This area is for questions from my spring 2013 students. You can post your questions directly, ask me in class, or email them to me.

Q: I get frustrated by my SAT math score. I am in AP Calc with a B+ and don’t understand why my SAT score is so low.

A: If you are in AP Calc now, you are actually rustier on many skills being tested than someone currently in Geometry or Algebra II would be. So if it is a skills issue, you probably just need to refresh on some basics that feel ‘beneath’ you. If, however, it is the style of the SAT math, the decoding of the problems and the setups, you may want to consider taking the ACT instead. The math level, while it does run to a higher range, is much more direct and may work better for you.

Q: Should I take as many AP classes as I can next year? I will be a senior.

A: Absolutely not. Neither the grades nor the exam scores will be back in time to help you with any college applications. The only possible benefit is scoring well enough on the exam to earn some college credits, so the only AP courses worth taking as a senior are those in subjects you already excel in and enjoy enough that you will be able to make yourself prep seriously for the exam.

Q: I am worried about being nervous for the test and I am wondering if taking something would actually relax me so I can do better.

A: Terrible idea. Leaving aside any ethical considerations, taking/doing something to relax will cause
– reduced reasoning
– reduced time management
– inflated perception of how you are doing that will cause you to answer ones you should leave blank, hurting your score even more
-wear off, which will distract you
-cause you to be even more distracted by random feelings about hunger, tiredness, noise, bathroom needs, etc
There are tests or situations where hypothetically it could help, but the SAT is not one of them.