High school juniors across the country are preparing to take the SAT in the next few weeks. At this point, you may be wondering what you could possibly do to improve your score. How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT Here are some steps to follow in the next few weeks to make the most of the remaining time. 14 Days Out — Get a current snapshot of your skills If you haven’t already, take an SAT practice test. Your score and skills analysis will give you a clear starting point for planning. Organize a study plan with these steps: Identify your good areas that you want to make great. Every student has a strong suit; figure that out and optimize it.Identify the areas that need the greatest improvement, and, here’s the key: find the few highest-impact skills in those areas that will produce the biggest impact. Focus on those high-impact skills.Prepare a detailed study schedule that charts your expected personal growth over the next two weeks, including specific goals for your areas of focus. A well-trained tutor can help use the practice test data to focus your efforts so you can improve during the time that remains. 10 Days Out — Work on time management Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some of the test construct and high-impact skills, you need to start to think about time management. How are you breaking up your time for the reading passages and questions? How much time are you spending on the easy and medium math questions versus the hard questions? These nuanced time-management decisions can have a big impact on performance. 7 Days Out — Take another practice test and assess progress At this point, take another practice test. Assess your growth in your scores and skills. What has grown? What hasn’t? Now, target the skills that need the most attention and focus there for the remaining days. 1 Day Out – Summarize & Review With the end in sight, it’s time to consolidate your lessons learned onto one sheet. What high-impact skills are most important for you? What grammar rules, math formulae, reading strategies are the most helpful? And what time management approaches optimize your performance best? Write these down for review and bring them along in the car ride on test day morning. And be confident! The key is that you have insight into your own personal performance and you know how to personalize your own test-taking approach to meet your specific needs. That’s the key to success. Read the original article: https://modernhomeschoolfamily.com/2017/03/28/how-to-help-your-child-prepare-for-the-sat/
Standardized tests take on a whole new meaning in high school, with the SAT and/or ACT being huge components in the college application process. With the SAT coming up on April 5, I talked with Matthew Pietrafetta of Academic Approach, a test preparation and tutoring company with locations in Chicago, New York, and Boston. He offered his expert advice on what parents can do to get teens ready for the SAT and ACT. His wisdom is applicable to both those taking the test next week and those who are still a few years off. Between Us Parents: In an ideal world, what does the parent role for a child preparing for the SAT look like to you? Matthew Pietrafetta: Parents play a tremendous role in trying to build purpose. Teenagers can get a little cynical and not see the purpose. If purpose is built through compliance or authoritarian rule, there isn’t intrinsic motivation. Most successful students are intrinsically motivated. Those are character traits developed way before 16 and 17, so building purpose around learning and performance and having that be very positive is the principle role that the parent is involved in. Parents are involved in the psychology of our children and how they approach achievement. Parents need to be positive as they encourage their kids to be their best. For 20 years I've been meeting with families to go over practice test scores and have seen a lot of different tones set by parents. My favorite is when parents ask their kid, “What do you make of that?” It empowers the child and makes it a constructive conversation about the learning process and not just looking at the test as an anxiety-producing right of passage that's part of getting into a certain college. BUP: Speaking of anxiety, what can parents do to manage their high schooler’s stress level about standardized testing? MP: There are several basic things parents can do that have a big impact in keeping their kids stress level down. Don’t project yourself on your child. Parents may feel that they themselves were stressed out when they were taking the test, but don't put your anxiety on your kid.Know the process. You can take the test multiple times, and often schools will suppress the lower scores. Don’t approach test day like it’s doomsday if the process allows the child to take the test multiple times without penalty. It's important to know that a test taker can cancel their score if they had a horrible day, whether they were sick, had a bad break-up the night before, whatever. Parents need to know that to talk the student down a bit.Cultivate growth mindset. It’s age old stuff but it is so, so helpful when preparing for standardized tests, which are complex and covering a lot of material. A mistake is an opportunity to learn. The process is prolonged and requires deferring immediate gratification which is hard for kids, but most goals weren't achieved without a lot of hard work, and many take a long time. Teach kids that slow and steady wins the race, and [...]
Always A Lesson: Matthew Pietrafetta, Founder of Academic Approach, joins host Gretchen Schultek to discuss the benefits of aligning high-impact test preparation with curriculum and instruction.
Matthew is the founder of Academic Approach, an organization that helps schools in underserved communities prepare students for the SAT and ACT, the tests they need to succeed on to gain admission to college. He’s also a former New York City teacher. He says “aligning high-impact test preparation with curriculum and instruction is not easy work, but it’s valuable and necessary. Often this work is approached as an “either-or:” either I focus on test prep or I focus on my curriculum. If you can approach the challenge as a “both-and” instead, you can find some efficient, creative solutions: I can both teach my curriculum and integrate in skills-based test preparation that teaches my students the high-impact skills they need for success both in my class and on the test. With the right assessment, reporting, and professional development system in place, we can achieve that all-important “both-and” in teaching and learning.” Quotables “Teach beyond the test” “With the proper mentorship, students can fail forward… a lesson in resilience” “The way [students] experience failure can be positive and productive or paralyzing” “If you do take a student centered view of teaching, you never are done because there’s always a new student and each student is different” Buzz Words Locus of control Growth mindset Grit Rigorous academic approach Self Conception Matthew’s Stamp of Approval Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins (“backwards design” and “teaching for transfer”) http://alwaysalesson.com/90-bonus-edition-interview-matthew-pietrafetta/
WINNETKA, IL — The SAT has replaced the ACT as the state accountability exam in Illinois, and April 5 marks the first time all students in public high schools will take the state-mandated exam. For many students, the publicly subsidized test will be their only opportunity at a college entrance exam. However, some students will have to decide which is better for them and their own needs: the SAT or ACT. To help families sort through the choices, Patch spoke with Matthew Pietrafetta, founder and CEO of Academic Approach, a company that works with students and schools to improve skills and test scores. "It's a big shock to the system because Illinois has been aligned with the ACT since 2001," he said. "That's a big deal to shift that." Pietrafetta's company was involved in Michigan's recent transition to SAT testing and has a contract with Chicago Public Schools to help prepare students and teachers for the new assessment.Subscribe Even though all students will be sitting for the April 5 SAT exam, its result does not necessarily have to be submitted to admissions departments, he said. "When you're applying to college, you can just really focus in your application on highlighting the score that features you better," Pietrafetta said. But how do you do that? Ideally, through sample tests that let you figure out which test you score better and on which you feel more comfortable. Students and families asking about the tests differences can contrast the two using the following table: Table showing differences between SAT and ACT (Courtesy Academic Approach) "Students are not all the same, there is no average, so you could go to the same school and be getting the same GPA as the student sitting next to you, but that student may perform way better on one test or the other from you," Pietrafetta said. "It doesn't mean you're the same, because it's such a summative test. There's so much curriculum, grammar, reading, math, science, so it could really impact you differently. You could have different strengths and different areas of opportunity." Those students especially skilled at taking standardized tests may benefit from taking the ACT, SAT and PSAT. But Pietrafetta has a warning for students who feel they can neglect the April 5 exam because they've already got the score they want: The scores from the state-mandated SAT will still be attached to students' final high school transcripts, even if some superintendents have elected not to attach them to transcripts until the spring of senior year after most college-bound students have already been admitted. So, April 5 SAT scores will be part of the permanent academic records of all Illinois public high school juniors. Read original article: https://patch.com/illinois/winnetka/sat-act-tips-offered-ahead-first-mandatory-state-exam