Final Call: SAT and ACT Registration Deadlines!

Though school is slowing down and nearing its end, we wanted to remind you that your academic year might not be quite over yet! Make sure to sign up for the upcoming SAT and ACT test dates if you plan on taking the exam this summer!

SAT Test Date Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
6/4/16 5/5/16 5/20/16

You can register for the SAT exam here!

ACT Test Date Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
6/11/16 5/6/16 5/20/16

You can register for the ACT exam here!

Continue reading “Final Call: SAT and ACT Registration Deadlines!” »

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AP Exams are in May! What are they? Who needs them? Why Should I take them? What about AP Exam Score Choice?

AP Exams are ComingIt’s that time of year again, when high school students must frantically juggle preparing for final exams, AP exams, and the last administrations of the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests. There is a lot going on! And as you carefully plot out the next several weeks, you may be asking yourself, are AP exams really worth it? The answer, unfortunately, is yes, they really are worth it.

So let’s start with the basics, what are AP classes? As a College Compass acolyte, you are undoubtedly already familiar with AP classes (having taken literally a bajillion already), but if you are not a regular reader, AP stands for Advanced Placement. Advanced Placement classes are basically honors classes whose material has been standardized by College Board. These classes are roughly equivalent to undergraduate college classes. Oftentimes, AP classes are weighted; if you are taking an AP class you probably have both an unweighted and weighted GPA, where your AP grades count for +1 letter grade or equivalent more towards your GPA (so, for example, a letter grade of B in an AP class would count as an A toward your cumulative GPA). If you take an AP class, or in fact even if you do not, you can register to take AP exams at the end of the year. If you score well enough on an AP exam (usually a score of 4 or 5 out of 5), many universities will award you college level credit based on that score – meaning you do not have to take that class as a college student! More on that later.  Continue reading “AP Exams are in May! What are they? Who needs them? Why Should I take them? What about AP Exam Score Choice?” »

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What Are SAT Subject Tests?

Since the end of the school year is fast approaching, as are the deadlines for signing up for the May and June SATs, we wanted to remind people what the SAT Subject Tests are and which colleges require them. We’ve previously posted this article but consider this topic especially relevant at this time of year. Enjoy!

What Are SAT Subject Tests?

You may or may not be aware that College Board offers SAT Subject Tests. These are short, one-hour exams that test your knowledge in specific areas. We’ve compiled a table of every Subject Test offered below:

Math Level 1 Math Level 2
US History World History
Biology Chemistry
Physics Literature
Spanish French
Chinese Italian
German Hebrew
Latin Japanese
Korean

As you can see, there are quite a few Subject Tests available to you that cover a wide variety of topics. In terms of content, you can think of these Subject Tests as mini AP Exams. The two exams cover essentially the same material, but Subject Tests are only one hour long each, compared to the behemoths that are AP exams.

Continue reading “What Are SAT Subject Tests?” »

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SAT Trigonometry Problem!

Today we’ll be solving a practice SAT trigonometry problem and walking you through the steps to solve it!

Trig Problem

If Sin(A)=0.5 and side BC=10, find the length of the hypotenuse, AB.

Continue reading “SAT Trigonometry Problem!” »

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2016 (Unofficial) National Merit Commended Cutoff Score is Out!

Now that we know this year’s (unofficial) National Merit Commended cutoff score is a 209, we wanted to take a look back at how we did, and what this means for our Semifinalist predictions. To clarify, while the NMSC has not officially posted this score on their website, we have had multiple reports from parents and students who have contacted NMSC directly. Until further notice, we will proceed with this score in mind as the (unofficial) Commended student cutoff score.

How did we do?

Taking a look back at our Updated PSAT Cutoffs post, our range for Commended was between a 200-210, but more importantly, our estimate for North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming were 210’s. Historically, these states’ NMSF scores have generally coincided with the national Commended cutoff, and with only a 1-point difference between the two, it seems that our model is performing quite well. This bodes well for the rest of our predictions, which we hope will prove to be accurate once the official NMSF cutoff scores are announced.

What does this Commended score mean for students?

Firstly, it’s important to note that while the ND, SD, WV, and WY scores have historically lined up with the national Commended cutoff score, this is by no means a guarantee that any of these states’ NMSF cutoffs will be a 209. If you look at the historical data, these scores have shown subtle fluctuations, so we cannot say for certain that a 209 will be the exact National Merit Semi-finalist cutoff for these states.

It’s also interesting to note that College Board has essentially confirmed a tighter grouping of National Merit scores when compared to previous years’. When constructing our predictions, many posters expressed a concern we initially had as well, that the estimated cutoffs seem to be fairly high and tightly grouped. Consider last year’s Commended, a 202 out of 240, compared to this year’s scores of 209 out of 228. When looking at these numbers, it may seem that this year’s test must have been easier, since the cutoff score is higher, but that’s not necessarily true! Since the entire scoring system has been changed, it’s not fair to directly compare cutoff scores, as College Board may have changed the raw score to scaled score conversion on their backend to reflect the new update.

Finally, as always, though this news suggests our methodology is overall performing well in terms of predictive power and accuracy, we must stress that our predictions are by no means definitive. While we hope our numbers will line up well with the official cutoffs, states’ cutoff scores do display minor fluctuations from year to year, so the official score required for National Merit Semifinalist may be slightly higher or slightly lower than our predictions. Once the official NMSF numbers are released by the NMSC, we’ll be sure to perform an analysis and debrief to see how we fared in the big leagues!

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Registration Deadline Reminder! Sign up for the SAT and ACT!

As summer is fast approaching, we at College Compass wanted to remind you of the upcoming SAT and ACT test dates!

SAT Test Date Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
5/7/16 4/8/16 4/22/16
6/4/16 5/5/16 5/20/16

You can register for the SAT exam here!

ACT Test Date Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
6/11/16 5/6/16 5/20/16

You can register for the ACT exam here!

Continue reading “Registration Deadline Reminder! Sign up for the SAT and ACT!” »

Posted in Admissions, Advice for Freshmen, Advice for Juniors, Advice for Sophomores, New SAT 2016, Standardized Tests | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

HAPPY IVY DAY!

For the uninitiated, today and tomorrow are the days most of the Ivy League and similarly selective schools release their admissions decisions. For those waiting anxiously for these notifications to be released, best of luck! No matter what happens, congratulations on completing this journey; you will undoubtedly shape the world for the better!

GOOD LUCK!!!

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Testmasters Hosts Math Kangaroo Event

Making Math Fun for Houston-Area Students

3rd Largest National Event puts Students’ Math Skills to the Test

Houston (March 17, 2016) – One hundred sixty Houston-area primary school students put their critical thinking skills to the test today at a math Olympiad designed to develop mathematical knowledge and interest among young students. Testmasters, one of the nation’s leading test preparation authorities, hosted the event at its Houston and Sugar Land locations to address growing demand for math forums, especially for students in first through fifth grades. Continue reading “Testmasters Hosts Math Kangaroo Event” »

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What Colleges and Universities SuperScore the SAT?

Today we list out the popular universities that SuperScore!

Today we list out the popular universities that SuperScore!

For those unfamiliar with SuperScoring, this is the term given when colleges take the highest SAT section scores across multiple sittings and combine them into a single composite score. Not all universities SuperScore, and indeed most do not, but we went ahead and compiled a list of the most popular schools that do, pulling from the official College Board publication on the matter.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information using the most up-to-date material out there, but given the plasticity of college admissions and the alacrity with which schools change their policies given such matters, we recommend students and parents check directly with a school, either over the phone or through an official school website, to ensure that the information presented is accurate. Further, we selected only the most popular schools and universities, so an exclusion from our chart does not necessarily mean that school does not SuperScore.

Continue reading “What Colleges and Universities SuperScore the SAT?” »

Posted in Admissions, Advice for Freshmen, Advice for Juniors, Advice for Sophomores, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Ask Test Masters – Do I Have to Take AP Exams to Get Into College?

Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!

Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!

Today’s Ask Test Masters question comes from Curious Mama. She writes

If a child doesn’t take AP courses, and instead takes the classes that are offered generally by the school for that grade, and receives a 3.5 gpa or higher, is a varsity athlete and has volunteer/work efforts to add to their resume, are they “good enough” to get into a 4 year university? Or is is true you have to go the all AP route to get in?

 

Continue reading “Ask Test Masters – Do I Have to Take AP Exams to Get Into College?” »

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