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Who is taking the PSAT tomorrow?


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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

In fairness, I don't think most students really should worry about it at all. It is really only important for that very special student and most students should know if it is important for them or not. I am just always surprised because we moved just 70 miles from a school that had on average it seemed about 6-7 NMSF every year and every student in 10th and 11th grade took the test and 9th graders could opt in. Just a striking difference within an hours drive. 

I was mostly surprised that they would sign up and pay for it when they obviously didn't want to take it. It was completely optional at the school. One kid who signed up tried to sneak out of school. Others were, if not sleeping, obviously not trying. What is the point? Mabe a parent made them sign up?

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My ds was about where I expected him to be. Not close to NM but can hardly complain about his scores.  He's consistently a 96th percentile kid...not a 99th percentile kid. I refuse for anyone to

Dd thought it was easier than the prep PSATs she did. That can be a double edged sword if it compacts the curve for scoring. I dropped her off and she joined the herd of homeschoolers who wandered aro

It's a huge deal for us because we are Liberty U. grads and they give full tuition for semi finalist and full rides for finalists if you are selected (they have a certain number to give out each year.

My guys ended up taking it in a classroom with other PS kids - I thought they had their own room.  They said one guy only filled out half his answers and put his head down on his desk a lot.  The others looked like they didn't care.  PSAT exam from 9-11 are required, although a parent can opt a kid out if they want.  They sat at the type of desks where the seat is attached to the table top.  This was not good for my lefty -- LOL.  He figured it out and I'm glad he did before his June test that matters more.

They had to sit for 50 minutes until the rest of the school was done testing.  Kids were allowed to talk, but they all pulled out their phones and Nintendo switches for that 50 minutes.  My boys don't have phones to play on (one of them is carrying an old flip phone that has call and text for emergencies -- shhhhhh...don't tell anyone :ph34r:).  Good thing I had set up their new Fitbits yesterday morning so they would have a watch to wear and they were playing with those trying to figure it out.

They said no one looks happy at the school :huh:.  

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  • 1 month later...

We are all ready.  If she had a good day she should make the cutoff for NM.  However, her ACT didn’t go as well as expected so I think she is anxious.  She is scheduled to retake the ACT a week from Saturday, but I can tell she isn’t in the right place mentally at the moment to do her best on the ACT.  Depending on how the PSAT goes, we might postpone the test date.

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Well we are not at all fretting because we know ds will not make it. We were originally not going to bother with it but then I had him take a practice test and he was closer than I expected so we decided to give it a whirl. He has since taken a few practice tests and a real SAT and has spent a very significant amount of time on Khan practicing. He never has scored again like he did on that first practice test I used to test the waters. So, that test is the outlier or I scored it incorrectly or something. 
 

So not worried at all but I know if he was close I would be going nuts waiting. So good luck to all of you! 

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DS didn't answer every math question, so that probably takes him out of the running for NMS.  Even so I think it was a good incentive for him to do some additional prep.  He will take the SAT in the spring and probably a set of SAT Subject Tests and that might be all the testing for him.  I'm trying to not have anything scheduled past June. 

The biggest money for National Merit is from college-based awards from specific schools.  But some colleges have very low awards.  $500-1,000 isn't worth agonizing over in my opinion.  Not because that isn't helpful money in come circumstances, but because I think you can get just as much in an institutional award from some schools without meeting the National Merit cutoff.  Now if you do meet the cut-off AND a school you are interested in has a generous award, it can be very helpful.  I just don't think that students should beat themselves up over missing the cut-off score.

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It's a huge deal for us because we are Liberty U. grads and they give full tuition for semi finalist and full rides for finalists if you are selected (they have a certain number to give out each year.)  My oldest was able to squeak by and is there now and loves it.  Knowing we can't afford almost $30k a year its huge...I told my kids its like winning $100k.  🙂  No one wants to get out of college with a lot of debt. 

That is true that many schools don't offer a lot but if you know particularly where you want to go and they offer it it is huge.  My son was also looking at Alabama in Huntsville who also offers a similiar deal. 

I am not holding my breath either, my number 2 felt he did well but not good enough.  We'll see, I do think its unfair for those who take the test on test day and then others can hear the chatter and info and are able to take it on that Saturday.  😞  We are in VA which is a touch state to get it....still thinking of you all!  Good luck!

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3 hours ago, Homeschoolmom3 said:

I am not holding my breath either, my number 2 felt he did well but not good enough.  We'll see, I do think its unfair for those who take the test on test day and then others can hear the chatter and info and are able to take it on that Saturday.  😞  We are in VA which is a touch state to get it....still thinking of you all!  Good luck!

They are different tests. Not even the College Board is lame enough to reuse the same test days apart, although they have reused questions.

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4 hours ago, Homeschoolmom3 said:

It's a huge deal for us because we are Liberty U. grads and they give full tuition for semi finalist and full rides for finalists if you are selected (they have a certain number to give out each year.)  My oldest was able to squeak by and is there now and loves it.  Knowing we can't afford almost $30k a year its huge...I told my kids its like winning $100k.  🙂  No one wants to get out of college with a lot of debt. 

That is true that many schools don't offer a lot but if you know particularly where you want to go and they offer it it is huge.  My son was also looking at Alabama in Huntsville who also offers a similiar deal. 

I am not holding my breath either, my number 2 felt he did well but not good enough.  We'll see, I do think its unfair for those who take the test on test day and then others can hear the chatter and info and are able to take it on that Saturday.  😞  We are in VA which is a touch state to get it....still thinking of you all!  Good luck!

It can be a great benefit if the pieces all match. My son who was National Merit was looking for particular majors at colleges with Navy ROTC. That didn't match up with big NMS award amounts.

I have seen some kids express huge disappointment when the cut off scores are announced. They haven't always sat down to compare their college list with the details of potential award amounts. And some of them go on to get strong aid without being NMS awardees.

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On 12/5/2019 at 2:24 PM, RootAnn said:

There is a lot of chatter about the earlier test date (oct 16th?) having a harsh curve according to the Understanding Scores PDF the CB just posted this week.

Good luck!

That is crazy!  Missing one question in each section takes you from 228 selection index to a 222.  Did that many people get perfect scores?  I know it has always been tough to get national merit, but that is pretty ridiculous.  Why does CB make the test so easy that even one wrong drops your score that much?  Why bother giving scores out in increments of 10?  I think there are some of those scores that it is near impossible to get given the huge gaps.  So frustrating!

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Same thing happened last year except it wasn't on the main testing date. Lots of kids faced this on the SAT, too, on certain recent past test dates. So far, no amount of uproar has made a difference. The ACT is just as crazy--just a different type of crazy.

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@freesia I think they normally don't list the Saturday testing info.

... Perhaps also relating to this change? (My DD couldn't keep her booklet from a Wednesday administering but was allowed to retrieve it from the school once scores were released.)

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Add us to the list of National Merit hopefuls (in one of the toughest states, I might add) who had a lower score this year than last.  Such a kick in the gut.  It is what it is, but I can’t wait for our year of College board hostage to be over...

Hugs to all your hard working kids out there who need them.  True congratulations to those who did well on this test!

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We have to wait until Weds. ugh and, since she took the SAT on Saturday, we then have another wait.  And then, after Christmas, the true push to visit and make decisions begins.  I love that she is a planner, organizer, go-getter, but part of me secretly just wants to be able to have her say, " Brother's school is the school for me!" and it can be settled.  She does like his school, but wants to explore all the options.  This is exhausting and I'm just on my second. #3 will be looking an engineering, which is a totally different ball of wax.

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20 minutes ago, Hadley said:

Add us to the list of National Merit hopefuls (in one of the toughest states, I might add) who had a lower score this year than last.  Such a kick in the gut.  It is what it is, but I can’t wait for our year of College board hostage to be over...

Hugs to all your hard working kids out there who need them.  True congratulations to those who did well on this test!

I'm sorry.  My oldest, who scored really high on the SAT, did not come close to the PSAT cut off in our state.  It is so hard that so much can ride on a one chance exam.  It all worked out for him and he is very successful at college.

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Hugs to her and to you.  It was a very hard year.  I just read on one site that the 50th percentile dropped by almost 100 points.  Of course, I can’t find the site now, and don’t have a source, so this could all be hogwash.  

I’m just chalking it up to another life lesson about dealing with expectations and disappointment.  I call this learning to bounce! Onward and upward to the SAT!!

 

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We haven't gotten DD's scores yet. I hope they come here and not to the school she took the test at. Although, I suspect she'll end up under the cutoff due to the curve-she thinks she missed a couple on math just because she wasn't exactly sure what to do (a side effect of NOT having prepared).

 

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No go here....98% here and not surprised by his results...this son of mine is my non-reader which showed in his results today.  😞  However, I was very happy with his results and to be that high was still a good score for him.  He aced his math which was great and so now we know he really needs to work on reading comprehension.  So yeah, with others on with the SAT.  😕

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37 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

My ds was about where I expected him to be. Not close to NM but can hardly complain about his scores. 

He's consistently a 96th percentile kid...not a 99th percentile kid. I refuse for anyone to feel bad about that!

 

Just now, Homeschoolmom3 said:

Yes, I agree!  Still a great score!!

 

 

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On 10/16/2019 at 1:35 PM, chiguirre said:

The PSAT scores you receive are scaled scores. They're sort of like percentiles on an Iowa or Stanford Achievement test for elementary students. That's why you have to look at their scoring chart to convert your raw scores into PSAT scores.

But the scale is very narrow at the top of the 200-760 scale so if you miss even one question on an easy test, your scaled score can take a bit hit. When the test is harder, there is more leeway to distinguish between the top 1% and the top 2% and an error won't drop your score as much.

This was from the 1st page of this thread (thank you chiguirre).  And ya'll are talking about this curve in the new posts (a curve - that isn't for the good :ohmy:).  Mine are only in 9th so not stressing, but where can I read more about how all of this works?  This is with PSAT, SAT, and ACT?  Is it also with SAT Subject Tests and AP tests?  

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Well, we had my SIL check from Virginia.  Her overall score was 100 points lower than her June SAT.  I'm a little disappointed, bc she studied so hard, but she still has strong SAT scores and should get the scholarships she needs.

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Add us to the list of hopefuls who overall scores went down this year. 

1 hour ago, Hadley said:

I hear you!  My son pulled up his reading and his math fell down 🤣.   It’s like walking and chewing gum...

Good Times.

This is what happened to DS. He had a perfect math score last year, but not this year! We were kind of counting on him being able to repeat that and focused on English. He did pull his English up. If only we could super score the PSAT :) 

He really didn't prep too much though, so I'm hoping this motivates him to put the work in for the SAT.  He's interested in a couple schools where the higher score would be helpful. 

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23 minutes ago, freesia said:

Well, we had my SIL check from Virginia.  Her overall score was 100 points lower than her June SAT.  I'm a little disappointed, bc she studied so hard, but she still has strong SAT scores and should get the scholarships she needs.

I am glad that her scholarships will not be affected.  Crazy results this year.

 

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36 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

This was from the 1st page of this thread (thank you chiguirre).  And ya'll are talking about this curve in the new posts (a curve - that isn't for the good :ohmy:).  Mine are only in 9th so not stressing, but where can I read more about how all of this works?  This is with PSAT, SAT, and ACT?  Is it also with SAT Subject Tests and AP tests?  

I have taught an AP course in a public school, and my professional opinion is that this is all done with a bit of black magic 😬.

Yes, these exams are curved, but they are curved both up and down.  It is all an attempt to arrive at an even distribution of scores.  I will say that AP exams seem more straight-forward.  For most of them, if you know the content well, you score well.

Just a bit of unsolicited advice...With my first pancake, I had him take the PSAT every year beginning with his freshman year.  I thought it would ease his anxiety going into the exams that did matter later in high school.  He scored in the top percentile each year he took the exam.  As he took the exams each year, his anxiety grew.  He put great pressure on himself to maintain this score every test.  The result for us is a very educated and intelligent student who is struggling with terrible anxiety and perfectionism.

Do look ahead and be prepared for the exams to come in your student’s high school career.  It’s good to be prepared, but enjoy each year of high school without pressing forward to the upcoming challenge.

I so wish I knew then what I know now.

Happy homeschooling!

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I have  another one with very high scores (99%) but who likely won’t make the cutoff in our state based on past years. He missed 4 questions total. I could tell he feels bummed although we’ve tried really hard to downplay the test. Most of the schools he will look at don’t give much in the way of NM aid and he knows that. And I told him that it’s a great score and missing 4 questions is amazing! 

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21 hours ago, Hadley said:

Add us to the list of National Merit hopefuls (in one of the toughest states, I might add) who had a lower score this year than last.  

Same here. 1 missed question on math = 20 points off the top score. And the R/W section - 2 fewer questions missed than last year = 30 points lower. Missed the cutoff by a couple of points.

DS16 is pretty disappointed. He's not shooting for a NM scholarship, just wanted the satisfaction of doing it.

P.S. This PSAT wasn't particularly predictive for him - his SAT score 2 weeks later was 70 points higher.

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My DS is another 99% tester who missed 3 less questions than last year (only missed 6 this year. 1 in Reading, 1 in math, and 4 in writing) and whose Index score went down by 6 points.  As we are in the highest cut off state, NM is no longer a possibility.  I feel bad for DS because if we lived in a different state and if he hadn’t been sick that day....  Oh well. Moving on. 

 

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Yes, they all will.  And certainly, no student who had a chance to get nms has any reason to be concerned about their future with regard to academics.  It may cut out some options bc of money, but even that will work out somehow (for us, the local state school is a real option, just not our preferred option.  And ds got "enough" money to go away to school and his school would be a fit for dd, too.)

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Anna took it as a tenth grader with absolutely no prep and while having a nervous breakdown.  It was actually the last day she attended school.  She, unsurprisingly, didn't do as well as we'd hoped.  95th percentile for reading/ writing and 77th percentile for math.  88th overall.  The math issue appears to be that there's a lot of stuff that she just hasn't done in awhile....lot of early algebra and geometry that she hasn't done for several years.  It wouldn't take much practice for her to improve dramatically, I don't think, but she's not willing to, at this point.

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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

Anna took it as a tenth grader with absolutely no prep and while having a nervous breakdown.  It was actually the last day she attended school.  She, unsurprisingly, didn't do as well as we'd hoped.  95th percentile for reading/ writing and 77th percentile for math.  88th overall.  The math issue appears to be that there's a lot of stuff that she just hasn't done in awhile....lot of early algebra and geometry that she hasn't done for several years.  It wouldn't take much practice for her to improve dramatically, I don't think, but she's not willing to, at this point.

Hugs to your family.  There are, obviously, things much more important than this test.  School work will always be there.  Mental health and happiness are more important than anything else. 

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My boys got their 8/9 scores this morning.  Would anyone be willing to PM with me to explain the curve, etc. if I give you some information?  They are asking and I don't have answers.  And...I have twins comparing scores -- LOL -- so the curve makes even less sense to us :huh:.  They both did awesome with no prep except for a practice test 2 days before.  Not upset at all!  But their scores didn't get knocked down equally with the curve and that is where the confusion comes in.  They just want to understand the process going forward.  I know, with College Board, maybe it won't ever make sense.

 

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We're confused. Dd did well, 99th percentile overall (99 verbal, 97 math) but her scores and, therefore, selection index (207) would not have qualified for Commended last year. Does anyone know what the deal is with the percentiles? Commended is supposed to be the top 1% of scorers, and I would think that would mean the 99th percentile but that's not what the selection index would indicate.

In any case, dd will qualify for the National Hispanic Recognized Student and that's plenty good enough, but the percentile/score/selection index disconnect is a bit weird.

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@chiguirre I recommend reading Art's blog post about the percentile issue. There are two percentiles given -- one is made up & means nothing. The other is based on three previous year's scores & is less meaningless but basically no help at all.

@mlktwins I'll try a stab at it, but might not be able to reply until tonight so take any better offers you have. If no one else helps, shoot me a PM this afternoon.

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DD apparently does not remember which e-mail address she used. I'm starting to wonder if she made a mistake on writing it in? I guess I'll be bothering the nice guidance counselor at the school she took it at to see if she can help us access the scores. 

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My DD scored right where I thought she would- Selection score 214, no NM 😉  We are also confused by the percentiles- she missed:

0 Writing 

1 Reading 

7 Math (3 on non calc portion, 4 in the other part).  

 

Total of 8 missed questions, which I consider very good.  She took college classes this semester and hadn't done much math since last spring.  Will this get her a Commended Student?

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@BusyMom5 A SI of 214 should get her commended, but Commended level won't be known until Spring of 2020. As a homeschooler, you'll receive a letter in April-ish that won't use the word "commended", but basically lets you know your kid's SI is Commended level or higher. 

The curve this year was harsh on the main administrative date. She should be proud of her score.

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