Does Test Prep Work? Last week I became interviewed by Chapel Hill senior school guidance counselor, Kristen Hiemstra.

Does Test Prep Work? Last week I became interviewed by Chapel Hill senior school guidance counselor, Kristen Hiemstra.

You can listen to the complete interview by pressing here.

We covered lot of topics anything from why I believe they ought to leave the vocabulary on the SAT as is, to whether I think that test prep works. Among the topics that are many talked about were:

  • Different types of test prep, which work and why
  • Commercial test prep
  • Signs of good vs test prep that is bad
  • How to inspire a teen
  • Just What the faculty Board is testing
  • The best time to tour colleges
  • Lessons I discovered the SAT
  • Lessons I discovered as a mom

We also talked about my upcoming book, The Perfect get Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT and what it’s all about.

How Much Does the SAT Count in the Admissions Decision?

So how much does the SAT Count in the Admissions Decision?

SAT counts for lots more than colleges will admit to much less than students think.

The Academic Index the AI Calculator should shed light on ‘how much’ the SAT counts. Although AI originated for athletes, they calculate it for several students.

Never miss these Kitchen Table Math commentary, which add more insight, including one commenter who found a (slightly old) College Board report that offers all sorts of details on the decision techniques used by many colleges.


The part that is first based in your SAT scores, the second part is according to your SAT II scores, plus the third component is based on your GPA. The website link above talks about a GPA table provided to the eight universities, but it doesn’t explain the way the GPA is calculated. It appears to use a weighted scale where the most effective score is 4.3. I haven’t found out just how this true quantity is calculated. The spreadsheet then proceeds to decide on the higher rating related to each of the two GPA figures. It’s constantly struck me that the SAT scores make up two-thirds of this index. Universities might come with a fudge factor if they know one thing in regards to a high school, but no option for that shows up into the example spreadsheet.

Quadruplets’ Mom Needs SAT Advice

Dear Ms. Stier:

I recently discovered your website and I like it! Thanks for doing it.

We could really use some advise on how best to approach test that is SAT for my quadruplets. [me: OMG]

I’ve 3 girls and 1 boy. They took the PSAT in sophomore year and they takes the PSAT again this October.

Certainly one of the drawbacks of getting all my children the same age is that any mistakes we make affects all four. None of them benefit from me learning from my errors so I hope to get this as right when I can.

Do you might think I should have them study being a little group together under my guidance (from experience it really is like trying to herd cats); get a tutor for the four of those in a small group; have someone tutor them individually; or send them up to a SAT test prep center? Or even a mixture of all of these? I must view my costs too.

Just how do I find a good tutor? What is the test prep company that is best?

If these are questions I can be helped by you with I would appreciate it. Then that’s okay and I appreciate you taking your time to read my email if it is not something that you can help me.

Thanks again for the web site info


Multiple Mom

Dear Multiple Mom,

My gut says to do some interact along with four (e.g. plenty of vocab, full practice tests, and they can explain answers to each other because that is a good way to learn), and do some preparation separately. If you can find an affordable tutor(s), that’s the best means.

Listed here are a few pre-determined questions to ask a potential tutor (or test prep company):

1) would you customize your approach and, if so, how?

2) exactly What’s your average score gain per student? Numerous tutors will not respond to this question because there are so numerous variables that it’s very nearly not fair to ask. That said, an excessive ‘average score gain’ should be described as a flag. e.g., 200 points in a month.

3) the length of time do you advise students to prepare for the SAT and how much does it cost? The right answer will be specific and depends on where the pupil begins and what the goal is.

4) What test prep materials do you use? ( whether it’s not formal university Board material, be wary.)

5) just how much homework will there be between sessions? (a tutor that is great have students do as much act as possible off the clock, such as vocab and practice tests.)

The step that is first to possess all four kids take the official university Board practice SAT. You need to use one from the College Board’s Blue Book, or the College Board has a practice test on its website.

You need to determine what they have to work on and if they need foundational work or more test prep polish that is traditional. My guess is which they need foundational work, as most kids do (and as I did!). Be sure you choose a test or tutor prep company who are able to assess that well!

Regarding test prep companies, I’d avoid anyone who doesn’t primarily use College Board product (that would include most/if not all large, brand-name test prep companies).