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Posts posted by showelott

  1. Whoops - good catch. I meant ACT. Here's the blub from their website on their COVID requirments:

    • Requiring face coverings be worn by students and staff (See FAQs for details)
    • Making hand sanitizer available
    • Placing COVID-19 related signage, including floor signage to maintain six feet distances at key locations such as check-in and seating arrangements  
    • Requiring health screenings and wellness checks on both testing staff and examinees on test day 
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  2. "She said proctor didn’t wear his mask the whole time and tried to tell kids they couldn’t wear their watches (including analog watches, like DD was wearing). Luckily, the kids knew the rules and set him straight."

    Ugh! This is why (before COVID) I took the tests as much as I could - to make sure proctor's weren't screwing up. I'm so glad the kids knew the rules. The week before the test, I go over all the rules with my kids so they know what should (and should not) be happening (and what to do next)

    If you want to, I'd report that proctor to the school - SAT's new policy is that everyone has to wear a mask.

    • Like 2
  3. Here's what the ACT folks are saying today.

    Via their Twitter feed here:

    We know you're anxious to hear from us.
    2021 seniors whose registration for June or July was cancelled & who haven't received a refund will still get emails today.
    2021 seniors whose registration for April was cancelled & who haven't received a refund will get emails tomorrow.
    They are also saying they are opening registration for the fall tests on Aug 3.
  4. @mom2scouts - I have no idea what the College Board or ACT will do. However, right now international kids have the take the ACT online (at a text center location - and I assume they will be cancelling those b/c of the pandemic) I assume the ACT folks are accelerating their online access here in the states - in the fall it was scheduled to be available at certain test centers. Maybe they will be expanding access?  The SAT says the are looking to expand access to tests in the fall- so that any kid who wants to take it will be able to find a seat.

    And I'm sure you already know that the ACT has planned for  kids to be able to take just one subsection in the fall (instead of having to take the whole test again).

    I'm betting that more schools will be forced to go test optional come fall.

  5. I was in your shoes a year ago. We hired a Barton tutor for 2x a week. She LOVES her tutor and has made leaps and bounds in her reading. For the past year we've demphasized any physical reading and turned to audio books. (because her interest level outstrips her skill level at the moment) She "reads" several books a week - we've got through Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Spy School. She now has an unlimited budget for audio books. The second she says she wants to read a book, I immediately get the audio book into her hands. We have a Audible subscription, and Epic! subscription, and a Scribd subscription and we get audio books from the library. 

    I wanted to start her on Latin, but our tutor said reading second language (where the same letters make different sounds) is incredibly difficult for dyslexics, and so pointed us to American Sign Language instead.

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  6. I know this might be too late your your dd, but this might help other students in the same boat. 

    Quick and easy ACT math hack: SLOW DOWN and focus on getting the first 30 questions correct.

    Here's why it works: The questions are arranged in order of difficulty, so the first 30 questions are the easiest ones on the test. It makes no sense to rush through and miss an easy question because now you have to get a medium or hard question right in order to break even. 

    I also show students the scoring table so they can see they how many questions they can miss and still get the score they want. (By realizing they only need 45 correct answers, for example, it makes it easier to slow down and focus on those 45 questions, knowing they are going to "skip" 15 harder questions)

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  7. Hire an experienced SAT tutor that can give her a couple sessions focused exclusively on the math. A few sessions can make a world of difference. (Many students increase their math score 50 points after one session because they start using better strategies) I want to love Khan Academy. I do love it for math review on targeted topics. But I don't love their SAT prep. They tell you how to solve that one problem. But they don't teach you underlying strategic solving techniques (draw a picture, make a chart, etc) that can apply to many problems. You can check with your local high school counselor to see if they have recommendations for test prep tutors. Or private college counselors often have favorite tutors they refers folks out to.

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  8. Students do A LOT of growing and learn A LOT of school content between freshman year and junior year. I wouldn't be too concerned. If the student is 99% on other standardized tests, then I expected they will probably score in the same range on the SAT in a few years. I usually recommend that students don't start focusing on SAT until after their sophomore year. Here are my favorite books that help with both the content and strategy for SAT prep.

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  9. @rlestina - I'd look for an SAT tutor, not a math tutor. (Full disclosure: I am a SAT tutor)


    The reason is that to do well on the SAT math section, you need to understand how to solve the math problem, not necessarily in the classic, formal way, but in a backyard-math sort of way. Most kids (esp. bright kids who are very comfortable doing classic formal math) simply never considered looking at math a different way - they are perfectly able to do so, but it just never occurred to them to look at it like that. 


    (I had one student who used a fancy sequence/combination formula to find the answer. He got the right answer but it took too much time and he ran out of time by the end of the section. I showed him an easier, FASTER way to figure it out. He still got the answer correct, but his score jumped up b/c now he had more time to answer more questions.)


    It's also helpful to know what's tested and in what way. For example: 90% of the time when they are testing exponent rules, they test multiplying the same base or some variation of that. They only rarely test negative exponents and subtracting exponents. So instead of teaching my students ALL the exponent rules, I concentrate on adding the exponents. (unless they are shooting for a very high score, in which case I make sure they understand ALL the exponent rules)

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