SAT Scores : What Do They Mean and How to Improve Them

SAT scoresWhat Does My SAT Score Mean? 

Even for those who know their target score, SAT scoring is far from immediately clear. It's not always easy to understand how the test is scored (are wrong answers really counted as negative points—or just zero?), how the essay portion of the test is scored, or what percentiles mean in concrete terms. Bloomberg Businessweek gives a short, concise rundown on the basics of SAT scoring—and what it means for you.  

Savvy Tips for Improving Your SAT Scores 

Want to improve your SAT scores? These seven tips from The Modesto Bee are designed to help you do just that. These tips and suggestions might seem simple at first (Tip #1 is “Read,” for example), each tip has a clear explanation to help students understand why they should do these things, and can increase confidence and motivation going into testing. 

Can a Mobile App Raise Your Reading Scores? 

Who says your smartphone can't help you learn? The new QuotEd application aims to do just that. The application was developed by the Knerr Tutoring Center in Milwaukee, WI. It is one of the few applications that does something other than try and cram standard test materials into a phone-sized package. Instead, QuotEd has been specifically designed with small mobile devices in mind and has reading exercises for every age. It aims to provide an experience that most educators don't associate with smartphones – and may help students prep for the reading portion of the SAT or ACT. 

I Aced My SAT—Now What? 

For most students, SATs are a huge part of getting into the right college, getting scholarships and other qualifying for other financial support. But it is not the only factor. 

The importance of those other factors vary with each university and each student. A high SAT can compensate for a lower-than-perfect GPA to a certain degree―but scholarships are more likely when students have good GPAs.  

By the same token, a great GPA alone won't cut the mustard for a scholarship if it doesn't' have some equally exceptional (usually in the top 25%) scores to go with it. This article at Weston Patch will help students and parents understand the role of SAT testing when it comes to admissions. 

Are SAT Reading Scores Really the Lowest in Four Decades? 

According to the Washington Post's analysis of numbers given by College Board (who administers the SAT), 2012 reading scores are a point lower than 2011's―and 34 points below 1972's! 

(Although it should be kept in mind that the comparison isn't 100% perfect; 1972's SATs had only two sections: “Math” and “Verbal”.) It's also been reported that writing scores (which have been measured by the test since 2006) have fallen nine points since they first started being measured. 

What gives? Everyone has a theory. But what's most important for college hopefuls is that, now more than ever, SAT test prep is likely to carry a student further than it ever has before―especially when it comes to percentile rankings.

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