Most Wednesday evenings, CampusChat is a lively, lighthearted conversation with an expert on topics related to college life, campus tours, or college admissions. My expert guest and co-host was Akil Bello, co-founder of Bell Curves, a test preparation and tutoring services company in New York. Test Prep was the topic of the August 25, 2010 chat and, instead of "light" or "lively," I'd say the conversation was more like "intense" and "engaged."
Getting into college is serious business and no one denies the important role test scores play when it comes to college admissions. While we debated whether or not the SAT and ACT is good or bad, our opinions really don't matter. The truth is that test scores are real and admissions counselors do consider them when reviewing applications.
Our conversation began by looking at when, or how, a parent (or student) determines test prep help is needed. Akil made these recommendations:
- College Board's SAT 2009 Profile Rep http://bit.ly/9QVXqA
- A free ACT is found here (PDF) http://www.act.org/aap/pdf/preparing.pdf
- A free SAT is here http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice/sat-practice-test
According to Akil, the biggest advantage to test prep is that the students become familiar with the nuances of the test itself and the information covered on the test. Learning the "how" is just as important at the "what."
And while we focused on how test scores are used or perceived whether you are a student, parent, or admissions professional, Megan Wilson, from WCU reminded us that college admissions is still a human process:
The complete transcript is available here from WhatTheHashtag.