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Getting into College: Advice for Homeschoolers

To Test...


If your teen will be taking the SAT, ACT, or similar tests, he will need to prepare at least a year or so in advance. Most students take the tests during their junior year, so plan accordingly. Take a trip to your library and sample the array of SAT prep books. Then buy the one your teen likes best. The Princeton Review has a CD ROM titled, "Inside the SAT," which my daughter found helpful. Standard Deviants offers an SAT test prep DVD that is both informative and funny. There are also numerous websites that offer SAT help.

Or Not to Test...


Many homeschooling families believe the SAT or ACT tests are a poor judge of college readiness and refuse to have their children take the tests. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, there are over 700 colleges -- more than a quarter of the national total -- that do not use the SAT or the ACT as a basis for admission.

"Colleges and universities eliminate test-score requirements for many reasons," explains Bob Schaeffer, Fair Test's public education director. Among them is the recognition that "high-priced coaching programs artificially boost the scores of students who can afford them." Schaeffer says that most schools agree that scores from a three-hour exam add little of value to an applicant's portfolio.

For a list of colleges that do not require the SAT, visit Fair Test.



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