Are You or Your Teen Worried About the October 14th PSAT?

These 5 Things Will Save You From Anxiety Over Standardized Testing

Parents nationwide are worried about how standardized tests for college entrance are changing.

If your child is taking the PSAT exam this coming October 14th, you may be wondering how it will be different from the old PSAT, and what your child should be doing in order to excel on it.

Today I’m reposting an article about the new PSAT that I first published on June 29th, 2015.  It’s timely info for any parent who wants a teen to feel well-equipped and confident this coming October 14th.

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5 Reasons You Need Not Worry Too Much About Standardized Testing

1.  There are currently 850 colleges and universities nationwide that don’t even look at standardized test scores when considering students for admission.

These schools refer to themselves as “test optional.” You can find the complete list of “test optional” schools on the website of The National Center for Fair & Open Testing at http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional.

2.  The number of “test optional” schools is rapidly increasing. As a matter of fact, a record number of colleges and universities dropped their ACT/SAT score requirements in the past year. 

Schools who’ve declared themselves to be “test optional” just in the past year include Beloit, Eastern Connecticut, Hofstra, Montclair State, Plymouth State, Temple, Virginia Commonwealth, and Wesleyan, among others.

3.  Think that only “bad” schools would go “test optional”? The truth is that even top-ranked colleges are going “test optional” at unprecedented rates.

The fairtest.org “test-optional” list now includes more than 165 schools ranked in the top tiers of their respective categories. More than one-third of top-ranked national liberal arts colleges have test-optional policies.

4.  If you’d like your son or daughter to get information ahead of time on what the PSAT is going to be like, here’s a step you can take for free.

It’s well worth a student’s while to try to succeed on the PSAT — because the PSAT is the first step to possibly qualifying for a generous National Merit Scholarship.

If you’d like to give your child an edge on the PSAT, register for one of the free, live, online PSAT “cram sessions” being held online through October 8th courtesy of the KAPLAN test prep company.  To reserve a date and time that fits your child’s schedule, visit http://www.kaptest.com/college-prep/getting-into-college/free-practice-test. KAPLAN provides these sessions to the public as a free service; taking one will not obligate you to buy a KAPLAN test prep course.

5.  Finally, be sure you’re emphasizing the right things when it comes to college prep.

In some cases families will put months of anxiety, $700 of hard-earned family money, and hours and hours of student work into an expensive test prep course – but then put no timeno money, and no thought at all into helping kids figure out career goal before they choose which colleges to apply to.

This backwards plan can result in students running up odious, burdensome student loan debt attending “good schools” that don’t even prepare them for the careers they’re going to love someday. (To see my interesting blog post on why it’s critically important for students to get career direction early on — before picking colleges to attend — click here.)

What’s a parent to do? This.

If you’re wondering how in the world we can help 10th graders to get a sense of career goal before they start picking out colleges, download my free PDF on that subject here.  (If your child is way past 10th grade, don’t worry; just read this free PDF as soon as you can.)

The upshot of all this? Students and parents, start with the end in mind. Parents, help your child to get a sense of career goal early on (preferably in January of 10th grade), and only THEN look at expensive test preparation if it’s obvious that it’s absolutely necessary.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie Burlowski is a full-time consultant, author, and conference speaker.   She helps parents set their kids up to graduate college debt free and move directly into careers they excel at and love.  Her book LAUNCH:  How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward is due out in 2016.  You can find Jeannie’s free help for parents in the “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section on this website.  Follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

“We only got around to doing a fraction of what Jeannie tells people to do in the free help on her website, and we saved well over $50,000 on college costs. Our daughter earned a four year degree from an excellent private university at age 20, and she’s now in California happily working her dream job at Disney. Get to one of Jeannie’s live classes if you can. Buy a plane ticket if you have to!”  — Liz and Tim Weatherhead, parents, Bloomington, MN

What about you?  What has your experience been in regard to standardized testing?  What advice do you have for parents and students?  Comment below, or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook and let’s talk about it there.