News You Can Use – January, 2016

This Saturday, January 23, C2 Education will offer a free mock ACT at the Agoura Hills Library!
Sign up at the information desk.  Practice SAT coming up next month!  Here’s more info:

Free ACT and (new) SAT practice tests @ Agoura Hills Library

Many parents of 10th and 11th grade students have sent us their children’s PSAT scores in the past week and asked us to help them decode the many numbers that appear on the score document.

Keep in mind – for 10th grade students, the PSAT that was administered in October, 2015 is truly just a practice.  The scores that 11th grade students earned for the 2015 test will count for National Merit consideration.  And since the PSAT and SAT have been redesigned this year, it’s very difficult for us to know where the cutoffs will be for National Merit honors.  Different states have different cutoff levels based on their population.  Also remember that not all colleges offer scholarships to National Merit Finalists!  The colleges listed on pages 3-4 of this pdf document do give some type of scholarships to National Merit winners.

We’ve seen two articles by test-prep companies with lots of data that can help you understand the new PSAT scores:

  • Jed Applerouth, founder of Applerouth Tutoring Services, posted an in-depth comparison of this year’s scores, vs. last year’s, and possible National Merit ramifications.  He wisely counsels us in this post, “Can You Trust Your PSAT Score?” to wait until fall instead of guessing about what the NM cutoff scores will be.
  • Summit Educational Group founder Charlie O’Hearn analyzes the issue in his post, “Are New PSAT Scores Really Higher Than Old PSAT Scores?” He reassures us (and through him, please know that we are here to reassure you) that college admissions officers will certainly be looking at concordance tables when reviewing files from students who have taken either the old or the new SAT in the same applicant pool.  This issue most directly impacts the Class of 2017.

Our friends at Compass Education Group are maintaining an updated list of which colleges will require (or recommend) the NEW SAT Writing section, which will not, and which require the ACT writing section.  This list is quite helpful!  Compass also maintains a list of colleges that require SAT Subject Tests.

Magellan College Counseling frequently teams up with test prep companies and financial advisors for presentations that are geared to help you start planning for your child’s college search.  We have a few presentations coming up in the next month:

Wednesday, February 10, 5-7 pm
Presentation with Know-It-All Tutors
30700 Russell Ranch Rd., Suite 250
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Monday, February 22, 6-8 pm
Presentation with Selwyn Miller, Miller Financial Planning
There is a small cost for this presentation and seats are very limited.  Please contact Evelyn if you are interested in attending.

Magellan compiles a very large list of summer programs; we are busily working to ensure that it is updated for summer, 2016.  We will release it by March 1, hopefully sooner.  You must be signed up for our newsletter to receive this list!  You can sign up for that here.


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