I took my first official SAT today; I must say it seemed too easy. :confused: I am very confused, are the SATs usually this easy? Quiet frankly, the PSAT seemed harder than this. Now this worries me; I did not double check while doing my PSAT and finished every section in 15 minutes. So I learned from that experience, but I still had 10 minutes remaining every section even after double checking. Only section I used the full time was the essay, which could have used higher diction and a bit more concrete details. I got 186 on the PSAT, I am confident that my score for the SAT will be above 2200. :rolleyes: Sounds quixotic to say that, but it felt that easy. I know I got 2 questions wrong though. I am so confident that I ordered the submit score 2 months ago, before even taking the test.

Now any of you have any SAT stories? Any of you felt as confident as me but ending up being disappointed?

Jan 22 SAT.JPG

Jan 22 SAT.JPG

Boy oh boy, SAT stories…

On a serious note first, I took it twice. The first time, I felt like I did poorly, and ended up with a 2100. The second, I felt I nailed it, and instead dropped something like 150 points. Curves play into it a lot, and it’s easy to make a silly little mistake under the pressure of the test (or a great guess), and you can’t really know how it went until the scores come in.

But on a more humorous side…

I took the PSAT twice as well.

And I misspelled my name.


Year one, I mixed up where the first name and last name should go, and caught my mistake. But I forgot to un-bubble the extra letters of my last name. Joseph Gallagher became Josepher Gallagher.

Next year, I made the same mistake. Except I didn’t catch it. The test results were adressed to Gallagher Joseph.

My second year scores were good enough to put me into the first round for the National Merit scholarship, so this time, it was important to correct it. So after a few phone calls, I got my name back to normal. But the damage had been done. My scores had been sent out to, seemingly, every single college in the world, under three names. The colleges immediately began to send three seperate, identical mailings to my house, asking me to apply. Same with e-mails. To this day, I get stray e-mails and pamphlets in sets of three: one addressed to Josepher, one to Gallagher, and one to Joseph.

Moral of the story: As long as you are intelligent enough to spell your name right, don’t worry too much about your scores. And even if you’re not, some colleges will still let you in :slight_smile:

After reading College Confidential thread for a while, I think I got more wrong than I first expected, but still seems over 2200. That site is evil; it makes me feel all self conscious.

College Confidential has denied me from Stanford so many times, at one point I considered not even applying to my #1 choice. I mean, I don’t think I’ll get in, but I’ll at least apply!

But seriously, that forum has useful things… and scary stories. Focus on the useful things.

Hope you did well though! You definitely sound like a smart guy here on CD, if that helps… lol

It’s a pretty silly website.

Assuming you play your cards right (i.e. apply to couple schools within your scores that you like) you will go somewhere you feel okay about it. And chances are, you will love it. Wherever you go.

IMO, the college application process is way over-hyped. If you do the work, you will find yourself at a solid university. And if you do the work there, then there will be more opportunities than you can take advantage of to get where you want to go. It’s all about your drive.

I met a guy two weekends ago who went to University of Maine and studied mechanical engineering while working at a nearby airport on the side to get his A&P (airplane mechanic certification). He worked at a big defense contractor for a few years, then got picked up by Scaled Composites where he ended up as a test engineer for SpaceShipOne. Then he left to start an airplane restoration company.

I bet there are quite a few graduates from more highly ranked schools than UMO that applied for that job.

tl;dr Not getting into Harvard/MIT/Caltech/Stanford/Yale/ is not the end of the world. You can do great things anywhere. :slight_smile:

I hoped that I would never be asking myself this question, but I have gotten myself into this situation. I am currently getting a low C in pre-calculus, 72%, and even if I ace the final, I will still have a C. Should I even bother trying on the final? Dropping the class is not an option.

I am in a very very deep depression because of school. I had enough of schooling; I want education. Keep in mind, schooling and education are two separate, distinct concepts. Schooling should not get in the way of education. Middle school and high school are just mere buffer zone between primary school and college. It is the time when kids get to mature and learn life skills. School teaches time management (more like forces it), social skills, responsibility, and school just gives you a taste of every subject to sample. That is schooling; education is a whole different beast. I knew what I wanted to do with my life regarding career by the time I was in 8th grade. The whole college thing came to me my Sophomore year. I want true education; school teaches you equations and variables, I just need to plug them in and solve. They don’t teach you why or how; they are essentially teaching you how to do great on tests. The real world is not like that. I would like to think of life as an art. It takes experience; even if the job requires equations, without experience equations are useless.

If teachers here disagree with my observation, feel free to lecture me. So far none of my teachers have been able to teach me what I have learned through my personal experiences. I learned that no one can teach me; I am unteachable. The only person that can teach me is myself.

Please think a very long time about what I have said; I am keen on thinking very abstract ideas that are hard to put into words. I am even impressed by people that can understand me.

I got a 32 on the SAT! Hehe :slight_smile:


I just want to give you a word of warning for I know exactly what you are going through. Don’t give up on high school because you find it pointless or simply boring. While at times it does seem remedial and boring just remember it is a means for a end. You obviously sound like you want to move on to bigger and better things but those goals of yours will only get harder if you slack off in high school. A good high school career can open so many doors to you in college and it would be terrible to realize in senior year that dream school X won’t take you because you decided to give up midway through sophomore year. Plus how hard is high school for you truly? Is it just out of pure laziness that you find these simple high school lessons unimportant or that you truly know it all? Cause it would be a shame for you to throw it all away because you don’t want to put a little effort in life.

P.S. I highly doubt you are unteachable, your just unwilling to learn.

Hope you mean ACT (if so congrats)

You know what, I am just gonna watch MIT lectures on iTunes U. At least I learn 10 times more in one hour lecture than I do the whole week at school…

Single Variable Calculus
Classical Physics

What else? Then after those, I’ll go into Multi variable calculus and Electricity and Magnetism… At least I can watch and takes notes on those lectures all day long. Its the whole “college” lecture effect.

It should only take 105 days of getting 2 lectures in a day to finish all the way up to linear algebra and intro to quantum mechanics. Hell I threw in some Astrophysics lecture in there. Start with 1 lecture each of single variable calculus and classical physics lectures a day in and may be try going up to 6 lectures a day during breaks. Not bad way to learn.

I’ll have to echo the comments about not giving up on school. As a recent victim of this, give your teachers another chance. I’ve been in your exact spot: struggling grade-wise with an introductory topic that I thought I was “above,” and wanting to move onward. Turns out, although maybe I knew a bit more than my grade suggested, I was far from a master, or even fully prepared to move onward and upward. You’ll be surprised at how much you were missing out on when you’d “had enough” of it. Give high school another shot, and make the best of it.

And this takes motivation on your part. Only the most skilled teachers make it easy for students to learn through self-discovery. But good students can pull self-discovery from a non-ideal environment. Try it out. You may surprise yourself. Ask questions. Why are we learning this? What are the applications? The teachers will probably be happy to see someone care like this.

The bottom line is, any school, high school or college, is what you make of it. If you have the mindset of it as a place to learn to take tests, then you will see it as a place where you learn to take tests. If you open your eyes and look for greater learning opportunities, you’ll find some.

Contrary to what you’ve said, college is not a magic-end-all-treasure-trove of knowledge. It too is what you make of it. Think back. In 8th grade, did you have high hopes for high school, thinking that it would open a whole bunch of new doors? No matter where you are in life, new doors in education are only available to those who look for them.

As to your case in pre-calculus, my advice is, never give up on a subject you initially set out to learn. Never burn a bridge when it comes to your education, intending to simply leap across the gap. The gap may be bigger than you thought. I can’t speak for college admissions staff, but I’d take a student with a bunch of Cs over one with several As and several Fs, because the C student didn’t give up. The A/F student only excelled at what they were already comfortable with.

And go ahead and watch the MIT lectures on your own time. But a word of warning. It may not seem fair, and ultimately it isn’t, but colleges will measure how much you know, first and foremost, by how much your high school tells them that you know.

I am glad you see that the big purposes of schooling go well beyond the actual subject matter. However I don’t think you understand how important these skills are. When you get to college no one will hold your hand at all, if you fail, oh well, there is a waitlist of kids who want your spot. You post on CD more often than everyone about how you are struggling in school and you often blame time management or your ability to get along with teachers, two of the skills that fit right into your description of what “schooling” should be teaching you.

This is not true, there are definitely other lessons to be learned beyond the facts in a text book when you are in school (honestly, talk to a 2nd or 3rd grader about a topic they just learned about, you will realize how much you don’t remember and that there was never a need for you to have learned that info but you will also realize that learning how to learn is as much the point as the information you are learning is) However you have mentioned multiple times that you want to get into CS, or Physics, or Math. If you study any of these areas at any of the schools you submitted your scores to you will need a very strong math background. The stuff you should be learning this year and next will be information you will be required to recall constantly (trig identities, derivation, integration, etc) It is hugely important that you master the ability to perform the equations before you try to apply them. I made the mistake of taking a Signal processing course concurrently with Diff Eq, I quickly realized how difficult it was to learn to solve differential equations through application. Professors at MIT and CalTech won’t walk you through trig identities, they will often make substitutions on the fly when solving problems because they expect you to just see what the identity was. By not paying attention in Pre-Calc, that is going to be hard for you.

This statement is completely wrong, I know it is your opinion but I sincerely think this is the least intelligent thing I have ever seen you post. You can be taught. What you actually mean is that you are the only person who can allow yourself to learn. You deciding you are unteachable is strictly stubbornness. You may be able to get away with ignoring your teachers and teaching yourself enough to pass in High school, but in college you will quickly find out that this is not enough to get by, learn the lesson now, other people have a lot to teach you.

Okay, I’ll take school a lot more seriously; that means I would have to invest more time into studying. Now I want to really master Physics, not just know the formulas and plug in stuff. I found 3 “better” books than my current textbook; which one do you recommend? I am certainly buying the used ones, I am not cashing our $200 for a book.

Okay, I will take school a lot more seriously; that means investing more time outside of class to study. So I really want to master Physics, not just plugging in variables and solving. So which textbook do you recommend? Obviously I am gonna get the used ones.

Okay, I’ll take school more seriously; that means investing more time outside of class actually mastering the subject. I want to get a broader view of physics than what the current text book gives me. Which textbook do you recommend? I am obviously getting the used one.

This one looks very interesting:

If you are asking me why I am doing this. I realize how important physics is regarding my future career and college education. I want to fully master it before I graduate highschool

Also for calculus:

I assume I need single variable before multi variable calculus

Do you know why those books are called “College Physics”? Because that’s likely precisely where you’ll use them. I took physics b in high school, yet I’m taking introductory physics again in my freshman year of college. Most of it’ll be rehash, albeit more difficult rehash, but that simply illustrates my point. You’ll get this foundation through the school systems, part of it now and part of it in the future, and you’ll have people much more versed in the subject material than you to guide you through it. They can even relate to you their experiential knowledge, which is likely at least somewhat substantial, in a way no textbook can.

If you’re convinced that the system’s inherently flawed though, and you can only get a proper foundation of physics by your own hand, there’s nothing I can do to stop you from learning that way.

I noticed that too, but look what I am learning from:

I am currently learning from a college textbook. It usually only has one example per section, usually one for very simple concepts. This is the book we are learning from.

Alright, that’s fair enough; I must not have completely understood your post. But try not to let yourself get too involved in your “extracurricular” work before completing the work assigned from your school’s book. While grades may seem asinine at times, and an unjust representation of your abilities at others, they aren’t pointless. Not by a long shot. In my experience, they’re more a representation of work ethic than simple test-taking ability. Colleges care about them quite a bit too, partly for that reason, and that was quite a selective list of colleges that you sent your SAT scores to.

If I seem like I’m to be a jerk here, I don’t mean to be. But I’ve been through the applications process for colleges as selective as those, with mixed results. I just want to help you get the best chance of getting into what I know are great schools where you’d be hard-pressed not to succeed, if you have the drive to do so.