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SAT for 8th Graders

lkf725lkf725 Posts: 4,781Registered User Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Parents Forum
What is the value for middle school students taking the SAT?
Post edited by lkf725 on
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Replies to: SAT for 8th Graders

  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Posts: 3,515Registered User Senior Member
    More stess?


    I have an eighth grader who will be taking the SSAT (secondary school admissions test) in December.

    Is it possible that some private high schools may accept SAT results to fulfill an entrance exam requirement?
  • EnochRootEnochRoot Posts: 21Registered User New Member
    There is no real downside unless your child scores lower than hoped and takes it very hard. No one else will ever see the score unless you want them to. Colleges won't see them.

    The upside is that some advanced summer programs (CTD, CTY, etc) use these pre-tests for admissions.

    Possibly small upside with an even smaller downside.
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Posts: 3,515Registered User Senior Member
    "Stress" that is.........
  • midwesternermidwesterner Posts: 1,920Registered User Senior Member
    Gifted programs use the SAT I as a measure of students' abilities. The test has a wider range than the standardized tests geared to 8th graders. Scores are discarded by the College Board and not reported to colleges.

    There is no reason to get stressed about the test. Perhaps take some time to go over the different question formats so they don't throw your child for a loop, but don't get anxious about the testing. My kids' school has done this for years, and it is always comical to see the junior high students among the much bigger high school kids on testing day. Those big, bluffing HS seniors are the ones that are stressed.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 33,213Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know of any high schools that use SAT for entrance

    Local schools use http://erbtest.org/pages/ERB_ISEE.html
    They aren't likely to use one test for some kids and the SAT for others.
    Test results on her 6th gd test qualified my daughter to take the SAT in 7th gd. Scores from this qualified her for CTY programs-we also felt that because for her the SAT was not a stress, ( she liked taking tests- she didn't study for it at all- and had friends she took it with) that just the exposure was a nice opportunity to take the test when it didn't count
  • maritemarite Posts: 21,586Registered User Senior Member
    Midwesterner is right. My S took the SAT in 7th grade in order to be eligible for a CTY class. He reviewed the format of the SAT and read some vocabulary words. On the day, he was the least stressed of the test-takers. His swimming instructor, a high school senior, was far more stressed, and for good reason: far more rode on the results than just a summer program.

    Administering the SAT to middle schoolers allows for making finer distinctions between levels of abilities. Grade-level tests have too low a ceiling to draw such distinctions. The range of possible scores for 7th and 8th graders goes from 400/800 all the way to perfect 800s.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    Both of my sons took the SAT in 7th and/or 8th grade. Neither was stressed since both new it didn't count for anything important. They seemed to feel proud to be taking the test with the big kids. The high school students are the stressed test takers since they need it for college.

    Both of my sons got scores qualifying them for summer programs. Older son passed since he didn't want to do more academic work over the summer. Younger son was thrilled, and had a blast at the 2 programs that we could afford to send him to. The programs also gave him a nice chance to be around other students who shared one of his interests that until he applied for the summer program, we didn't even know he was interested in. He thought that doing philosophy 6 hours a day with like minded peers was fun.
  • basilbasil Posts: 21Registered User New Member
    I actually had my kids take the test in 7th grade to de-stress them. I hoped it would demystify the stupid thing and get them to chill out about it. My college junior and hs senior have both ended up viewing the SAT very sanely and were absolutely NOT overly stressed when it came time to take it for real. No prep courses, no viewing it as the be-all-end-all of the admissions process. (Plus, the blank, "whoa, that was intense" looks on their little faces when I picked them up was priceless!)
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    my son and a lot of the other smart 7th graders in our area take the SAT for the talent search program. I encourage people with smart 7th and 8th graders to do it. There's nothing riding on it, and no real expectations. You can even tell them to walk out if they decide half-way through that they don't want to do it. It is more likely to exceed their attention span and be "boring" than it is to be "stressful".
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Posts: 3,515Registered User Senior Member
    Quote: "I encourage people with smart 7th and 8th graders to do it."


    How can you tell if your 8th grader is smart? :) :) :)
  • beck86njbeck86nj Posts: 805Registered User Member
    I agree with basil.

    When I was in 4th and 5th grade I did the practice problems in the SAT registration books because I was staying after school with my brother and I was bored. The teacher he was staying after school with gave me the SAT problems to play with as a way to pass the time. I took the SAT in 7th and 8th grade, still viewing it as play. By the time I took the SAT for college entrance, it was just a game that had gotten a lot easier over the past 7 years.
  • maritemarite Posts: 21,586Registered User Senior Member
    You probably can tell whether your 8th grader is smart. You cannot tell how smart, though, compared with others his age or above. SAT allows you to do so. For example, we knew S was advanced in math when he took the SAT in 7th grade. We did not realize he was also pretty good on the verbal side of things. We just took it for granted that everybody in our family liked to read.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    There have been some threads about how CCers have done on the SAT at those ages

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=40823

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=78732

    and it appears that the middle-school age SAT testing experience makes the SAT easier to deal with when it really counts.

    As other parents have said, talent search SAT testing

    http://www.gt-cybersource.org/Record.aspx?NavID=2_0&rid=12649

    can open doors to interesting programs for kids who would enjoy those programs and broaden their curiosity by participating. My son got a full-ride (tuition, room, and board) scholarship (also based in part on financial need) for a three-week summer program in Ireland by taking the SAT at sixth-grade age. (We were on the hook for my son's air fare over there, but my most Irish distant relative was glad to spring for that after he heard that my son had obtained the scholarship.)

    Consider it a low-pressure possibility to try out something new and see what happens. Your child may like it, or maybe not, but it won't anything for the future no matter what happens this school year.

    Here's how kids did last year in seventh grade testing in the Duke TIP talent search region:

    http://www.tip.duke.edu/talent_searches/grade_7/7TSResultsSummary.pdf

    Scores run higher in my region, the Midwest Academic Talent Search region, but there isn't a convenient Web posting of the scores for my region.

    Have fun.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    "For example, we knew S was advanced in math when he took the SAT in 7th grade. We did not realize he was also pretty good on the verbal side of things. "

    We had a similar situation. Younger son was obviously math talented. We had no idea until he took the SAT in middle school that our quiet younger son was equally talented verbally. It was a big surprise when his verbal and math score were virtually equally high, something that continued in h.s. when he took the SAT as a junior.
  • xiggixiggi Posts: 22,892Registered User Senior Member
    One of the downsides is that families may read too much in the decent results of the early tests. It is not unusual for competitive middle schools that see EVERY one of the students qualify for programs such as CTY. The bar is not set that high and the programs are mostly selective because of the tuition requirements.

    It is much easier for an eight grader to score 500-550 than it will be for a junior to score 650-700. While it may change a liitle bit because of the addition of slightly harder math, let's remember that the math level is at an 8th or 9th grade level. Seventh graders should be able to answer most of the questions that carry an easy to medium difficulty. Answer all those and your score will be over 600. The differences will come later when students need to tackle the questions that are ranked at high difficulty.

    For what it is worth, the SAT is much easier for 7th and 8th graders than the PSAT is.
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