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My students can't get more than 1450 on SAT | Forum

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Alex Sem TUTOR
Alex Sem Apr 14 '22
Here's the issue. No matter how hard I try as a tutor, or how determined my students are, there are always 3 to 8 questions per section they fail. Some of them are just slips, but also each consequetive test contains a couple of questions that require additional explanation. I've tried Princeton review strategies, all the tools and tweaks from the SAT black book, even personlized stratgies for each student, but they still can't overcome the threshold. Has anyone here come across a similar issue and is there any advice you could give? Thanks!
Admin TUTOR
Admin Apr 14 '22
1450 on the SAT is a great score and should get them into most of the top colleges.

Getting a score beyond 1450 requires the student to have inherent skills that they may not have.

If they get a score close to 1450, more focus on GPA and extracurricular activities would be a better use of their time. 

Alex Sem TUTOR
Alex Sem Apr 15 '22

Quote from Admin 1450 on the SAT is a great score and should get them into most of the top colleges.

Getting a score beyond 1450 requires the student to have inherent skills that they may not have.

If they get a score close to 1450, more focus on GPA and extracurricular activities would be a better use of their time. 

Pretty clear, thanks! However, the thing is 1450 is the highest result a student of mine has ever got. Normally, most of them get stuck at somewhat 1300, which is not that good. Evenmore, some of them show as high as 1400 in their mock attempts, but totally fail real ones. Any advice here?
James Frankenfield TUTOR
James Frankenfield Dec 10 '22
The math test has four categories of problems. These each have different topics and are used for different subscores. One of the categories (with the least number of questions) is a "grab bag" of more advanced topics. So there will be a certain number of problems which do not fall into a certain type and really can't be specifically prepared for. They are harder problems. This sorts out the better students at the top of the scale.

The other three categories are well defined and can be prepared for. You can assess the student on the specific topics and improve the ones they are weak on.

You need to remember that this test is supposed to assess the readiness of students to succeed in college math based on a good (and rather basic) ability at the high school level. They presumably had 3 years of high school math they should know. If they do then they will get a respectable score on the test.


Also remember that this is only one piece of admissions information, and it's being weighted less and less.I predict that once it goes online it will have even less value. Some schools now make it optional and some don't use it at all. And the trend is in that direction.

Alex Sem TUTOR
Alex Sem Dec 11 '22

Quote from James Frankenfield The math test has four categories of problems. These each have different topics and are used for different subscores. One of the categories (with the least number of questions) is a "grab bag" of more advanced topics. So there will be a certain number of problems which do not fall into a certain type and really can't be specifically prepared for. They are harder problems. This sorts out the better students at the top of the scale.

The other three categories are well defined and can be prepared for. You can assess the student on the specific topics and improve the ones they are weak on.

You need to remember that this test is supposed to assess the readiness of students to succeed in college math based on a good (and rather basic) ability at the high school level. They presumably had 3 years of high school math they should know. If they do then they will get a respectable score on the test.


Also remember that this is only one piece of admissions information, and it's being weighted less and less.I predict that once it goes online it will have even less value. Some schools now make it optional and some don't use it at all. And the trend is in that direction.

James, appreciate your response. I'm also kind of anxious because it's going online. On the other hand, some of the officials are already ringing the bell - the level of applicants has actually plummeted since SAT got not compulsory. As for the subject, my students experience difficulties with the verbal part. Some of them get as high as 800 on math, but fail reading. I guess the major reason is they all have English as their 2nd language, and their failure in the 1st half of the test is quite predictable. However, I'm still looking for any possible ways to solve this problem.