Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Incredible SAT Prep Success Story

It wasn't long ago that I posted a recent success story at CROSSWALK. While that was certainly fun to tell, a better story unfolded this past month. 

This latest story starts with a student who performed below her expectations on the PSAT. A smart student with a good GPA, she scored in the 39th percentile on the PSAT meaning that she scored better than just 39% of the population while 61% of test takers scored better than her. 

Based on this score, the student felt really low in the water. From a GPA perspective, she was not an average student. However, her test scores indicated she was below average

This result can mentally derail any student. But not this one. 

Fast forward six months later, and this is what the mother emailed CROSSWALK: 

"She increased her score by 720 points including an 800 in Math!!! 700 in Writing and a 620 in Critical Reading. Thank you for setting us up with tutor Dan. He has changed her life by making her competitive for Ivy, the academies, and other highly ranked schools."

What was the secret? How did she turn it around? 

While I would like to believe this success was solely due to Dan's work as a tutor, the real success started with the student's desire to improve. Put bluntly, this student put in the time to get better. When you put in quality time to learn a new skill, the results speak for themselves. 

The student took it upon herself to maximize her time with the tutor. She spent many hours working on problem sets. She made test preparation a major priority in her life. She learned and practiced the strategies frequently. And now she relishes the results. 

Congratulations to the student. A 720-point increase is truly remarkable!

Do you want to increase your SAT or ACT score? Contact CROSSWALK today. We offer private tutoring for SAT and ACT preparation in person or via Skype. CROSSWALK is Monterey Peninsula's resource for tutoring and test prep. 

Prefer to learn on your own? Start your SAT prep by reading 2400 SCORES: 24 Life Lessons to Demystify the SAT and Boost Your Score. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to Really Read Your PSAT Score

Now that PSAT scores have been received by students around the country, it is worth a moment to really understand what these numbers mean.

First and foremost, unless you are pursuing a National Merit Scholarship, PSAT scores should be taken with a grain of salt. Since most students do not qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, there should be little stress or anxiety over PSAT scores. 

Unfortunately, many students and parents view PSAT scores negatively. They place great emphasis on student performance and subsequently find areas of concern. This pessimistic view is the wrong lens to use for PSAT scores. 

Instead of a pessimistic lens, parents and students should view the scores with a lens of opportunity. Much like a doctor would use a diagnostic test to identify a health plan, parents and students should use PSAT scores to determine a plan of attack for the SAT. 

For example, consider Dylan's recent score of 54 on the PSAT Critical Reading. This would translate to a 540 on SAT Critical Reading which is a score just above average. Instead of being concerned with an average score, Dylan can look under the hood of this score and get to the details. Specifically, Dylan's score report shows that he was strong on the Sentence Completion questions but weak on the Passage-Based Reading questions. 

Instead of doom and gloom for Dylan, there is great opportunity. Dylan now knows that he needs to work on his Passage-Based Reading. Instead of being negative about his performance, Dylan has a specific area that requires dedicated focus. Armed with a plan to improve his reading, Dylan has months to work on it. 

PSAT scores represent evidence of what you can do to get a better SAT score. They are not an indication of concern for a student, but rather an indication of opportunity. 

Learn more about PSAT, SAT and ACT prep from CROSSWALK. Read 2400 SCORES: 24 Life Lessons to Demystify the SAT and Boost Your Score by Brooke Higgins.