Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dr. Who and the PSAT

Saturday, October 18, 2014



My two teenagers love Dr. Who. I really cannot understand the tv show so I don't get the international hype.  My kids even have debates about who is the best Dr. Who (I think there have been 12)...come on, really!?  I mean this show has even been around a long time. In fact, the first series was around from 1963 to 1989 and then it was revived in 2005.  Truly, Dr. Who has become part of British society and has gained in popularity with Americans.


How Can You Relate Dr. Who to the PSAT ?

Ok, so what is the correlation between Dr. Who and the PSAT?  In fact, I found some very distinct similarities. Just like Dr. Who, the PSAT has been around for a long time (since 1993); it has become part of popular culture;  and is not easily understood by everyone.  Like I was totally mystified about Dr. Who, I am sure our students and parents are not always clear about the purpose and benefits of the PSAT. The purpose of this post is to help you as a school counselor assist your students and parents in understanding the PSAT and its scoring.

Early Awareness

As a teen I knew that Dr. Who existed, but never took the time to learn about the show.  Why?  It never appealed to me. However, my kids were exposed to Dr. Who in elementary school so they have grown up with the storyline. The Dr. Who franchise does a great job marketing the tv show and its products to British and American fans. I think we can learn a lesson from this type of marketing campaign with our students.  

Although our students know about the PSAT, total understanding of the PSAT starts in middle school and continues in high school each fall. Therefore, it is very important to start advertising the PSAT to your students and parents early in the school year.  The College Board has many posters and flyers you can download and send to your parents.

Preparing for the PSAT

Promotion tips include:

1.  Sharing the power point for preparing for the PSAT.
2.  Going into the classroom and giving students the practice test as soon as they arrive. 
3.  Putting up test day reminders around the school so students remember the test is coming soon.

Benefits of Taking the PSAT

One great way to keep people interested in the Dr. Who franchise is to introduce a new doctor. To interest students in taking the PSAT, we need to expose them to new benefits that will keep their interests.

So, another helpful tip is to put up information about the benefits of taking the PSAT.  Here are two of many reasons you can share with students.

Benefits of Taking the PSAT

1.  Scholarship opportunities like the National Merit Scholarship Program.
2.  Helps students prepare for the SAT.

Benefits Quick Reference Handout

Understanding Your Scores
The Weeping Angel must have not prepared for the PSAT!


Dr. Who fans are great about making connections with other fans via social media and promoting understanding of the show. This is important to hook those who are new to the franchise.  Well, after the PSAT is given, we need to provide understanding about PSAT and how it can help impact college admission.

After the test is given, it is important to make sure that students and parents understand their scores and how they can improve them.  College Board provides information on the score report that you want to review with your families.

Score Reporting

Understanding Your Results Power Point


Tools

The Dr. Who franchise uses tools like fan pages, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of media to promote discussion and keep interest in the show.  To keep students engaged in taking the PSAT beyond the sophomore year, there are several tools that you can share with your students.  These two tools include:
  • My College QuickStart
  • My Road
Tools for Understanding Your Score and Choose a College
SAT Study Plan

Free Test Prep

Making resources available to students is important especially for students and parents who need exposure to the strategies of the test.  I have provided some free resources you can provide for your students.  There are lots more, but this is a good place to start!
4Tests
PSAT Prep

Videos



Cracking the PSAT

Last, I would like to share with you a free worksheet you can to use with students. Please feel free to download, use, and share with your students and colleagues. 

Do you have any creative ways you promote the PSAT?  I would love to get your ideas.