The PSAT and the SAT are two written exams used to determine college level skills among high school students. Many students with excellent grade point averages will not do well on the SAT. They are unprepared and walk into the test with little idea of what they will be facing. The content of their math classes, for example, does not prepare them for the structure of the SAT math section!
BCS has taken the approach that students should begin preparation for the SAT and PSAT in grade nine. The SAT emphasizes reading skills, grammar, vocabulary, mathematics and writing skills. At Balboa City School, students will focus on building college level vocabulary, learning how to write specifically for the SAT writing section, and will continuously review the mathematics required to do well on the SAT. Much of the work is done in class, as part of our curriculum. But some is also done for homework and then reviewed English class or math class.
Our approach, recommended by the College Board, is that adequate preparation for the SAT requires years of distributed practice among the skill sets mentioned above, and also a great familiarity with the structure of the exam along with some time management skills. Fall 2012 begins the inauguration of the SAT Preparation Program.
Our college counselors work closely with students and families to find the right college for each of our students. This process begins in earnest in grade 11. By November of grade 12 all students will have applied to the California state colleges and universities.