“I’m not good at standardized testing.” so said Maggie, a student at Guilford High School. She told me her scores. She was in the 90% percentile nationwide. Her perception stemmed from comparing herself to her smart friends in Guilford’s IB program and, as I pointed out, comparing herself to students from not only Guilford but her local shoreline community. The SAT is a national test, not a Connecticut test.
Students at our local high schools do wonderfully well on a comparative basis on national standardized tests. Maximize those and you have the strongest weapon in your college admissions arsenal.
US News & World Report, the arbiter of all rankings(!), released a report on the best states. Connecticut came in 4th for education. But for suburban towns along Shoreline-Southeastern, CT as well as Fairfield County Connecticut, Connecticut probably is number 1 for education. Here’s why: we live in a small state where our suburban population’s statistics are disproportionately affected by Connecticut’s cities. I wish it wasn’t the case but Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and, to a lesser degree, New London and Norwich, bring down the overall test scores and other educational measurements that affect these rankings.
The good news is that the schools in Connecticut’s affluent suburbs – Branford, Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Valley Regional, East Lyme, etc. all are extremely strong compared to the rest of the nation. That should be wonderful news in relation to the college search. But there is a distinct issue that most parents don’t fully understand: grades/class rank at your children’s schools are deflated in relation schools across the nation. Getting As and being ranked in the top 25% of one of our Connecticut high schools is harder to do than getting similar marks in lesser high schools across the nation.
Just reporting the facts here: An A average from most suburban schools in Connecticut is better than an A average from most suburban schools in Mississippi (usually ranked 50th).
The SAT, therefore, is the weapon that will differentiate your child.
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