I Survived The SATs!

The universities that I would like to go to recommended that homeschool students take a standardized test to apply ( why? ) and I chose the SAT without the essay.

 

Preparing

Taking as many practice test as you possibly can ( it sounds extreme but I think lots of practice tests are very important ) help so much! Khan Academy Official Practice made the whole test experience a lot easier. Around 2 months before the test date, I took the first full-length practice test on Khan Academy so it could see where I struggled and where I excelled to make a plan. It recommends what subjects need to be worked on based on the previous practice tests’ scores. Screenshot 2018-01-15 at 1.08.44 PM

Every day up until the test day I spent about 20 minutes – so I didn’t get overwhelmed or burnt out – working on the topics it recommended and every other week I took a full-length practice test to pretend it was the real test day. The week of the actual test I took full-length practice tests every other day because I wanted to get the nerves of the test out a bit. At some point, test scores seem to stop varying much and stick within a range. I had a 90 point range with all of the practice tests. I got around the same score every time except for a few really bad days and one really great score day. My final score ended up being right in this range and the official score had a 70 point range predicting that if I retook the test it would also fall within the same range.

Khan Academy also has lots of tips and tricks on how to take the test. In the comments on their pages, people have shared things about their experiences and lots of helpful tips, too.

 

Registering

All SAT test registration is done through the CollegeBoard. As I had said in the previous post on SATs, it is good to sign up well in advance to get a test centre close by. My uni applications all have a deadline of March 1st for getting the docs in, so this was my only chance to take the test and do well. If I were to do it again, I would take the SATs a little earlier in case my score wasn’t a good representation of my skills. But the benefit is I knew I did my very best this time and it probably wouldn’t be much better if I had taken the test again.

I didn’t do my full registration, I had my mom do it because I was afraid I would miss something. They require a photo which they seem very picky about but really as long as you can tell who you are from the picture it is fine. There is a fee for the test and it is more for those outside of the US. They also want you to fill out info forms for scholarships but those scholarships are just for the US, so I did not fill them out.

 

Test day

I had to get up at 6am, which, as a homeschooler that doesn’t usually have to wake up very early, was the worst part of the whole test, I also didn’t fall asleep until late so that didn’t help, but that’s why coffee exists! The first thing that happens when you arrive at the Test Centre is the check your ID and admission ticket. I went in before it was technically open but that also meant I was one of the first people out once the test was done. After getting ID checked, I went to the Test Room where everyone was lined up and handing in their phones to be set aside during the test, I did not take my phone with me. There was quite a bit of waiting for everyone to get in, which I didn’t really mind since it was my first time ever in a non-university classroom, I liked looking around at everything. The test supervisor handed out test booklets and workbooks, explained the rules and there was signing to agree that you weren’t cheating or anything, and then the first part of the test began. Each part passed by with breaks in between, I made the mistake of not standing up when it was break time and sitting in the chair for 4 hours got very uncomfortable. It was very nice once the test was over and the relief of it being done, and I could get out of the chair.

 

Scores

The scores were sent out about a week later. They email to tell you they have arrived and you can view them through the CollegeBoard website, where they also heavily break the scores down and explain where points came from and where you did well. I was satisfied with my score but I know I could have done better with timing. The time flies by during the actual test.

Official scores are sent to the schools you’ve applied to through the CollegeBoard for a fee to ship them. It took awhile to find the code for the schools since they’re outside of the US but with some searching around they were found. Scores were sent off and that’s it for the standardized test part of the application!

 

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Why Take The ACT Or SAT Test To Apply To Uni In ON?

As a homeschooler in Ontario, it is highly recommended – and required in order to apply to some schools – that you take either the SAT or the ACT standardized tests before applying to university. In Canada, public school students are not required to take these tests unless they are applying to schools outside of Canada, unlike in the United States where every high school student must take these tests.

 

Why take these tests?

It helps the universities bring all the students who did not attend a local high school to about the same playing field and judge them fairly. It can also give them more proof of how well you do in some subjects and that you’ve actually learnt things, basically just insurance that you have actually had an education.

 

What standardized test to take?

There are the ACT, SAT and SAT Subject Tests that can be taken and used for your application. All of the schools I wanted to apply to did not specify if they wanted ACT or SAT and the SAT test date was sooner than the ACT date so I went with the SAT test. One of the schools asked for homeschool students to have taken 3 SAT Subject Tests that correlated to the program you’re applying to, for example, I would have to take the Chemistry, Biology and Math tests in order apply to Kinesiology. However, I was too late for signing up for the Subject Tests and just went with the original SAT test without the essay.  I recommend signing up for the tests well in advance to ensure you get a spot at a test centre nearby and that you can get the tests that you want!

 

More on my experience taking the SAT coming soon! For more on university requirements for homeschoolers in Ontario look here.

P.S It’s Peri

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University Requirements For Homeschoolers

I am lucky to have pretty easily picked out the schools that I would like to apply to, which really narrowed down what my requirements as a homeschooler had to be.

 

Requirements and the to-do list

Requirements vary from school to school but the basic idea of what they want is all the same.

  • Results from a standardized test such as the SATs or ACTs. – To make sure you are up to par with the students coming in from public schools.
  • Transcripts of high school courses. – To see what you’ve done over the years.
  • Cover letter describing the curriculum you used to homeschool, why you homeschooled and your plans for your university journey.
  • And required courses for the program you’re going into.

 

Finding requirements

Some schools are very accepting of homeschoolers and have everything laid out nicely with regards as to what they want to see, others were harder to find and said that it would be best to just go to public school. I found the easiest way to find what the homeschool student requirements were was to just Google the school name and “homeschool requirements”. Contacting an admissions officer would be a good step, too. All of the requirements felt a bit overwhelming, but one step at a time and they’re all getting done and it’s not as bad as it seemed at first!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Homeschooling Vs Public School For Grade 12 – Why I Continued Homeschooling

Lots of people go to public high school for at least the final year of homeschooling high school, the universities recommend it and it can be simpler. But, after much debating, I decided to try to pioneer my way through the last year of homeschooling high school and into the world beyond.

Why I continued homeschooling

There were benefits to both going to public school and homeschooling this year. Going to school would make applying easier, I wouldn’t have to find the right standardized tests for each school, wouldn’t have as much work to do personally on applying so I could focus on the schoolwork itself. But there were many downsides to going to school: having never been to public school before, the whole situation would take getting used to. I’ve spent many years trying to stand out from public school and going to school for the final year would be setting me back, in my opinion. So, I decided to stay. Personally, there are many benefits to staying, such as: being able to stand out in university applications because every homeschoolers’ application is individually evaluated, so there is no chance of mine being missed. No getting used to a new environment of a public school, I can do courses that specifically relate to what I would like to go to university for so I am more prepared and it looks better on applications, more free time and less stress because I have more control over my application and schoolwork. Plus, it is an adventure to go through this not-so-common process!

And since I have not found much on life as a homeschool high school student, I hope to keep this more updated about the process of applying and how things are going! If you have any questions or there are posts you want to see, let me know in the comments!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Still Alive And Coming Back

 

Hello!

Yes, I am still alive. Thanks to everyone who still follows, I will be getting back into active blogging and will be documenting my final year of high school, the process of applying to universities and my life along the way!

If you have any questions or things you’d like to see in upcoming posts, please let me know in the comments!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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March Break + University Tour

Hello, readers! Sorry, I’ve been so inactive, I was feeling kind of uninspired but I’ve had several blog post ideas and will be posting them for the next little while!

 

March break

I kind of forgot it was spring break here. The break should really be in February, by March I feel like I can make it through until summer but February feels like it’s never-ending. I only slightly this week off because I wanted to keep busy. Friends who go to school were off and bored so I got to get together with some of them and there was extra practice for dance because of the fast-approaching competition season.

 

University

One of the 3 main universities I’d like to go to was having an open house for spring break. I am very lucky to live close to several universities which really narrowed down my choices. This one is the closest, but I wasn’t too sure if their programme was the best. Now it might be my first choice after having spent the day there it felt like I could live there and be comfortable and I’m excited about their Kin programme! I got to see some of the labs, hear about what it’s like studying there and explore the campus, plus got to tour one of the residences which were really nice. Since I still have another year before applying to universities this was sort of just to stake out what this particular university is like.

 

How did you spend your March break?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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