For Schools Wanting SAT Prep

Your school has the opportunity to let Education Excellence help with SAT prep.  The state is mandating the SAT for the sake of assessment.  Education Excellence wants it’s client schools to go beyond assessment, and work toward IMPROVEMENT.

The SAT is an important test not just for administrators, it’s the most important test most students will ever take. It is a major determiner of college admission offers, and along with GPA, the primary component of scholarship offers.

The scholarship offers can save families $60,000 or more.  As for the school’s success, not only can test prep bring rewards within the education hierarchy, it can help attract new families to town, and bring new resources for students.

Education Excellence has an “SAT brain-trust”, that can help prepare students for the SAT, either through teachers, trough adjuncts, or with Education Excellence counselors who teach classes themselves.   Where a school is far from an EduExcellence counselor with SAT prep experience, we can enlist a quality program from the outside.

The school can enlist EduExcellence for SAT prep in the Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior year.  Schools can enlist in the summer following each of these years too, and can enlist to include summer and an adjacent semester.   Schools that wish to see ACT and / or Subject Test prep alongside SAT prep can tailor the prep for some or all of their students. 

With more high school graduates than ever before, more diversity among American applicants, and more foreigners vying for admission slots, colleges are being more selective, especially the recognized "top" colleges.  Students are seeking Scholarships information more than ever, and Education Excellence wants to make sure their choices are not stunted.

In addition to test, CE offers workshops for students and parents with information not readily available to the public as well as topics relating to:

 >Admissions Process                                                   >Athletic Recruitment
>Choosing Colleges Sensibly                                        >Specialty Colleges (Arts, Tech, Special Needs)
>Financial Aid Application                                             >Alternatives for Postponing College Entry
>Merit Scholarship Awards                                           > College Goal Counseling

Many of you have seen the ostensibly-alluring “free” SAT prep through Khan Academy.  It’s helpful.  Indeed, Education Excellence encourages using some Khan materials for test prep. 

But please recognize that the prep all students are exposed to can’t alone elevate your students above the average.  Since all students have the same prep, no one gets an inordinate advantage using Khan.

For those wanting an extra advantage, partially supplanting Khan in favor of other firms’ materials makes sense.  Education Excellence keeps abreast of several firms’ products.  Some will license them to schools inexpensively, so the schools can have two (or three) sets of teaching materials.

Perhaps most importantly, the online Khan Academy learning is “canned”.  Students who don’t absorb a given canned explanation are stuck repeating the same one, which is frustrating.  By contrast, outside firms that use real humans can adapt and teach to the students’ needs.  They can tailor the whole course in case the school wants to emphasize certain areas. 

Education Excellence also can bring to the school supplements that Khan does not do: such as ACT prep, Speedy Reading, and Study Skills.

Though enlisting an outside firm will cost money, it should not drain the school at all – parents are used to paying for prep.  Firms routinely command $500 - $1500 from parents for Classes, and $2500- $7500 for a run of private tutoring.

Parents pay this knowing it’s worthwhile.  At the margins, even 20 more SAT points makes a difference in acceptances.

Scholarships too are where extra points can truly matter.  Many parents pay $2500 with the expectation of getting 20x that in the form of a scholarship.  Scholarships to many colleges now routinely exceed $50,000 over four years if the applicant’s SAT score is 100 points better than the university’s average. 

Education Excellence recommends that Private Schools and public schools in high-expectations towns set a price that’s comfortable for 75% of the parents.  Then give those needing financial aid access to class once it has reached a “critical mass” of students.  Depending upon the outside firm, schools can earn money for their students, or their PTOs with larger classes and/or less expensive firms.

We look forward to advising you.  Feel free to call or email one of us any day, including weekends.

Dealing with a "Messy" SAT

We knew that the SAT overhaul would cause anxiety for students and their parents.  We could not anticipate that the College Board would also create a scale that didn't correlate with past scales.  For now anyway (we expect to read of a further revision) the New SAT is scaled 60 - 110 points more leniently.  For example, a student with 1080 on the March SAT now has the equivalent of a 990 on the old test.

"The March results are almost meaningless", says Mark Stewart of the school-services firm Education Excellence.  "The only meaning is when comparing students taking the same test.  The 1180 scorer is better off than the 1050 scorer on the same March test; the 1400 scorer is better off then the 1350 scorer taking the same March test.  Colleges MAY choose to weigh a 1350 from March versus a 1400 earned in May, but they will be doing so with imprecision."  The March test is traditionally taken by a (statistically) high-calibre group of students while the May test is typically taken by a larger, and more average calibre group.  The December test is typically taken by many below-average students.  The old SAT accounted for these differences in testing populations over different months.  The New SAT doesn't yet have the longevity to do so.    So even with an "equating table", the comparison is not a true one. 

New Jersey-based counselor Melanie Talesnick points out "there some Universities committed to super-score across BOTH tests.   The Univ of Delaware will give you a recalculated score with two tests as will Georgia Tech.  Counselors who will seek out colleges with the best fitting score combination are now more valuable.

Colleges that super-score with Old and New SATs will need to address the true medians for Old and New.  Again, this assessment can't realistically occur until the College Board reports medians from the March, May, and June tests.  This will likely take until late July.  The College Board SHOULD separate the real Saturday testers from the weekday forced-to-take-a-state-assessment testers.  "This is a very different sample of students; they are not necessarily invested in SAT success, didn't prep, and didn't even have an inkling of what the test would look like.  Almost all Saturday SAT testers know the test, prep to build their skills for the test, and care strongly about the outcome." 

Stewart advises students to press for higher until their scores are WELL above the published median of the top colleges they are realistically pining for.  There is still NOTHING wrong with having four or five test scores on your record".  For students who want to maximize their options, studying for the ACT in addition to the SAT is generally wise.

Bottom line: many colleges are going to discount the SAT scores.  This will be a favorable admission year for "good-grades-bad-tester" students.  GPA will carry more weight than ever.  This is good for the valedictorians and top-10 ranked students (few schools rank their students any more), but bad for everyone else.  The best protection is a great score that shines from one of multiple tests.

Contact --
Melanie Talesnick, Director  Admit U of Livingston NJ    973-731-1947

Mark Stewart, Co-Founder   Education Excellence   914-471-7729


For Schools assessing SAT help: