Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coursework Matters: The Impact on your SAT Scores

Brought to you by: Lone Star Ed Consulting , CEO Lauren Kahn, MA 512-294-6608

Lauren Kahn is an educational consultant located in Austin, TX and helps families find colleges and school placements for students throughout the country.

From: College
If anyone doubts the validity of the importance of high school performance for long term academic success, here is the proof on this topic below. It has also been confirmed there is a strong correlation between completion of a core high school curriculum with higher SAT scores. Although the findings from College Board’s 2012 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness are not surprising, it is important to share this news to all. Do not dismiss the importance of completing the recommended high school plan, in favor of more time for athletics or electives.

As an educational consultant, I want to emphasize the importance of taking college prep classes early on in high school and the continuation of a rigorous curriculum all the way through senior year. You will be better prepared for standardized tests required for the college admissions process and will be a better student in college. Study skills can be taught, but need to be acquired early on to become habitual. AP classes and dual credit classes are a great idea for high school students that are college bound ready.

By: Kathryn Juric            Special Contributor  from the Austin-Statesman                          

When it comes to education policy in the United States today, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: coursework matters.As states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, the positive impact core course work and advanced study can have on college readiness is already evident in the SAT performance of recent high school graduates throughout Texas and the nation.

According to The College Board’s 2012 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness, which was released this month, students who completed a core curriculum in high school did significantly better on the SAT than those who did not. A core curriculum is defined as four or more years of English, and at least three or more years of math, science, and social science or history.

Central to the report is the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark, which measures the academic preparedness of groups of students for higher education and beyond. Achieving the benchmark score of 1550 on the SAT is linked to a 65 percent likelihood of earning a B-minus average or higher during their freshman year of college, which in turn is linked to a strong likelihood of staying in – and graduating from – college within six years.

This year, 43 percent of all SAT takers achieved the benchmark, suggesting that more needs to be done to improve college readiness, even among college-bound students. The numbers are different however for those enrolled in a core curriculum. Forty-nine percent of SAT takers who completed a core curriculum achieved the benchmark, compared to only 30 percent of those who did not – nearly a 20-point improvement.

A similar result can be seen in the mean scores of Texas’s SAT takers, where the 76 percent who completed a core curriculum earned an average SAT score of 1,494 – a staggering 138 points higher than the average SAT score of Texas students who did not complete core course work.
Beyond underscoring the need for all college-bound students to complete core course work, the report also illustrates the positive impact that access to honors/Advanced Placement courses can have on college readiness. For example, honors/AP math students in Texas scored 212 points higher, on average, on the SAT.

But the only way to track what percentage of college-bound students is meeting the benchmark is to ensure they take the SAT in the first place, which is why The College Board has made a continuing effort to increase SAT participation, particularly among underserved minorities and low-income students. We have also intensified our efforts to expand access to and success in AP courses across the state.

In Texas, 28 percent of SAT-takers in the class of 2012 took the test for free through the SAT Fee-Waiver Service. Nationwide, the College Board dedicated more than $44 million to SAT fee-waivers and related services this past school year.

Our collective effort to democratize access to higher education is paying dividends. More than 1.66 million students from the class of 2012 took the SAT, 45 percent of whom were minority students and 36 percent of whom are the first in their families to attend college. In Texas, 59 percent of the state’s nearly 173,000 SAT takers were minority students and 44 percent reported being first-generation college-goers.

Standardized educational assessments may not be exciting or glamorous, but when they are valid and well-designed, they can tell us a lot about the state of education – how well we are preparing our children for postsecondary success and what we can do better.

As the new SAT report shows, increasing core curriculum completion rates and expanding access to advanced course work to qualified students of all backgrounds is the key to increasing college readiness and completion – not just in Texas, but across the nation.

This article was published originally by the Austin Statesman.
I believe there are several schools that are ideal for each candidate and it is what you make of your college experience. In order to give yourself the optimum number of choices for college, have several people that you revere, review your college applications. 

Lone Star Ed Consulting offers essay and resume editing services and can provide rush services for a fee. 

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The information was provided by Lauren Kahn, CEO of Lone Star Ed Consulting. If you would like more information about Lone Star Ed Consulting's college planning services, please e-mail Lauren Kahn or call her at 512-294-6608. You can also view LSEDC's brochure here.

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