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Joanne

JAWM rant. My dd's SAT scores (or ACT for that matter)..........

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She does not test well. We've prepared the best we can for our budget. We've done what we can in terms of the anxiety.

 

She.simply.does.not.test.well.

 

Never mind that she is one of the top of her class, has taken ALL of the hardest courses, has over a 4.0. Nevermind that she *really* has volunteered over 80 hours. Nevermind that she was VP of student council and is Pres this year. Nevermind that she has transcended a disease no young person should *suffer* from.

 

She'll be shoved off the consideration pile because of WHAT? That she doesn't test well.

 

It's a flawed, myopic system. Any campus and school would be blessed to actually have her as a student. Instead, they won't.

She's despairing that she'll be at a "they take everyone college" even though she's a better STUDENT than that.

 

No, it's not fair.

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I am sorry. Ability to perform well on standardized multiple choice tests has never seemed to me to be the best indicator of future college success. I always tested well, my SAT/ACT scores were significantly higher than dh's scores--but he was the more organized and diligent student and graduated from the same university with a more challenging degree and higher GPA.

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The They Take Everyone College is OK.  It will allow her more flexibility to follow various opportunities.

 

I have a high-achieving daughter who does worse on tests each year.  I have learned to have minimal expectations and just hope she's a hard worker.  :)  Or hope something clicks someday.

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Have you looked at "test optional" schools? There are schools that don't require the SAT/ACT, including some top tier universities.

 

Here's a link to the list.

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She's despairing that she'll be at a "they take everyone college" even though she's a better STUDENT than that.

 

:grouphug:

 

I agree and it's not fair :(

 

But to try to give hope, if she does a year at They Have A Pulse So They Qualify For Admission college, her excellent academic ability and industrious habits will get her a great recommendation from the professors for transfer to somewhere much better. She really will be the big fish in a small pond. She can possibly get extension work to better prepare her for transfer if she picks her professors wisely. 

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Kiana's right. She can take the core classes at your local cc and transfer to a better school. If she can pull a 4.0, she can go to UT Austin or TAMU. It will save a huge heap of money, too. It really will be okay.

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Don't despair. We went to an engineering open house at a pretty prestigious school just recently, and the director of admissions said very explicitly that scores are not what get people in. He said "We have rejected people with perfect SAT scores.... we have accepted people with math scores that start with 6. We want to know what kind of person you are."

 

If your dd has great references and can write a good essay she should give a try to wherever she'd like to apply.

 

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Is it just multi-choice that doesn't go well for her, or are essay exams just as bad?  I was wondering if there was a different kind of exam that she could take.

 

L

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Is it just multi-choice that doesn't go well for her, or are essay exams just as bad?  I was wondering if there was a different kind of exam that she could take.

 

L

 

The number 1 and number 2 considerations at most US universities are GPA and SAT or ACT score. This is true at very competitive universities and not so competitive schools.

 

At some schools those are the only things considered. You can't have just a high GPA and total crap SAT/ACT. You have to have both.

 

Additionally, at some school the SAT/ACT scores alone are used to determine some scholarships.

 

There are a few schools (very very few) that have dropped SAT/ACT from consideration.

 

So, Joanne's dd is in a real bummer of a situation. It stinks. My dd will be applying next year. I'm hoping her scores are good this year, but my dd doesn't test that great either. It really stinks.

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It is important to practice, practice, practice for these tests, particularly for kids who don't test well. I hate it, but there is no getting around it. Colleges need an objective way to evaluate applicants because school grades do not mean much anymore.

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I had a high school friend with severe standardized test anxiety who did the community college & transfer route. She had bombed the SAT's but was never asked to submit them as a transfer with an A.S. All the 4 year school (and it was a selective one) cared about was her college GPA, which was excellent.

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It is important to practice, practice, practice for these tests, particularly for kids who don't test well. I hate it, but there is no getting around it. Colleges need an objective way to evaluate applicants because school grades do not mean much anymore.

 

Feel free to delete this post anytime. :)

 

Really. It would be ok if you wanted to delete it.

Thanks.

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It is important to practice, practice, practice for these tests, particularly for kids who don't test well. I hate it, but there is no getting around it. Colleges need an objective way to evaluate applicants because school grades do not mean much anymore.

This!

 

You don't need an expensive program to see improvement.  She needs to practice every.single.day.  Just a 25 minute section and go over everything she misses.  This will greatly increase her confidence when she gets to the test.  If timing is an issue, have her do some of them in less than the allotted time and make it a challenge to see how many she can get.  Getting over the test anxiety and learning to think well under pressure will benefit her in many other ways -- it's not just about the test!

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There are test optional schools. I know Mt. Holyoke College in Mass. is one and I know there are others out there.

 

 

I also do not test well. At.all. I'm sorry. It is so frustrating.

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Joanne I have a friend who went to a university that was not matched to his academic skills because he had a full scholarship and it was the only way to go at all. He stood out to professors and was invited to participate in special research projects right away. He was actually able to turn the situation into an enhanced academic experience.

 

 

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Feel free to delete this post anytime. :)

 

Really. It would be ok if you wanted to delete it.

Thanks.

 

Joanne, I think you were clear that your dd prepared as well as she could. Hopefully, there are ways your dd stands out despite the test results and she finds a good school match. :grouphug:

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The number 1 and number 2 considerations at most US universities are GPA and SAT or ACT score. This is true at very competitive universities and not so competitive schools.

 

 

Yes.  I know that these are the standard.  But I was wondering if there might be other options that could be presented alongside an explanation of the test-taking anxiety.  If essay exams are less of a problem, then she could present A levels, which seem to be fairly well recognised.  She might have to take a year to work on converting her US studies to the UK curriculum, but it might (or might not) be worthwhile.

 

L

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It is important to practice, practice, practice for these tests, particularly for kids who don't test well. I hate it, but there is no getting around it. Colleges need an objective way to evaluate applicants because school grades do not mean much anymore.

 

 

This!

 

You don't need an expensive program to see improvement.  She needs to practice every.single.day.  Just a 25 minute section and go over everything she misses.  This will greatly increase her confidence when she gets to the test.  If timing is an issue, have her do some of them in less than the allotted time and make it a challenge to see how many she can get.  Getting over the test anxiety and learning to think well under pressure will benefit her in many other ways -- it's not just about the test!

 

 

I don't think either of you post often on the Chat board. JAWM posts  mean to not give criticisms or disagreement. They are posted that way to provide a place for the OP to vent safely.

 

The assumptions in both of these posts are not helpful, and for a Mom who is clearly frustrated and upset, could be actually insulting. I know a fair bit about having teenagers, study skills, testing, etc.

 

I'm also fairly skilled at teaching humans to cope with anxiety.

 

Her score *are* the prepared, anxiety-mitigated version.

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I totally agree with you, Joanne!  It's not fair. at. all.

 

I graduated second in my class, but I was a great test taker so I got a really good score on the ACT and numerous scholarship offers because of it.

 

The valedictorian of our class was not a good test taker. He did okay on the ACT, but he was actually a MUCH better student than I was with better study habits, better achievements, etc. But all the colleges cared about was that stupid test score which didn't accurately represent his true ability. He wound up at an okay state university, but went on to get a degree in accounting from a more prestigious state school after transferring there his sophomore year.

 

I wish there was a different entrance requirement for students, more of a portfolio type situation. Those who still wished to do the testing route could. Those who wanted to do the portfolio route could choose that option. 

 

:grouphug:  for you and your dd. I hope it all works out in the end.

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My oldest does not test well in math and science. One local group is very STEM oriented. He has gone out of his way to avoid activities with that group because he really feels he doesn't fit in.  He says, "Mom, I KNOW I'm smarter than some of those kids who have higher test scores." 

 

In August we did college visits to Yale and Brown. At both, admissions officers said they look beyond the test scores. Yale guy: "We think that a test you took early on a Saturday morning does not tell the whole story of who you are."

This is a nice, comforting thought.

(However, their average test scores are still way, way high. So I pulled out my 10-gallon bag of salt when considering this.)

 

There ARE good schools that are going test optional. Colleges That Change Lives has a bunch of these.

 

FWIW, a close relative had perfect scores and got into U of C in the 80s. And then he proceeded to goof off. Had a C average. By the time he got his act together, it was too late. He got perfect scores on the GRE, but because of his grades, graduate schools wouldn't touch him.

 

Your DD will succeed in life. And she has great material for the application essay that asks how you've overcome an obstacle.....

 

 

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Joanne I have a friend who went to a university that was not matched to his academic skills because he had a full scholarship and it was the only way to go at all. He stood out to professors and was invited to participate in special research projects right away. He was actually able to turn the situation into an enhanced academic experience.

 

Joanne, I'm at one of those "we take anyone who breathes and applies" type of schools. They consider test scores, but have general exceptions. 

 

The good: The good students stand out. My college classes are small compared to what I thought they'd be. I mean like 15-40 people, so you have a chance to stand out. It makes a difference. Our school is also big on research and interships. 

 

Transfer abilities - I'm looking at that for ds. After a certain number of hours and GPA the test scores become irrelevant. 

 

I'm sorry she didn't test well. It's a roadblock, not a dead end, and you are a great example of how to plow through roadblocks to reach your goals. She's your daughter, she will be fine.  

 

(((Hugs))) though, I know how hard it is to want something to just.go.right for our kids every once in a while. 

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:grouphug:

 

Here's a list of colleges which will admit students who don't submit test scores.   More and more colleges are offering other options because of great students like your daughter.   There are some great colleges on this list.  Let her shine with some killer essays!

 

http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

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I'm there with you. My first dd does just horribly on standardized testing. Especially the ACT type. She did not score well enough to get into any college other than CC. So, she started there. Lucky for her, that is wher eshe wanted to be anyway. She did NOT want to leave home. She was afraid (truly fearful) of dying in her bed and not being found for days. Her test scores were a result of several things but mainly boiled down to sitting in a room for 4 hours testing while allergies assaulted her system. She was in a position to transfer to any school she desired after a year, but went ahead and finished 2 years because it made financial sense. DD#2 did even worse. Though, she should have had accommodations which were not granted. (She does have them in college.) This one wants to be a teacher, but realizes that is probably not going to happen because she would have to pass yet another standardized test to do it. It is very doubtful she will ever be able to take a test of that type and pass it. Ds has only taken one, but he did worse than the girls did. He has severe anxiety issues at times, testing is one of those times. Taking practice tests does nothing. It is the being in a strange place with strangers. Test day was a disaster for him. He couldn't find the building or classroom he was supposed to test in. Then, the tester did not allow him to use his watch (which I reported, but they denied). He was a basket case. Then, you have dd3. She tested just great, but only after professional intervention. She was getting really high scores at home on practice tests, but just okay on actual.

 

The good news: they are all doing just fine in college. I hate the system. But, I also realize that they have to have something to use. Too bad the system they have is such a poor projector of ability. 

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:grouphug:

 

Here's a list of colleges which will admit students who don't submit test scores.   More and more colleges are offering other options because of great students like your daughter.   There are some great colleges on this list.  Let her shine with some killer essays!

 

http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

 

great list. you can sort by state and there are a few in state schools in my state.

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I'm so sorry. It's quite maddening . I've got a high anxiety tester and a double time tester. I have discovered ACT/SAT test optional schools. What I didn't know in the transfer of colleges process is that they look at the test scores if you apply during your first year. Once you have completed a whole year they aren't considered. Or that's my understanding anyway.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Feel free to delete this post anytime. :)

 

Really. It would be ok if you wanted to delete it.

Thanks.

 

I didn't mean to be insulting; we have had these difficulties as well. No one likes these tests very much. How many times did your daughter take the test?

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:grouphug:  FWIW, kids tend to like where they end up in college regardless of whether it was their first choice or not.

 

That said, does she have any DE or AP courses to show what she can do in a classroom?  If so, test optional is worth a look.

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Too bad the system they have is such a poor projector of ability. 

 

This is the part that's particularly maddening and sad.

:grouphug:

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If she goes to a "they take everyone college" with the attitude that everyone there is intellectually inferior to her, then she is being just as myopic as the admissions department of a non-TTEC.

 

And plenty of kids with high stats go to TTECs.  In fact, I would guess that MOST kids with high stats go to TTECs.  A good education can be had at nearly any TTEC.  It is just up to her to find it.

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If she goes to a "they take everyone college" with the attitude that everyone there is intellectually inferior to her, then she is being just as myopic as the admissions department of a non-TTEC.

 

And plenty of kids with high stats go to TTECs.  In fact, I would guess that MOST kids with high stats go to TTECs.  A good education can be had at nearly any TTEC.  It is just up to her to find it.

 

?

 

That was unnecessary and unhelpful.

 

Her hard work, excellent grades, and well-roundedness should give her access to competitive universities. But that is not the system we have. I was venting.

 

Commentary on her character and a moral lecture are not needed for this thread.

 

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I agree with you; those tests are a rather poor metric.

 

I think they can be a helpful part of the application. I don't think they should be the first tier screening mechanism.

 

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:grouphug:  FWIW, kids tend to like where they end up in college regardless of whether it was their first choice or not.

 

That said, does she have any DE or AP courses to show what she can do in a classroom?  If so, test optional is worth a look.

 

We are working on getting official AP designation, but won't be there by the time she graduates. Well, maybe Psychology because I teach it. ;)

 

But she HAS taken almost all our Honors courses, including several STEM. They are the equivalent and the hardest courses at our school, something I know "they" look at when evaluating a transcript from our school.

 

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It is important to practice, practice, practice for these tests, particularly for kids who don't test well. I hate it, but there is no getting around it. Colleges need an objective way to evaluate applicants because school grades do not mean much anymore.

 

It doesn't matter for some students. It is the testing experience itself or some part thereof, NOT lack of preparation, NOT lack of academic knowledge/experience, NOT lack of background knowledge, etc.

 

 

My youngest dd is in the same boat, Joanne.  My other two had wonderful scores.  She does ok on practice tests (well above average on a few sections) and then not so well/borderline awful on the real tests. She practices so it is not a lack of test taking know-how.

 

It is what it is, but still I'm sad for dd because it puts some possibly ideal schools out of her reach.   I DO however, think she can find a school that fits, that isn't a-take-everyone-school or that she might find a less selective school that has something really amazing for her there.  There are lots of interesting, less well known schools out there that have wonderful programs.

 

:grouphug:

hth,

Georgia

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I have a daughter that does not test well also. She took the SAT twice -- her second score was worse.

 

She went to a community college and got her associates degree, graduating with a 4.0. She went on to a four year college with a transfer scholarship and graduate with a bachelor of science and a 4.0 there also. Her professors loved her and worked hard to make certain she had internships. She had a job before she even graduated while most of her friends looked for a while. She has been working for 2 years and all her bosses love her. She has already gotten her first promotion and she has been offered a leadership (management) position.

 

All this was not to brag, but to tell you a low SAT score doesn't mean the end of dreams. The path may just not be the "normal" one.

 

Linda

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I'm so sorry that your dd is in this situation.

 

I think the advice to look at test optional colleges, a take anyone and transfer option, or just an adjustment to making the most out of a take anyone college are all worth considering. You've made it quite clear you don't want advice though so I'll stick to just offering

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I feared this would be the case for my ds who is 2e. He actually did well on the ACT, but I was terrified he would be in exactly the situation your dd is, so I do totally get it.

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Unfair, just unfair. I know my ds will not test well. Many of his peers have taken practice SATs since 6th grade, and many 9th graders take expensive SAT prep courses. So the playing field is skewed towards good multi choice test takers AND those with generous financial resources.

 

If the tests were like French bacs, I would find them more reasonable, but multiple choice test questions can be so random.

 

In part, I blame US News & World Report, because their college rankings rely so heavily on test scores that colleges are 'forced' to put a lot of emphasis on those scores.

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I'm so sorry that your dd is in this situation.

 

I think the advice to look at test optional colleges, a take anyone and transfer option, or just an adjustment to making the most out of a take anyone college are all worth considering. You've made it quite clear you don't want advice though so I'll stick to just offering

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I feared this would be the case for my ds who is 2e. He actually did well on the ACT, but I was terrified he would be in exactly the situation your dd is, so I do totally get it.

 

I don't mind advice, and there is a lot of good advice in this thread. What I hoped to avoid today - the day we got the scores - was commentary on her test prep, her character, etc. Those comments and assumptions were not helpful.

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It stinks, Joanne.

 

My neice was radically unschooled K-12, but that included a good number of CC, uni, and fashion design school classes.  She refused to take ACT/SAT for philosophical reasons.  She attended Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, PA.  She is now in the PHD program at Univesity of Arizona.

 

I remember my sister requesting that some school (I think this was before F&M) interview her dd in order to asesss if she was ready for whatever class she wanted to take in order to circumvent the entrance exam.  My neice is extremely well read, motivated, and articulate.  She passed the interview with flying colors.

 

I don't know how financial aid works at schools that don't require ACT/SAT.  That was not a consideration for my neice.  OTOH, defintely worth checking out those schools.

 

:grouphug:

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I'm sorry her scores were not what she had hoped.  As others have suggested she may want to consider schools that either allow students to waive SAT/ACT scores if any of these are good fits otherwise.  She may also find that starting at one school, doing well there for two years, and then transferring is a good option.  Or she may find that staying there beyond two years is a good option as well.  A lot of literature now is suggesting that there is additional benefit to students who are really the bigger fishes in their college/university pond.  My personal opinion is that there is a lot of variability around this theme and there are some students who probably should go to their reach if they get in there and other students who would have done much better in all aspects if they went to a school which appears a bit of a step down on paper.

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?

 

That was unnecessary and unhelpful.

 

Her hard work, excellent grades, and well-roundedness should give her access to competitive universities. But that is not the system we have. I was venting.

 

Commentary on her character and a moral lecture are not needed for this thread.

That was not a commentary on her character, but I stand by my comments. You have an opportunity to help her see things differently instead of seeing herself as a victim of The System. Has she even looked at a non-selective college? They are not that bad.

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That was not a commentary on her character, but I stand by my comments. You have an opportunity to help her see things differently instead of seeing herself as a victim of The System. Has she even looked at a non-selective college? They are not that bad.

 

Apparently you do not understand or honor JAWM.

 

And your previous as well as this post ARE commentaries on her character. Have a good night; I will not be responding to any more of your posts in this thread.

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It's not fair; especially since tests don't tell much.  But there are more and more colleges that are ditching the ACT and SAT, and hopefully more will follow.  There are plenty of good universities where those tests aren't required anymore.

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It is a bummer. I also have a dd in that situation. High GPA, active in student council, participates in varsity sports, loved by all her teachers and class sponsors....can't crack the ACT for anything. I am concerned about how discouraged she feels over it.

 

There's only one school she wants to go to. I agree that it's a great match for her. Today was the first strike in my campaign to get her in - gathering all the info I need to make that call to admissions to find out what heroic efforts might achieve acceptance in spite of not-quite-enough ACT scores.

 

For what it's worth, Joanne, my kids know of other kids who got into this school (one of our large state universities) with low scores. I hope to gather more info on this possibility, but apparently there was just the matter of setting up some required courses/monitored mentorship, that first semester. Things may or may not work out, but at this point I still have hope.

 

I hope for your daughter, too. I detest the way these mandatory tests miss out on measuring some of the very best qualities our students have to contribute to their generation. Leadership, compassion, loyalty.... no test will ever accurately score those virtues. And that's a real shame. But often where there's a will, there's a way. May she find a way!

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Joanne, I'm sorry your dd doesn't test well. FWIW, I have identical twin girls, who have taken exactly the same coursework, with exactly the same teachers, with exactly the same assignment, etc etc. One has consistently tested better than the other on all standardized testing. Not by very much, but it's clear that one tests better than the other. They have the same attitude and the same approach to practicing. One thinks a little differently than the other, which means that one is more suited to testing than the other. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it (as you well know).

Will your dd take the SAT again? We have some SAT prep books that we won't be using again and I'm trying to find a good home for them.

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Don't give up hope, Joanne and dd! I spoke with a woman whose ds was an excellent student with severe testing issues. They got around the test score problem by arranging college visits and interviews with admissions staff. The admissions counselors were terribly impressed by his knowledge and accomplishments, and several top colleges offered him admission and good merit aid despite the low test scores.

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:grouphug:

My current senior is in a very similar boat. I think we've done nearly all of the test prep/practice I've gleaned from here within our financial means - we consistently end up with very encouraging scores on the practice tests and very discouraging scores on the actual test.

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