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
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

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
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

Real SAT Stories: PSAT to SAT Scores Are Not Preordained

Karl Schellscheidt -

eprep test prep video When students first take the PSAT and get their scores back, they also get a projected range of how they will likely score when they take the SAT. Let me state very clearly that you should never limit yourself to what the “experts” predict for you. The PSAT and SAT employ as much test taking strategy as they do academic knowledge. You can break free of your “SAT score range” with proper SAT preparation. Join me in this prepcast as I relate the real SAT story of a student, now a junior at Princeton University, who marched right past her SAT range as first indicated on her PSAT.

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Real SAT Stories: PSAT to SAT Scores Are Not Preordained (transcript)

I want to tell you a story about a girl that I tutored years ago who happens to be a junior at Princeton now. Years ago she took the PSAT’s her sophomore and did not do well; her father was not very happy with her score around five hundred. Her father had great ambitions for her and she had high ambitions for herself. They were disappointed when they saw her PSAT scores because they felt if we don’t improve these scores she’s not going to get into a selective college. The father called me shortly after the PSAT sophomore year and asked me to make his daughter a long-term project. He wanted me to help her with her fundamentals and see if I identified any gaps in her educational background.

I started working with her spring of her sophomore year and like most kids her vocabulary was a little weak and we started working on that. I started familiarizing her with some of the fundamentals of algebra and geometry and getting her more fluent in the things I thought she needed to do well on in order to get a high SAT score. By the time she reached her senior year her score was in the fifteen hundreds which today would be the equivalent of a twenty-three hundred. In the end result she ended up getting into Princeton.

The moral of the story is that your SAT score is something you can change with time and effort. Don’t think that the range is what the College Board gives you is some type of immutable range. You can change that range with time and effort. If you get a score on the PSAT’s or SAT’s that you’re not happy with do not give up on yourself. If you work hard you can get there. I suggest go get the College Board book and take those practice tests under simulated conditions. When you finish the practice tests grade them immediately so you can review all of the problems that you skipped, got wrong or guessed on. I would also suggest forming a study group and you can make a huge difference if you apply yourself over time.

Karl Schellscheidt
ePrep, Inc.

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