Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

Record Drop in SAT Scores Reported

Education  ePrep  K-12  SAT
Karl Schellscheidt

The news is out about a recent drop in SAT scores and it’s generating a lot of noise! The new SAT scores released show the largest decline in 31 years and one of the largest in the history of the SAT test. The College Board insists that the drop in scores is not due to the length of the new test (the New SAT takes over 4 hours to administer!) Read the article and decide for yourself. It appears many of the SAT test advantages learned by students in prep courses are being eroded by the length of the new test.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Maybe we aren’t pushing our kids hard enough ;)

Are we pushing our kids too hard?

ePrep  SAT
Karl Schellscheidt

I came across this article today and it got me thinking. It deals with a topic that I truly have mixed feelings about. Are we pushing our kids too hard or are we not pushing them hard enough?

While my wife and I have tended to let our children have the kind of childhoods we had — ones filled with lots of unstructured playtime — we sometimes second guess ourselves. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In any case, I think the article is worth reading.

The Freshman and Sophomore SAT Test Advantage?

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test videoHigh school freshman and sophomores have one discrete advantage over juniors and seniors when it applies to the SAT test, and that is the benefit of time. In this video I discuss what freshman and sophomores could be doing today to ensure they don’t get behind the ball when it comes time for taking the dreaded SAT test. Time is on your side. (more…)

A Brief History of the SAT Test

Eric Barnes

free sat test videoIf you have an hour to kill or are intrigued to discover how the SAT Test came into existence, I encourage you to watch this video gem of UC President Emeritus Richard Atkinson discussing the history of college admissions testing and the process that led to the wholesale changes to the test in 2006. It’s not “The OC”, but a great (more…)

SAT Fact: Pay More, Get Higher Score?

Karl Schellscheidt

A new study spearheaded by Ohio State University professor Claudi Buchman announced that children from higher-income families are the ones most likely to attend private SAT prep classes and to receive private tutoring. The article then noted that the children who took private SAT prep classes averaged 60 points higher on the SAT than those who did not attend such classes. At an average of $800 for such a class, (more…)

The 99th Percentile “Good Teacher” Myth

ePrep  SAT
Karl Schellscheidt

Many of the big test prep companies boast that all of their instructors scored in the 99th percentile when they took the SAT. That marketing ploy has always bothered me and I would like to explain why.

First, I know plenty of people who earned perfect scores on the SAT that I would not want anywhere near my kids. Second, (more…)

Critical Reading Another Way – Sam’s Story

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test videoAre you a slow reader and struggle to finish all the questions on the SAT Reading section? If you answer ‘yes’, you are in good company. In this video, I share the story of my student Sam, who was willing to try a new strategy when completing the Reading section that dramatically improved his score and confidence. Taking the SAT is no different than most challenges in life. When facing your weaknesses, it pays sometimes to alter your strategy. (more…)

The Valedictorian at Princeton University

Karl Schellscheidt

The valedictorian at Princeton University almost every year is a student who majored in math, engineering or one of the sciences, not a student who majored in the liberal arts. Why? The answer makes sense if you think about it.

The subject matter of math, engineering and the sciences tends to be more objective, or black and white, than that of the liberal arts. In a math class, for example, every homework, quiz, test and final exam problem will have a single correct answer. All a student needs to do is calculate and record the correct answer (more…)

Can You Take the SAT Test Too Many Times?

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test videoStudents often worry that taking the SAT test too many times will impact their chances of admission. At nearly 5 hours to administer, it’s a pain in the you-know-what to take the test more than once, but the reality is you can take it 100 times and it won’t even matter. Your focus should be on achieving the highest score possible. Here’s why… (more…)

The Writing Section Should Be Taken Out to Pasture

Essay  SAT  Writing
Karl Schellscheidt

I still cannot figure out why the College Board added the Writing section to the SAT. I really think the members of the College Board made a bad decision. What was wrong with offering Writing as a separate SAT II for those students who were applying to schools that required it?

Furthermore, as far as I know, many competitive colleges and universities have not followed the College Board’s lead. In other words, they have not made the results of the Writing section an important part of their admissions thinking. Kudos to them.

That is, they’re not ignoring the scores but they’re also not giving them the same weight that they accord to the Critical Reading and Math sections. What we’ve been telling new-SAT takers is this: If you do well on the writing test (as you did), (more…)

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