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The tests and scores that can help you gain admission to more selective colleges are changing. I see this as a tutor; though I am not an expert in educational statistics, I cobbled together some data that illustrates current trends. Starting in 1926, the SAT pioneered standardized college admissions tests. It provided valuable objective measures of academic potential. The SAT greatly improved equality in college admissions: in the 1930’s and 1940’s, selective colleges were reluctant to take excellent students from smaller unknown high schools because their risk of failure was higher. The SAT also reduced reliance on interview performance and social connections in admission decisions. Colleges gained experience at balancing test scores and grades with indicators of creativity and unusual achievements. In the 1930’s, about 10% of college-age Americans (about 25% of high school graduates) attended college. Because academic potential, finances, and personal preference... read more

I have many students tell me that they are afraid to ask a stupid question in class.  I tell them that there are NO stupid questions, only stupid mistakes because you didn't ask the question!  Too many smart students in Calculus think that by asking a question they will appear weak.  What most students don't know is that probably there are many other students with the same question in their head that they are afraid to ask!  The look of relief on other students' faces when some else asks a question is amazing.     Another thing smart students have a problem with is writing down each step.  Newsflash: by the time you get to Calculus you can no longer do the problems in your head.  Calculus problems generally are difficult because it is not just a matter of memorizing a formula and applying it.  In Calculus you are expected to extrapolate the knowledge you have learned to problems you have never seen before.  This is scary for... read more

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