All of the MD or DC schools are schools I have heard of and several of them are well known to me. I'm sure there are some no-way oddballs on that list, but still...it's not a bad list.
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#95 Crimson Wife

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:53 PM

Doesn't the military require standardized testing for entrance (both enlisted and officer candidates)? I want to say that my DH needed to take some military-specific test and he couldn't just use his SAT scores. Law enforcement jobs also typically require standardized testing (there has been a lot of controversy over this since different demographic groups have very different cutoffs).



#96 flyingaway

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:00 PM

The military test is the ASVAB.

#97 DawnM

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:45 PM

I think that's a very impressive list, too. All of the MD or DC schools are schools I have heard of and several of them are well known to me. I'm sure there are some no-way oddballs on that list, but still...it's not a bad list.

 

I guess it was just the NC list that was not great.

 

But we can't pay for a distance private school right now.

 

I am still hoping he can get in to the local 4 year school.  If not, CC it will be.

 

NOT the end of the world at all.


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#98 DawnM

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

I was actually pretty impressed with the list.  

 

There are lots of arts schools, and Bible colleges and Jewish schools, but there are also a lot of state schools (e.g. a bunch of CSU's, a bunch of schools in Texas, etc . . . ) , and lots of private schools ranging from those who serve as a second chance to kids who have struggled (e.g. Dean) to schools with a national reputation (e.g. Bates, Colby, American University).  

 

That doesn't mean there's a school for everyone.  But when I first started looking, I expected it to be a list of either schools that are close to open admissions, or small liberal arts colleges, so I was pleased with the diversity of the list.  

 

Ah, yes, I didn't even look at CA.  We are currently in NC.  If we move to CA, that is good to know.  He really wants to go to CSUN



#99 Grantmom

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:10 AM

Darn. I was excited to look until I started digging.  Most of these are either bible colleges with very limited majors, specialty schools (like Art Institutes for profit) or designed for a specific ethnic group.  

 

With where we are, we would choose CC over those.  

 

Hopefully there are better choices outside of our area but I didn't have a chance to look and probably won't spend much time as we don't really have the funds for the private colleges that are further away with 2 kids in college at the same time.

 

There are actually quite a few good Virginia public universities that have score optional policies.  James Madison University is now test-optional as of next year, with no GPA cutoffs.  

 

http://admissionsint...-for-2017-2018/

 

Christopher Newport, George Mason, and Virginia Commonwealth University all have test-optional if you have a certain GPA in high school.  

 

I think most of those policies are not relevant for homeschoolers, but since your DS is in school, he might be able to find a really good school with test-optional policies.

 

 

Hugs to you, though.  I can absolutely relate.  I didn't finish my Master's degree, thinking I could go back later.  But life happened, and going back later was way harder than I thought it would be.  It limited me in what I could do, earning potential, and flexibility.  I absolutely believe that college is not for everyone, and that there are many paths to a successful life, but having a marketable degree that gives you specific skills can be a great security blanket. 

 

I would try to focus on getting him to choose some goals, and not just go to college for the experience, but to learn marketable skills that will give him a specific job.  What about an allied healthcare career, like radiology tech, or a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)?  The PTA program is an associate degree and you might be able to start off at CC and then transfer to that, sidelining the test.  Though all of those types of careers have standardized tests for certification or boards.