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PSAT Strategy Session

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  1. PSAT Strategy Session Pick up your Score Report before being seated.

  2. How to Read the Results • How did you score? • If you just put your name on the test and turn it in, all blank, your score will be above the minimum 60 • Students have to work to get the minimum score in a section – by missing too many problems (due to wrong answer penalty) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  3. What is the significance of the PSAT? • The PSAT is not used for college admissions • Even if you have a perfect PSAT score, you will need an SAT or ACT score for college admissions • The PSAT is used for 2 things: • To give you a good idea of your level of readiness for the SAT • To qualify a student for the National Merit Scholarship Competition • Only the PSAT in the Junior year counts for NMSQT Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  4. What does it take to quality for National Merit? 200 216 216 216 *Note: These total numbers are from 2012 and are subject to change. Usually changes are no more that +1 or -1. • To become a Finalist, a student must submit the scholarship application (which requires an essay and a recommendation from your principal) • The Scholars are selected from among the 15,000 finalists in an actual scholarship competition Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  5. SAT and PSAT Comparison • Add a 0 (since SAT is on a 600-2400 scale) • Drop the score just a bit • To adjust for additional length • 3 hours 40 minutes versus 2 hours 10 minutes Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  6. Recognition • Look at the PSAT Bulletin • At collegeboard.org • Link from myknowsys.com: PSAT page • Bulletin includes a list of the universities that provide Merit Scholarships Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  7. Does Preparation Help? • Good preparation DEFINITELY helps • Good preparation involves • Strategic methods • Content review • Vocabulary building • Average Knowsys Improvement: 320 points (total SAT score) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  8. General Preparation Tips • Order of Difficulty • Easy to Medium to Hard • NOT true in passages in Critical Reading • Starts over with each new section • Strategy: Do all the Easy and Medium problems FIRST before tackling the Hard problems • Note: This is true for SAT and PSAT, but not for the ACT Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  9. More General Preparation Tips • Wrong Answer Penalty • Know the facts: • Multiple Choice: - ¼ point • Grid In: -0 points • Guessing Strategy • Apply your knowledge: • Multiple Choice: Eliminate 2, then Guess • Grid-Ins: Guess on ALL Grid-Ins Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  10. SAT Scores for Popular Universities • Are you scores competitive? • Below is the SAT score range for the middle 50 percent of students accepted at particular universities. % Admitted tells you how selective the university is

  11. SAT Scores for Popular Universities Interested in other schools? Visit www.collegeboard.org and select College Search. Knowsys Educational Services LLC

  12. Math Performance Evaluation Student Name • What you want to see: More “Skipped” than “Incorrect.” Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  13. Scoring on the PSAT • The SAT is essentially scored on a curve • There is a raw score based on + 1 if correct - ¼ if incorrect multiple choice • Then, the raw score is converted to a scaled score (the “curved” score of 20-80) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  14. Math Question Analysis Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  15. PSAT/SAT Math • What’s the highest level of math tested on the PSAT and SAT? • Basic functions • Did you learn functions in Algebra I? • If not, that is part of Algebra II • The rest is definitely lower level • Many students know the concepts – but the issue is how the basic concepts are applied • A good prep course focuses on teaching students to apply the concepts they know to the way problems are tested on the exams Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  16. Math Answers Analysis The Category code matches the code on the Analysis portion + = correct Letter = Your wrong answer Blank = You skipped it ? = You double bubbled • What you want to see: No blank Grid-Ins. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  17. Critical Reading Performance Evaluation Student Name What if the student had skipped those 7 questions? The score would increase by 2 points! • What you want to see: More “Skipped” than “Incorrect.” Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  18. Critical Reading Question Types The 3 question types are: Long Passage Short Passage Sentence Completion Basically, passages can be about any subject. Everything you need to know to answer the questions is in the passage itself. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  19. Critical Reading Answers Analysis + = correct Letter = Your wrong answer Blank = You skipped it ? = You double bubbled Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  20. Writing Performance Evaluation Student Name What if the student had skipped those 13 questions? The score would increase by 4 points! • What you want to see: More “Skipped” than “Incorrect.” Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  21. Skipped/Missed Analysis “I speak English goodly” Syndrome! Strategy: Know what you don’t know and skip it. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  22. Writing Performance Question Analysis Grammar concepts are often not emphasized in English classes. Grammar concepts are relatively straightforward and easy to learn – but you have to work at it! A good prep course will review the grammar. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  23. Writing Performance Answer Analysis + = correct Letter = Your wrong answer Blank = You skipped it ? = You double bubbled Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  24. College Timeline Highlights • Sign up for the SAT Question of the Day • Sign up at www.collegeboard.org • Free App at iPhone store • Sign up for the ACT Question of the Day • Sign up at www.actstudent.org • Sign up for Knowsys SAT QOTD Blog • Knowsys1.blogspot.com • Clear, logical explanations • Searchable by topic Search for the topics you need to work on (like “Fractions” or “Triangles”) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  25. College Timeline Highlights • Start investigating college and scholarships EARLY • Investigate available scholarships and their requirements • Build your resume intentionally and carefully • Push yourself to more advanced classes • Push for a high GPA in the hardest classes you can handle • Don’t be afraid to get tutoring and assistance • Yes! Knowsys offers tutoring! Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  26. College Timeline Highlights • Take practice SAT and ACT Exams • www.chsprojectgraduation.com • Plan to take 1 test in the fall and 1 in the spring • Use the practice exams to see if you’re ready to take the real exam Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  27. Vocabulary on the PSAT and SAT • Start building your vocabulary NOW • The passages are dense, college-level reading with tough vocab • If your vocab is weak, it will slow you down, make it harder to understand, and mess you up on the vocab-in-context questions • The SAT and PSAT include “Sentence Completions” • Improving your vocab will pay off on Sentence Completions, Reading Comp, and the SAT essay • Knowsys offers a set of SAT Vocabulary Flashcards • www.myknowsys.com • iPhone app (search “Knowsys”) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  28. Vocabulary Flashcards • equivocal mercurial capricious loquacious disparage • SAT Vocabulary • 300 words per box • Taken from released SATs • Grade Level Vocab: • 9th, 10th, 12th • Buy at myknowsys.com • Vocabulary Activities • Greek & Latin Roots • Synonyms • Antonyms • True/False • Short Answer • Etc. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  29. Preparation Timeline • Leading up to March/April of the Junior year • Take practice exams • Prepare • When your practice exam scores show you’re ready, take the real test Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  30. Test-Taking Timeline • Get the test scores you need by the end of your Junior year • Prep for and take the SAT and ACT in March/April of your Junior year • If you don’t get the score you need, review and retake the test in May or June • DO NOT WAIT until the fall of your senior year! • Waiting until the Senior year creates a high-stress testing situation. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  31. For Top Scoring Students • The PSAT in October of your Junior year is the National Merit Qualifying Scholarship test • So, if you have the potential to make a top score, it is worth the effort and resources to prepare for the PSAT • If your Sophomore year PSAT score is 170 or higher • Prepare for the PSAT in your Junior year • Look for the district invitation to the PSAT Course Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  32. For Athletes • Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse as a Junior • Register for SAT or ACT and include Eligibility Center Code (9999) so the scores go to the Clearinghouse • Meet the minimum scores: • SAT: Math and Critical Reading Only • ACT: Sum of 4 Sections (Not Writing) • Division 1: Sliding scale of test score & GPA in Core Courses • 3.55 PLUS 400 SAT or 37 ACT • 3.0 PLUS 600 SAT or 52 ACT • 2.5 PLUS 820 SAT or 68 ACT • Division 2: • SAT: Minimum of 820 • ACT: Minimum sum of 68 • GPA: Minimum of 2.0 Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  33. General Information • Retaking the test • Many students take the real SAT 2 or 3 times. • But . . . It makes more sense to take practice tests until you know you are prepared for the real exam. • Repeat Scores • Unless something unusual happened on test day (e.g., you were deathly ill), there’s no reason to think that re-taking the SAT will increase your score beyond the normal score band. • Basically, if you retake the test with no additional preparation, your score is just as likely to go down as to go up. • Good preparation is what makes repeating the test worthwhile. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  34. General Information • How do Universities treat multiple SAT scores? • It depends on the University. • Most take the best Math, Critical Reading, and Writing Score from whichever test • How do you know? Ask the Admissions department. • What is Score Choice? • The SAT and the ACT both include the Score Choice options. • Score Choice lets the student decide which test administration(s) to send to a university. • Exception: Some more selective universities require all scores. • Also – many times your best math is on one test and your best verbal is on another – so you’ll send both anyway. • Basically, assume you have to send all your scores. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  35. The SAT Prep Options Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  36. Overview of Upcoming Tests Look at your toughest universities – do they require SAT IIs? If so, take the SAT II in June after you prepare for and take the related AP Exam in May. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  37. SAT versus ACT Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  38. SAT versus ACT (continued) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  39. SAT versus ACT (continued) Summary: ACT is the “SAT Plus” – ALL the SAT content PLUS . . . More grammar, science, harder math (Trig, Logs, Matrices, Graphing Circles, etc). Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  40. SAT versus ACT (continued) TIPS TIP 1: Take the SAT AND the ACT to maximize your chances of meeting requirements! TIP 2: Preparing for the SAT helps prepare you for the ACT! TIP 3: Knowsys offers tutoring to bridge the gap between the SAT and the ACT. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  41. For More Information • Knowsys Educational Services • Classes and Tutoring • Vocabulary • www.myKnowsys.com • 512-961-8522 • Knowsys SAT Classes at Coppell ISD • www.coppellisd.com website • kbrown@coppellisd.com (Kristen Brown) Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  42. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  43. Timelines 9-12 Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  44. Timeline – 9th Grade • Start building the high school transcript • Develop strong study skills • Make good grades • Take Geometry or Algebra • Get involved in a new extracurricular activity • Start working on SAT Vocabulary Flashcards (learn 5 words per week) • Create a College and Career Information Folder • Explore colleges on the internet • Explore careers by doing internet research • Shadow people at work to explore careers • Start list of extracurricular activities, community service, awards, honors, and classes • Make the most of the summer break • Take advantage of summer programs and camps at colleges • Volunteer in the local community Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  45. Timeline – 10th Grade • Take challenging courses • Take the PSAT in October • Keep working on SAT Vocabulary Flashcards (learn 5 words per week) • Build your College and Career Information Folder • Take a career interest inventory • Request brochures and applications from 8 to 10 colleges • Identify apprenticeship opportunities • Shadow people at work to explore careers • Investigate financial aid and scholarship options and requirements • Update list of extracurricular activities, community service, awards, honors, and classes • Make the most of the summer break • Take a part-time job • Attend a summer camp at a college campus • Participate in a volunteer service program Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  46. Timeline – 11th Grade • Take challenging courses • Review all SAT Vocabulary Flashcards • Take the PSAT in October for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Program • Build your College and Career Information Folder • During fall break, visit colleges • Participate in college nights and career fairs • During winter break, schedule campus visits in the spring • Investigate SAT and ACT requirements at colleges • Determine which colleges to send your test scores to • Search for scholarship and financial aid programs to ensure you meet the requirements • Update list of extracurricular activities, community service, awards, honors, and classes • Take the SAT and the ACT in the spring • Take a practice test before taking the real exam • Consider taking a preparation course to improve SAT and ACT scores • Make the most of the summer break • Take SAT or ACT preparation course to raise scores, if necessary • Visit college campuses • Talk with admissions counselors • Participate in summer programs to explore college life and careers • Write your college admissions essays Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  47. Timeline – 12th Grade • Take Advanced Placement and Dual Credit classes • Retake SAT or ACT, if necessary, to get needed scores • Finalize your College and Career Information Folder • Finalize your list of extracurricular activities, community service, awards, honors, and classes • Narrow your college choices and visit campuses • Attend college fairs, careers fairs, and financial aid workshops • Apply to colleges • Gather applications • Note early admissions deadlines (often November 1) • Make a checklist of admissions requirements • Proofread and finalize admissions essay and application • Request letters of recommendation • Apply for Financial Aid • Search for scholarships and complete applications • Complete financial aid applications • Complete the FAFSA between Jan 1 and March 10 • Evaluate Admissions Offers • Review and evaluate financial aid offers • Check deadlines for sending in acceptance and deposit • Apply for housing • Make the most of the summer break • Find a part-time job • Forward final high school transcript to selected college • Plan the details of college life: select courses, attend orientation, make a budget, etc. Knowsys Educational Services, LLC.

  48. In the 9th Grade Year • Start building your high school transcript • Develop strong study skills • Make good grades • Take Algebra or Geometry • Get involved in a new extracurricular activity www.ktprep.com

  49. 9th Grade College Search • Create a College and Career Folder • Explore colleges on the internet • Explore careers by doing internet research • Shadow people to explore careers • Start THE LIST • Extracurricular activities • Community service • Awards and honors • Classes www.ktprep.com

  50. Rising 10th Grade Summer • Make the most of your Summer Break • Take advantage of summer programs at colleges • Volunteer in the local community • Try to get an internship with a company that has careers that interest you • Visit colleges that you are interested in • Contact the admissions department to set up a campus tour www.ktprep.com