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Monthly Archives

January 2017

How Parents Can Help Their Kids Through the SAT and ACT

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Experts share tips on reducing anxiety for students.

BY MELISSA JACOBS

Vicki Reilly thinks of herself as calm, cool and collected. But locked in the privacy of a bathroom with her phone, she furtively checked her son’s ACT scores—even though she’d told him not to while the family vacationed in Colorado.

Reilly didn’t have cause to worry. Her son, Greg, was in AP science and math classes at West Chester High School East. Her angst was for naught. Greg did so well on his ACTs that he was accepted into the honors program at Penn State University, where he’s now a junior.

The whole thing was a learning experience for Reilly. She’s since realized that the ACTs are a good option for many students, despite not having been popular when she was in high school. Back then, the SATs were the gold standard. “Greg took the ACT, and his scores blew away what he did on the SAT,” says Reilly. “My husband and I asked ourselves the question: Did we really know what was best?”

Click the link below to read the rest of the article.
http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/January-2017/How-Parents-Can-Help-Their-Kids-Through-the-SAT-and-ACT/

Upping the content difficulty on college admissions tests

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By: Neil Bernstein, Jan 20, 2017.

Both the SAT and the ACT have significantly increased the level of difficulty of their respective math sections. Also, since the recent changes in the SAT, most of the substantial content differences between the tests, especially those in math, have been eliminated.

However, the ACT has recently further upped the ante in math. It now includes more tricky questions, more geometric reasoning questions and an occasional statistics, matrix or sequence question at or above the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) level.

SAT math includes precalculus

The content changes in SAT math have been quite substantial. The old SAT (circa 2015) tested questions only through algebra I. Math on the new SAT now includes questions through precalculus. Thus, in terms of math content, the SAT is now quite close to parity with the old ACT (circa 2010) and not far behind the current ACT.

Click the link below to read the rest of the article:
http://www.salemnews.com/news/lifestyles/upping-the-content-difficulty-on-college-admissions-tests/article_4672d815-14af-5145-b1ca-5168989a3ae5.html

Should biomedical graduate schools ignore the GRE?

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Research shows test scores don’t forecast productivity or success in graduate programs within the experimental sciences.

Do standardized tests accurately predict future outcomes in graduate school for biomedical programs?

A research team at the UNC School of Medicine found that the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is required for admission to graduate and doctorate programs across the country, is not the best indicator for predicting a student’s success while pursuing a doctorate in the experimental life sciences. And from that research, the team recommends devaluing — if not eliminating altogether — the GRE from the applications process for biomedical PhD candidates.

The team was led by Jean Cook, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics, and the associate dean for graduate education at UNC School of Medicine. Joshua Hall, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at UNC, and Anna O’Connell, director of UNC’s Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP), were co-authors in the research paper, which was published in PLOS One.

“My original interest in wanting to do a study like this really stemmed from my role directing our PREP program, which is where we have underrepresented minority students who are applying to PhD programs,” Hall said. “I work closely with them and see them working as researchers and taking graduate coursework here at UNC, then they would apply to certain programs, but not get accepted. It would be frustrating to me to see students who were performing really well in the lab and in graduate coursework here, but they had low GRE scores and that kept them from getting offers to graduate programs.

“There was a correlation where students with higher GRE scores would get more offers than students who were preforming at a pretty high level as a researcher but who had lower GRE scores.”

After completing a research study that evaluated a cohort of 280 students who matriculated into UNC through the BBSP, the team determined that quantitative metrics like GRE scores and — to some extent — GPAs have been carrying more weight in the application process than they should.

The study examined different factors that were being considered by admissions committees in UNC’s BBSP, which is an umbrella admissions program for 14 PhD programs in the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the UNC School of Dentistry, and the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. The team’s findings were specific to students pursuing graduate degrees in the experimental life sciences fields and who were accepted into the program, Cook said.

“I don’t know if any of our information is relevant in the humanities, or the arts or even engineering,” Cook said. “We only know about the people that we train, and it’s possible that a complete different set of metrics will be useful in different disciplines.”

The study followed a similar one conducted at the University of California at San Francisco in 2015, which determined that a student’s background in research — and not the GRE score — appeared to be the strongest indicator of future success in PhD programs.

“We analyzed a much larger number of applications and we came to largely similar conclusions,” Cook said. “We wanted to know what part of the application that we collect actually matters for the things we care about in graduate school.”

First, Cook’s team tried to define what made a “strong” student, then the team looked at what distinguished those students from those who weren’t as strong.

“This was hard to define,” Cook said. “Graduate school in the sciences is not about taking classes and doing well on a few tests. In fact, there are very few classes.”

Click the link below to read the rest of the article:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170111151840.htm

Long Island Students Want Answers After Their ACT Exams Go Missing

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ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Students and parents on Long Island want to know how the ACT answer sheets of 53 high school test takers went missing.

“Kept checking everyday, you know just hoping to see, you know maybe I got a perfect score,” student Matthew Pemberton told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff. “Nothing came.”

Nothing, until an apology from exam administrators.

We regret to inform you that your answer sheet is among those missing,” the letter read.

“It’s almost inexcusable to lose them. And there are so many people now where they’re completely just lost now,” Pemberton said.

Click the link to read the rest of the article:
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/12/29/act-loses-answer-sheets/

December 29, 2016

6 Top Tips for Effective IELTS Preparation

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Short for International English Language Testing System, IELTS exam is a requirement for many students who wish to study abroad, but don’t have English as their first language. The required scores for this exam can vary, depending on the institution and course. However, generally speaking, a score band of 8 is considered quite impressive and is often the target of students. But, it is not easy to do so and IELTS preparation is undeniably a daunting task. Are you worried about how you will do?

If this is the case, you can click the link below to for tips on effective preparation for IELTS:

http://www.groundreport.com/6-top-tips-effective-ielts-preparation/

3 reasons why Indian B-Schools are now looking at GMAT scores over CAT

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No longer is CAT the most preferred examination to take if you are an MBA aspirant seeking admission in an Indian B-School. Now, Indian institutes are increasingly looking at GMAT scores over CAT – one of the toughest exams every MBA aspirant in India eyes to crack to make way into the country’s best B-Schools.

By ANUSHREE SINGH, DEC 28, 2016

CrackVerbal, a test preparation training and admissions consulting company, says they are seeing a lot more students who want to explore taking the GMAT route to MBA admissions in the last few years.

Click the link to see the 3 reasons as per Crackverbal why Indian B-Schools are turning towards GMAT scores: http://www.businessinsider.in/3-reasons-why-indian-b-schools-are-now-looking-at-gmat-scores-over-cat/articleshow/56215478.cms

How to Decide If You Should Retake the GRE

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Taking the GRE is an important and necessary step when you’re planning to apply to grad schools and a lot of studying and preparation goes into getting ready to take the GRE. But once you’ve taken the GRE for the first time and gotten your scores back, you may be faced with a decision — whether to take the GRE again.

By Elana Goodwin

Here are some factors to consider that may help you decide if you should retake the GRE.

1. Look at your score. The good thing is, you can take the GRE as many times as you like and it won’t hurt your chances of being admitted into grad school. That being said, just because you CAN take the GRE multiple times, doesn’t mean you have to or even should. If you scored within the 90th percentile or higher on your first try or a retake, you probably shouldn’t take the GRE again as it’ll just be a waste of money and instead should focus your energy and resources on other parts of grad school applications.
If you’re not in the 90th percentile, your score still might be good enough to get you into the program you want. Do some research and find out what the minimum GRE score the program you’re going to apply to will accept and compare it to your own scores. Your admission into grad schools isn’t solely based on your scores, so if your scores are above their minimum (even if they’re barely above it), but you have strong work and research experience, you may be able to forgo retaking the GRE.

To see the rest of the factors and the full story click here: http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/223073/How-to-Decide-If-You-Should-Retake-the-GRE

Test Redos Give GMAT Scores a Lift

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Higher test scores have intensified competition to M.B.A. programs

Oct. 5, 2016 6:36 p.m. ET

By JOHN SIMONS

Average scores on the most widely used business-school entrance exams are going up, but that doesn’t mean students are getting any smarter.

Thanks in part to new rules that allow test-takers to cancel low scores and try the test again, more prospective M.B.A.s are taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test, or GMAT, two, three and even four times to boost their scores.

Admissions experts say the rising scores have…

To Read the Full Story click here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/test-redos-give-gmat-scores-a-lift-1475706986