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If you or your child did NOT take the PSAT or SAT, please say Why

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[I am not currently the mom of a teen, but I did get my SD when she was 14 & I thought this was the best place to ask this question.]

In my former career, I counseled high school kids about college and then college kids about staying in college. The family I am closest friends with is non-custodial of his eldest daughter. Over the past 9 years I have seen her on holiday and summer visits. She is a really wonderful girl. I have never met her mother & stepfather.

The girl is now about to turn 18 and is entering senior year, so she is considering her college options. She wants to enter the health care field. I don't have a lot to work with as she can't get her transcript since it is summer, and she didn't take the PSAT, although it was offered. She has dyslexia and ADHD and has struggled a lot in school. My guess is that some of the classes she took were Special Ed.   

Tomorrow, I will take her to our local community college for the Accuplacer test. This is the test that many colleges use for actual placement in college courses. The results are not shared between colleges. The test is produced by the College Board, the same vendor that makes the SAT. The results will give her a good idea of the areas where she needs to improve and she can work on those in the next year before she takes the test at the community college she will attend.

My SD raised the question about why wouldn't the parents insist that she take the PSAT when everyone else took it? I know this girl has test anxiety and am guessing that she didn't want to see a low score. However, SD then pointed out that it makes sense to practice taking tests if you intend to go to college, especially in the health field where there will be lots of tests.

So, if you or your child did NOT take the PSAT or SAT, then why not? Thanks for reading.

by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 8:39 AM
Replies (31-40):
WEEZIE16
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:30 AM

I work in college counseling at a boarding school for students with dyslexia ans other language-based learning differences.  All of our students apply for accommodations for the ACT and SAT (this generally includes extended testing time and a reader). 

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM
My dd was always a very good math student. She dropped Calculus last semester. The professor was a big part of the issue. He didn't teach at all really. She is getting tutored from the neighbor kid. 2 sessions with him snd she has learned more than in 8 weeks of class. She will be prepared to take it in the fall for sure.


Quoting Verrine:

These days, everyone is convinced that college is necessary for success. A lot of people go to college without realizing the level of work involved. Having a high school diploma or even taking AP courses does not guarantee that a student is ready for college classes. The sad part is that many students have to take the remedial courses more than once. The good part is that some of the students who start in remedial classes do complete college.  


Quoting boys2men2soon:


My understanding is that students who have IEP's that place them in below grade level classes (special Ed) often do not take the SAT because they haven't yet learned the material that is tested.    A couple of my son's friends fit this profile.   Sadly, they graduated high school, and tried to attend communtiy college only to find out that they didn't have the required level of classes in high school to qualify them to take college courses!       They had to take basic high school classes at community college just to prepare them for the college level courses, and of course, they had to pay tuition to do so.    


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JTROX
by Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:50 AM

My son rocked the PSAT.  He hasn't taken the SAT.  He did very well on his first attempt at the ACT.  We are waiting on the results of his 2nd attempt.  

tammeee3
by Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM
My son took the psat but never took sat or act.. he know he was going to.the logical community college and they didn't need it..they did require placement tests.. that if you.don't do well on you need to take a reading lab or math lab.. he did well on them and is all registered for fall
CometGirl
by Bronze Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM

My older children did not take any college placement tests.  The PSAT test costs $75 each time a student takes it at our school so that could be a barrier for some kids.  My youngest daughter took it last year and will take it one more time before she graduates.

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Wow, testing is free here. AP testing is something like $75 per class.


Quoting CometGirl:

My older children did not take any college placement tests.  The PSAT test costs $75 each time a student takes it at our school so that could be a barrier for some kids.  My youngest daughter took it last year and will take it one more time before she graduates.


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MrsBLB
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

All the HS students take it here.  Test anxiety is common, reassure her it will be alright.

elkmomma
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

My big question is...Why do you even care and why is this any of your business? 

boys2men2soon
by Kimberly on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:46 AM


Quoting Verrine:

The Accuplacer and Compass tests start with easier questions than the SAT or ACT. If you get those correct, the test gradually gives you harder questions, until you get to ones that are on more advanced material than covered by the SAT or ACT. Each college determines what score is necessary for what level course. 

By law, community colleges must have open enrollment. They can be a good route toward a career or a cheaper start toward a Bachelor's degree. However, 41% of high school graduates need to take remedial coursework when they get to college and four out of five of those students had high school GPAs of 3.0 (B average) or better.    

Quoting atlmom2:

It is a computer adaptive placement test. (Just searched and didn't know what kind of test it was either). A form of the ACT on the computer I guess. Thinking it is a much easier test since this college takes about anyone.

Wow.   41%??  I am surprised.   My kids HS had curriculum 'paths' to choose from.   There was the path to graduate, the path to a trade school/community college, and the path to a 4 yr University.     Both of my sons were on the path to a 4 year college.   Once at the University, neither had to take remedial courses, but they both found it much more difficult to 'test out' of certain classes.    For example, one son attempted to test out of German 1, as he had taken German in HS, but he made one mistake on the test, therefore didn't test out.  lol.  




atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM
Our hs had a very hard curriculum too. My dd had a 3.4 gpa and that was just above average. 3.0 was considered average for the school even though the school was challenging. The kids were pushed hard. Kids get a good education around here.


Quoting boys2men2soon:


Quoting Verrine:

The Accuplacer and Compass tests start with easier questions than the SAT or ACT. If you get those correct, the test gradually gives you harder questions, until you get to ones that are on more advanced material than covered by the SAT or ACT. Each college determines what score is necessary for what level course. 


By law, community colleges must have open enrollment. They can be a good route toward a career or a cheaper start toward a Bachelor's degree. However, 41% of high school graduates need to take remedial coursework when they get to college and four out of five of those students had high school GPAs of 3.0 (B average) or better.    


Quoting atlmom2:

It is a computer adaptive placement test. (Just searched and didn't know what kind of test it was either). A form of the ACT on the computer I guess. Thinking it is a much easier test since this college takes about anyone.

Wow.   41%??  I am surprised.   My kids HS had curriculum 'paths' to choose from.   There was the path to graduate, the path to a trade school/community college, and the path to a 4 yr University.     Both of my sons were on the path to a 4 year college.   Once at the University, neither had to take remedial courses, but they both found it much more difficult to 'test out' of certain classes.    For example, one son attempted to test out of German 1, as he had taken German in HS, but he made one mistake on the test, therefore didn't test out.  lol.  


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