Insider Tips SAT Standardized Testing

Norming the SAT

We received another excellent question today about testing. Read on for another tip from Michele.

Q: I enjoy reading your newsletter and find it most informative. I do have a question that a parent asked: is it true that taking the SAT in March that a student will be competing with a more “intelligent” group of test takers and that the scores are graded on a curve? Hence wouldn’t it be better to take it in May or June?

A: That is NOT true actually – the college board norms tests against all the test takers in a year for SAT I, not from one sitting. So it makes no difference who takes the test on a given day. In fact, a lot of our kids do better in March, but if you look at kids who take the test in January, March, and May, the more important trend is that they tend to do better each time!

College Application Secrets Colleges Insider Tips

Do Your Research

When researching colleges, find out which majors at each school
are undersubscribed.

Colleges Cornell Dartmouth Harvard Insider Tips Ivy Admissions Yale

Top College Interview Policies

  • Yale is the only Ivy that offers on-campus EVALUATIVE interviews.
  • Harvard offers on-campus interviews, but they are not added to a student’s file.
  • Neither Stanford nor MIT offers on-campus interviews.
  • Columbia and Penn allow legacies (and they count parents OR grandparents as legacies in this sense) to interview on campus.

We always recommend taking advantage of an on-campus or alumni interview when possible.

Colleges Insider Tips Ivy Admissions Uncategorized

Faceboook and College Admissions

Facebook postingA study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that 25 percent of college admissions offices admit to using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN to research potential students and that 20 percent look for the same information on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The reality is that the percentages must be even higher because colleges and universities have little incentive to overstate their reliance on these digital dirt web searches, but they have a significant incentive to understate their use due to a fear of negative public relations and likely backlash from many Gen Y candidates who view information that they post to MySpace and some of the other social networking sites as somehow being private even though it is accessible through a quick Google search.