Colleges that cherry-pick or super-score the best sections give an advantage to students who take the same test multiple times. Over the last few months, more colleges have embraced super-scoring the ACT. At this point, the majority are committed to super-scoring this test. By our rough survey, it’s about 55 percent of colleges. About 95 percent are committed to super-scoring the SAT, so there is still an advantage for SAT by these standards.
This is the big mystery; because of the new, arguably unreliable SAT scale, some colleges are downplaying SAT scores this year. At these particular colleges, this helps the 4.0 student who lacks a great SAT score, but hurts every other student. The ACT has not changed its multiple choice significantly. We have no evidence of a diminution in college acceptance of the ACT.
The most important benefit of having a sophisticated vocabulary is the way it impacts all aspects of one’s life, from elementary school through adulthood! Students are doing themselves a huge disservice by eliminating vocabulary study, simply because the SAT no longer tests Sentence Completion.
Let’s review all the ways learning vocab can help in life.
Improves Reading Comprehension
This is helpful in every academic subject that requires reading – which is practically every subject other than straight-up math. Most students don’t sit with a dictionary looking up words they don’t know and rarely even check definitions electronically. Words that are unknown are too often skipped, resulting in the loss of the deeper meaning of the passage or subject matter. Students can sometimes derive the meaning of words they don’t know through the context of a sentence, but when there are numerous unrecognizable words, the chances of this undoubtedly diminish. Unfortunately, this can translate to a dramatic impact on a student’s grades in high school and beyond. (more…)
What Subjects Are Offered?
First, you’ll need to know your options. Each overview subject has more specific offerings. For example, you can take U.S. or World History under the general subject of History. Tests are offered in the following categories:
Ivy Bound can help students who need practice tests and review for the fall tests!
Take Practice Tests
In your prep course through Ivy Bound, you will have access to as many practice tests as made available by the College Board. A practice test is the closest you can get to simulating the real environment. Pay attention to your time spent on each section. If you find yourself completely lost in certain areas, you know you need to review.
Many testers fall into the trap of either rushing through the test or working too slowly. For example, it’s recommended that you spend just over a minute on each of the SAT multiple choice questions in order to complete the math section in time. For the ACT, it’s less than two minutes per multiple choice question. It is important to find a balance to avoid: (more…)
The Major Changes
A new scoring sale also came with the September change. The ACT turned its 2 – 12 scale into one that ran from 8 – 36. The top score you can get on the ACT multiple choice sections is 36, so the change presaged a nice, clean comparison.
However, that comparison turned horrific. Over the last four tests in December, February, April and June, the ACT Essay scores were markedly low. Students scoring between 30 and 36 on the four multiple choice sections routinely got between a 22 and 28 on their essays. As a comparison, a 33 is a score in the top two percent. Students earning a 33 or better are typically able to plan on admission to a “Top 30” university, but a 25 score is only slightly above average. Students with a top score of 25 have almost no chance for a “Top 30” University and only a remote chance at a large merit-based scholarship to a “Top 100” university. Thus, those seemingly low essay scores temporarily dashed a lot of hopes.
Your Thesis Should Be Precise
A complete thesis states the topic of your essay, your argument and how you plan to lay out your reasoning. It should also show that you analyzed the information provided. A thesis can be more than one sentence, but it’s best to keep it limited to as few words as possible. Otherwise, you risk your message becoming convoluted. (more…)