Duke

Tracking Admission’s Yields

Tracking Admission’s Yields

One metric for keeping score on the vibrancy of a college is its yield rate: the percent of students who have been accepted who do, in fact, attend. 

In 2014, Harvard edged out Brigham Young University by 0.1%, to enjoy the highest yield in the country. BYU, which has been the yield champion in several prior years, accepts slightly fewer than half of those who apply, has a 19:1 student/faculty ratio, and tuition and room and board under $13,000. Great education, great football, and access to the Wasatch National Forest enable it to get 80% of those accepted to come.

 

The Critical Role of Recommendations

The Critical Role of Recommendations

To gain admission to a four-year institution outside the University of California, or California State University systems, will require recommendations. Generally, one of these recommendations will come from your high school guidance counselor, and usually, two, or possibly three teachers.

The SAT or the ACT?

To take the SAT, the ACT, or both is the question. About a fifth of test takers show a preference. The best way to discover if you’re part of the fifth is by taking ACT’s PLAN and the PSAT sophomore year. If you’re a junior you might, instead, take Princeton Review’s free SAT-ACT diagnostic test.

A number of students, however, take both the SAT and ACT to cover any standardized test requirements. This might seem judicious, yet if a college believes that an applicant is too test oriented, it will begin to question what such a candidate will contribute outside the classroom.   

Virtually all college admissions offices will gladly take either the SAT or ACT test to fulfill their standardized testing requirements. Some of the most elite schools in the country, including Amherst College, Brown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Pomona College, Tufts, University of Pennsylvania, and Vassar, will accept the ACT with Writing instead of the SAT and the SAT subject tests.

So which test should you take? OK, if you're applying to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or the University of Rochester, you might elect to take the SAT. These admissions offices like to see SAT scores. Regardless, even if you submit only an ACT to any of them, they can easily convert your ACT score into a comparable SAT score.

The College Board itself issues an official 'ACT/SAT concordance chart,' downloadable at the College Board website. Then again, it is a fact that the SAT is rooted in the Ivy League: the original administration of the test in 1926 was to 8,026 Ivy League scholarship students. Regardless, however much you might want to cater to the whims of an admissions office, the standardized test you submit will, in virtually all cases, not sink or make your application. A 2220 on the SAT will not trump a 33 composite on the ACT.

The decision as to which test should more be a matter of personal preference. If you are good at taking high school classroom tests, then the ACT might be the better test for you. It is curriculum based; it attempts to measure your mastery of key high school skills. For example, in geometry, you were taught the 30-60-90 triangle. Be assured there will be a question about it on the ACT. The SAT, on the other hand, measures reasoning and logic. The ACT does not penalize guessing; the SAT does. The ACT has a separate science section; the SAT does not. The ACT math contains a bit of trigonometry; the SAT doesn't.

Whether you plan to take the SAT or ACT, the best guide to purchase for the SAT is the College Board’s ‘The Official SAT Study Guide’ which contains 10 release exams, and for the ACT,/  Peterson’s ’Real ACT Prep Guide’, which contains five released exams. Don’t waste your time reading their test taking strategies—just take the tests and review in detail what you got wrong and understand why. Only use real exams to study for the tests. What’s the point of using an interpretation of the test? It makes no sense

Take as many practice tests as possible. You need to get an intuitive sense of the pacing of the test. The ACT in particular requires rigorous pacing. The ACT contains 215 questions to be answered in 175 minutes. This comes to 49 seconds a question. A successful test taker needs to make such timing innate across all sections of the test.

Yet beyond the relative merits of the ACT and SAT, a lot of schools are opting out of the standardized tests altogether. Just go to www.fairtest.org to see the current list of over 800 colleges and universities that do not require students to submit standardized tests with their applications. So, what does all this add up to? Complete lack of uniformity among our colleges and constant questioning of the role of standardized tests in the admissions process. There are no right answers, just different approaches. You, in the end, are the final judge as to which serves your purposes best. This is the American postsecondary educational system and it shouldn't, and probably never will, be any other way.

Of Major Importance: Student Designed Majors

Of Major Importance: Student Designed Majors

A perennial question arises with each admissions cycle: ‘does the major I declare on the application affect my candidacy?’ Point blank answer: in approximately 99.6% of the cases, no. Most admissions officers realize that 80% or more of their freshman class will change majors at least once before the end of sophomore year.

The Art of the College Decision Letter

The Art of the College Decision Letter

College acceptances generate ineffable joy, while rejections melancholy.  A good way to come to grips with the inevitable vicissitudes of the admissions process is to take note of this year’s admissions messages: what they say, and most importantly, how they say it. This should remove some of the apprehension and hurt, while keeping in perspective some of the joy of the admissions cycle. Though, in all honesty, rejection is always difficult, no matter what.

The SAT under Siege

  • The ACT is Gaining Ground Nationally
  • More Schools are Dropping Testing Requirements Altogether
According to the September 6th LA Times article, "ACT is to SAT as..." the world of standardized tests is in flux. The ACT is rapidly gaining on the SAT. For the recent class of high school graduates, 1.4 million took the ACT, 1.5 million the SAT. Even in California, a regional SAT stronghold, 50% more students took the ACT in 2008 than did in 2004. Still, in all honesty, the raw numbers show that, last year, the SAT in California was taken by over 205,000 students, with 72,000 taking the ACT.  Yet, the ACT is starting to close the gap. One troubling piece of information the article mentioned was that, in California, 97% of college bound students still take the SAT, meaning the ACT is surging because these same students are taking both tests to cover all the bases in the ever competitive admissions process. This is a lot of wasted effort. Most college admissions offices will gladly take either test to fulfill their standardized testing requirements.  Some of the most elite schools in the country, including Amherst College, Brown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Pomona College, Tufts, University of Pennsylvania, and Vassar, will accept the ACT instead of the SAT and the SAT subject tests. There might be better ways for these students to spend their time than taking two tests, when either will do. So which test should you take?  OK, I'll relent a little bit.  If you're applying to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or the University of Rochester, you might elect to take the SAT. These admissions offices like to see SAT scores. Regardless, even if you submit only an ACT to any of them, they can easily convert your ACT score into a comparable SAT score. The CollegeBoard itself issues an official 'ACT/SAT concordance chart,' downloadable at http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/act-sat-concordance-tables.pdf.  Then again, it is a fact that the SAT is rooted in the Ivy League: the original administration of the test in 1926 was to 8,026 Ivy League scholarship students. Regardless, how ever much you might want to cater to the whims of an admissions office, the standardized test you submit will, in virtually all cases, not sink or make your application. A 2220 on the SAT will not trump a 33 composite on the ACT. The decision as to which test should more be a matter of personal preference. If you are good at taking high school classroom tests, then the ACT might be the better test for you. It is curriculum based; it attempts to measure your mastery of key high school skills. For example, if you were paying attention in geometry, you should know about a 30-60-90 triangle. Be assured there will be a question about it on the ACT.  The SAT, on the other hand, measures reasoning and logic. The ACT does not penalize guessing; the SAT does.  The ACT has a separate science section; the SAT does not. The ACT math contains a bit of trigonometry; the SAT doesn't. Yet beyond the constant skirmishes between the ACT and SAT, a lot of schools are opting out of the standardized tests altogether. Just go to www.fairtest.org to see the current list of over 770 colleges and universities that do not require students to submit standardized tests with their applications.  Further, just two weeks ago, Wake Forest, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Smith College, joined this list.  So, what does all this add up to? Complete lack of uniformity among our colleges and constant questioning of the role of standardized tests in the admissions process.  There are no right answers, just different approaches. You, in the end, are the final judge as to which serves your purposes best. This is the American postsecondary educational system and it shouldn't, and probably never will, be any other way. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy Collge Prep LLC ------------------------------------- SAT 진퇴양란
  • ACT 전국적인 영역을 확장하고 있다.
  • 많은 대학들이 시험성적을 필수조항에서 제외시키고 있다.
LA Times 9월 6일의 기사,” ACT is to SAT as…”에 따르면, 표준시험의 세계가 넘쳐나고 있다고 한다.  ACT 가 급속도로 SAT를 따라잡고 있다.  최근 고교 졸업생 140만 명이 ACT를 보았고, 150만 명이 SAT를 보았다.  SAT가 강한 가주에서도 2004년에 비해 2008년에는 50%의 성장을 보였다.  그러나 여전히 숫자로 볼 때, 가주에서는 205,000명이 SAT를 본 반면, 72,000명이 ACT를 보았다.  이제 ACT는 이 격차를 좁히려 하고 있다. 위의 기사에서 지적하는 한가지 문제점은 가주의 대입시생의 97%가 SAT시험을 치며, ACT 응시자가 급등하는 것은 같은 학생이 입시사정에서 우위를 선점하고자 두 시험을 치르기 때문이라고 분석한다.  이것은 낭비적 노력이다.  대부분의 대학입학 사정실은 시험 요구조건으로 한가지 시험만을 요구한다.  명문대인 Amherst College, Brown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Pomona College, Tufts, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar대학들은 SAT 대신 ACT와 SAT subject tests를 요구한다.  그러므로 두 시험을 치르는 시간을 아끼는 편이 좋다. 그러면, 여러분은 어떤 시험을 치러야 하는가?  필자가 더 쉽게 알려주겠다.    여러분이Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or the University of Rochester에 지원한다면, SAT를 치러야 한다.  이 대학들의 사정관들은 SAT 성적을 알고자 한다.  그러나, 여러분이 ACT성적만 제출한다면, 입학사정관들은 여러분의 성적을 SAT로 쉽게 환산할 수 있다.  College Board에서는 공식적인‘ACT/SAT concordance chart,’ (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/act-sat-concordance-tables.pdf)를 알려준다.  SAT는 원래 아이비 리그에서 시작되었다: 첫시험은 1926년 8,026명의 아이비 리그 장학생들이 치른 것이다.  그래도 여러분이 입학사정실에 맞추려 한다면, 표준시험 성적이 여러분의 입학원서에 결정적 영향을 주지는 못할 것이다.  SAT의 2220 점수가  ACT 의 33에 일치되는 않을 것이다. 어떤 시험을 보는냐는 개인의 기호의 문제이다.  만약 여러분이 학교에서의 시험에 잘한다면, ACT가 맞는 것이다.  이 시험은 커리큐럼기준이다; 여러분의 고교 학업 기능을 점검하는 것이다.  예를 들면, 기하를 공부할 때, 30-60-90 삼각형을 알아야 한다.  ACT에서는 이러한 질문이 있다.  반면, SAT시험은 이론과 논리를 측정한다.  ACT는 추측에 대한 벌점이 없는 반면, SAT는 있다.  ACT는 과학 분야가 있고, SAT는 없다.  ACT는 삼각법을 포함하지만, SAT는 없다. ACT와 SAT의 접전 중에, 많은 대학들이 시험성적을 선택사항으로 택하고 있다.  www.fairtest.org에 가면 시험성적을 요구하지 않는 770 대학들을 찾을 수 있다.  또한 2주전에 Wake Forest, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith College대학들이 이 리스트에 올랐다.  이 모든 일들의 의미는 무엇일까?  대학간의 통일성의 결함이며 입시사정 과정에서 표준 시험의 역할이 의문시된다는 것이다.  하나의 정답은 없으며, 단지 다른 접근방식의 선택이다.  여러분은 궁극적으로 여러분에게 가장 맞는 결정을 해야 한다.  이 과정이 미 고등교육의 체계이며 아마도 별로 달라지지 않을 것이다.