College Counseling Blog

PSAT/NMSQT Workshop for Juniors

Next Monday (September 25th), juniors will meet with college counselors, Bonnie Campbell and Mitzi Austin, for a workshop on the October PSAT/NMSQT exam. The exam will be given to juniors across the country on Wednesday morning, October 11. Unlike schools where only recommended students take the exam, at Rivermont all juniors sit for the PSAT. The test serves double duty as both a preparatory test for the spring SAT exam which all Rivermont juniors will take, and as a qualifying exam for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. Rivermont congratulated two members of the Class of 2017 as National Merit Finalists and Scholars - Emilia Porubcin, National Merit Scholar, and Ben Nordick, National Merit Finalist.

The workshop includes a description of the PSAT, tips on pacing, an official sample test, calculator requirements, etc. After the exam, juniors will have another workshop to review individual results and apply results to preparing for the spring SAT administration. Students may follow up with a one to one conference.

Record Applications

In reading over Emory’s report on its fall applications, two things stand out: first, “an increase in quality” in received applications and secondly, an increase in applications of 34% over a three-year period. One third more applications in three years.

Testing Year Round

Seasons ImageAnd then…

It seems that no sooner did the College Board schedule, for the first time ever, a summer SAT administration (August) that would precede the early fall (September) ACT offering than the ACT released the news that it will offer a July administration that beats the College Board to the punch. Below is a grid comparing the newest round of test dates; it shows both testing groups nixing the January test date. The SAT now runs from August to June with seven tests and the ACT runs from September to July with seven tests. I call that even-steven, and with this latest date, we now have year round testing!

SAT ACT Test Schedule

What’s happening second semester in college counseling?

9th Grade Freshman will be taking the new PSAT9 in early March. This is one of a suite of College Board tests (PSAT9,PSAT10,PSAT, SAT). Students will now be able to track their progress with the same testing vehicle from year to year.

The current Early Decision figures and what they mean.

There are many forms of binding and non-binding Early Decision and Early Action options. Let’s just look historically at what is happening to the general Early Decision acceptance rates and what is happening, as an example, at one Ivy League.

2017 Pre-Collegiate and Summer Programs

Many summer programs have deadlines beginning in February; so now is a great time to be exploring and looking for programs of a week to four weeks that interest you.

A Punch Card for Scholarships?

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You probably have a few reward cards in your wallet that are stamped or punched as you buy a favorite sandwich or cup of coffee- when the card is filled, you get a free cup or a free car wash. Something similar has popped up for college scholarships called you “earn” scholarship dollars with good grades. Uh, isn’t that what regular old fashioned scholarships are based on for the most part?

ACT Releases Scoring Reversion

ACTIn particular the class of 2017 will want to know that tomorrow the ACT will release an upcoming scoring reversion to the old 2-12 range on the writing test. Many will be pleased.

"Beginning with the September test date, ACT no longer will report the writing test score on a 1-36 scale. Instead it will go back to reporting the writing score on a 2-12 score range. The contents of the writing test itself, an optional section of the overall ACT test, will remain unchanged."
The change in the 2015 test to 1-36 scoring caused more confusion than it was evidently worth. In the fall I will be able to help any students who want to compare their 1-36 score to the 2-12 scoring.

Read the article here.

Apples, Oranges and Bananas

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We all know not to compare apples to oranges but add bananas to that adage as well. That is what it looks like right now in trying to compare “Old SAT Scores” with “New SAT Scores” with unchanged ACT scores. The old concordance comparing the Critical Reading plus Math scores from the old SAT to the ACT are now replaced with a May 7, 2016 concordance comparing the revised or new SAT with ACT scores. But it isn’t quite that simple.

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