Students and parents from Y10-Y12 came to learn the “ins and outs” of U.S. aptitude tests for college admission.
Mary Peart, Head of the English Secondary Department welcomed the audience and introduced Sue Gourlay, the new Head of Careers, and Deborah Cooney the new Careers Officer to the GSIS community.
Catherine Muller from Education USA, the official U.S government organization on U.S. higher education for international students, gave an overview of the two tests. She encouraged the students to take one or both the SAT/ACT, if they want to apply to attend university in the U.S. However, Catherine Muller also pointed out that there are still 800 out of 4000 U.S. universities that do not require either test.
The SAT subject tests or ACT tests are required by the most competitive universities. These tests are normally taken at the end of Y12 or beginning of Y13.
The Best Way to Prepare
Following this overview, a panel discussion moderated by Sue Gourlay with The Edge’s Matt Sears and IvyGate’s Antony Cheung provided lots of insight and advice on how best to plan and prepare for the SAT/ACT tests.
The highlight of the evening was the advice and experiences shared by our own GSIS Y13 Student Ambassadors - Shoumit Sarkar, Michelle Ng, Jerry Chang and Caitlin Fischer. The families learned first-hand how GSIS students have tackled their preparation for the SAT and ACT. Their recommendations included:
- Read widely and write as much as you can to boost your vocabulary.
- Understand your own learning and preparation style – Self-study or sign up for a tutorial center.
- Take practice exams - Practice exams can help you discover your strengths and weaknesses and learn to manage your time wisely during the test.
- See what areas need work - When you get the score from your practice test, pay attention to the types of questions that gave you trouble and then focus on those areas as you prepare.
- Study hard and do well in your classes.
GSIS is an SAT test center and students can register certain times of the year to take the exam at GSIS. Most GSIS students applying to the U.S. sit the exams in Y12.
The Careers Department plans to hold this information evening again later in the year. Coming March watch out for the US College Alumni information fair where alumni representatives from a range of US colleges and universities will host round-table sessions for interested students and parents.