Imagine: You head over to a friend’s house to help them with their landscaping project. You are greeted by a friend covered in mulch, dirt, and random pieces of weeds. She asks you to move her car from the driveway so the mulch truck can pull in. You happily grab her keys and get in the car, only to realize you cannot move her car. Sure, it has a steering wheel, the key fits the ignition, there is a brake pedal and gas pedal— but there is also a clutch, and you have never driven a stick shift!!
Even though you have driven for years and are a good driver, you cannot perform the simple task of backing out of the driveway and parking in the street because you have not been taught how to successfully manage the transmission yourself.
This is exactly why good students are not automatically successful on standardized tests: they have not been taught the strategies, tricks, or time management needed to crush the test!
Standardized tests intentionally bait...
Test optional means you do not need a test score attached to your application for your application to be considered complete and reviewed for admission. It does not mean that students without a test score will be reviewed in the same way, despite what some colleges advertise. Unfortunately, human judgment will still play a huge role in admission decisions during this coming application cycle. So much so that many admission reps at selective schools have shared with KMAC that if they took all of their applicants and spread them out in a room again, they are likely to select completely different students because the majority of their applicants are so similar in grades, test scores, resumes, and awards.
What we have witnessed repeatedly is that students who submitted test scores, even when their scores were slightly below the average for a school, have been granted acceptance at a much higher rate than students who do...
Have your child take the test early— definitely by sophomore year. They will take it with no pressure, better understand what is on the test and be better prepared later.
The other test dates do not. This is extremely valuable as many students will say “I have never learned some of the math.” or “I didn't do well on science because it was all physics and I have not had physics.” The reality however is that a student does not need Physics or high-level math to do well on the test, and getting their test back and being able to review it with a professional will help them understand this. It will also help them better prepare in the future and recognize the strategies needed more effectively.
If you can...
There are many reasons that colleges prefer to see a standardized test. One reason is that the curriculum in each high school, and certainly each state varies. When you consider the resources some students have because of their school district versus the lack in others, it is easy to conclude that the level of exposure/mastery a student in a struggling district has when earning an A may be vastly different than a student who earns an A in a district rich with resources like 3D printers, computers for every student, large designated laboratories for science classes and so forth.
Colleges are all too familiar with students who have received generous grades due to being well liked, a star athlete, a star student who is popular, who are not prepared to handle rigorous classes in college. If you have heard your son or daughter mention that the teacher is giving students more time to finish the test because some did not, or someone is able to...
We've gotten a few worried messages over the past few days asking if we are still open, and the answer is a resounding YES! KMAC operations will be continuing as normal, even with the recent K-12 closings. Our hearts go out to those who are affected by COVID-19, and we want to support anyone who needs help, academic or otherwise, in these scary times.
This is something we hear a lot from parents. They worry a lot about standardized tests because their kid isn’t a great test taker, even though their grades may be great. Kelly says bad test takers are really our own fault.
Currently, our school system is set up to rigorously test students throughout the year. Students are expected to recall the information from certain chapters or topics on a test. However, standardized tests aren’t built like this, they’re built around problem-solving.
Here’s a great example that shows how this testing method is problematic. There’re third-grade level math questions on the ACT, and what we often see happen is students try to attach some complex formula they learned in high school to that problem. They try to recall their information rather than problem solve.
Standardized testing is a skill that is vital...