By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki
The pressure from testing can be even more intense for college-bound high school students.
AP and IB
For high school students, accelerated coursework available through Advanced Placement (AP) classes and the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program brings rigorous testing at the end of the semester.
The College Board administers college-level Advanced Placement classes, which allow students to get higher grades (on a scale of 5.0 instead of 4.0) to boost their GPA, as well as possibly be able to transfer credits to college when they graduate.
Source: Pixabay.comInternational Baccalaureate Programmes offer academic rigor and emphasize students’ personal development.
Both programs administer tests at the end of the year and claim to give high school students the opportunity to stand out in college admissions because they demonstrate that they are capable of performing well in rigorous classes.
But there are two sides to this coin.
Not all colleges accept AP or IB classes to count toward credit, according to The Washington Post. And the programs’ effects on some vulnerable students’ anxiety levels, especially at testing time, can outweigh the benefits, reports The Atlantic. So parents and teachers need to use their best judgment to determine how heavy and AP or IB courseload a student can handle.
SAT and ACT
In addition to AP and IB tests, high school juniors and seniors are also grappling with taking SATs and ACTs, those vital indicators so important to getting into their chosen colleges.
The Princeton Review offers 5 tips on how to prepare for these rites of passage, including:
- Take a practice test
- Sign up for a prep class
- Prep online
- Get a private tutor
- Go to camp
What should a student do if they don’t score well on their SAT or ACT? Well, first they should schedule to take the test again, and prepare, says AcceptU.com, a website of former admissions officers that provides resources for college-bound high school students. If students only took one of the two types of college admissions tests, they should take the other to see if they do better.
If they still don’t test well, they should be aware that these tests are only one part of the college admissions process, and focus on keeping grades high, participating in extracurricular activities, and trying to distinguish themselves in other ways. Many great colleges that have lower standardized test averages, so they should check the data on the schools they are applying for, and remember that ore than 800 colleges and universities don’t require standardized testing scores.
Curriki would love to hear your opinion on standardized testing, pre-college testing, and how you help students prepare or manage anxiety. Please post your comments here!
Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.