Dang! I did (or didn’t) do it again!

(A follow up to yesterday’s post Practicing for the SATs)

I just took today’s SAT question of the day:

If x + 2x is 5 more than y + 2y, then x-y=

a.   -5
b.  -5/3
c.  3/5
d.  5/3
e.  5

It’s basic algebra (and a word problem) and I still got it wrong. . . twice!!  I seriously need some math remediation.

Last night Ling and I went to the high school to the PSAT prep session where she could pick up her scores from her practice test and get pointers on how to take standardized tests.   We learned that Massachusetts has the highest test scores in the nation.  We also learned that the cut off to be a National Merit Scholar in MA a year ago was 222 (equivalent in SAT jargon of getting 3 710s), while in Wyoming, it was only 200.

As I expected, it was a Kaplan marketing gig.  Because our town has a deal with Kaplan, she can get online prep, normally $149, absolutely free!  Not only that, but if we sign up by the end of May, we can get $200 off Kaplan’s College Prep Advantage (only $799), or Premier Tutoring (only $1,099).

Despite the marketing hype, it was helpful to rethink what lies ahead for Ling.  The good news is that she did pretty well on her practice exams even though she said she guessed half the time–but as Kaplan and all SAT prep courses point out–educated guessing is good strategy.

I’m relieved that it looks like she’s a decent test taker, even though all the educational research out there says that SATs are only correlated to freshman year college grades, so it seems like a lot of hoops to jump through for something that colleges supposedly are taking less seriously.  

But because we’re joining the rat race of looking for colleges, I’m sure she’ll sign up for some sort of SAT prep program sometime in the future so she can reach for, as the Kaplan lady said, “Superlative scores!”  Maybe she’ll get there, maybe she won’t.  I think she’ll go to college no matter what.

Meanwhile, I got get cranking on my math skills!

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