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I want to share some very average PSAT scores


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First of all- congratulations to all those posting great scores on the other thread. So exciting! I would be so proud for one of my dc to have those scores. I'm excited just reading about other people having them. That thread doesn't bother me one bit. I'm enjoying it.

 

My ds took the PSAT as a 9th grader (just for practice). We got the scores today. He got a 150. CR 47, Math 52, Writing 51.

 

I realize those are really low for the kind of students many of you have but I am actually pretty happy. He's only a 9th grader and has lots of math left to take this year and next. I realize he isn't going to be National Merit material but I think he has lots of room to get a decent score on his SAT by his junior or senior year.

 

I'm happy. I'm proud of him. He will improve his score. He will get into college. His scores do not make me feel like a homeschooling failure ;)

 

Surely there are some others out there with similar scores? Anyone else want to share?

 

I would hate for people to think everyone is close to the cutoff or well above just because of that thread.

 

Or maybe I am alone and my ds is the only one who isn't over 200? I guess in that case I wouldn't want to know ;)

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No, no, my son - i kinda shared the scores, but not exact numbers. He is 16 and 2E. He was in a gifted class for about 4 months in 4th grade, and in special ed classes 5th through 7th, when I pulled him out. He was always more advanced verbally than in math, but spending a few years in special ed really was rough on him.

 

this was the first time he took the test, and i plan on sending him to community college - but his scores were CR 61, M 53, WS 59, so 173.

 

Considering that he couldnt write a coherent sentence or multiply fractions when I started homeschooling in 8th grade, i'm perfectly content. I just have to decide if he should take the SAT, just in case? and if so, should he study a math prep book? But i dont see him having the organizational skills to succeed in the university - heck, his sister is dropping out after one semester and a nervous breakdown.

 

There are just a LOT of high achievers on this board - did you see the income range survey? IMO, high achievers tend to be, well, high achievers, and family success is the best predictor of student success, so probably these very wealthy people were really smart and hardworking, and have kids who are really smart and hardworking. We are pretty smart but crazy and disorganized lol and thats fine, there is room for all kinds in this world!

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If it makes you guys feel better when I took the SAT's back in 2000 I only got a 970 I think. This was very average or even below I don't remember. However, I went on to join the military and test into a Military Intelligence Job. Then became a federal employee in the intelligence field where I was sitting in a retirement slot at 27 years old making $85k a year. That said our family income was well over 150k per year. When my job moved due to BRAC I decided to go to college. I am currently going on 30 in college with a 3.8 GPA (I was in an Honors University before my husband had to move for work too) working towards my BA and homeschooling my dd8 with another who was due yesterday but is very stubborn. I have no desire to work again so our income will never be that high again. My husband is an Intelligence Officer in the Army and has graduated Distinguished Honor Grad from every course he has gone through. His civilian peers have 6 figure incomes. We don't because this is the life we have chosen. My husband is a boarder line genius. I don't think that income is a sole indicator or intelligence or success.

 

Your children will be fine and you should both be very proud. And remember who they are today is not the sole indicator today of who they will be tomorrow. My BIL was a complete fool in school. He is older now in his mid thirties but his is getting his degree and extremely intellectual. Not something anyone expected from him. So long as they are doing their best I think that should count the most.

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My now public schooled, formerly homeschooled oldest DS scored a 185 on the PSAT last year as a sophomore (we haven't received this year's results yet). We were quite happy with that score given that he did absolutely no study prep at all. We truly did view it as nothing but a benchmark. He didn't study for the PSAT this year, either, deciding that NM wasn't worth it considering that the universities he's interested in don't give much more than a pat on the back.

 

His first choice university by far at this point (a top 30 school which has expressed interest in him) doesn't require SAT/ACT, so it seems more prudent to focus his time and efforts on keeping up his GPA on a challenging course load and on community volunteer activities--things the university is very much interested in--rather than prepping for standardized tests.

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First of all- congratulations to all those posting great scores on the other thread. So exciting! I would be so proud for one of my dc to have those scores. I'm excited just reading about other people having them. That thread doesn't bother me one bit. I'm enjoying it. My ds took the PSAT as a 9th grader (just for practice). We got the scores today. He got a 150. CR 47, Math 52, Writing 51. I realize those are really low for the kind of students many of you have but I am actually pretty happy. He's only a 9th grader and has lots of math left to take this year and next. I realize he isn't going to be National Merit material but I think he has lots of room to get a decent score on his SAT by his junior or senior year. I'm happy. I'm proud of him. He will improve his score. He will get into college. His scores do not make me feel like a homeschooling failure ;) Surely there are some others out there with similar scores? Anyone else want to share? I would hate for people to think everyone is close to the cutoff or well above just because of that thread. Or maybe I am alone and my ds is the only one who isn't over 200? I guess in that case I wouldn't want to know ;)

 

Just to put this in perspective, we have juniors at our school who didn't make a 150, and they've had all the math they are supposed to have had before taking the test... As a 9th grader, I certainly wouldn't count your guy out of anything just yet. That's a very respectable score and should go up with more reading, writing, and math experience. ;) There are a handful of 9th graders who can test well (many times they've had the math already), but it's pretty rare. So, I repeat, DO NOT count your guy out of anything based upon this test. He may, or may not, be NM material in a couple of years. He already has a score many of our sophomore and junior highschoolers would love to have. (We don't test freshmen.)

 

No, no, my son - i kinda shared the scores, but not exact numbers. He is 16 and 2E. He was in a gifted class for about 4 months in 4th grade, and in special ed classes 5th through 7th, when I pulled him out. He was always more advanced verbally than in math, but spending a few years in special ed really was rough on him. this was the first time he took the test, and i plan on sending him to community college - but his scores were CR 61, M 53, WS 59, so 173. Considering that he couldnt write a coherent sentence or multiply fractions when I started homeschooling in 8th grade, i'm perfectly content. I just have to decide if he should take the SAT, just in case? and if so, should he study a math prep book? But i dont see him having the organizational skills to succeed in the university - heck, his sister is dropping out after one semester and a nervous breakdown. There are just a LOT of high achievers on this board - did you see the income range survey? IMO, high achievers tend to be, well, high achievers, and family success is the best predictor of student success, so probably these very wealthy people were really smart and hardworking, and have kids who are really smart and hardworking. We are pretty smart but crazy and disorganized lol and thats fine, there is room for all kinds in this world!

 

Definitely take the SAT and/or ACT... His 173 is at the 83rd percentile (top, not bottom) as per here:

 

http://www.testmasters.net/PsatAbout/Scoring-Scale

 

While you aren't looking at highly selective colleges, there are definitely plenty of schools to consider and some around here give merit aid for those scores (assuming based upon an SAT, not ACT). DO NOT sell yourself (or him) short. Many, many, many students at our school would love those scores.

 

One always has to be careful when comparing... scores merely show roughly which types of schools or programs students should be considering (or for those not ready to be searching for colleges, where they could brush up on their English and/or Math to better prepare themselves). Just as with track stars, some are Olympic material, but those are rare. Some can compete nationally, but those also are fairly rare. Statewide you get more stars, and locally even more. We all love watching the Olympic stars and cheer for them, but none of us would consider our kids "unworthy" just because they didn't make that cut. It also doesn't mean they shouldn't be out there competing on a local or state team just because they aren't quite up to Olympic level. Find the level they do well with and cheer them on. Being 17th out of 100 (83rd percentile) is definitely not cause to pack up and quit the race.

 

Also remember, no school offers acceptance based upon the PSAT. They require the SAT or ACT... the PSAT, for almost all, is merely a practice. If one wants to be aiming a little higher than where they "placed," grab prep books and brush up to see if it's possible. Sometimes extra practice or extra coaching can move an athlete up. Sometimes not. Whether it is worth it or not all depends upon ones goal. Go to a college search engine (college confidential has one) and put the scores in - along with desired regions, majors, or whatever, and see what schools come up.

 

Sometimes schools will need to be cut based upon the reality of admissions requirements (scores) or finances - this is true - but you'll only know if that is the case in your situation once you check into it a little more. For my 181 guy (89th percentile) getting IN to the college he wants is likely with his score. Paying for it (net-price calculator) will be difficult without something higher. I've shared this with him and it's up to him to decide whether he wants to put the effort in to get higher scores (he's capable) or wants to start looking at other schools. He's not "out" of the race because of his scores. They are what they are, but he needs to decide where to go from here.

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My now public schooled, formerly homeschooled oldest DS scored a 185 on the PSAT last year as a sophomore (we haven't received this year's results yet). We were quite happy with that score given that he did absolutely no study prep at all. We truly did view it as nothing but a benchmark. He didn't study for the PSAT this year, either, deciding that NM wasn't worth it considering that the universities he's interested in don't give much more than a pat on the back.

 

His first choice university by far at this point (a top 30 school which has expressed interest in him) doesn't require SAT/ACT, so it seems more prudent to focus his time and efforts on keeping up his GPA on a challenging course load and on community volunteer activities--things the university is very much interested in--rather than prepping for standardized tests.

 

Remember the SAT/ACT optional part only applies to ps students like yours - not for those homeschooling... AND, from what I've heard through the grapevine (guidance) only usually applies to majors that tend to not be math heavy. Adcoms get wary of "no" scores for those who want majors that tend to correlate fairly well with the SAT/ACT (like Engineers and math scores).

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My son hasn't taken the psat but we've done a few practice sats at home. He does really well in verbal but is scoring in the 400s in math. And he's definitely not an over achiever, to put it mildly. DD is in B&M school and is barely passing math at the moment. There are average kids here, I think we just don't brag about them as much! :)

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Remember the SAT/ACT optional part only applies to ps students like yours - not for those homeschooling... AND, from what I've heard through the grapevine (guidance) only usually applies to majors that tend to not be math heavy. Adcoms get wary of "no" scores for those who want majors that tend to correlate fairly well with the SAT/ACT (like Engineers and math scores).

 

 

Neither of those is true for the university that my son is interested in.

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Definitely take the SAT and/or ACT... His 173 is at the 83rd percentile (top, not bottom) as per here:

 

http://www.testmaste...t/Scoring-Scale

 

While you aren't looking at highly selective colleges, there are definitely plenty of schools to consider and some around here give merit aid for those scores (assuming based upon an SAT, not ACT). DO NOT sell yourself (or him) short. Many, many, many students at our school would love those scores.

 

Just to clarify, i dont doubt that my son is smart enough to succeed at a university - but i KNOW he does not have the 'emotional intelligence' and 'executive function' and other soft skills needed to succeed. He has no idea what he wants, has no interest in anything but video games, takes no responsibility for his school work (tho he did put the tree up by himself without me asking!). He just isnt mature enough - and i wasnt either nor was my daughter. Like i said, we're pretty bright, but crazy. and immature. I dropped out of college several times, and my daughter is doing it now.

 

I expect to have to support him a LOT - with scheduling help, with forcing him to work when he doesnt want to, etc. My plan is to get him a 2-year type degree in something that will make him well qualified for tech support type jobs - he is great with electronics and computers and is highly motivated by helping people. So i figure he can do that until he matures enough to take full responsibility for his future, and THEN he can go back to get a real degree. and if he stays in state, he wont need test scores once he has an associates degree.

 

but thanks for the encouragement!

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I just wanted to add a big THANKS for sharing. I wish more "just average" folks would share such info, as it would be encouraging for many of us who have very definitely "just average" kids or even special needs. Sometimes the forums feel...well...intimidating and can actually be discouraging for some of us, not because of intentional bragging but because we hear so seldom about kids that look more like the ones we sit around the kitchen table with every morning!

 

Cindy

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Just to clarify, i dont doubt that my son is smart enough to succeed at a university - but i KNOW he does not have the 'emotional intelligence' and 'executive function' and other soft skills needed to succeed. He has no idea what he wants, has no interest in anything but video games, takes no responsibility for his school work

 

This is my son to a "T!!" I'm also thinking a 2 year practical degree. I'll be lucky if we get that far.

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Neither of those is true for the university that my son is interested in.

 

If you know a top 30 college that is score optional for homeschoolers, I'm sure many on here would appreciate your sharing the info.

 

Schools we've been aware of have not been score optional for homeschoolers even when they are for other students, but of course, we haven't checked with every single school.

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I did some research today on some colleges in state. It looks like if my guy's PSAT scores translate into comparable SAT scores he'll be set to get into a couple of our state universities with state money. Not dream schools by any stretch but to know there are already safety schools that he can get into and have enough aid to make it affordable is reassuring. Don't get me wrong- I totally want him to improve and have more doors open to him. But, knowing that he'll be able to get into college and have some aid even if he doesn't make great strides is reassuring to me. He's just a 9th grader not known for great test taking skills. We must be doing okay to be where we are at this point.

 

He's a hard working student taking a rigorous courseload with a ton of extracurriculars, service, etc. I expect test scores to be the low point of his application. He's going to be okay :)

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He's a hard working student taking a rigorous courseload with a ton of extracurriculars, service, etc. I expect test scores to be the low point of his application. He's going to be okay :)

 

 

Have you had a look at the ACT? My oldest did OK on the PSAT, but very well on the ACT. The format of the ACT just suited him better. The questions are more direct, (less tricky), and there are no grid-in math problems.

 

Also, if you've got a student who doesn't test super well, you might consider making sure he has some "outside" grades going into his senior year. This would mean doing some CC (preferred) or on-line courses during his junior year. Success at your local CC would help assure the college admissions folks of his likely success at their school.

 

Best wishes!

Brenda

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Have you had a look at the ACT? My oldest did OK on the PSAT, but very well on the ACT. The format of the ACT just suited him better. The questions are more direct, (less tricky), and there are no grid-in math problems.

 

Also, if you've got a student who doesn't test super well, you might consider making sure he has some "outside" grades going into his senior year. This would mean doing some CC (preferred) or on-line courses during his junior year. Success at your local CC would help assure the college admissions folks of his likely success at their school.

 

Best wishes!

Brenda

 

Thanks. I will have him try the ACT, also, to see which one is a better fit for him. I'm definitely planning on outside courses for him, including some AP and some dual enrollment cc courses. I'm excited about his future even with average PSAT scores :) He is a very hard worker and capable of a heavy workload so I'm pretty confident he will do okay with those courses.

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I'm excited about his future even with average PSAT scores :)

 

I have a lot of faith in college admissions committees. I don't think I'm being naive when I figure that they've seen so many thousands of applications and they have developed a real sense of what kind of student will thrive at college. I trust that they use the stats as a guide, but they also look to all the other facets a student brings to his or her application.

 

Usually, College Confidential is an intimidating place. But it can also be reassuring. Some of the EA results threads have just gotten going, and not all the accepted kids have perfect 2400s and 4.0s (and some of the rejected ones do). A lot of the admitted kids have ok scores and fascinating extracurriculars, evidence of character and leadership, and other non-quantifiable accomplishments.

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I'm definitely planning on outside courses for him, including some AP and some dual enrollment cc courses. He is a very hard worker and capable of a heavy workload so I'm pretty confident he will do okay with those courses.

 

 

I would just caution you about trying to have him do AP courses if he's not a strong test taker. My oldest took a physics course that covered the content of AP Physics B, so I could have had him take the AP exam. However, he doesn't tend to test well on tests that cover lots and lots of material. So I decided to have him skip the AP physics exam, and I just called the course "Physics" on his transcript. He's a senior in college now, and he's done well there (including taking 2 semesters of physics). He still tends to have some trouble with comprehensive finals. At least his course grade is based on his grades on exams during the semester, homework, lab work, and the final, so if he doesn't do exceptionally well on the final, it doesn't sink his grade for the course completely. In our experience, there is a lot less stress involved in CC courses than in the high-stakes, covers-an-entire-year-of-material, one-chance-only AP exams.

 

This son ended up taking 4 courses at the CC and got As in all of them. I think that helped his case in the college application process. He also enjoyed the classroom experience with the CC, and it helped his confidence and his transition to "away" college.

 

"Hardworking and capable of a heavy workload" will take your son a long way. Good for you for being there to guide him along the way!

 

Best wishes to both of you,

Brenda

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We finally got scores! Ds scored 189 (93%). He isn't happy, but it really isn't surprising based on the amount of studying he didn't do beforehand. It continues the trend set by the older boys who scored 186 and 193 in their junior year. I just want to encourage all of you to realize that the PSAT/NMF is not the only way to get scholarship $$. In fact, I know a few NMFs who received less than 50% scholarships at their school of choice (actually second/third choice). My oldest (186) ended up with a very nice scholarship package based on his ACT/SAT scores, extracurriculars, and his major of choice. Because of his superior performance in his coursework, he received so many scholarships that he actually made money his junior and senior years - all his expenses were paid. My boys don't test well, but they really rock their classes :thumbup1: . Ds#1 graduated with the 3rd highest GPA of his class and was one of the top 2 recruits for the company that hired him.

 

And on another note, don't write off your sons' academic abilities or drive at age 16. I'm on my last 16 year old boy. They improve greatly with a couple more years :tongue_smilie: Yes, they are often the poster children for LAZY and are more interested in video games/music/cars, but when they finally decide what they want to do (and that often doesn't happen until after they start college) they can make it work. Just keep on top of them; keep guiding them; and encourage them to do their best. Really, even a summer between school years can make a world of difference in maturity. Now if I can just get my last one to realize that being a world class body builder just isn't in his genes :tongue_smilie: ... and he's better off using the intellectual gifts he was born with....

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Have you had a look at the ACT? My oldest did OK on the PSAT, but very well on the ACT. The format of the ACT just suited him better. The questions are more direct, (less tricky), and there are no grid-in math problems.

 

Also, if you've got a student who doesn't test super well, you might consider making sure he has some "outside" grades going into his senior year. This would mean doing some CC (preferred) or on-line courses during his junior year. Success at your local CC would help assure the college admissions folks of his likely success at their school.

 

Best wishes!

Brenda

 

 

I really agree with the bolded. Although my sons' scores were good, they were not anywhere near NMF or even commended level. Their PSAT scores wouldn't get them anything. But they have learned to have a good work ethic and that seems to go a long ways towards college success. They did well in the concurrent courses work which played a big role in their admissions/scholarship offers.

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Wow, I was going to post about my average child but I guess this really isn't about average kids.

Seriously . . . why are people talking about 'top 30 schools' on a post about AVERAGE kids? Kids with average scores are NOT APPLYING to top 30 schools. I dont even KNOW or WANT TO KNOW what the top 30 schools are.

 

Start a post about top scorers and stop bragging all over the average ppl k tnks

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Wow, I was going to post about my average child but I guess this really isn't about average kids.

 

Post away! I can rejoice with news about all our offspring - esp when they are enjoying what they are doing...

 

Seriously . . . why are people talking about 'top 30 schools' on a post about AVERAGE kids? Kids with average scores are NOT APPLYING to top 30 schools. I dont even KNOW or WANT TO KNOW what the top 30 schools are.

 

Start a post about top scorers and stop bragging all over the average ppl k tnks

 

You might have missed the point. We're not talking about Top 30 schools with scores to match getting into them. There was reference to a "score optional" (don't need scores) Top 30 school that was still score optional for homeschoolers. There really are some kids out there who are academically talented (esp in their field), but who don't score well on these tests. There are also majors out there that don't correlate well with test scores - period. Some schools are starting to recognize this and are going score optional. So far, I've only seen this option for ps kids. If there is such an option for homeschoolers, there may, indeed, be others out there who would like to know as their kids can have AVERAGE scores, but do just fine in their field in a Top 30 school. Just because a kid gets average scores (esp on the PSAT) doesn't mean they aren't "worthy of a Top 30" if they get the opportunity. They may, or may not want to try it, pending their knowledge of themselves (or their kids for us parents reading). They can't look into it if they don't know what the option is. How does that help anyone?

 

BTW, I'm married to an "average scoring" hubby who also happened to get into an Engineering College off a waitlist, graduate (after having to repeat a class or two), and now has his own rather successful business. IMO, there's nothing "average" about him - except those scores from way back when... I'm glad he wasn't deterred due to the scores or the waitlist or failing Calc the first time around... but that doesn't mean engineering is the path for everyone. We all take info gleaned on here and apply or discard it as needed.

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Could someone please share what the top scores are, so I can understand what these scores are in relation to. Also, is the PSAT usually done in 9th and 10th,, then SAT in 11th? I saw some doing PSAT as juniors, but I thought that's when they were supposed to take the SAT's...yes, I am clueless about all of this :)

 

Alison

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Could someone please share what the top scores are, so I can understand what these scores are in relation to. Also, is the PSAT usually done in 9th and 10th,, then SAT in 11th? I saw some doing PSAT as juniors, but I thought that's when they were supposed to take the SAT's...yes, I am clueless about all of this :)

 

Alison

 

The PSATs that count for National Merit Scholar are taken fall of Junior year. Many people have their child also take them in tenth (and sometimes ninth) for practice. SATs can be taken any time. Many people have their child take them early in Junior year in order to leave time to raise the scores before college applications.

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The PSAT is, for almost all students, a Practice SAT test that is an inexpensive way to get an idea of what SAT scores might be down the line. In our ps, it is taken by sophomores and juniors (no freshmen), but in other places (including on here), it seems like freshmen taking the test can be more normal.

 

For a few really top 1% scorers, there can also be scholarship $$ offered through National Merit. What scores qualify for these depends upon your state of residence.

 

The PSAT is not used for college admissions at all. The SAT and/or ACT are (SAT is connected with PSAT via collegeboard). To see what percentiles certain scores fall into, look here:

 

http://www.testmaste...t/Scoring-Scale

 

The SAT and/or ACT are often taken junior year, but can be taken earlier or later as desired. These scores historically have led students into knowing what school choices "fit" them (comparing scores to incoming freshmen). This "wisdom" is coming into question (actually has been questioned for years) by some schools and a few are opting to go "score optional" meaning send them if you think they'll help and don't send them if you prefer other methods of showing your capabilities for college. So far, I've yet to see that option available for homeschoolers. Instead, due to the lack of outside grading (or perceived lack), schools tend to weigh the SAT or ACT more for homeschoolers - hence - the desire for high scores. High scores tend to correspond with better acceptance rates and more scholarship $$ at many places.

 

Since the tests do not gauge work ethic or other such things, they do not always correspond with who will actually do well at college or in life.

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Seriously . . . why are people talking about 'top 30 schools' on a post about AVERAGE kids? Kids with average scores are NOT APPLYING to top 30 schools. I dont even KNOW or WANT TO KNOW what the top 30 schools are.

 

Start a post about top scorers and stop bragging all over the average ppl k tnks

 

I'm sorry my postings upset you. I assure you there wasn't even the slightest inkling of bragging intended (the thought never crossed my mind). Quite to the contrary, my post was meant to be encouraging to everyone whose child didn't score well in the 200+ range.

 

The school I was referring to is Wake Forest. I was touring with my public schooled son, not my homeschooler. As such my attention wasn't focused on admissions for homeschoolers (getting one through this process at a time is about all I can handle). But the distinct impression I came away with was that SAT scores were optional across the board. The admissions counselor who conducted our information session repeatedly stressed the importance of rigor of course load, GPA, extracurricular activities (particularly community-related activities) and a personal interview. There was one homeschooler in our group who asked several questions, and nothing in the admission counselor's replies led me to believe that SAT scores would be required from her. Now it's certainly possible I missed something, or that the admissions counselor who conducted the information session wasn't clear on the matter himself.

 

By conveying that more and more schools, even the top ones, are putting less (or no) emphasis on test scores in their admissions practices I hoped to be encouraging. I apologize if it didn't come across that way.

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I just want to encourage everyone, whether students score high or low, to remember that standardized tests are simply a small slice of a much bigger picture.

 

Our oldest had avg ACT scores, yet he graduated cum laude w/a degree in chemical engineering in 3 yrs (+18 hrs of dual enrollment from high school and 1 yr of co-oping). Based on numerous posts on this forum about test scores, one would have thought he was doomed to mediocrity. ;) Our ds was a dedicated student who worked hard and when things were extremely tough, he worked harder. Work-ethic is probably a far better indicator of success than a bubble sheet.

 

Our youngest ds is an extremely slow-reading dyslexic. B/c he manages fine w/o any additional time in general, he doesn't qualify for any for the SAT/ACT. So.....guess what? His scores do not even begin to represent who he is. What does? He has one of the highest scores in cal 3 and university cal-physicsat a good university as an 11th grader. (ETA: Ds just called me from campus. He was there taking his multivariable cal final. His professor stopped him on the way out of the room to tell him that he had the highest grade in the class!! :) ) But, if you looked at his standardized test scores, he won't make the cut at top schools. 3 hrs of fast-paced reading filling out a bubble sheet are not representative of his abilities.

 

So, just keep perspective. B/c w/ the exception of admissions offices, scores are just that, simply scores, and they are long forgotten once they walk through the doors of a campus. There are plenty of great schools that accept kids w/avg scores. :)

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sorry if i overreacted . . . sometimes i post when i really shouldnt .. . but still, it sometimes feels like there is an awful lot of emphasis on exceptionality around here and sometimes mediocrity is enough . . esp if getting there is a struggle. as i said . . . mental health is the biggest thing that gets in the way for us . . . so hard work is not consistent, motivation is not consistent, polite posting might not be consistent. sigh.

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sorry if i overreacted . . . sometimes i post when i really shouldnt .. . but still, it sometimes feels like there is an awful lot of emphasis on exceptionality around here and sometimes mediocrity is enough . . esp if getting there is a struggle. as i said . . . mental health is the biggest thing that gets in the way for us . . . so hard work is not consistent, motivation is not consistent, polite posting might not be consistent. sigh.

 

 

(((((hugs)))) I have kids like that too. They are who they are. Maybe b/c I am from a large family and have witnessed wide variation of how we all turned out as adults and I have a large family and all of my kids are completely different, but I just don't believe that test scores or even academics in general reflect on an individual and the "who" they are that really matters in life.

 

Life is so much more. I'm going to be equally proud of my disabled ds if he manages to get full-time employment at Goodwill. :) B/c that is the "who" that matters.

 

 

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The school I was referring to is Wake Forest.

 

Thanks for the info. I no longer have a homeschooler in the college hunt, but if someone ever does more research into seeing if they truly are score optional, please post. It would be great to start seeing colleges assess ALL students similarly.

 

I just want to encourage everyone, whether students score high or low, to remember that standardized tests are simply a small slice of a much bigger picture. ...

 

So, just keep perspective. B/c w/ the exception of admissions offices, scores are just that, simply scores, and they are long forgotten once they walk through the doors of a campus. There are plenty of great schools that accept kids w/avg scores. :)

 

Absolutely - it's the same thought/idea I've been having, but you write it so much more clearly!

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Life is so much more. I'm going to be equally proud of my disabled ds if he manages to get full-time employment at Goodwill. :) B/c that is the "who" that matters.

 

And I'm proud of my "could never (literally - couldn't) finish high school with today's requirements, but great with any sort of engine" nephew too. ;) Everyone is "right" in their niche. It bugs me when people feel some are better than others merely due to the niche that fits them.

 

I'm proud of those who can score 200+ on the PSAT AND proud of those who don't, but did their best.

 

One thing I really enjoy about both the school where I work and on here is simply seeing where everyone goes and marveling at the sheer diversity our planet offers with niches. If the plan fits a person, it isn't wrong. When it doesn't, then it's wrong (for them). Having a part of guiding kids toward their niche or encouraging them is a real upper for me - and that's not "just" for the highly selective college bound, but it also doesn't exclude them. It's for all (who don't opt for a life of crime).

 

If you post a brag on this forum (and please do, as I genuinely enjoy rejoicing with others and seeing the diversity), then I'll be with you in spirit.

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sorry if i overreacted . . . sometimes i post when i really shouldnt .. . but still, it sometimes feels like there is an awful lot of emphasis on exceptionality around here and sometimes mediocrity is enough . . esp if getting there is a struggle. as i said . . . mental health is the biggest thing that gets in the way for us . . . so hard work is not consistent, motivation is not consistent, polite posting might not be consistent. sigh.

 

 

My hopes for this board are that it will be a safe place to post both triumphs and struggles. There are so many things about our homeschooling that I have not shared with many. Our first three years homeschooling we were living in Germany. When we came back to the US, I found that I was censuring a lot of what I shared about our experiences. Repeat that for each of the subsequent places we've lived.

 

I often don't share what we are reading or the math we're working on. I sure don't share my science goals with many IRL homeschoolers.

 

After I saw my son's scores, I called a dear friend of mine and it all came bubbling out. Then I checked myself because her son had taken the test too. (Both boys are freshmen and it was a low stakes practice test.) When I appologized, she said that she is always glad to hear happy news.

 

Every kid is different. They all have different challenges. Some might be organic. Others may be situational. Others are attitudinal or hormonal. I have a daily struggle with helping my oldest balance swimming and academics (and scouts and free time and piano lessons and everything else that I wish I could find time for him to explore, but can't). [For a non academic example, I want to hear from swimming parents whose kids have enjoyed swimming through high school, despite not being top swimmers with cut times for invitationals and Olympic trials. Cause we're still excited to have finishes that are in double, not triple digits.)

 

There is so much to rejoice about, just in getting through the teen years. And there are plenty of people out there, convinced that homeschooling is arrogant, misguided or negligent. I don't think that homeschoolers need to take out after each other too.

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I just wanted to add a big THANKS for sharing. I wish more "just average" folks would share such info, as it would be encouraging for many of us who have very definitely "just average" kids or even special needs. Sometimes the forums feel...well...intimidating and can actually be discouraging for some of us, not because of intentional bragging but because we hear so seldom about kids that look more like the ones we sit around the kitchen table with every morning!

 

Cindy

 

I agree. When scores arrived for ds 9th grade, he was thrilled and we celebrated with song and dance. But when I came to this board I was quite concerned to see that his R 68 M 51 W 64 was no where near what others were posting. I tried to tell myself that it was because he is only 9th grade and hasn't done geometry and is only just starting algebra. But I couldn't shake this nagging feeling.

Thank you for the average folks like us thread!

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FWIW, I found this College Board booklet Understanding 2012 PSAT/NMSQT Scoresto be pretty interesting. There are more similar items in the Professional side of College Board. For example, there is a sample report with a case study on how to understand the different parts of the report.

 

Different families and students are using the scores for different purposes. Some have taken the test before and are looking to see if the scores improved, or if they are in the window for specific colleges or scholarships. Some scores will help a student be more realistic about their applications. Others will see them as a spur to more preparation. Some families had freshmen taking the test as a low stakes practice. Other families have been prepping for months. Others only heard about the PSAT days before the registration deadline.

 

One useful pullout stat is the number that CB gives as benchmark for College and Career Readiness. This number suggests that a student is on track to achieve a 2.67 gpa in the first year of college college. It doesn't mean that a lower score means college is out of reach, nor does it mean that sucess is assured. The benchmarks for 10th grade were CR 42 M 44 CW 42 Composit 133. For 11th grade the benchmarks were CR 45 M 47 CW 45 Composite 142.

 

I think it can be pretty tough to say what is average on the test. Average for what? A college bound, college prep junior at a school with a strong AP or IB program? Or a sophomore in a rural or urban school that sends less than 25% of graduating seniors to four year colleges? Even among homeschoolers there are wide variations in goals, strengths and resources. And that is before you even start to consider the individual nature of the students.

 

The middle 50th percentile would cover the middle half of scores. It would run from 25% to 75%. For 2012 those scores would be Juniors: CR 40/41 - 55/56 M 40 - 57/58 CW 38/39 - 52/53. For sophomores the middle 50 looks something like: CR 36/37 - 51/52 M 36 - 51 CW 34/35 - 48. (The scores I'm listing are the scores closest to 25% and 75%. If I have two numbers like 40/41 it's because the target percentage was bracketed by those scores.)

 

For freshmen, it's harder to put scores into perspective. You could just use the sophomore scores as a comparison. I think there aren't enough freshmen taking the exam nationwide for there to be solid percentages to breakout. There is probably a strong bias for freshmen testing to either be high performing individuals or to be in districts that are strong. I think there may be some pilot projects in different areas. This article from a CA private school newsletter describes the test results of their freshmen against other freshmen in the state and nation. As you would expect, most of the freshmen scores mentioned are at or below 50%.

 

Maybe one last way of slicing up the scores. It might be worth keeping in mind what percentages some of those high scores represent. A 64 in math for a junior is a 90%. That doesn't mean they got 90% of the questions right. It means that they were in the top 10% of scorers nationwide. Kudos to them, but it doesn't mean that students with lower scores are somehow unfit for college or careers. It just means that they didn't score as well on the test. (Similarly a 70 in math puts the student in the 96th percentile - and indicates that they missed fewer than 5 questions on the test.)

 

I don't know if any of that is helpful or just more irritating. I think it can be easy to set sights really high when dealing with these types of exams. And they are quite different from a content based exam, where you might expect your kid to master the subject and answer 80-90% of the questions correctly. That doesn't match up to being on the 90th percentile on a standardized exam.

 

Hug your kids, make some cookies and read a book together on the couch. They are each and every one important, valuable people.

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Ds wants to go into engineering and it's going to be tough.

 

Margaret,

 

My oldest was like this. His PSAT math was always the lowest of the 3 sections. The highest he ever got was a 61. Fortunately, the ACT turned out to be a much better test for him, so that's what he used to apply to colleges. He's almost done with his engineering degree now, and the courses where he's done the best are his math courses! Go figure. If your son has an aptitude for and an interest in engineering, he'll probably do fine once he gets there. This testing stuff is maddening, huh?

 

Brenda

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...-I've just never had one QUITE this lopsided!

 

Margaret - We're laughing over our youngest's extremely lopsided SAT score. For our family, my only basis of comparison, he scored low in math. For our family, he scored pretty high in reading. He's a typical engineering type person. Our family of engineers tends to score pretty high on the reading end of things unless they got my father's or my husband's mother's wiring (they probably would have been diagnosed with something like dislexia now), but not THIS high. Youngest was unable to explain the high reading score except to say that it was easy. He WAS able to explain the low math score - he says that normally in math he just derives any formulas but that doesn't work well on the SATs because of the speed issue. He also said he missed two problems because he didn't remember all his angle geometry. That makes sense. As his only math teacher until last year's cc pre-calc, I am immensely relieved. I am attributing the very high reading score to TWTM. We didn't follow it exactly but as we keep discovering, a little goes a loooonnnnngggg way!!!!

 

(His writing score was fine, I guess. Not something we have much basis of comparison for but it was in line with the rest of the family's reading and math scores. This was partly TWTM, and partly hard work on our parts to give him the solid technical writing skills he would need as an engineer, and partly test prep in that particular area, since SAT writing is formulaic and not a formula we worked on in context.)

 

I think Brenda's advice to try the ACT is good. Our oldest's ps guidance counselor said he scored surprisingly low on the SATs and that he definately should try the ACTs, that it can make a big difference.

 

dbmamaz - Hugs and more hugs. My youngest is my most academically able son (probably thanks to TWTM from the beginning) and he didn't exactly ace the SATs (except reading). My other two's SAT scores were mediocre. From that and from seeing what has happened to my husband's and my siblings compared to their SAT scores, it is very obvious that these scores have nothing to do with how successful one is in the end. They don't even necessarily have anything to do with how well you do in college. They just have to do with one particular way of getting into some colleges in the first place.

 

It is hard to compare scores outside of families. When people post that their child's scores were average and they look high to someone else, that is probably what is happening. The family unhappy with the average-that-isn't-really-average scores and the family that is unhappy with the average-compared-to-their-state scores both have to deal with the results - they worry about their approach to homeschooling, they worry about the math curriculum they chose, they worry about whether they should have pushed their children harder, they wonder if they are bad teachers, they wonder if the public school wouldn't have done a better job of preparing their child, they wonder if they let their child down, they wonder how important these scores are, and they have to figure out what to do next and whether this really alters their college choices or not. Some families have chosen to try to get very high SAT and PSAT scores as a way to get scholarship money for college and when those initial PSAT scores come back low, they are devastated because they feel that this seriously impacts the child's ability to go to college at all. There are plenty of happy families who are pleased because their children have nationally average scores and that will allow them to get into their state uni easily. They just don't tend to post because they don't need the support. There are also a lot of families here obsessing over scores and other factors as they wait for acceptance letters from colleges.

 

Nan

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