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Friday, August 17, 2012

Test Anxiety

Annalisse has been knee-deep in college prep activities, including the aforementioned college visits and now an SAT prep class. She's taking the ACT in September, and the SAT in October, and, like Cameron, we invested in the pre-class to give her the best advantage possible for the test. Cam took the SAT twice, and was able to increase his score on the second test as a result of taking the class. For Annalisse, it's a little more difficult and she's very nervous about the whole thing.

School has never been easy for Annalisse, having been diagnosed with a learning/processing disability in first grade. The good news is she is a great advocate for herself, understanding her challenges and using resources and tools when needed. The bad news: a test like the ACT or SAT can be a disaster for her. She's smart - she "learns" - but things come harder for her and we're all really nervous about how she'll fare.

LUCKILY, we live in an age where most colleges consider "the whole package" - academics, school activities, life experiences, interest expressed in the school (through visits, an interview, etc.) - and as a result conduct a holistic review of their applicants. Recognizing this, there are many colleges that have a "test optional" policy whereby students can choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores. In our research for schools to visit, a test optional policy was definitely a criteria we considered.

The college search has been infinitely more interesting this time around, as we knew it would, since Cam had only one college in mind: RIT. It's been great visiting different campuses and several are emerging as "first" and "second" choices. Next week, we make our final college trip to Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA; it looks like a nice little school so hopefully it will "make the list."

Then, it's off and running for her senior year as Annalisse finishes up the SAT prep class, takes the two tests, starts her college applications, and begins the happy journey toward the end of her secondary school days!

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