Moms with Teens

Verrine
If you or your child did NOT take the PSAT or SAT, please say Why
by Verrine
June 23, 2013 at 8:39 AM

[I am not currently the mom of a teen, but I did get my SD when she was 14 & I thought this was the best place to ask this question.]

In my former career, I counseled high school kids about college and then college kids about staying in college. The family I am closest friends with is non-custodial of his eldest daughter. Over the past 9 years I have seen her on holiday and summer visits. She is a really wonderful girl. I have never met her mother & stepfather.

The girl is now about to turn 18 and is entering senior year, so she is considering her college options. She wants to enter the health care field. I don't have a lot to work with as she can't get her transcript since it is summer, and she didn't take the PSAT, although it was offered. She has dyslexia and ADHD and has struggled a lot in school. My guess is that some of the classes she took were Special Ed.   

Tomorrow, I will take her to our local community college for the Accuplacer test. This is the test that many colleges use for actual placement in college courses. The results are not shared between colleges. The test is produced by the College Board, the same vendor that makes the SAT. The results will give her a good idea of the areas where she needs to improve and she can work on those in the next year before she takes the test at the community college she will attend.

My SD raised the question about why wouldn't the parents insist that she take the PSAT when everyone else took it? I know this girl has test anxiety and am guessing that she didn't want to see a low score. However, SD then pointed out that it makes sense to practice taking tests if you intend to go to college, especially in the health field where there will be lots of tests.

So, if you or your child did NOT take the PSAT or SAT, then why not? Thanks for reading.

Replies

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    June 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM
    Everyone at our hs takes the PSAT.
    My oldest did not take the ACT or SAT. She knew she was going to a massage therapy school and you do not need it.

    If she is going to college, I would get her private prep. I did for my other dd. She took the ACT 3 times. Improved every time. She took 2 rounds of prep sessions. 10 weeks each. She ended up with a 23 the last time. She had a 21 the first time.
    She needs to get over her test fear or she will never make it in college.
  • sabrtooth1
    June 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM
    Every kid in public school in Illinois, takes the PSAT, and the ACT. BTW, both my kids are ADD-plus, and one has a visual processing disorder. With counseling, tutoring, and appropriate meds, they did fine in hs, fine in college, and have successful careers.
  • Verrine
    by Verrine
    June 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Her mom is obviously ok with her not taking the PSAT or the SAT. Her Dad, being an NCP (and a dad), hasn't taken an active role in her education. Her Stepmom wants her to take the SAT but isn't interested in paying for any prep courses.

    Since this girl will be going to community college, she does not need to take the SAT. I was just surprised that she hadn't taken the PSAT, since that is routine for her school.

    Quoting atlmom2:

    Everyone at our hs takes the PSAT.
    My oldest did not take the ACT or SAT. She knew she was going to a massage therapy school and you do not need it.

    If she is going to college, I would get her private prep. I did for my other dd. She took the ACT 3 times. Improved every time. She took 2 rounds of prep sessions. 10 weeks each. She ended up with a 23 the last time. She had a 21 the first time.
    She needs to get over her test fear or she will never make it in college.

      

  • HopesNDreams
    June 23, 2013 at 9:42 AM
    PSATs s are completely optional - many kids do not take them. If she knew she was going to community college, why waste the time, money, and anxiety on the SATs?
    Her parents made the best financial and emotional choice for their child. I am confused as to what you don't understand? Should she pay for and take multiple tests that will be stressful just because 'everyone else did'?


    Quoting Verrine:

    Her mom is obviously ok with her not taking the PSAT or the SAT. Her Dad, being an NCP (and a dad), hasn't taken an active role in her education. Her Stepmom wants her to take the SAT but isn't interested in paying for any prep courses.


    Since this girl will be going to community college, she does not need to take the SAT. I was just surprised that she hadn't taken the PSAT, since that is routine for her school.


    Quoting atlmom2:

    Everyone at our hs takes the PSAT.
    My oldest did not take the ACT or SAT. She knew she was going to a massage therapy school and you do not need it.

    If she is going to college, I would get her private prep. I did for my other dd. She took the ACT 3 times. Improved every time. She took 2 rounds of prep sessions. 10 weeks each. She ended up with a 23 the last time. She had a 21 the first time.
    She needs to get over her test fear or she will never make it in college.



     

  • Verrine
    by Verrine
    June 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I will ask her tomorrow whether she was absent the day of the PSAT. That is the only way that I can think to get out of it. While she is a delight (and that is not easy to say of a teenage girl!), she is not academically smart. I have always been curious as to how she has actually been doing in school, especially since she started mentioning health care, which has entry requirements and necessary certifications.

    I understand that many people who have learning issues can do well in college and career. It does require a lot more effort to be academically successful. At this point, her only accomodation is extended time.

    Quoting sabrtooth1:

    Every kid in public school in Illinois, takes the PSAT, and the ACT. BTW, both my kids are ADD-plus, and one has a visual processing disorder. With counseling, tutoring, and appropriate meds, they did fine in hs, fine in college, and have successful careers.

     

  • Verrine
    by Verrine
    June 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I wholly support not taking the SATs in her case. However, since the PSAT is offered for free and the school day of high schools across America are rearranged around it, it takes effort to avoid the test. If she had taken the PSAT, I could use the College Board website to see what areas she needs to study. My SD's point is that if she wants to go into nursing or the allied health careers, there will be LOTS of testing, so why not confront the test anxiety, especially on a test which does not count for a grade.  

    Quoting HopesNDreams:

    PSATs s are completely optional - many kids do not take them. If she knew she was going to community college, why waste the time, money, and anxiety on the SATs?
    Her parents made the best financial and emotional choice for their child. I am confused as to what you don't understand? Should she pay for and take multiple tests that will be stressful just because 'everyone else did'?

      

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    June 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM
    My dd that is in massage school has some test anxiety. She pushes through and has a driven personality. This week she had a pathology final. Every was doing poorly. She had a 75 going into the final. She added all extra credit she could do and did well on the final. She got an 83 and was sooooooo happy. She called us all excited. She is 22 and flourishing now. She failed out of massage school at 19. Now she is more mature and ready. Also living with her boyfriend on her own. Difference between her as an 18, 19yo and now at 22 is immense. She was not ready for college before.


    Quoting Verrine:

    I wholly support not taking the SATs in her case. However, since the PSAT is offered for free and the school day of high schools across America are rearranged around it, it takes effort to avoid the test. If she had taken the PSAT, I could use the College Board website to see what areas she needs to study. My SD's point is that if she wants to go into nursing or the allied health careers, there will be LOTS of testing, so why not confront the test anxiety, especially on a test which does not count for a grade.  


    Quoting HopesNDreams:

    PSATs s are completely optional - many kids do not take them. If she knew she was going to community college, why waste the time, money, and anxiety on the SATs?
    Her parents made the best financial and emotional choice for their child. I am confused as to what you don't understand? Should she pay for and take multiple tests that will be stressful just because 'everyone else did'?

      


  • 02nana07
    Ida
    June 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

     It isn't an option here everyone takes it starting in the 9th grade and that way you will get a higher score by the 12th if needed. 

    It was the same way when I was in school. 

    The special ed classes have a different version of the test not sure what it is called. 

  • HopesNDreams
    June 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM
    Have you ever raised a special needs child? Part of the 'art' of it is challenging the child with the appropriate things at the appropriate time. It was either not the right time for it or not the right type of challenge.

    I might also mention to your SD that it is really none of her business and unless she'd like others questioning her difficult and private decisions, perhaps she should stop questioning theirs. You had a great opportunity to teach good manners by saying 'I don't know, but it really isn't any of our business'.


    Quoting Verrine:

    I wholly support not taking the SATs in her case. However, since the PSAT is offered for free and the school day of high schools across America are rearranged around it, it takes effort to avoid the test. If she had taken the PSAT, I could use the College Board website to see what areas she needs to study. My SD's point is that if she wants to go into nursing or the allied health careers, there will be LOTS of testing, so why not confront the test anxiety, especially on a test which does not count for a grade.  


    Quoting HopesNDreams:

    PSATs s are completely optional - many kids do not take them. If she knew she was going to community college, why waste the time, money, and anxiety on the SATs?
    Her parents made the best financial and emotional choice for their child. I am confused as to what you don't understand? Should she pay for and take multiple tests that will be stressful just because 'everyone else did'?

      

  • Verrine
    by Verrine
    June 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    From experience as a college counselor, the biggest determinant of success is work ethic. That's why professors love "mature" learners. Some people enter college at 17 and understand that they need to study, take advantage of tutoring etc., while many people need to get some life experience first. 

    Quoting atlmom2:

    My dd that is in massage school has some test anxiety. She pushes through and has a driven personality. This week she had a pathology final. Every was doing poorly. She had a 75 going into the final. She added all extra credit she could do and did well on the final. She got an 83 and was sooooooo happy. She called us all excited. She is 22 and flourishing now. She failed out of massage school at 19. Now she is more mature and ready. Also living with her boyfriend on her own. Difference between her as an 18, 19yo and now at 22 is immense. She was not ready for college before.

     

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