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Test Prep for SAT/ACT first time at 11???


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#1 freemanfamilyof6

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:03 PM

Did you buy a test prep book for your gifted child the first time they took the SAT or ACT?  My 2nd daughter is registered for the December SAT and Feb ACT.  Why or why not?  Also, if yes what did you use?  Thanks.  



#2 wapiti

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:16 PM

Do you need the score for entrance to a gifted program or you just wanted to see how she might do?  Perhaps try a practice SAT on Khan Academy to get an idea of whether taking a college entrance test is worth the effort at this point in time, especially considering the student's current math level (TT6 ?).



#3 freemanfamilyof6

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 07:58 AM

Do you need the score for entrance to a gifted program or you just wanted to see how she might do? Perhaps try a practice SAT on Khan Academy to get an idea of whether taking a college entrance test is worth the effort at this point in time, especially considering the student's current math level (TT6 ?).


I don't update my signature often. Her math is videotext algebra. 


Edited by freemanfamilyof6, 20 September 2017 - 08:47 AM.


#4 dmmetler

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:05 AM

(DD took the SAT and ACT at 10/11 to apply to a specific school)

I'd focus on prepping format. In general, unless a kid has mostly finished high school content, the prep materials won't help much there because they assume the skills (and part of the out of level testing is to see what the kids can do without instruction). However, having a good idea of how long each section is and how much time you have per question is very helpful.

At 11, DD did an ACT prep camp because a teen friend of hers was doing it, and that's basically what they did-spend the week really getting a handle on the timing and format, but nothing on content except for "if you have no clue, don't waste time on it-do the ones you know first and come back and try to puzzle the others out if you have time". Recognizing that you can miss a lot and still get q good score was very reassuring.

In DD's case, we didn't prep the SAT much except that she'd been doing daily questions on Testive for fun. She did well overall, but there was a big drop off through the test. Her scores were lower than expected based on Testive. On the ACT, we did the prep camp above, and her scores were much more consistent with her Testive scores.

The ACT and SAT have been the best tools for advocacy we have. I think it's worth doing.

#5 tcb

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:28 AM

My dd did the ACT in 7th gr as part of the Duke TIP talent search. We did not do any prep. She had done the Explore test before ( again no prep for that) so she was familiar with filling in the bubbles etc. I just told her that there would be things on the test she had never seen before and not to worry about that but just do her best with what she knew. 



#6 Arcadia

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:53 AM

We didn't buy a test prep book, we use the library copies as my husband is a tightwad.

How much prep depends on the child and what scores you are aiming for.

My DS12 is a good test taker, public school trained from all the elementary school years of color the bubble state testing. He did one practice test for each and that was it. His scores were high enough for eligibility to apply for talent search programs, Davidson Academy, Reno as well as qualify for SET.

My DS11 is not a good test taker for timed tests which both ACT and SAT are. Test prep for him wasn't about content but about beating that clock. It is like helping a marathon runner learn to compete in a sprint. His first time scores for ACT and SAT were good enough for everything but he took the SAT a second time to qualify for SET because he wants to qualify like his brother did. His second time SAT composite score at 11 years 6 months was 100 points higher than his brother's first time SAT composite score at the same age. We spent two weeks on test prep for this child which was why we could reserve and use library books only.

So it really depends on the child and the scores you need. If it is just to get a baseline and you don't need a certain score, test prep other than doing a practice test to get use to the format isn't necessary. If you need a certain score, do the eight SAT practice tests on College Board's website and if need be borrow a test prep book for SAT. The Prepare for ACT booklet has a practice test and you can borrow the official red ACT test prep book for more test to practice on. Then see if you need to borrow more test prep books.