Desperate Dad trying to help son increase SAT scores!

<p>Our goals are much different than most of you and your posters. That is, we aren’t trying to achieve perfection or anything close to it on the SAT, but rather trying to get our sons scores in the mid-500 range to assist with baseball scholarship money, or even acceptance into a good school. You see, he’s a very good student otherwise with a 3.92GPA and very talented athlete with opportunities to play baseball at a very high level. He's is a rising Senior and is taking the SAT again in Oct or Nov. for the third time. He’s been in one-on-one tutoring this summer. I spoke with his professor yesterday and he didn’t offer me any real encouragement that his score’s will even get about 500 on each part. He tells me that his vocabulary has “run out”. So far his best score is 410 CR and 370 math. We take much of the blame and are very sadden by the fact the we obviously have not prepared him with good fundamentals to be successful on this test. Be that as it may, we are now willing to accept our failings and offer him as much help as possible at this point. We realize that nothing can replace the years of not preparing.</p>

<p>We have roughly 100 days to play catch up with him and achieve this goal of 1100 or higher…that’s only 550CR and 550Math.</p>

<p>Thanks for taking the time to read this and any help would be greatly appreciated!</p>

<p>Try the ACt.</p>

<p>Tell him to USE REASONING SKILLS; they can be sharpened in a matter of 100 days.
Tell his tutor to go through each question using REASONING SkILLS.
Alot of the time tutors just know it and are not very good at articulation.</p>

<p>get the gruber's complete SAT book and have him work through it ... it's really good and I used it two weeks before the test everday and I got a 1780 (total) ... CR - 580 Math - 610 ... It's a really good book... Good luck</p>

<p>Is the 1100 the NCAA number? </p>

<p>It seems odd that they would want a better than average number.</p>

<p>Division one less a sliding scale, right? Page 2</p>

<p><a href="http://www.eligibilitycenter.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/pdf/Quick_Reference_Sheet_for_IE_Standards-6-18-09.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.eligibilitycenter.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/pdf/Quick_Reference_Sheet_for_IE_Standards-6-18-09.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Have you tried posting on the recruited athlete forum?</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/athletic-recruits/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/athletic-recruits/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Oh I see... "assist with scholarship money" and "good school"; THAT part's not different! Good luck!</p>

<p>Have him try the ACT.</p>

<p>You have to make him study everyday! Buy a workbook for each section, and practice tests so that he can become more familiar with the test. If he has insufficient vocabulary, then buy vocabulary workbooks and follow the work plan. If he wants get the most learning out of his time he has to be focused on the task, and willing to work hard.</p>

<p>Is he a fast or slow test taker? Does he get a lot of questions wrong or does he skip a lot of questions? Which subject does he have propensity for? Which subject does he need to work on the most? Ask yourself these questions and develop his work plan. Learning some SAT test strategies may help too.</p>

<p>I based all of this from my personal experience.</p>

<p>I also suggest trying the ACT. Your son is probably experiencing a certain amount of test anxiety regarding the SAT, afterall it is very important to his future. The ACT is a different test, mainly testing achievement, so might be a better choice for your son given his high GPA. That is unless the GPA is very inflated. The one thing your son should focus on to prepare for the ACT is timing. There are a lot of questions in a short amount of time. Timed practice tests will definitely help! Good luck!</p>

<p>To be honest, I think the mid 400s is a more realistic goal since this is his third attempt at the test and he should be fairly familiar with it by now. The mid 400s is a little below the average for all takers of the SATs but if your son is a good enough baseball player to be a recruited athlete the mid 400s should be high enough for him to meet NCAA requirements to receive athletic scholarships.</p>

<p>Most people score higher on the Math section than CR which is the opposite of your son who had a 410 in CR and a 370 in Math. Fortunately, it is easier to improve one's math score than CR on the SATs. The ability to read difficult passages, understand them and then correctly answer subtle and ambiguous questions about them is a skill that is developed over a lifetime of reading and will be hard to change much in 100 days. Math, on the other hand, can be improved considerably in 100 days with adequate preparation. He can probably get from a 370 to the mid 400s by learning and knowing how to apply some basic facts and formulas used in SAT level math. He should know the Pythagorean Theorem and quadratic formula and how to use them to solve SAT type questions. He should memorize and know how to use the formulas for the areas of a circle, triangle and rectangle to solve geometric problems. He should know the difference between the mean, median and mode in statistics and how to find each one of them if given a column of numbers. It may be little difficult for him but he should try to learn and know how to use the law of exponents. he should have an electronic calculator that he is familiar and comfortable with and can use effectively. The best way to get better at math is by doing lots and lots of practice problems from SAT practice tests and always use his calculator so that he is very proficient with it.</p>

<p>I think the objective over the next 100 days is to get him proficient in doing basic arithmetic calculations with his calculator and being able to do simple factoring, solve rudimentary algebra equations and know how to find areas of basic geometric figures. The SAT has math problems that are classified as difficult, medium and easy. He should not waste time on difficult problems; He should concentrate on getting all the easy problems and a few of the medium problems correct. If he can do that he should be able to score in the mid 400s.</p>

<p>I agree that he will really need to practice, with practice books, every day if you are going to achieve this in 100 days. And how does vocabulary "run out"?? Try having him learn a set number of words each week and reviewing, reviewing, reviewing. Use them in conversation that week, make him "own" the words. Good luck.</p>

<p>Try the ACT. Some people do far better. Convert my ACT score to an SAT score and I did 300 points better than I did on the actual SAT.</p>

<p>check your messages.........</p>

<p>Every day I would have him do one section of a practice test. Then sit with him and go over every question--regardless of whether he missed it or got it right--and talk about the logic behind the right answer. I believe that effective repetition is the key.</p>

<p>But the ACT advice is spot on, as well.</p>

<p>I agree with everyone else: you should have him try the ACT. </p>

<p>also if vocabulary is his problem you might want to have him try direct hits--its amazing.</p>

<p>My daughter generally has no problems academically and scored pretty well on the ACT so we were surprised when her SAT scores were below the equivalent ACT scores.</p>

<p>Some kids do better on one or the other.</p>

<p>There are completely different test taking strategies for the two. Googling will yield lots of good information about that. His tutor should know also but if not maybe you should look for a more effective tutor.</p>

<p>Practice practice. These are very predictable tests and if you can figure out what is giving him a hard time and address that, he should be able to come up.</p>

<p>I seriously doubt that the problems presented by the OP can be solved by simple "solutions" such as jumping to the ACT. Although many like to think that the ACT is very different from the SAT, the changes over the years have made both tests quite ... comparable. While students should explore both tests to ascertain which one fits their style better, the required level of preparation is quite similar. </p>

<p>This is a case that is well beyond the collective wisdom of this forum. The OP needs to seek the advice of a true specialist who could diagnose the reasons behind such a discrepancy between the GPA and the results on the SAT.</p>

<p>if your son takes average lvl classes it's relatively easy to get a very high GPA, but it doesn't help much on the SAT. This is my only comment on the matter because I just couldn't think of a solution for your son's situation. I agree with xiggi in that you should definitely seek help from true specialists and I too think that such matter cannot be solved by simply jumping to the ACT.</p>

<p>If you do take the SAT again, there are some things your tutor should already have told you, but in case you don't already know:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>A student who has a 370 in math and would love a 500 should not invest any time at all on problems beyond the first, say 60% of any math section (including the grid-ins). You need to feel free to go really slow and have time to play with every problem. You don't need the ones at the end to get the score you want and odds are you are not getting them right anyway.</p></li>
<li><p>Please don't be offended by this as I don't mean it in any obnoxious way...but regardless of GPA, it is unlikely that a 370 scorer is strong enough in algebra to successfully use algebra on the SAT. You can get an A or B in a mid-track algebra class just by surviving two weeks at a time, doing all homework, etc.. but then at the end of the year, still not be FLUENT in algebra. But to use algebra on the SAT, fluency is required -- any mis-step and you are doomed. So I recommend that you stop doing algebra and do everything by trial and error, and by making up numbers for variables. </p></li>
<li><p>I would not give up hope. I have worked with students in exactly your situation. Sometimes, the shift in approach combined with ignoring the hard questions gives just the boost you need. </p></li>
</ol>

<p>As I look over this post, I feel that I have given this advice to others in the past, so if this is a repeat, my apologies...</p>

<p>Nearly a 4.0 student? The SATs seemed fairly easy, but it is a different style than regular tests.
I wonder if he isn't having issues with feeling comfortable during the test, or feeling the pressure of having to do good. I hated going to the large public high school to an unfamiliar room to take my test. Being in a room with strangers, and older people, made me feel awkward, and I'm not a wimpy person. I felt out of place.</p>

<p>CR is extremely hard to improve on, so I'd have him focus on math. SAT math is a matter of understanding the concepts rather than just memorizing because the questions test your ability to apply and think through the problem. Also, time is critical on the SATs. It will help to have him push his arithmetic skills , so he can solve the problems faster---even simple things like multiplying and dividing.
It's really a matter of practice. The questions can seem very tough at first, but as he does lots of practice, he'll eventually come to "recognize" the patterns of questions, since SAT uses the same types of problems to test certain skills. </p>

<p>He should probably aim for one practice test a day and CAREFULLY REVIEW so he understands exactly why he missed the problems. Sometimes, reviews can take as much time, if not longer than actually taking the test.</p>

<p>But....
ACT is much easier in my opinion(it doesn't test vocabs), and even if your son doesn't score high on his first few tries, I think it'll still be easier to improve in than the SATs in the long run.</p>