Latest Entries »

We will be offering 3 SAT prep crash courses over the summer. They run for 2 weeks, M-Th, from 1-5 PM.
Course 13247 is at the Germantown campus from 7/8 – 7/18 (FULL)
Course 13245 is at the Gaithersburg campus from 7/22 – 8/1
Course 13246 is at the Rockville campus from 8/5 – 8/15

You can register at Montgomery College’s website or by these other methods

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Crash courses can be very useful if the student takes them seriously, or plans to refresh independently before their test date, but if you feel that doesn’t describe you or your child, please let me know and I will do my best to advise you on whether or not this is a good option for you.


Student Questions

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.

The SAT’s policy:
“Once you have left high school and have not tested for a year, we remove your test scores and your responses to the SAT Questionnaire from our active file. However, your test scores are placed in an archive and can be retrieved for reporting to you and to colleges, universities and scholarship programs that you designate.”

You cannot currently request an archived score online, only by mail or phone. The cost is $30 for the archive retrieval fee + $11 for every score report. If they cannot find your scores, they will refund the score report payments but will keep the retrieval fee. Details are HERE

The ACT’s policy:

“If you tested before September 1, 2010, those scores have been archived. Archived reports cost $21 more per report and take an additional working day to process. This additional fee covers the cost of searching for archived scores and is nonrefundable, even if no scores are located.”

You cannot change or cancel a request once it has been submitted. Priority delivery is only an option within the U.S. Details are HERE

My personal advice if you are planning to use old scores for college applications:

Find out if the college accepts old scores first. Also find out their score use policy and if you are close to any deadlines, whether or not they accept rush/priority scores.

Take a full length practice test for each online. Noone else will know how you did, but you may want to find out how much you have retained (or lost) before applying to a college. If you do better on a practice one than you did on your old one, commit to some self-preparation and retake it! You can retake at any age, and a newer, higher score can only help you. If you do worse, you know what to brush up on before college classes start.

If money is tight, be realistic about this process. Don’t spend money on score reports or applications to send to colleges you KNOW are out of reach, either because you are very unlikely to be admitted, or because the school itself is so expensive that even if you got accepted, you would have to decline for financial reasons. Even with scholarships, grants and loans, some places can still be very costly and to be frank, you need to assume those loans really are loans. Just because there has been some loan forgiveness in recent years doesn’t mean you can count on that happening in the future.


PLEASE get your info directly from the college board link HERE



This chart should give you a good idea what to expect if you apply to various Maryland colleges. The data is all from the college board, but the interpretation and advice are based on my own opinions. It is certainly *possible* that you will get accepted even if this chart tells you your odds aren’t good; this chart is meant to show you when you can expect a yes. A word of warning about extracurriculars and other application strengtheners – it is true that they can help you but it is a good idea to understand how and when they help you. They will NOT compensate for a low combination of test scores and gpa unless you literally spend a summer planting food in 3rd world villages or have a parent who built a library for the school. What they will do is help you stand out from a nearly identical test score and gpa student with less impressive ECs on their app. If your main criteria aren’t in place, extras won’t save you. Also worth noting – accomplishing significant positions in a few ECs looks much better than having marginal involvement in 20. You want to look like someone who cared about the things they got involved in.

Schools in italics are using just math + reading, not all three scores.

College Name Applying with a GPA focus Applying with an SAT score focus
Bowie State U. * 1350+ w/ GPA 3.5+ 1800+ w/ GPA -2.5
Capitol Coll** 900+  ** 1150+  **
Coppin State U. * 800+ w/ 3.0+ 1000+ w/-2.5
Frostburg State U. 1300+ w/ GPA 3.5+ 1600+ w/ GPA -3.0
Goucher College 1520+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1800+ w/ GPA -3.0
Hood College 1450+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1800+ w/ GPA -3.0
Johns Hopkins U. 1950+ w/ GPA 3.9+ 2250+ w/ GPA 3.25-3.5
Loyola U. MD 1100+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1300+ w/-3.25
MD Inst Coll Art* 1570+ * 1900+ *
McDaniel College 1000+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1220+ w/-3.25
Morgan State 1220+ w/ GPA 3.0+ 1500+ w/-2.5
Mount St. Mary’s 1250+ w/ GPA 3.5+ 1600+ w/ GPA -3.0
Notre Dame U. 900+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1150+ w/-3.0
Salisbury U. 1600+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1820+ w/ GPA -3.25
St. John’s College * 1200+ * 1400+ *
St. Mary’s College 1650+ w/ GPA 3.6+ 2000+ w/ GPA -3.1
Stevenson U. 1300+ w/ GPA 3.75+ 1620+ w/ GPA -3.25
Towson U. 1500+ w/ GPA 3.8+ 1760+ w/ GPA -3.25
U.S. Naval Acad* 1200+ w/ GPA 3.9+ * 1400+ w/ GPA 3.0-3.5 *
U. of Baltimore 1250+ w/ GPA 3.5+ 1570+ w/ GPA -2.9
U MD, Balt. Co. 1650+ w/ GPA 3.8+ 1950+ w/ GPA -3.5
U MD, Coll Park 1200+ w/ GPA 3.9+ 1400+ w/ GPA 3.2-3.6
U MD, Eastern S. 1150+ w/ GPA 3.4+ 1450+ w/ GPA -2.9
Washington Coll 1600+ w/ GPA 3.8+ 1860+ w/ GPA -3.5

* – indicates that college didn’t provide a normal amount of statistical detail to the college board.
** – indicates that a college provided almost NO statistical detail to the college board.

University of Maryland, Baltimore (NOT the same as University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Washington Adventist University did not provide enough information to form even a vague guess.

Schools like Johns Hopkins University and United States Naval Academy that show an actual GPA range in the “Applying with an SAT score focus” column have such a strong GPA focus that it is unlikely that even a perfect SAT score would balance out a GPA below that range.

St. John’s College was the only college at the time I made this that listed Racial/Ethnic Status as a top priority in their decision-making. That probably means they *really* need to diversify. So if you are a minority, they may be highly motivated and flexible to get you in.

SAT Closings due to Hurricane Sandy

PLEASE get your info directly from the college board link HERE

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog 😛


Protected: YA

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Cosplay Poll #1

In your own head, even if you would never say it, what type of “mis-match” between character and cosplayer are you most likely to be critical about? Even if you’ve never seen some of these, please try to make an honest guess as to what your reaction would be.

The College Board recently announced its 2012-2013 test dates and if you are planning to take the October SAT, you may want to register HERE as soon as possible since October is the most popular test date.

If you are going to be a senior this fall, you really want that October date. Yes, November will still get you scores in time for most early admission deadlines. But you need to consider two things – how much more relaxed you will be if you get it out of the way earlier in your senior year and how bad it will be if you bank everything on November and then some life event prevents you from taking that November test. Use your summer to prepare, take it in October and be done with it!

If you are going to be a junior this fall and are wisely looking to take your first SATs as a junior so you can either get them out of the way, or can focus more effectively on an impressive retake, I recommend registering for the January or March test dates. Why not May you say? Even if an emergency interfered, I would still have June to fall back on. Well, I have known a lot of juniors to end up having urgent reasons why they couldn’t make their May test and then couldn’t make the June either. You’ll have finals coming up, all kinds of sport and team seasons ending, emotional partings with graduating seniors, etc etc. Just knock out your first run at the test in January or March and get it out of the way.

2012-2013 SAT test dates:
October 6, 2012 (September 7 registration deadline)
November 3, 2012 (October 4 registration deadline)
December 1, 2012 (November 1 registration deadline)
January 26, 2013 (December 28 registration deadline)
March 9, 2013 (February 8 registration deadline)
May 4, 2013 (April 5 registration deadline)
June 1, 2013 (May 2 registration deadline)

2012 – 2013 ACT test dates:

September 8, 2012 (August 17 registration deadline)
October 27, 2012 (September 21 registration deadline)
December 8, 2012 (November 2 registration deadline)
February 9, 2013 (January 11 registration deadline)*
April 13, 2013 (March 8 registration deadline)
June 8, 2013 (May 3 registration deadline)

* The February ACT is not available in New York state.

My original source for the test date schedule is WordNerd and the rest of the information and advice is purely my own.

My Articles (Please read)

This entry is a shameless request for page views on my yahoo articles. If you’ve gotten something useful from my blog entries and forum responses, please take a moment to click on the following links. Doing so will help my standing as a Yahoo Contributor.

Worried About Your SAT and ACT Scores?

Batman: Arkham City – Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC Review

2012-2013 SAT test dates and how to plan appropriately

2013-2014 SAT test dates and how to plan appropriately

Is SAT/ACT Test Prep Tutoring Worth the Money and Effort?

The New SAT College Board Exam: The Changes to Come and What They Mean

AP Courses and Why Students Should Take FEWER of Them