04 June, 2016

He sat the SAT

Following on from yesterday's post, this morning our eldest son did an American test called the SAT. It is a test needed to standardize his non-Australian high school results for application to the tertiary system in Australia. This is not a school-based test, though CAJ hosts them and facilitates kids preparing for them. Hence neither I nor my school teacher husband know much about it at all. Makes me feel a little embarrassed, but I'm not sure that me knowing a lot about it would help him. 

Anyway, we paid for him to take this three-hour test this morning. Hopefully he'll do well enough that getting into uni won't be a big issue next year. And he does have more opportunities to do the test if he wishes, because these are held seven times a year and he doesn't have to apply for university in Australia till September next year (2017). 

Here's a bit of what Wikipedia has to say about this test (it also says that over 1.69 million high school graduates in 2015 took the test):
The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926. ...The SAT is owned and published by the College Board, a private, nonprofit organization in the United States. . . . The test is intended to assess a student's readiness for college. It is designed to not be aligned to high school curriculum. 
The College Board states that the SAT measures literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. They state that the SAT assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve problems—skills they learned in school that they will need in college. However, the test is administered under a tight time limit (speeded) to help produce a range of scores. 
The College Board also states that use of the SAT in combination with high school grade point average (GPA) provides a better indicator of success in college than high school grades alone, as measured by college freshman GPA. 
I also learned that you can get a score between 200 and 1,600, 1,600 being perfect. The scores are in 10-point increments.

I didn't expect to have so many challenges in sending my kids to an English-speaking school. You simply don't expect that there's going to be a third or fourth culture to encounter when the second culture you're dealing with in your host country is such a challenge in itself. I think that because it is in the language that you grew up speaking, you expect it to be easier. But it isn't necessarily and it certainly keeps us on our toes!

Yesterday there were a few comments on my FB post where I shared my blog post. Some great comments that I wanted to share here today, especially because they celebrate the positives of the challenges:

A missionary friend in Japan wrote: 
What wonderful opportunities we all have to experience various cultures. This missionary life is an incredibly blessed life. We are in the Japanese school system and enjoying getting to know people from Pakistan, Tanzania, the Philippines and other countries -- not anywhere close to the incredible cultural diversity that CAJ families get to experience. But even so, we are blessed and thankful.
 Another missionary friend who grew up as in Japan and also brought her kids up in Japan wrote this:
Aren't cultures so fun! I lived with varying cultures all my life!
As a post-script to yesterday's post I want to add this comment from teacher at CAJ:
Actually I found all but a couple of these terms in the Acronym and Term directory found in all the CAJ student handbooks, and I'd be glad to add the others. (I think AST is ACT). http://www.caj.or.jp/.../index.../Acronym_and_Term_Directory Inside/exclusive language is a challenge in many, if not most, organizations including missions and churches. And of course a definition is far from understanding the why and the implications but it is a start. I'm working on learning a new set of acronyms and terms for our new school next year and thankful I'm not switching to an IB (international baccalaureate) school as their acronym pool is much bigger than any other educational system I've seen. 

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