SAT Score Distribution

Published Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by Katie

The SAT is widely used by colleges as a way to compare students’ academic aptitude. As a result, SAT takers nationwide seek higher scores both to prove their capabilities to college admissions boards and to out-compete their fellow test-takers. But how well does everyone else perform on the SAT? This past year, the CollegeBoard published the SAT percentile ranks for the 2010 college-bound seniors. Since these percentile distributions generally stay the same from year to year, the 2011 seniors and 2012 seniors will likely have similar score distributions. Below is a table showing this percentile… Continue Reading

The National Merit Scholarship Program

Published Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Katie

The results for the 2010 PSAT/NMSQT recently were released. For the approximately 3.5 million students across the United States that took the test this past October, one question will likely come to mind: “What next?” For the 1.6 million high school sophomores (and a few precocious seventh graders, eighth graders, and freshmen) who took the PSAT, the answer is to take the test again. Before junior year, the PSAT has little significance—it merely serves as practice. However, for the 1.5 million high school juniors that endured the grueling three-hour exam, the results of the PSAT/NMSQT… Continue Reading

Reducing Test Anxiety

Published Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Katie

Stress. It assaults the calmest of students in the worst of circumstances. Stress is a natural, but not insurmountable, challenge faced by all SAT test-takers. Using a few simple techniques, all students can learn to effectively and efficiently combat stress in all situations. Strategy 1: Tensing and Relaxing. This strategy is developed and explained in depth in Dr. Paul D. Nolting’s instructional text Math Study Skills Workbook, Your Guide to Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Study Strategies. When using the tensing and relaxing method, first place feet on the floor, making sure the soles of… Continue Reading

To Retake or Not to Retake?

Published Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Katie

It’s 6am on a Thursday morning. Your alarm sounds, screaming at an inhuman pitch from your bedside table. You roll over to slam the snooze button—but wait. You just remembered. SAT scores came out online this morning! Bolting out of bed, you furiously log in to your laptop computer. In your sleep-addled state, it takes multiple tries to type the password into your computer, only adding to your anxiety. Finally, you reach the CollegeBoard site, log on, and navigate to the score report page. You close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then look… Continue Reading