SAT or ACT?

October 26th, 2011

OK. So here’s what we know:

1) Colleges don’t care which test you take; both tests are accepted equally.

2) The two tests test much of the same material; in fact, the material being tested is more alike than it is different.

3) The majority of students will score “similarly” on the two tests; in other words, you’ll be unique if you do well on the SAT and poorly on the ACT, or vice versa.

So…. which one?

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January 2011 SAT Results

February 15th, 2011

Not quite what I expected. (I thought I did better on the Critical Reading test.)

Critical Reading – 700

Mathematics – 740

Writing – 750

What’s most interesting is comparing the raw scores and scaled scores of this test and my 2009 test.

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The ACT’s Test Information Release (TIR)

January 30th, 2011

The ACT folks offer a Test Information Release (TIR) service for three of the six testing dates. For $18 you receive a copy of the test booklet, a list of your answers, the answer key, and scoring instructions. If you took the Writing Test, you also receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and the two scores assigned to your essay. In my case, I received this 6-7 weeks after the December 11th test date.

So, is it worth it?

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January 2011 SAT

January 24th, 2011

Second SAT as an adult. In previous posts, I’ve written quite a bit about the test itself and my experiences with it, so allow me in this post to pass on some miscellaneous observations regarding admission tickets, calculators, food, etc. – all the little things that can boost (or lessen) your chances for doing as well as possible.

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December 2010 ACT Results

January 3rd, 2011

Well…. as I (somewhat ;-)) expected:

English – 32 (a decrease of 1 compared to September 2009)

Mathematics – 35 (increase of 3)

Reading – 33 (same)

Science – 31 (increase of 6)

Composite Score – 33 (99th percentile!!)

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December 2010 ACT

December 12th, 2010

I took the ACT for a second time yesterday with an eye toward improving my scores 😉 and, as always, learning more about the test so that I can pass on thoughts and advice to those of you for whom the test really matters. The last time I took it, I had little idea as to what to expect, so this time I was more prepared and the experience was quite different. Allow me to share in the hopes that you’ll learn a few things to help you.

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“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 3

March 30th, 2010

My final post on the book “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)”. As I’ve said, there’s a lot to be learned from those who have been there, and this book presents thoughts from a wide variety of students.

In this post, I’m summarizing the information from the three chapters that are specific to the three sections of the SAT. As before, I’m simply generalizing what some of the students are saying. I think you’ll find any time spent reading this book, getting specifics, to be worthwhile.

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“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 2

March 16th, 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, this book, “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” is made up of quotations from students who took the tests (and, in many cases, did quite well). We all know that you can learn a lot from someone who’s actually “been there,” so it’s definitely worth reading.

In this post, I’m sharing what I learned from the book when it comes to the SAT versus the ACT. Keep in mind that almost all colleges (including the Ivy’s) accept either equally, so it’s important to know both so that you can pick the one that works best for you. One you’ve done that, you can focus your efforts.

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“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 1

March 2nd, 2010

I ran across the book “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” at my library and decided to check it out. The book is essentially a compilation of quotations from students who took the SAT and/or the ACT – thoughts, suggestions, hints, tips, etc. – arranged into topical chapters. It’s an excellent book – very easy (and quick!) to read and very poignant. I’ll share some general findings in this post, some ACT vs. SAT findings in my next post, and then some SAT-specific findings in a third post.

(Please, do not consider what I’m posting here and in the next two posts to be in any way all there is in this book; there’s a lot of information, and it’s all very good. I’m simply sharing some general findings that I think are particularly relevant.)

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The SAT’s Question-and-Answer Service (QAS)

December 15th, 2009

The SAT folks make available (for an additional price, of course ;-)) a Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or a Student Answer Service for each of their seven test dates. As I point out on The SAT page of the website, I highly recommend purchasing the QAS service if you’re taking the SAT for the first time, as having a copy of the test questions can be valuable as you prepare for your second time.

For the October SAT, which I took, I purchased the Question-and-Answer Service. Let’s learn from what I received.

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