DSAT Reading Words in Context Practice Questions #2

1. Up to this moment the young earl had stood still, as if spell-bound; but being now convinced that the spirit had fled, he pressed forward, and, ere many seconds, emerged from the brake. The full moon was rising as he ______________ and illuminating the glades and vistas, and the calmness and beauty of all around seemed at total variance with the fearful vision he had just witnessed.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise phrase?
A. went from,
B. issued forth,
C. cropped up,
D. came across,

2. They walked on in silence, for the earl could not help dwelling upon the vision he had witnessed, and his companion appeared equally ____________ In this sort they descended the hill near Henry the Eighth’s Gate, and entered Thames Street.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. unconcerned.
B. worried.
C. abstracted.
D. alive.

3. Turning off on the left into the lower road, ________ around the north of the castle, and following the course of the river to Datchet, by which it was understood the royal cavalcade would make its approach, the procession arrived at an open space by the side of the river, where it came to a halt.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. dressing
B. skirting
C. avoiding
D. leaving

4. Presently the sound of trumpets smote his ear, and a numerous and splendid retinue was seen advancing, consisting of nobles, knights, esquires, and gentlemen, ranged according to their degrees, and all sumptuously ___________ in cloths of gold and silver, and velvets of various colors, richly embroidered.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. worn
B. addressed
C. redressed
D. appareled

5. The person who thus spoke then stepped forward, and threw a glance so full of significance at Anne Boleyn that she did not care to dispute the order, but, on the contrary, laughingly ______________ it.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word or phrase?
A. railed to
B. railed against
C. acquiesced against
D. acquiesced to

6. The favor in which he stood with his royal master procured him admittance to his presence at all hours and at all seasons, and his influence, though seldom exerted, was very great. He was especially serviceable in turning aside the edge of the king’s displeasure, and more frequently exerted himself to _______ the storm than to raise it.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. allay
B. allow
C. align
D. stoke

7. He took her hand, and led her to the upper part of the chamber, where two chairs of state were set beneath a canopy of crimson velvet embroidered with the royal arms, and placed her in the seat hitherto allotted to the previous queen. A smile of triumph irradiated Anne’s lovely countenance at this ________________ nor was her satisfaction diminished as Henry turned to address the assemblage.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise phrase?
A. show of force,
B. mark of distinction,
C. level of crime,
D. morbid scene,

8. This ghostly rider wore the antlered helmet described by Surrey, and seemed to be habited in a garb of deer-skins. Before him flew a large owl, and a couple of great black dogs ran beside him. Staring in _____________ wonder at the sight, the two youths watched the mysterious being scour a glade brightly illumined by the moon, until, reaching the pales marking the confines of the Home Park, he leaped them and disappeared.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. speechless
B. unspeakable
C. amazed
D. lonely

9. Before they reached the hill, at the end of the long avenue, a heavy thunderstorm came on, and the lightning, playing among the trees, seemed to reveal a thousand fantastic forms to their half-blinded gaze. Presently the rain began to descend in torrents, and compelled them to ___________beneath a large beech-tree.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise phrase?
A. abide beneath
B. stay wet
C. align themselves
D. take refuge

10. A verdant path, partly beneath the trees, and partly on the side of the lake, led Wolsey to the forester’s hut. Constructed of wood and clay, with a thatched roof, green with moss, and half overgrown with ivy, the little building was in __________ keeping with the surrounding scenery.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?
A. admiring
B. admirable
C. poor
D. abominable

  1. B. The young earl “emerged from the brake”. We are looking for a word that would fit the context of the sentence and describe his emerging. Answer option A does not fit the structure of the sentence as there is no further description of where he went from. Answer C implies something slowly sneaking up over time, which is not the proper in this context. Answer D does not mean “emerging” and is therefore incorrect. This only leaves answer option B, that he issued forth (meaning “emerged”).
  2. C. The earl is dwelling on the vision, not on his companion or on making conversation. He is distracted by what they have seen. His companion, then, is equally distracted. Abstracted is a synonym for distracted, making option C the best answer. Answer A is the opposite of the correct answer. Answer B is incorrect as there is no evidence the earl is worried, only that he is distracted and thinking about the vision. There is no discussion of them feeling or being alive or dead, making answer option D incorrect.
  3. B. Given that the blank is followed by the word “around” we must choose an answer that can be done “around the north of the castle”. A procession could not dress around a castle, nor could it avoid or leave around it. This leaves answer B as the correct answer. To “skirt around” means to go around the edges of something.
  4. D.  The context is describing what the gentlemen are wearing. This makes options B and C incorrect as they are both words that look similar to the word “dressed” but have different meanings. “Worn” does not fit the context of the sentence. This leaves answer option D. The men are “sumptuously appareled in cloths”. Appareled is a synonym for “dressed”.
  5. D. We see in the first part of the sentence that Anne is not going to dispute (go against) the order. The author then sets up a contrasting statement by saying “but, on the contrary”. We therefore need to pick an answer that means the opposite of “dispute”. To acquiesce means to give in. The appropriate preposition for acquiesce is “to”. This makes option D correct. You cannot acquiesce against something, making option C incorrect and options A and B would not show contrast with “dispute” since “to rail against” means to speak aggressively against something.
  6. A. We learn in the first sentence that this man is favored by the king and has great influence over the king. The second sentence shows us how the man uses that influence to turn “aside the edge of the king’s displeasure.” The final phrase sets up a contrast. Rather than raising the storm of anger he is more likely to subdue it. This is the meaning of the word “allay” (related to the word alleviate) which makes answer option A correct. Answer options B and D mean close to the opposite of the author’s intended meaning. Answer option C is incorrect as “align” is not something that can be done with storms or anger.
  7. B. Anne is taken to sit in the seat of the queen this is a good thing for Anne and elicits from her a “smile of triumph”, making options C and D incorrect. Option A is incorrect as there is no evidence that Henry has shown any force toward her. Instead, being sat in the queen’s chair is a “mark of distinction” setting her apart from anyone else who might be watching.
  8. A. The boys are watching a ghostly rider, which makes their wonder understandable. They are together and so option D doesn’t fit. Their wonder isn’t unspeakable, a word for things so horrible they can’t be said. “Amazed wonder” would be redundant. This leaves option A. They are speechless with wonder.
  9. D. Given the storm, the people need to find a safe place. They “take refuge” under a tree to escape the storm. They are not living beneath the tree, making option A incorrect. They would not want to stay wet, but rather, dry making option B incorrect. They are not aligning themselves with anything, making option C incorrect.
  10. B. We see that the house is beneath trees, and on the side of the lake. It is made of natural materials and therefore matches the scenery. This makes options C and D incorrect as they would imply that the house does not match the scenery. The house is not admiring, making option A incorrect.


    If you would like to expand your vocabulary by reading of the story of Anne, Henry, and ghostly riders, the whole book is available for free through Project Gutenberg:
    https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2866/pg2866-images.html

In a Major Reversal, Harvard Will Again Require ACT and SAT Scores

Following a wave of other prestigious colleges–Brown, Dartmouth, Yale– that have changed from test optional to test required, Harvard University announced today that they will again require standardized test scores for undergraduate admissions:

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2024/4/11/harvard-sat-act-admissions-requirement/

This shift is especially notable because Harvard had previously stated that they would remain test optional up through applicants for the Harvard graduating class of 2030.

Why this change? First, “Harvard has found that SAT and ACT scores are  the best predictors of Harvard grades.” This comes as no surprise in light of increasing grade inflation at U.S. high schools. According to Inside Higher Ed, “the proportion of students with A averages (including A-minus and A-plus) increased from 38.9 percent of the graduating class of 1998 to 47 percent of the graduating class of 2016.” If most applicants are getting A’s, colleges need another way to differentiate among applicants–hence, the need for standardized test scores.

Second, many students have mistakenly been told that unless they get ACT scores in the high 30s or SAT scores above 1500, they have no business applying to selective schools. Harvard wants to encourage students to submit scores who fall below this range, sharing that “in the last year that Harvard required testing, the range (10th percentile to 90th percentile) of SAT scores for enrolling students was 670 to 790 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 680 to 800 for Math.  The range (10th percentile to 90th percentile) of ACT Composite scores was 31 to 36.” Harvard applicants who score in the in the high 1300s on the SAT and low 30s on the ACT should definitely considering submitting their scores based on this data.

Most college admissions officials to whom I have spoken have said that students are typically well-advised to submit their test scores if they are at least at the 25th percentile for admitted students. Now that standardized testing is widely available, unlike during the Covid pandemic, applicants should be aware that if they decline to submit their test scores to a college, they are effectively signaling that their scores are less than the 25th percentile for admitted students. Students can find the 25th percentile scores for colleges by searching the Big Future website.

The bottom line–in order to differentiate yourself in an increasingly competitive admissions environment, ACT and SAT scores should not longer be considered optional.

–Brian W. Stewart

Yale will again require standardized test scores

Yale just announced that they will again require test scores as part of the college application. In addition to SAT or ACT scores, students can now submit Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate results. Yale made this shift because it will improve their ability to predict which students are most likely to succeed at Yale:

“Yale’s research from before and after the pandemic has consistently demonstrated that, among all application components, test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s future Yale grades. This is true even after controlling for family income and other demographic variables, and it is true for subject-based exams such as AP and IB, in addition to the ACT and SAT.”

In addition, Yale found that including standardized test scores would serve to increase the diversity of its class:

“Our researchers and readers found that when admissions officers reviewed applications with no scores, they placed greater weight on other parts of the application. But this shift frequently worked to the disadvantage of applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds.” Source: https://admissions.yale.edu/test-flexible

Students looking to apply to highly selective schools would be well-served by showing their readiness for college level work by doing their best on the SAT or ACT.

PSAT, ACT, and SAT Planning for High School Juniors

High school juniors in the United States have a very interesting year of testing options ahead of them. There are a total of four major tests that students will have the opportunity to take: the Digital PSAT, the Paper SAT, the ACT, and the Digital SAT. Who should focus on which of these different types of tests?

Digital PSAT: Administered in the month of October through a student’s high school. Students who are trying to earn National Merit recognition should prepare for this exam. National Merit recognition generally applies to students who score in the 95th percentile or above, and National Merit Scholarships usually go to students who score above the 99th percentile. For students who do not think that a National Merit award is in reach, taking the Digital PSAT is still an excellent way to try the adaptive, digital format they will find on the Digital SAT. Scores for the Digital PSAT will be back in November, so students will have plenty of time to review their PSAT results to prepare for the Digital SAT in the spring.

Paper SAT: Administered in August, October, November, and December of 2023. After these administrations, the current paper SAT will be retired and replaced with a Digital SAT. For students who want to take advantage of the expansive body of existing practice tests and review books, taking the paper SAT before it goes away is a good idea. Results from the paper SAT will still be fully utilized by colleges, so students would have nothing to lose by giving the paper SAT a try before they no longer have the opportunity to do so.

ACT: Administered throughout 2023-2024. In general, students who are faster test takers like the ACT. This is a good test to take if you have taken through Algebra 2 and a bit of pre-calculus. The ACT covers more math material than the Digital SAT: logarithms, matrices, hyperbolas/ellipses, and combinations/permutations. It also has a broader array of grammar concepts than does the Digital SAT: wordiness, idioms, diction, and sentence placement. Fortunately, students who want to take the ACT can use many excellent books and practice tests to prepare for this well-established test.

Digital SAT: Administered in the United States beginning in March, 2024 and continuing thereafter. The Digital SAT will be offered on national test dates, and many schools will offer it during the school day given the relatively short amount of time that taking the Digital SAT requires. Students will have their Digital PSAT results back in November of 2023 so they can evaluate whether the Digital SAT is a good fit for them. There is a great deal of overlap in the content between the ACT and Digital SAT, so if students wish to switch from one test to the other, it should be fairly seamless.

Please contact us if we can advise you as to the best testing plan for this upcoming school year.

5 Reasons to Take the SAT and ACT Tests

Over the past two years, there has been quite a bit of upheaval in the world of college admissions and standardized testing.  Many schools are now “test-optional,” meaning that students can submit SAT and ACT test scores if they would like, but they are not required to do so.  Given the media reports about standardized tests, some parents and students may wonder if they should even bother taking the SAT or ACT.  Here are five reasons why taking the SAT or ACT is a still a wise choice in this uncertain environment. 

1.  Nearly all colleges would like to see your scores.

From what is covered in the news, it sounds like most schools do not care about evaluating your test scores.  According to fairtest.org, the reality is that only 3.7% of U.S. colleges are “test-blind,” meaning they do not consider test scores.  The most well-known test-blind schools are the colleges in the University of California system; the others are predominately smaller liberal arts colleges.  This means that  96.3% of U.S. colleges either require the SAT or ACT or will consider SAT/ACT scores if submitted.  Some, like Georgetown University, West Point, and the University of Florida, have required standardized test results even during the pandemic.  Others, like Ivy League Schools and Big Ten universities, give students the option to submit test scores, recognizing that there have been test site cancellations and health concerns that may have precluded students from being able to test. 

Probably the most well-known example of a test-optional university is Harvard.  When you look at their admissions website, you will see that they would indeed like to see your standardized test results if possible:

“Harvard accepts other standardized tests or other academic credentials if you choose to submit them. In any admissions process, additional information can be helpful. For example, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-levels, national leaving examinations, national or international contests, early high school assessment scores such as the PSAT or pre-ACT, or courses taken outside your school during the school year or summer are just some examples of information that could be submitted.”

If you call the Harvard admissions office, they enthusiastically encourage students to submit standardized test results—an admissions officer told me that the majority of applicants do submit test scores, and they would like you to send in your scores if you are able to test.  The bottom line is that colleges prefer as much information as possible to make an admissions decision, and they consider standardized tests an important metric in evaluating applicants. 

2.  Test scores provide protection against grade inflation. 

According to the Department of Education and the College Board, the average High School GPA was 2.68 in 1990, and 3.38 in 2016.  A recent national survey of K-8 parents found that 90% of parents believe that their child is achieving at or above grade level, and that 66 percent think that their kid is above average.  Inflated GPAs may give parents and students an incorrect impression of academic readiness, and they make it more challenging for college admissions officers to differentiate among applicants.  Consider this excerpt from the Harvard admissions website

“Given the wide variation in how students prepare for Harvard – as well as the fact that most applicants and admitted students have outstanding academic records – it is difficult for high school grades to differentiate individual applications. That does not mean that high school grades are unimportant. Students who come to Harvard have done well day to day in their high school studies, providing a crucial foundation for academic success in college, including a 97% – 98% graduation rate.  SAT and ACT tests are better predictors of Harvard grades than high school grades”. 

Good grades are certainly a key part of a successful college application.  However, students will stand out among the applicants if they have good test scores as well. 

3.  Those who submit test scores likely have a better chance of earning admission. 

According to the Future of Higher Education Newsletter, those who submit test scores are admitted at a rate that is often twice as much as those who do not submit test scores.  Here are some examples for applicants in the fall of 2021:

  • Emory: Admit rate 17% (with tests) vs. 8.6% (without tests)
  • Colgate: 25% (with tests) vs. 12% (without tests)
  • Georgia Tech: 22% (with tests) vs. 10% (without tests)

Colleges will happily accept applications from anyone who wishes to submit one—after all, they receive application fees and will see improved selectivity statistics.  Colleges will need to see clear evidence of academic strength in other areas to be confident about students who do not submit test scores.  To have a successful application, students would be smart to include test scores that demonstrate their readiness for college-level work. 

4.  Good test scores can lead to substantial scholarships. 

  • For those seeking major merit awards to Ohio State, like the Maximus, Trustees, Provost, or National Buckeye Scholarship (up to a $54,000 value), the criteria include SAT and ACT scores for those who have been able to take them. 
  • The University of Oklahoma awards out-of-state students who are National Merit Semi-Finalists (based on the PSAT and SAT tests) a $56,000 scholarship to cover four years of tuition. 
  • The University of Alabama gives a Presidential Scholarship for students with perfect ACT/SAT scores.  It includes four years of tuition, a stipend, a research grant, and a book grant, valued at $112,000 over a four year period. 

Three to four hours on a Saturday morning could be the best financial investment a student could make. 

5.  Colleges use ACT and SAT test scores to determine your course placement. 

It is one thing to be admitted to a college; it is another to get started on desired major classes as soon as possible.  Achieving certain section scores can allow students to place out of general education requirements, saving time and money.  Ohio State, among many other schools, use ACT and SAT test scores for English and math course placement.  The University of Louisiana, for example, gives students who score a 28 or above on the ACT English a full semester credit for English 101; those who score over a 30 on the ACT math earn two full semesters of credit for Math 109 and Math 110.  Since the ACT and SAT are designed to measure how likely a student will be successful as a college freshman, taking the tests will highlight areas that students should improve so they can be successful in collegiate coursework. 

I hope you found this information helpful.  Please contact us at www.bwseducationconsulting.com with other questions you may have about the SAT and ACT. 

–Brian Stewart

ACT Testing Update

A little over a year ago we posted a blog about a very exciting announcement from the ACT. The company had decided to begin offering students the opportunity to retest individual sections of the ACT. Students were elated- gone were to be the many long mornings taking the entire ACT; instead, they looked forward to taking the full test only once and then focusing on just a few sections for improvement on test dates thereafter.

Unfortunately, this change was postponed. With the global pandemic closing many test centers, the ACT was struggling to find enough seats for even just the students who needed to take the test for the first time. Individual section retakes simply could not be prioritized when some students couldn’t take the test at all.

The fallout from that situation is still felt in many locations as large backlogs of students who haven’t been able to test try to make up for lost time. Due to this and other concerns the ACT has once again postponed the implementation of the individual section retakes, saying in part


“ACT will not be rolling out section retesting in the 2021-2022 school year. We plan to use insights from our efforts to offer this feature as we enhance and innovate new product offerings. Though there are merits to this enhancement, we have renewed our commitment to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to take the full ACT test.”

https://www.act.org/content/act/en/new-act-options/section-retesting.html

On a positive note, however, the ACT has begun super scoring for students. Students who have taken the test multiple times will see a super score on their score report. This score takes the best section scores that the student has across multiple test dates and reports it as one single composite score. If, for example, a student takes their first test and gets a 25 on reading and a 20 on math and then takes a second test and gets a 20 on reading and a 25 on math, the super score will be calculated using the two 25s and ignoring the 20s.

Students who are applying to schools who accept super scores can use this to their advantage! The students will still have to retake the entire test each time, but they can focus their energy on just one or two sections with lower scores since they know that their previous good scores in other areas will be reflected in their super score no matter what.

Of course, if you would like some support in making a plan for taking the ACT then get in touch! We’re happy to discuss  your specific situation and help you prepare!

-Michal

Latest Changes to the ACT, SAT, and Test Optional Colleges

With so much in the news about changes to college testing and admissions, I have heard the same questions from many clients. I wanted to pass along the very latest and best information that I have about the SAT, ACT, and test optional policies.

How have the ACT and SAT changed their upcoming dates?

• ACT just announced that they will have test dates on June 13th and July 18th. If there is a need to move the test date because of local health conditions, the June test would be moved to June 20th and the July test would be moved to July 25th. Despite much speculation that the summer ACT tests would be cancelled, they are on track to go ahead.

• SAT announced that they are cancelling the upcoming June SAT date, but will have a total of 5 national test dates for the fall with sufficient capacity to test all students who wish to do so. There will be an SAT each month starting in August. Additionally, the in-school SAT that was cancelled in the spring will be offered in the fall.

What if the country is still locked down in the fall and it is unsafe to take the SAT and ACT in person?

• Both SAT and ACT will make online, at-home versions of their tests available this fall should it be necessary. At-home tests have already been made for the GRE, GMAT, SSAT, LSAT, and AP exams. Should they make the online tests available, I believe they would simply keep the test as it is in its current format, but have virtual proctoring, test session recording through a computer’s camera, and browser lockdown to prevent cheating. More details about the precise format of the online tests will be forthcoming.

I have heard that many colleges are going “test optional,” and that my child now has the option to not submit SAT and ACT scores. Does this mean I don’t need to have my child take the SAT and ACT?

• “Test optional” does not mean “test blind”—if you can take the ACT and SAT to improve your application, it is definitely in your interest to do so even for test optional schools. Only 21% of all the 5,300 U.S. colleges/universities are test optional, and only 10% of the top 20 nationally-ranked universities (U.S. News & World Report ranking) are test optional.

• Only two schools in the United States, Hampshire College and Northern Illinois University are test-blind—they will not consider ACT and SAT test scores in any way. All other colleges in the country will consider test scores when making admissions decisions.

• The University of Chicago, the most highly-ranked test optional University, actually saw its admissions rate decline to 6% and its average SAT scores improve after going test optional. Their admissions website encourages “students to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, and to share your scores with us if you think that they are reflective of your ability and potential.” Only about 10-15% of University of Chicago applicants choose to not submit their test scores. https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/apply/first-year-applicants

• For the University of California system, temporarily being test optional this year “does not lower the bar for admission, but accommodates the real barriers students have faced as tests have been cancelled and classes have moved to Pass/No Pass grading. Admissions to UC campuses is highly sought after and will continue to be just as competitive.” Submitting test scores can support students’ “statewide UC eligibility, application for certain scholarships, and help them fulfill some University graduation requirements.” https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/response-covid-19.html

• If you are able to take the SAT and ACT, do so early and often.

o Grades may hold less weight in admissions decisions than in previous years since many high schools are instituting “pass/fail” or no grading for the 2020 spring semester.

o Students who would traditionally have impressive extracurricular accomplishments from the spring and summer will not be able to showcase their talents as they normally would.

o Students may be unable to make college visits to demonstrate interest in schools, and do in-person interviews.

o Accurate letters of recommendation may be more difficult to obtain since letter writers may not have the same level of personal contact with students that they normally would.

o As always, the more objective information you can provide to a college about your solid academic qualifications, the better your chances of admission. Taking the SAT and ACT is one of the easiest ways to make this happen.

–Brian Stewart

Six Things To Do During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Students across the country are out of school for the next few weeks–the shutdown could last all the way until the summer.  While many students may be tempted to increase their video gaming and snapchatting, this downtime presents a golden opportunity to make independent progress on long-term academic and extracurricular goals.   Here are six ways to make that happen:

1.  Prepare for the modified AP Exams.  The College Board will offer at-home AP tests that are 45 minutes long and consist of only free response questions.  You will be able to take the tests in a way convenient for you: on a phone, tablet, computer, or even by hand.  Colleges will accept the results from the exam just as they have in years past.  Get ready for the AP exams by doing self-study and practicing for free response questions.  The College Board will provide updates here:  https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates .

2.  Build your online portfolio.  You can submit additional materials with your college application to showcase your unique talents.  Among the types of materials you can submit: recordings of music, videos of debate and theatrical performances, short stories you have written, art pieces, and samples of films you have made.  Take advantage of this down time to work on independent projects that you have not had time to focus on with the hustle and bustle of high school.

3.  Get ready for the June SAT and June ACT.   There is a national SAT test date on June 6th and a national ACT test date on June 13th.  There will be additional test dates throughout the summer and fall.  This is an excellent time to do test preparation work like practice tests, content review, and online tutoring.

4.  Earn college credit through independent study and examination.  Is there a college course you have always wanted to take, but have never had the time?  Humanities, world history, religion, astronomy, or statistics?  You can study independently and earn college credit on websites like https://study.com/  .

5.  Read some good books!  Students often complain that they never have time to read for fun; now you have plenty of time to work through that reading list.  Online books are freely available on library websites like https://www.columbuslibrary.org/ .  If you are wondering what types of books might be helpful to read in order to improve your reading comprehension for standardized tests, here is suggested list:

https://bwseducationconsulting.com/docs/ACT_SAT_Recommended_Reading_List.pdf .

6.  Get started on your college application essays.  Over 900 colleges accept the Common Application, and they have already announced what the common application essay prompts will be:  https://www.commonapp.org/apply/essay-prompts .  The fall of the senior year is extremely busy with college applications, school, and extracurriculars.  If you can get a head start on your college essays now, that will take a major task off of your plate.

We at BWS stand at the ready to help you with your independent work.  We have tutors available to meet you online to help with the SAT and ACT, college essay preparation, and AP exam review.  Please register to work with us at:

https://bwseducationconsulting.mypaysimple.com/s/bws-education-consulting-tutoring-registration .

 

 

 

A Range of Difficulties on Standardized Tests

After taking the SAT or ACT students will often complain that the test was tougher than what they practiced for. They will also often say that it was easier than they expected. However, these observations don’t necessarily mean that student scores will go up or down. On the contrary, a test isn’t helpful to colleges trying to gauge a student’s ability if the test isn’t consistent. In order to ensure consistency in score the ACT and SAT curve scores according to the difficulty of the specific test taken.

So what does the mean for students taking the test? Well, first of all, students should do a wide range of practice from the easiest things they can find to the toughest.  Practicing a wide range of difficulties will allow students to be ready for anything.  This will hopefully allow students to remain calm on the test no matter what is thrown at them.

Second, students need to remember to stick to their strategies regardless of the difficulty. The temptation with easy tests is to zip right through it. However, this leads to simple, small mistakes; the curve on the easier tests makes those mistakes costly. Conversely, students need to make sure to stay calm on the tougher tests. Mistakes on those really difficult questions won’t count against them as much, but panicking will cause more mistakes. Having strategies in place and sticking to those strategies will help students maximize their scores on both ends of the spectrum.

In the end, students need to remember that they can’t control what is on the tests. They can only control how they react to it. Through careful and deliberate practice, students can ensure that they react in a calm manner which will allow them to live up to their potential!