How can I improve my test scores while getting ready for fall semester of college?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by gridironkid, May 22, 2013.

  1. gridironkid

    gridironkid Member

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    I am re-applying to USMA and at this point my LO told me that I would need to get 700's in mainly my verbal and math sections of my SATs in order for him to help me win a nomination and ultimately an appointment. If this doesn't work out he strongly suggests that I transfer to a four year university and complete two-three remaining years I have left and commission via AROTC. I really want to give it my best shot at USMA one more time (so that there is no room for any "what if's") Now my main question is, how can I get up in that range? I totally stink at the SATs (ACTs are worse) and my other question is, when it comes to admission (not only military academies but other civilian schools) exactly how much of an impact would SATs/ACTs be if GPA is 3.4-3.5, I know its cliche to think that SATs aren't what determine admission, yet the the reality is the opposite. In fact it does matter because its what admission committees use to judge competitiveness with other candidates--and the most honest because its generic.

    I am also a student that cannot afford tutors/test prep be it online or in person.

    All I have at home is this

    The Official SAT-USED (by collegeboard "blue book")
    SAT 2400: ADVANCED PREP FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS (by Kaplan)- I use this to challenge myself
    Barron's SAT math workbook
    Barron's SAT test prep book-Library rental

    (I also wish to ask, how can I make time for chem prep and calculus prep for college, with the addition of SAT prep. I know my question is a handful but I really need some advice from others that went through the stage and GOT accepted)
     
  2. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 Member

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    There are a suprising amount of resources on the actual SAT website. They have a daily Question of the Day, and I believe a full practice test, among other things.

    The general advice for college applicants seems to be to take the freshman classes your peers at USMA will take their plebe year (calculus, chemistry, etc.) and work very hard to be successful in those courses. The SAT and ACT are supposed to be predictors of success in college, and if you can show admissions that you actually are successful in college, that could possibly help you if your SATs are not so great.

    The Blue book was very helpful for me
     
  3. gridironkid

    gridironkid Member

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    The SATs are used for comparing the competitiveness of candidates for certain universities how can they be RELIABLE resources for predicting an individuals success in college when 100s of freshman have refuted that belief?
     
  4. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Do you want help or do you want to complain about the SAT?
     
  5. gridironkid

    gridironkid Member

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    I obviously want help. Im not complaining about anything to be honest
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Because "100s of freshman" are not enough to refute the data.

    It is a basic statistic. The percentage of successful college freshmen with "low" SAT needs to be large enought to prove that the SAT is not a reliable pedictor of success in college.

    I am not a big fan of using the SAT/ACT scores, but that's what West Point and other colleges use, so don't have to like but need to accept it.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  7. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    sounds like complaining to me, bud :rolleyes:

    There are hundreds of free resources out there for SAT prep. Same with any academic courses that you want to prepare for. Find them, work through them, get better.
     
  8. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I have to point out that this is NOTHING compared to what you will be facing as a plebe. You will probably have 21 credit hours as well as your military and physical requirements. Time management is a skill that you will have to develop so start now.

    I think the list of resources you have available is excellent. Use them. Set up a study schedule and attack each of your weak areas. Look in the USMA stickies as well---buff81 has the Army's online SAT prep site listed. West Point expects cadets to be go-getters so begin to develop that trait now.
     
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I don't know what your scores are now, but just as a general point, how much do you really think you can improve in the next year? Do you need to go up 50 points or 300 points? One is more likely than the other. There's no need to answer on here, just think about it.

    Over 100 years ago when I took the SAT, I did the test a couple of times (the second after doing a prep course). My scores were better the second time, but not leaps and bounds better. Everyone is different of course, but you may want to compare how much you can realistically improve with what scores are needed for admission to West Point (average for USMA).

    For better or for worse, most colleges still use the SAT/ACT, and there are plenty of people who do extremely well on them. The reality is that they are a big factor for USMA, and if you aren't able to get the needed scores, you'll be at a disadvantage for admission. Of course, if you want it, you should still apply, but definitely be realistic about it (and have an alternative plan that you can live with).

    My SAT scores were pretty average and I did very well in college, so don't think that it is necessarily an accurate indication of performance in all cases. It might be, it might not be. All that said, the liaison officer's advice about ROTC is good. It might be tough to hear, but USMA isn't the only way to an Army commission. I got the TWE from a service academy and was a Distinguished Graduate of VMI with a commission in the USAF. Eventually, you work with the cards you've been dealt, and you have to make the call as to what is right for you.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  10. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    Statistics. The SATs have been proven decade after decade to be a reliable predictor of success in college. Of course, some people succeed with low scores. But more people succeed who have higher scores. It's not the only predictor but it's one that works independent of the various school grading schemes and curricula.

    However, to your original question, check out March2success. It's an online test prep program run by the military. It is free and was highly recommended by my son's FFR.
     
  11. kfacademy

    kfacademy USMA Appointee 2017

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    I really enjoyed studying from the book SAT Vocabulary for Dummies by Suzee Vlk. IMHO, her writing style was amusing and very helpful. As a point of reference my Verbal score went from 670 to 800. Best of Luck!! :smile:
     
  12. BlackKnight2016

    BlackKnight2016 Member

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    My DS (just finished plebe year) found helpful a few years back the Kaplan online adaptive learning program. For 300 less a 100 coupon right now, so for 200 an interactive program that was far more engaging then reading from a SAT/ACT prep book. In areas where he needed help, it kept quizing him and providing instruction until he reached satisfactory scores. It figures out where you need help and zeros in on that area. If I remember right, as a parent it had two logins so the parents could monitor progress without logging in as the kid. (He used this his sophmore summer in preparation of taking ACT for a score to submit to SLS) It's hard work and requires a lot of discipline to sit down and commit to hours of studying. If it's important to you, hopefully you will find a way to make it happen.:w00t:
     

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