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Agenda • Top factors in college admissions • PSAT • SAT and ACT • Other tests and other factors • College application timeline
But First—Let’s Say Hello! • Grade? • PSAT, SAT, ACT? • Dream school? • Biggest concern? Monica
Top Factors in College Admissions 1a) Grades in College Prep Courses • Advanced Placement • International Baccalaureate • Dual-enrollment Courses Source: National Association of College Admissions Counseling, “2010 State of College Admission”
Top Factors in College Admissions 1b) Strength of Curriculum • Rigor • Relevance • Quantity Source: National Association of College Admissions Counseling, “2010 State of College Admission”
Top Factors in College Admissions 2) Admissions Test Scores • SAT • ACT • AP & Subject Tests Source: National Association of College Admissions Counseling, “2010 State of College Admission”
Top Factors in College Admissions 3) High School GPA • Overall • Don’t fall behind • Don’t lose focus Source: National Association of College Admissions Counseling, “2010 State of College Admission”
Why Does the PSAT Matter? 1. Practice Run for the Real Thing 2. Get a Higher Score on the SAT • Students who took the PSAT scored, on average, 120 points higher on SAT • Students who took the PSAT their sophomore and junior year scored, on average 222 points higher on the SAT 3. Scholarship Opportunities • National Merit Scholarship Program, Corporate Scholarships, National Achievement Program Source: College Board, 2010 National State Reports
Admissions Test Scores: SAT & ACT
Common Myths • The SAT is an IQ test. • The ACT is easier. • Only take the ACT if you’re good at science. • Competitive schools only accept the SAT.
The Facts: • The SAT & ACT are the only test REQUIRED by colleges • There are NO TEST SCHOOLS • Same material different format • 98% of schools will take either • Take the test 2-4 times. Schools will ALWAYS take your best score!
AP, IB, and Subject Test • Only if required or you KNOW you will get a good score • Only take AP class if you can get an A or B • Always take the AP test after the AP class • AP test may give you college credit but subject tests do not • Colleges will know how many AP/IB classes offered at your school
Advanced Placement Exams • About the AP Exams: • 34 AP courses and exams • 90% of four year colleges give AP credit • Scores of 3, 4 or 5 will often get you college credit • Check schools’ policies online • Registration: • Register through your school • $87 Registration Fee – • $22 fee reduction for students in financial need AP Expert Tips: • If you can get 50% of the questions right, you’ll receive a score of 3! • Practice free response questions with a timer • Answer every question! • Answer the questions you can get right first
The College Application Essay Fact: 80% of colleges use the essay to make their final admissions decisions.
The College Application Essay Get started! Here are some ideas to help you start thinking about your essay: My favorite/least favorite activity… When I am older, I want to be known/remembered for… Someone who has inspired me… I am most proud of… Something (in my personal life or current events) that has changed the way I think… I made a difference in another person’s life when… I feel passionately about (this issue, topic, subject, hobby, etc…) I never thought I would be able to…
Campus Visits A campus visit allows you to get a firsthand feel for the college and counts as demonstrated interest, so get packing! ✓ Visit as many of your target schools as possible. ✓Schedule a visit when classes are in session and the admissions office is open. ✓Speak to students, professors, and coaches to get a clear idea of what campus life is like. ✓ If you’re really interested, consider doing a summer program.
Academic Factors Non-Academic Factors Additional Factors • Class rank • Counselor recommendation • Additional test scores: SAT Subject Tests, AP exams, IB exams • Portfolio • Extracurricular activities • Demonstrated interest • Work experience
Social Media 82% of college admissions officers use social media to recruit students!* Here are some things you can do to take advantage of this growing trend: • Manage your privacy settings • “Like” and “follow” schools that interest you • Participate in conversations that showcase your interests and talents • When engaging with a school, check for typos, don’t use shorthand (“u”, “r”), and don’t use inappropriate language • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable putting on your applications • Be mindful, but be yourself! This is an opportunity to interact with schools apart from your applications *Kaplan’s 2010 College Admissions Officer Survey
Research • Avg. SAT/ACT score for incoming freshman = GOAL SCORE! • Avg. GPA for accepted students? • Are subject test required? • Do they want to see ALL your SAT/ACT scores? • What is the last SAT/ACT test you can take? Go to the school’s website or collegeboard.org to answer these questions about each school you are considering:
College Prep Timeline • Extracurricular activities • Prep for AP/Honors • Prep for the PSAT • 1st PSAT in October • Take AP and SAT Subject Tests after completing courses • Summer prep for PSAT , SAT, ACT
College Prep Timeline • PSAT in October for National Merit • Focus on academics—this is the critical year! • Research admissions requirements for chosen schools • Take SAT and/or ACT at least twice • Take required SAT Subject Tests • If you get your GOAL SCORE, use summer to do application essay • Take SAT and/or ACT for the last time • Take required SAT Subject Tests • Request letters of recommendation • Fill out FAFSA and research scholarships • Visit schools
It’s All About You! Consider Your… • Goals • Timeline • Schedule • Learning preference
Prep smarter, not harder. How do you learn best? Online? One-on-one? In the classroom?
Good News. Every Kaplan Program… • Uses data to customize learning for you • Includes reports for students and parents • Is guaranteed to raise your score!
For more information please call or visit our Web site. 1-800-KAP-TEST | kaptest.com/college Rob Smith, 360-703-8531 Rob.Smith@Kaplan.com