I'm so over my head

<p>I just have to laugh. So D and I were driving across town and as often happens when we are alone, we rolled through sports, and other high school issues relatively quickly so I decided to engage her in one of our (my?) recent queries on the board. </p>

<p>I mentioned the papers due all at once in the special program at Yale and her eyes bugged out. To further set up my point about fit and feel I brought up the Swat Calculus exam where a correct answer must be correct,show the work done,and you must be able to defend your result, and then I let the hammer down-and at these top schools they ask you why the answer to this calculus problem is correct. D said ,"so? What's wrong with that?" I told her that she would have to be able to show why,trace why that answer was the correct answer,and no other answer was correct. She said ,"Dad.It would take me a long time on each problem but for example take $&%# and then <em>^&%%$ and $&%, well the answer is clearly ^%^%#^ because %%$$^& is always ^%^%^&%. It all goes back to *^%&% posit that &%&$64 proof that%$$%#^</em>&## will always be <em>$#^^$#$ ...............more gibberish^%%$%^%.........even more gibberish(^&(</em>%&%.....and anyway we know that from the Pythagorean Theorem. I wanted to cry.</p>


<p>LOL. Are you trying to scare your D? She sounds pretty level-headed to me. Have confidence in her. So far, she has risen to challenges, right? She'll do fine in college. </p>

<p>The special program at Yale is specially hard. Not every student can be admitted into it or do well in it. Most colleges, however, try to ease students into college-level work (MIT does that by having Pass/No Pass for the first semester).
As for math, you have to show your work in AP-Calculus. On the exam, there is a Free Response Question section, and you get points even if your answer is incorrect (for example due to a computation error) as long as your reasoning is correct). Conversely, points are deducted even if your answer is correct but your failed to explain your reasoning, or it was faulty. So, if your D is taking Calculus in high school, she will be prepared to tackle it in college ( Psst: Non math/science majors are not required to take calculus in college! ). As I said earlier, students need to take a mix of courses to make things easier for themselves. </p>

<p>My epiphany came when my S was in 3rd grade and he beat me solving a math problem. My self-image has never been the same since. But I've had time to recover. :)</p>

<p>Marite, it was just such a stark division in our knowledge base. Not a gorge a gulf. Just remarkable. D is in fact in AP CALC AB as a junior and has a wall of math awards. She's a selective sponge , I chatter along as she listens . She seems to absorb what she wants to absorb ,and lets the rest flow through .</p>


<p>Isn't it grand when our children know so much more than we do? </p>

<p>Since your D is a junior, I hope she is taking SAT-IIs as she completes courses and takes the SAT. She sounds like a remarkable young woman and should aim high (my moment of clarity!). A young woman strong in math and sciences will be a very desirable applicant. The uber-selective schools are hard to get into, but generally have lots of support for their students and their work-load is not necessarily that much greater than at other colleges; it's all a matter of balancing courses.</p>

<p>"She's a selective sponge , I chatter along as she listens . She seems to absorb what she wants to absorb ,and lets the rest flow through ."</p>

<p>Lol. Welcome to my world. :)</p>

<p>Marite, SATIIs are yet to come. Is there any reason to take any math SAT other than Calc AB? She would probably do very well on all lesser tests, and could take them now if it would be valuable . Her school is fairly bizarre, and the schedule is not set up to mesh well with AP or SATII exams. This year she is taking AP Spanish , Dual-Credit U.S.History, Honors physics ( AP is not offered-maybe self study?), AP English, Marching and Symphonic Band,Varsity Athletics, AP Calculus AB. Last year she had what we call Pre-Ap Chemistry. </p>

<p>The only problem is that next year she takes AP Biology and her school's AP Chem class doesn't usually "make"(I can see why) , and a student is only allowed to take 2 Dual-Credit courses which for D will be Dual-credit English, and Dual Credit Government/Economics (one semester each). In other words, at the end of this year she will have taken every math course, English course,and social science course offered at her high school and taught by high school teachers BUT the rules do not allow her to take more than 2 courses per semester of dual-credit classes.</p>

<p>D may be left auditing Calculus BC so she keeps her hand in , and self-studying Chemistry for the SATIIs. I understand that the Dual -credit classes are wonderful for those going to less selective schools but ....I'm sure I sound elitist but, gee. It's a bit of a rip for D not to have more AP's available and she will have to take the Bio Test before she finishes the course. Based on this screwball schedule, do you have any advice?</p>

<p>I like this question about the timing of SAT2s. What are people's advice for taking French (or any language) sat2s? Daughters will be sophomores next year taking the French4AP class, and will have had 3 weeks of French immersion this summer. I am thinking that even if they continue with FrenchV as juniors, they should probably take the SAT2 in French at the end of sophomore year as well as the AP?</p>

<p>Curmudgen, I had a good chuckle when I read your post. Last week, I had a similiar car talk with my junior D. where I mentioned one or two colleges to her...at which point she said "Mom, I have the whole college thing totally under control. Don't worry about it!"
Ha! As if.</p>

Not all colleges ask for SAT-IIs, but enough selective colleges do, so that it is wise to hedge your bets. Since your D is taking Calc AB already, she is a great candidate for taking the SAT-II Math 2c (which covers pre-calc only). She can take it pretty much any time now. The usual advice is to take SAT-II right after the completion of the course, when the materials are still fresh in your mind (the exception is SAT-II Writing, where students benefit from greater experience and maturity but which will be phased out after January). Since she took pre-AP Chemistry last year, I would suggest she look through a SAT-II Chemistry review book and see if her course covered all the topics and if she still remembers enough of the materials to do well on the test. She can use the book to review. She should select another subject to take the SAT-II in more or less the same way. A student can take 3 Sat-IIs in one sitting (they're one hour each), though most find it quite tiring, and only take 2. This would allow her to retake if she does not like the results, or take another SAT-II in plenty of time for EA/AD next fall. My S took the SAT-II in June after taking the AP in various courses in May; that did not involve any further preparation (SAT-II tend to be easier than APs). Look up the schedule for SAT-II administration; SAT-II are not administered every month, unlike SATs.</p>

I suspect that, as long as your Ds are taking French, the later the better. One complicating factor in the AP foreign languages is that many native speakers take the test and score 800. So the curve can be brutal. At Harvard, however, it is possible to place out of the foreign language requirement with an SAT-II score of 600, which should not be too hard to obtain. But other colleges can be more picky!</p>

<p>Curmudg, she does not need to take the Chem SATII unless she really wants to - I don't know of any college that requires more than 3, and with the writing being phased out, SATIIs may gradually lose importance. I would recommend she take Math IIc,non-writing English, and US history. ALternatively she could take SATII physics. ALternatively, if she did very well in biology, she could take the SATII Bio - biology is learning lots of factual info, and might be easier to self-study than chemistry. I agree with Marite, should try to take them 2 and 2 - because of other commitments, my daughter had to take 3 and 1 - she was sick when she had to plow through the 3 tests, then when she took the writing this Oct she had gotten sort of out of testing mode, and had a hard time preparing.</p>


<p>Curmudgeon's D is not slated to take AP Bio until her senior year, so I am concerned that she might not have mastered all the materials by the time she needs to take the SAT II unless she is currently taking a pre-AP or Honors Bio that really does cover everything. My S found Chemistry easier than Bio, but then, he found Physics easier than either of the two, and it's supposed to be the hardest AP. So it really depends on the student.
I would strongly suggest, though, that she asks her physics teacher how much of the curriculum the course is going to be covering. When my older S took the SAT II, it turned out that the teacher had left out a whole topic (optics) and my S had to scramble like mad to study on his own. He did okay, considering, but could have done better. I'm told this is not unusual (but that was after the fact :().</p>

<p>Should D consider buying a SATII workbook/reviewbook to follow along in Physics ( or U.S. History or Calc or whatever) as she is taking it? I think I'll suggest studying/reviewing over the break and taking the Math IIc at the new year's first testing date. It would probably be good for the SATI anyway. If she feels she can resurrect her pre-AP Biology from last year and she wants to, is it possible that she could take the SATII for that then also (or world)? What about scores? If she self-studies and bombs one of these, what are the repercussions? I believe I saw that all SATIIs follow you, is this right?</p>

<p>I was assuming she had taken an Honors "pre-AP" bio, just as she had taken pre-AP chemistry. The books are a good idea, if the material looks unfamiliar, then don't resurrect. Ask some teachers/counselors/ or even other students at school what combo of test to take based on the courses she has had. DD had some of the same problem, she matched SATII to AP, but ChemII and 11th English are taught as honors sections, then the kids are signed up for the AP exam (not taught as true AP classes), this was OK for English language/comp, but not so OK for chemistry. But, we had fair warning, she was told going into the spring not to expect great scores on AP Chemistry, and not to plan on Chemistry as one of her SATIIs, based on the content of the course. One student, who moved past the first round of the National Chem exam, made a 4 on the AP test, DD made a 3, these were the highest chem AP scores anyone had ever made coming out of this course (they are changing this year to real AP chemistry).
This is a rambling way of saying, she can safely match AP class to SATII, and taking Calculus, she should be fine with some review for the MAthIIc (it has a tight curve though), the 3rd test you will have to do some research to decide what is best for her to take - also, what colleges require. All the SATIIS do follow you, but supposedly the college only uses your 3 highest scores.</p>

<p>Cangel, you assumed correctly. Gee, good advice. I am thinking IIC, Physics, English, Calc, and the ACT. With the new SAT ,that sounds about right, doesn't it? D intends to be a chemistry major or bio major though, and that sure will look funny.Oh,well. One of the joys of living in Mayberry.</p>


<p>If she has SATII- Math 2C and Physics, that should be fine to apply as a chemistry or bio major, especially as she would be taking AP in her senior year. Calc is AP, it's not a SATII. Your D should look up the course descriptions for each of the SAT-II courses on the College Board to reassure herself that she has covered the requisite topics. She could probably find the REview books in her school library or public library. On the SAT/ACT site, there are discussions of which review book is best for different subjects.</p>

<p>Rest assured that neither GWII nor John Kerry took the Special Program at Yale. (LOL!)</p>

<p>There are many colleges (Smith is among them) that require their own placement tests upon admission, regardless of how well you do on your SAT IIs or APs. I know this is true in languages, music theory, math. In chemistry, they have a special section or two set aside for those with 750+ on the SAT II or an AP 5, so they can cover more advanced material - but they don't let you out of the requirement. (At least in biology, the SAT II and the AP cover entirely different material.)</p>

<p>My d. had an interesting time of it, as she had taken college pre-med chemistry and college biology, but never took the high school or AP varieties. So she had to go back and bone up for the SAT IIs. Took about 6 weeks on each.</p>

<p>Marite, See, I'm really not pretending to be ignorant. LOL. Sheesh. The problem -I don't know what I don't know so I don't know what to ask.(That was kinda fun.)</p>


<p>I didn't know any of this either, until my older S went to high school. I never took a SAT or AP in my life, though I did take the GRE for grad school. Nor did I know that there might be differences between Barrons, Kaplan's and Princeton Review, or that the College Board had course descriptions, or.... Through CC, I'm finding out things that I did not know were important when my S applied to colleges. His younger sibling is benefitting not only from my greater knowledge but also from the accumulated wisdom on CC.</p>