Parents of the HS Class of 2021 (Part 3)

Glad your sons test came back negative. My son is also loving his school and the football games. We are headed out to a game in October and I can’t wait.

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Looking back at last year’s admission season, some of you might find this paper interesting, “Applying to college in a test-optional admissions landscape: trends from Common App data
September 8, 2021” https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ca.research.publish/Research+briefs+2020/20210908_Paper4_TestOptional.pdf

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Very interesting, thank you for sharing. Only 19% of students submitted scores to all the schools they applied to. They sent their scores, on average, to more selective schools. I would have thought sending your scores to less selective schools would have increased your chances of merit aid. It would have been interesting to know if students submitting their scores were offered admission at a higher or lower rate.

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One thing I don’t think I shared, was that when D21 was trying to sign up for SAT, we had no testing centers in our large county. The scant testing sites to choose from in two nearby counties, it became known in our community that groups were flying in from 1k miles away. It makes me curious to hear to what lengths families had to go to for their kids to be able to submit those scores, especially when they were applying ED. That sure was a crazy time :crazy_face:

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Plenty of kids had barriers to taking the tests, which of course if why everything went test optional. Some people really seem to have done drastic things trying to test! And then, as evidenced by this report and so many comments in these forums, some kids selectively chose not to submit scores because they just didn’t like their scores or knew they wouldn’t be competitive. Such an odd year.

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If your kiddo and your home is near a Southwest Airlines hub, they released their Jan-April itinerary for bookings heading back from winter break, spring break, etc.

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So D has her first Econ mid-term this coming Monday and is a little freaked out. Historically, a 30% is a C on the exam (it’s supposedly really hard?!). The good news is that there is so much support and access to TAs, that should help her with her studies…cross fingers…

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We dropped off D21 on Tuesday finally. Quarter system, so she starts classes this coming Monday.

This week is called WOW (Week of Welcome). They go paintball-ing, to the beach, bonfires, hikes to the top of the mountain, all sorts of fun stuff. Along with seminars on the usual, like drinking, drugs, sexual misconduct, diversity and inclusion, etc. plus advising appts.

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I’ve never understood the quarter system and why it starts so late. Is summer one of the quarters? How does winter break fit in?

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Instead of two 15-week semesters, students get three 10-week quarters. She will only get two weeks for the Xmas holidays and the Spring quarter starts March 28, I think. And ends mid-June.

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The terminology is pretty funny. My understanding is that schools on the trimester system offer 4 quarters a year and the student takes 3. I think they start so late because of the timing of the winter holidays. They don’t want to have the 2nd 10 week quarter interrupted by the holidays. I think!

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Yeah I always wondered how they could actually be quarters, but it sounds like they’re not!

I am glad I am not the only one disturbed by the discussion of quarters in a trimester system. :joy:

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D21 has friends who will be going to the University of Washington. I don’t think the fall quarter at UDub starts until September 29th.

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Yup. UW starts end of Sept and we got til about mid June. The upside is that is when it usually starts to drizzle and have all variations of rain, so there’s nothing left to do but hunker down and study.

Quarter system moves fast and you don’t get the same easing in to. You have to bring it because it is much tougher to keep up or catch up if you fall behind.

Well, college grading is quite flexible vs. the rigid percentage<->grade scheme at high school.

It’s not uncommon for some professors to query facts and concepts that had not been covered - so missing a significant number is expected - in which case grades might be curved.

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You really can’t generalize this. Sometimes it’s flexible, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes they will throw different things on exams, sometimes they won’t. It’s going to vary by institution, course, and professor. Some professors are quite rigid with grading and don’t curve. Some are the opposite. I think part of the trick of doing well in college is for students to figure out how each class/professor operates. (I also personally disagree with the practice of making the test impossible such that a 30% is a C, but to each his own I suppose!)

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Sounds like not much has changed in a couple of decades–I remember well having orgo, Calc3, Bio tests with long complex problems that were way above and beyond the course material, where the median was 40%correct and that was curved to a B-. But other small seminar courses are usually not graded so harshly . Plus, most profs give the “upward trend” (first midterm is the hardest but then it gets easier). The process teaches one how to apply knowledge on a deep level, for sure, and has the side effect of weeding out some kids from majors that don’t suit them.

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I think it just depends on the course and the college. I know at the UW, our premed and pre engr class curve was set at around 2.6-2.8 max. So you had to kill the curve by a couple of standard deviations to get an A.

Once I was in my major, we had classes where the class curve was set at 27 (out of 50). Thank goodness because I got 18 or 22 in that first unit ops test!

And then there’s Brown where lowest grade they give out is a C.

Uh uh… Which is precisely why described that as “quite flexible” compared to what one might be used to from HS!?
Rather than already “blanket worrying” about a score, as you would have in HS, one might first want to qualify how this particular course might be graded, and by this professor.