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Exam Code: PSAT Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test syllabus January 2024 by Killexams.com team

PSAT Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and
college scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying
Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants
each year, and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

To enter the National Merit Scholarship Program and compete for recognition and 8,700
scholarships to be offered in 2021:

• Take the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2019.

• Meet other entry requirements.

Program entrants must take the test in the specified year of the high school program
(see page 6). The 2019 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the 2021
program. Most entrants will complete high school and enroll in college in 2021.



The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an annual
academic competition among high school students for
recognition and college scholarships. The program is
conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation
(NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates
without government assistance.

The 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship
Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) is the qualifying
test for entry to the 2021 National Merit Program. (The
PSAT™ 10 and PSAT™ 8/9 will NOT be considered for
entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program.) The
competition will span about 18 months from entry in the
fall of 2019 until the spring of 2021 when scholarships
for college undergraduate study will be awarded. It is
expected that about 4 million students will take the
PSAT/NMSQT in 2019, and approximately 1.6 million
of them will meet requirements to enter this program.



To enter the 2021 National Merit Program, a student
needs to meet all of the following requirements. A
student must:

1. be enrolled as a high school student (traditional
or homeschooled), progressing normally toward
graduation or completion of high school by 2021,
and planning to accept admission to college no later
than the fall of 2021;

2. attend high school in the United States, District of
Columbia, or U.S. commonwealths and territories;
or meet the citizenship requirements for students
attending high school outside the United States (see
below);



To participate in the National Merit Program, students
must take the PSAT/NMSQT in the specified year of
their high school program. Because a student can
participate (and be considered for a scholarship) in
only one specific competition year, the year in which
the student takes the PSAT/NMSQT to enter the
competition is very important.

1. Students who plan to spend the usual four years in
high school (grades 9 through 12) before entering
college full time must take the qualifying test in
their third year of high school (grade 11, junior year).
Sophomores who take the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT
but plan to spend four years in grades 9 through
12 will not meet entry requirements for the 2021
National Merit Program. They must take the
PSAT/NMSQT again in 2020 (when they are
juniors) to enter the competition that will end
when scholarships are awarded in 2022, the year
they will complete high school and enter college.

2. Students who plan to leave high school early to
enroll in college full time after spending three years
or less in grades 9 through 12 usually can participate
in the National Merit Program if they take the
PSAT/NMSQT before they enroll in college. To
enter the competition for awards offered in 2021,
these students must be in either the next-to-last or
the last year of high school when they take the 2019
PSAT/NMSQT:

a. if they are in the next-to-last year of high school
when they take the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT, awards
will be offered as they are finishing their last year
of high school; or

b. if they are in their last year of high school when
they take the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT, awards will
be offered the year after they have completed
high school.



Students who plan to participate in a postsecondary enrollment options program (through
which they enroll simultaneously in both high school
and college) must take the qualifying test in their
third year of high school (grade 11, junior year). To
enter the competition that ends when scholarships
are offered in 2021, these students must be in their
third year of high school when they take the 2019
PSAT/NMSQT, the same as all other students who
plan to spend four years in grades 9 through 12.
The high school determines whether a student is
participating in a post-secondary enrollment options
program and certifies the students status.

4. Students who plan to take five years to complete
grades 9 through 12 can participate in the National
Merit Program if they take the PSAT/NMSQT in
the third year of high school and again in the fourth
year. These students Selection Index scores will not
be eligible for the program until a written request
for entry to the competition is approved by NMSC.
The request should include the students name, high
school name and location, year the student began
high school, year the student will complete high
school, and a brief explanation of the students
educational pattern.

NMSC will use the students Selection Index score
from the PSAT/NMSQT taken in the students third year
of grades 9 through 12 to determine the expected level
of recognition. In order to be recognized in the fifth
(final) year of high school, the student must take
the PSAT/NMSQT again in the fourth year, and
earn a qualifying Selection Index score at or above
the level achieved on the third year test. The level
of recognition a student receives cannot exceed the
level earned on the qualifying test taken during the
students third year in grades 9 through 12, the year
in which all other competitors are considered.



NMSC uses PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores
(calculated by doubling the sum of the Reading,
Writing and Language, and Math Test scores) as an
initial screen of some 1.6 million program entrants.
The 2019 Selection Index scores of all students who
meet entry requirements for the 2021 program will be
considered. In the spring of 2020, NMSC will ask high
school principals to identify any errors or changes in the
reported eligibility of their high scorers (students whose
Selection Index scores will qualify them for recognition
in the fall of 2020).

Commended Students. In September 2020, more than
two-thirds (about 34,000) of the high scorers will be
designated Commended Students. They will be named
on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index
qualifying score that may vary from year to year.
In recognition of their outstanding ability and
potential for academic success in college, these students
will be honored with Letters of Commendation sent to
them through their high schools. Although Commended
Students will not continue in the competition for
National Merit Scholarships, some may be candidates
for Special Scholarships offered by corporate sponsors. NMSC will notify those candidates in
November 2020.

Semifinalists. Some 16,000 of the high scorers,
representing less than 1 percent of the nations high
school graduating seniors, will qualify as Semifinalists.
Only Semifinalists will have an opportunity to advance
in the competition for Merit Scholarship® awards.
NMSC will notify Semifinalists of their standing and
send scholarship application materials to them through
their high schools in September 2020. Their names will
be sent to regionally accredited four-year U.S. colleges
and universities and released to local news media for
public announcement in mid-September.

NMSC designates Semifinalists in the program on a
state-representational basis to ensure that academically
able young people from all parts of the United States
are included in this talent pool. Using the latest data
available, an allocation of Semifinalists is determined for
each state, based on the states percentage of the national
total of high school graduating seniors. For example,
the number of Semifinalists in a state that enrolls
approximately two percent of the nations graduating
seniors would be about 320 (2 percent of the 16,000
Semifinalists).

NMSC then arranges the Selection Index scores of
all National Merit Program participants within a state in
descending order. The score at which a states allocation
is most closely filled becomes the Semifinalist qualifying
score. Entrants with a Selection Index score at or above
the qualifying score are named Semifinalists. As a result
of this process, Semifinalist qualifying scores vary from
state to state and from year to year, but the scores of all
Semifinalists are extremely high.

In addition to Semifinalists designated in each of
the 50 states and without affecting the allocation to any
state, Semifinalists are named in several other selection
units that NMSC establishes for the competition. These
units are for students attending schools in the District of
Columbia, schools in U.S. commonwealths and territories,
schools in other countries that enroll U.S. citizens, and
U.S. boarding schools that enroll a sizable proportion of
their students from outside the state in which the school
is located. A participant can be considered for Semifinalist
standing in only one state or selection unit, based on the
high school in which the student is regularly enrolled
when taking the PSAT/NMSQT.

Finalists. A Semifinalist must fulfill several additional
requirements and advance to the Finalist level of the
competition before being considered for a National
Merit Scholarship. Over 90 percent (about 15,000)
of the Semifinalists are expected to become Finalists
and receive a Certificate of Merit attesting to their
distinguished performance in the competition.
Only Finalists will be considered for the 7,600 National
Merit Scholarships. Approximately half of the Finalists
will be Merit Scholarship winners (Merit Scholar®
awardees). Winners are chosen on the basis of their
abilities, skills, and accomplishments—without regard
to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
Scholarship recipients are the candidates judged to have
the greatest potential for success in rigorous college
studies and beyond.

To receive a scholarship payment, a Merit Scholarship
winner must notify NMSC of plans to (a) enroll in a
college or university in the United States that holds
accredited status with a regional accrediting commission
on higher education, and (b) enroll full time in an
undergraduate course of study leading to a traditional
baccalaureate degree. NMSC scholarship stipends are
not payable for attendance at service academies or
certain institutions that are limited in their purposes
or training.

The selection process involves evaluating substantial
amounts of information about Finalists obtained from
both students and their high schools. Included are the
Finalists academic record (course load and difficulty
level, depth and breadth of subjects studied, and grades
earned); standardized test scores; the students essay;
demonstrated leadership and contributions to school
and community activities; and the school officials written
recommendation and characterization of the Finalist.
The same process is used to select Special Scholarship
winners for a corporate sponsors awards.

Types of Scholarships
Some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships of three types
and approximately 1,100 Special Scholarships will
be awarded in 2021; these 8,700 awards will have a
combined value of about $41 million. Different types of
scholarships will be offered, but no student can receive
more than one monetary award from NMSC.

National Merit® $2500 Scholarships. These awards are
unique because every Finalist is considered for one and
winners are named in every state and other selection
unit. The number awarded in each state is determined by
the same representational procedure used to designate
Semifinalists. Finalists compete with all other Finalists in
their state or selection unit for one of the 2,500 National
Merit $2500 Scholarships. Winners are selected by a
committee of college admission officers and high school
counselors.

National Merit $2500 Scholarships provide a single
payment of $2,500. NMSCs own funds support the
majority of these scholarships, but corporate sponsors
help underwrite these awards with grants they provide
to NMSC in lieu of paying administrative fees.
Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
SAT SAT/National syllabus

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Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying
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Question: 1040
You purchase a car making a down payment of $3,000 and 6 monthly payments of $225. How much have you paid so far for the car?
A. $3225
B. $4350
C. $5375
D. $6550
E. $6398
Answer: B
Question: 1041
You need to purchase a textbook for nursing school. The book cost $80.00, and the sales tax where you are purchasing the book is 8.25%. You
have $100. How much change will you receive back?
A. $5.20
B. $7.35
C. $13.40
D. $19.95
E. $21.25
Answer: C
Question: 1042
If 8x + 5x + 2x + 4x = 114, the 5x + 3 =
A. 12
B. 25
C. 33
D. 47
E. 86
Answer: C
Question: 1043
Lee worked 22 hours this week and made $132. If she works 15 hours next week at the same pay rate, how much will she make?
A. $57
B. $90
C. $104
D. $112
E. $122
Answer: B
Question: 1044
If 300 jellybeans cost you x dollars. How many jellybeans can you purchase for 50 cents at the same rate?
A. 150/x
B. 150x
C. 6x
D. 1500/x
E. 600x
Answer: A
Question: 1045
If r = 5z then 15z = 3y, then r =
A. y
B. 2y
C. 5y
D. 10y
E. 15y
Answer: A
Question: 1046
Grace has 16 jellybeans in her pocket. She has 8 red ones, 4 green ones, and 4 blue ones. What is the minimum number of jellybeans she must take
out of her pocket to ensure that she has one of each color?
A. 4
B. 8
C. 12
D. 13
E. 16
Answer: D
Question: 1047
Simon arrived at work at 8:15 A.M. and left work at 10: 30 P.M. If Simon gets paid by the hour at a rate of $10 and time and 1/2 for any hours
worked over 8 in a day. How much did Simon get paid?
A. $120.25
B. $160.75
C. $173.75
D. $180
E. $182.50
Answer: C
Question: 1048
A student receives his grade report from a local community college, but the GPA is smudged. He took the following classes: a 2 hour credit art, a 3
hour credit history, a 4 hour credit science course, a 3 hour credit mathematics course, and a
1 hour science lab. He received a "B" in the art class, an "A" in the history class, a "C" in the science class, a "B" in the mathematics class, and an
"A" in the science lab. What was his GPA if the letter grades are based on a 4 point scale? (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0)
A. 2.7
B. 2.8
C. 3.0
D. 3.1
E. 3.2
Answer: C
Question: 1049
The city council has decided to add a 0.3% tax on motel and hotel rooms. If a traveler spends the night in a motel room that costs $55 before taxes,
how much will the city receive in taxes from him?
A. 10 cents
B. 11 cents
C. 15 cents
D. 17 cents
E. 21 cents
Answer: D
Question: 1050
Jim is able to sell a hand-carved statue for $670 which was a 35% profit over his cost. How much did the statue originally cost him?
A. $496.30
B. $512.40
C. $555.40
D. $574.90
E. $588.20
Answer: A
Question: 1051
Alfred wants to invest $4,000 at 6% simple interest rate for 5 years. How much interest will he receive?
A. $240
B. $480
C. $720
D. $960
E. $1,200
Answer: E
Question: 1052
If Leah is 6 years older than Sue, and John is 5 years older than Leah, and the total of their ages is 41. Then how old is Sue?
A. 8
B. 10
C. 14
D. 19
E. 21
Answer: A
Question: 1053
Solve the following equation for A:
2A/3 = 8 + 4A
A. -2.4
B. 2.4
C. 1.3
D. -1.3
E. 0
Answer: A
Question: 1054
The sales price of a car is $12,590, which is 20% off the original price. What is the original price?
A. $14,310.40
B. $14,990.90
C. $15,290.70
D. $15,737.50
E. $16,935.80
Answer: D
Question: 1055
Employees of a discount appliance store receive an additional 20% off of the lowest price on an item. If an employee purchases a dishwasher
during a 15% off sale, how much will he pay if the dishwasher originally cost $450?
A. $280.90
B. $287
C. $292.50
D. $306
E. $333.89
Answer: D
Question: 1056
If Sally can paint a house in 4 hours, and John can paint the same house in 6 hour, how long will it take for both of them to paint the house
together?
A. 2 hours and 24 minutes
B. 3 hours and 12 minutes
C. 3 hours and 44 minutes
D. 4 hours and 10 minutes
E. 4 hours and 33 minutes
Answer: A
Question: 1057
If Lynn can type a page in p minutes, what piece of the page can she do in 5 minutes?
A. 5/p
B. p 5
C. p + 5
D. p/5
E. 1 p + 5
Answer: A
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SAT SAT/National syllabus - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PSAT Search results SAT SAT/National syllabus - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PSAT https://killexams.com/exam_list/SAT Cal State board officially eliminates SAT/ACT for admissions

CSU’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to eliminate using standardized tests like the SAT and ACT for admission to its 23 campuses.

The 23-campus system — the nation’s largest public university system — became the latest to remove the standardized testing requirement and replace it with a so-called multifactor admission score that allows colleges to consider 21 factors. Those factors include work experience, leadership roles, extracurricular activities and special status such as foster youth, first-generation or military.

As of March 1, more than 1,820 four-year colleges and universities, including the University of California, have eliminated the SAT or ACT from admission requirements, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

Advocates for underrepresented students had argued that the standardized tests discriminated against them.

“This decision aligns with the California State University’s continued efforts to level the playing field and provide greater access to a high-quality college degree for students from all backgrounds,” said Acting Chancellor Steve Relyea. “In essence, we are eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit and providing our applicants with greater opportunities to demonstrate their drive, talents and potential for college success.”


Tue, 22 Mar 2022 05:01:00 -0500 en text/html https://edsource.org/updates/cal-state-board-officially-eliminates-sat-act-from-admission
The New SAT Results Aren’t Pretty No result found, try new keyword!The College Board reported this week that scores on the SAT have sunk to the lowest point ... eighth-grade students in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Thu, 03 Sep 2015 20:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/09/sliding-sat-scores-linked-no-child-left-behind/ 4 Reasons Your PSAT Scores Matter No result found, try new keyword!the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or PSAT/NMSQT. Like the SAT, the PSAT is produced by the not-for-profit College Board, but students usually take it at their school ... Tue, 14 Nov 2023 17:30:00 -0600 https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/reasons-your-psat-scores-matter The Optional SAT Essay: What to Know No result found, try new keyword!Although the essay portion of the SAT became optional in 2016, many students still chose to write it to demonstrate strong or improved writing skills to prospective colleges. In June 2021 ... Mon, 28 Mar 2022 05:21:00 -0500 https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/what-to-know-about-the-optional-sat-essay Fewer students are taking the SAT. Why MetroWest educators aren't worried

The number of students taking the SAT has declined in recent years, but educators and college officials say that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The test, which in the past has been called "Scholastic Aptitude Test" and "Scholastic Assessment Test" before becoming simply SAT, is an entrance exam administered by the College Board and traditionally used by colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. For most of its 97-year history, it has had two components, verbal and mathematical, each of which is scored on a range from 200 to 800.

Iris Godes, dean of strategic enrollment at Framingham State University, told the Daily News that historically, Massachusetts state college requirements for incoming students included a minimum grade point average for their high school studies and "some expectation of the SAT scores.” She said there was often a "grid" where students could use their SAT scores and grade point averages to estimate their chances of getting into a college.

Students leave Framingham High School at the end of the school day on March 3, 2021. That was the day the school district shifted into a full hybrid learning model.

'Deviant process': Advocates educate families on how to opt out of upcoming MCAS

But in the years leading up to the pandemic, some colleges began making standardized tests optional. That's now the case for FSU and the rest of University of Massachusetts state college system.

“Research shows that results were not the best indicator for success,” Godes said. “It's (test-optional admissions) much fairer for students who face challenges like students with learning disabilities, students that speak a different language. The SAT wasn’t written to reflect (different) cultures."

Then there's the impact of COVID-19.

During the 2019-20 school year, which was interrupted in mid-March due to the pandemic, SAT participation was cut by nearly half, according to the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Coming out of the pandemic, numbers in some communities have returned close to pre-pandemic years. But in others, they've remained low.

Educators say the standardized test isn't an indicator of success

In Framingham, 496 SATs were taken the vast majority of them by 11th and 12th graders during the 2016-17 school year. Six years later, in 2022-23, there were 339 SATs taken in the city a nearly one-third decline.

“I know that with the pandemic, a lot of colleges shifted away from requiring the SATs, because students couldn’t physically take the exam," said Framingham Superintendent of Schools Robert Tremblay. "I think that became a line in the sand for a lot of students and for colleges.”

'Significant first step': Framingham school approved for building authority's eligibilty pipeline

Tremblay said he doesn’t believe SAT scores are a fair predictor of a student's future success.

“Personally, I don’t remember exactly what I got on my SAT score in the '90s," he said. "Sitting here, four degrees later and having what I would hope is considered a reputable job as a school superintendent, did my SAT score really predict that? I don’t think so. The truth is, I went to Boston University for my undergrad. Would my SAT score be good enough to get into BU today? Probably not.”

Tremblay said he “definitely" believes students from higher-income families take the SATs at a higher rate.

"Those families can not only pay for the test, they can pay for private classes and tutors that can help with the exam,” he said. “If you come from a family that is just scraping by, you are not going to get any of that, and it’s not a level playing field.”

Framingham Superintendent of Schools Robert Tremblay said he doesn’t believe SAT scores are a fair predictor of a student's future success.

In Milford, the drop in the number of SATs taken over the same six-year period was even more sharp 285 SATs were taken during 2016-17, and just 143 barely half the first figure in 2022-23.

Milford High School Principal Josh Otlin pointed to two reasons behind the declining numbers: fewer colleges require the scores and changes in student demographics. He said that in Milford, the percentage of students going to four-year colleges is declining, including those seeking to get into selective schools.

“We have a number of students growing up in poverty, so college is almost completely out of the question," Otlin said. "We also serve a number of undocumented students. The obstacles of attending college are enormous with the fact that they can’t get federal loans."

Wealth disparities play into taking the SAT

Tremblay said he believes SAT scores generally favor students from wealthier backgrounds, with families who have the means to contribute to tools that can provide better scores. In Milford, Otlin said the biggest determinant of college success is household income.

In wealthier communities, the number of SAT tests taken has returned closer to pre-pandemic years than in communities with lower median household incomes. In addition, students in wealthier communities usually score higher than students in communities with lower incomes.

'Excited to move forward': Milford wins key vote in its goal to rehab, or replace, its high school

"There’s all this SAT prep, you could spend a lot of money to be more successful at taking it," Godes said. “You could also have enough money to take it multiple times, so if you’re lower income, you went in there with very little preparation. Wealthier students in communities like Franklin, Wellesley and Wayland have a much higher income to pay for a tutor or a college councilor."

For example, in Wellesley, a community with a median household income of more than $250,000, according to Census.gov, 391 SATs were taken in 2016-17; six years later, in 2022-23, that number was 330, down a more modest 15.6%.

Students at Wellesley High School are encouraged to take the SAT, according to Principal Jamie Chisum. He estimates that 80% of colleges are now test optional and 97% of students at Wellesley High School pursue higher education.

“I think the numbers are steady, we saw a slight dip during COVID but they’ve come back,” Chisum said. In the 2019-20 school year, only 179 SATs were taken. But it was back up to 337 the following year, on par with pre-pandemic levels.

Chisum pointed out that the SAT data on the DESE website, where the Daily News obtained the data, does not include enrollment data, and that Wellesley's student population has decreased. During the 2016-17 school year, 1,512 students were enrolled in grades 9-12 in Wellesley, according to DESE data. In 2022-23, that number dropped 6.6%, to 1,412.

Despite the declines in both tests taken and enrollment, median scores have remained largely the same for Wellesley and Milford. For Milford, this is because of the profile of students taking the test inclides those who are applying to college, according to Otlin.

As for the scores in Wellesley, Chisum said it's hard to say.

"I think our kids work hard. They come from families that value education and I think it trickles down to the kids,” he said. “Wellesley is a town with several private schools with highly educated people."

"For what it's worth, seeing numbers decrease is not a cause for concern for me," Otlin said.

How many SATs were taken in your town?

Below is a chart depicting the number of SATs taken in school districts covered by the Daily News.

In most communities, the number of SATs taken dipped significantly during the 2019-20 school year, when the pandemic hit. Numbers rose in the following school year, although some districts saw decreases in tests taken during the 2022-23 school year.

District

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Ashland

257

211

232

96

174

226

220

Bellingham

139

131

162

74

63

88

90

Dover-Sherborn

187

170

168

90

206

172

161

Framingham

496

471

537

220

197

461

339

Franklin

638

574

597

289

531

508

429

Holliston

250

201

231

121

204

232

186

Hopedale

109

86

68

62

81

57

59

Hopkinton

328

317

309

117

344

287

291

Hudson

223

199

210

97

150

94

84

Lincoln-Sudbury

370

375

356

222

449

381

387

Marlborough

280

249

278

151

149

143

153

Medway

279

236

244

111

239

215

151

Mendon-Upton

176

198

199

95

249

165

137

Milford

285

254

260

141

70

173

143

Millis

153

141

129

57

72

78

71

Natick

473

448

501

250

337

373

351

Northborough-Southborough

492

464

437

192

543

343

326

Wayland

239

241

204

104

214

193

207

Wellesley

391

378

350

179

337

305

330

Daily News reporter Jesse Collings contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: Fewer MA students are taking the SAT; educators say that's not all bad

Tue, 19 Dec 2023 00:16:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.aol.com/fewer-students-taking-sat-why-103105417.html
The Lives They Lived

To say that Sinead O’Connor never quite regained the musical heights of her 1987 debut album, “The Lion and the Cobra,” is not to slight the rest of her output, which contained jewels. There is no getting back to a record like that first one. It was in some sense literally scary: The label had to change the original cover art, which showed a bald O’Connor hissing like a banshee cat, for the American release. In the version we saw, she looks down, arms crossed, mouth closed, vulnerable. The music had both sides of her in it.

A fuzziness has tended to hang over the question of who produced “The Lion and the Cobra.” The process involved some drama. O’Connor clashed with the label and dropped her first producer, Mick Glossop, highly respected and the person the label wanted. In the end, she produced the album largely by herself. But not entirely. There was a co-producer, an Irish engineer named Kevin Moloney, who worked on the first five U2 albums and Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.” He and O’Connor went to school at the same time in the Glenageary neighborhood of Dublin, where he attended an all-boys Catholic academy next to her all-girls Catholic school. But Moloney didn’t know O’Connor then, though they took the same bus.

In Asheville, N.C., this fall, Moloney sat in the control room of Citizen Studios, where he is the house producer, and hit play on “The Lion and the Cobra.” The first song is a ghost story called “Jackie.” A woman sings of her lover, who has failed to return from a fishing expedition. You’re on deep Irish literary sod, the western coast and the islands. It’s the lament of Maurya in J.M. Synge’s play “Riders to the Sea,” grieving for all the men the ocean has taken from her, except that the creature singing through O’Connor will not accept death. “He’ll be back sometime,” she assures the men who deliver the news, “laughing at you.” At the end, her falsetto howls above the feedback. She starts the song as a plaintive young widow and ends it as a demon. “Gets the old hairs going up,” Moloney said.

“Where did she get that?” I asked. “Those different registers?”

“It was all in her head,” he said. “She had these personas.”

And the words? Were they from an obscure Irish shanty she found in an old newspaper? “Oh, no, she wrote it herself,” Moloney said. “Her lyrics were older than she was.”

Moloney’s connection with O’Connor came through U2’s guitarist, the Edge (David Evans). In late 1985, the band was between albums, so Evans did a solo project, scoring a film. He recruited O’Connor — who had just been signed to the English label Ensign Records — to sing on one tune, and Moloney engineered the session. O’Connor was 18, with short dark hair.

Ensign put her together with Glossop, who had just co-produced the Waterboys’ classic album “This Is the Sea.” But she spurned the results: “Too pretty.” Glossop remembered O’Connor as reluctant to speak her mind in the studio, leading to a situation where small differences of opinion weren’t being addressed, leaving her alienated from the material. With characteristic careerist diplomacy, she called Glossop a “[expletive] ol’ hippie” (and derided U2, who possessed some claim to having discovered her, as fake rebels making “bombastic” music). Glossop recalled that when he ran into her at a club a couple of years later, she hugged him and apologized — “which was a nice gesture,” he told me.

Nobody has ever heard those first, abandoned tracks from “The Lion and the Cobra.” “They put a big sound, a band sound around her,” Moloney said, “and she was disappearing in it.” Glossop remembered it slightly differently. “She had a rapport with her band,” he said, “and I recorded them as a band. But she was turning into a solo artist.”

She was also pregnant, unbeknownst to Glossop (“It would have been nice to know,” he said). The father was the drummer in the band, John Reynolds, whom she had known for a month when they conceived. According to O’Connor’s autobiography, “Rememberings,” the label pressured her to have an abortion, sending her to a doctor who lectured her on how much money the company had invested in her.

O’Connor not only insisted on keeping the baby; she also told the label that if it forced her to put out its version of the record, she would walk. “They eventually caved,” Moloney said. “They told her, ‘Make it your way.’” But with a “limited budget.”

That’s when she reached out to Moloney, in the spring of 1986, saying she needed someone she trusted. He started taking day trips to Oxford, where she was holed up in a rental house. “We were in the living room,” Moloney said. “A bunch of couches and a bunch of underpaid, underloved musicians who were struggling big time.”

“There was a bit of a little communal hub,” he said, “always a few joints going around the room. Sinead loved her ganja. A lot of talking, and then somebody would start to play, and people would pick up instruments. And Sinead was, like, captain of the ship.”

When they got into the studio in London, Moloney turned the earlier, band-focused approach inside out like a sock. O’Connor’s voice was allowed to dictate. The musicians worked around it.

For the song “Jackie,” he said, “Sinead wanted to do all of those guitar parts herself. And she wanted to do it really late at night, when everybody else was gone home. She didn’t feel good about her guitar playing. I got her to do this really distorted big sound, and then we layered it and layered it. It became this sort of seething. She was like, ‘Look at me — I’m Jimi Hendrix.’”

The most difficult challenge in recording O’Connor, he said, was finding a microphone that could handle her dynamic range, with those whisper-to-scream effects she was famous for. “Once we figured out the right way of capturing her vocals” — an AKG C12 vintage tube mic — “she did it really fast.”

I must have looked amazed — the vocals are so theatrical and swooping, O’Connor’s pitch so precise, that I had envisioned endless takes — because Moloney said, as if to settle doubts, “Within a couple of takes, it was done.”

The jangly guitar opening of the third track, “Jerusalem,” played. “I remember hearing her play this for the first time,” Moloney said. “I got it, knowing her background.” O’Connor was abused — psychologically, physically, sexually — by her mother, who died in a car accident, and by the Catholic Church. “All the systems had failed her,” Moloney said, “that were supposed to protect her.”

If he was right that he heard trauma in “Jerusalem,” the song lyrics also drip with erotic angst (“I hope you do/what you said/when you swore”). It introduces the record’s main preoccupation: love and sex as they intersect with power and pain.

The streams cross with greatest emotional force in the song “Troy,” one of the most beautiful and ambitious pieces of mid-1980s popular music. The track sticks out production-wise, with a powerful, surging orchestral arrangement (the product of O’Connor’s collaboration with the musician Michael Clowes, who also played keyboards on the album).

There’s a moment in the song when O’Connor repeats the line, “You should’ve left the light on.” I had never given undue thought to what it meant. Something about tortured desire: If you had left the light on, I wouldn’t have kissed you. But Moloney said it had a double meaning. When O’Connor was punished as a child and made to sleep outside in the garden shed, her mother would turn off all of the lights in the house. “There wouldn’t be a light on for her,” Moloney said.

O’Connor gave birth to her son, Jake, just weeks after Moloney finished the mixes. She told Glasgow’s Daily Record that although the baby had kicked when she sang in the studio, he slept now when the record came on. “She was so happy,” Moloney said with tears in his eyes. “She said: ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe I went through all of that and I’ve arrived here with a record I love. Also, here’s my baby!’ She had two babies in one year.”

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer for the magazine who lives in North Carolina, where he co-founded the nonprofit research collective Third Person Project.

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/12/22/magazine/people-who-died.html
California’s SAT scores rise, beat national averages

Students can practice with a free SAT online prep program. But UC will no longer require the test or the ACT alternative.

FERMIN LEAL/EDSOURCE TODAY

California high school students showed gains on the 2018 SAT college entrance exam but less than half of the test takers in the state scored at levels considered college ready in both reading and math skills and big gaps remain among ethnic and racial groups.

California students’ average scores were 540 in reading and writing and 536 in math, on a scale of 200 to 800 points each. That was up from 531 and 524 last year, according to results released by the test sponsor College Board. In addition, Californians did better than the national averages of 536 in reading and 531 in math.

The College Board also analyzed whether students were ready for college. That readiness is based on benchmarks that are supposed to predict whether a student is likely to earn at least a C grade in entry-level college courses. Such readiness would require a 480 or better SAT score in the so-called evidence-based reading and writing section and a 530 minimum in math.

In California overall, the percentage considered college ready showed modest improvement, from 45 percent of test takers in 2017 to 48 percent in 2018. Other California results included:

*In writing, 71 percent met the college ready benchmark, compared to 70 percent last year.

*In math, 50 percent hit the minimum target, an increase of three percentage points.

*Twenty seven percent of test takers met neither goal, the same share as last year.

Across the country, 47 percent met both the reading and math benchmarks, up from 46 percent last year.

Last year California’s average scores were slightly below the national averages in reading and math but rose enough this year to go above and beyond small gains in national scores. A spokesman for the California Department of Education said no official was available to comment on the state’s scores and whether reforms may have played any role in the increases.

However, significant gaps persisted this year among ethnic and racial groups in California with Asians and whites scoring the highest total average. Asians scored 1210 total; whites, 1167; Pacific Islanders, 1020; Latinos, 990; and African-Americans, 967.

College Board officials said it was noteworthy that the scores nationwide rose a bit even though the number of test-takers increased significantly, presumably including more students who were underprepared in some academic subjects and test-taking. Two years ago, the College Board overhauled the SAT to make it better align with what is taught in high school and also began offering free online study sessions and practice tests.

The growth in test takers was propelled in part by more states and school districts offering the SAT for free during regular school days, as opposed to the more traditional Saturday morning hours, according to Jane Dapkus, the College Board’s vice president of college readiness assessments. She also noted that it has become easier for low-income students anywhere to obtain fee waivers for the exam.

“The bottom line is students don’t have to find transportation to Saturday administrations or juggle weekend jobs or other responsibilities to take the test,” Dapkus said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s just more convenient for them and they get to take the test in a familiar, more comfortable environment in a school they go to every day.” About 36% of nationwide test takers did so on a school day, up from 27 percent last year.

Among California school districts, some offer the school day option but it is not widely available. The state’s Department of Education said it did not track how many districts offer the SAT for free and on school days.

About 262,200 students in California, or 60 percent of the state’s high school graduates this year, took the SAT, College Board officials said. That is up more than 35,000 from last year.

The SAT and its rival test ACT have battled for popularity for decades. The ACT had overtaken the SAT in sheer numbers for the first time in 2012. But this year, with its push for school day exams and other changes, the College Board says that its SAT regained that edge, with 1.99 million U.S. test takers compared to about 1.91 for the ACT. 

Yet both tests face challenges as more colleges nationwide — most prominently the elite University of Chicago earlier this year — have stopped requiring the exams for applicants and made them optional. Critics say the exams are poor predictors of college success.

The possible expansion of the SAT or its rival ACT in California was a political hot potato recently. Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have given school districts the option of replacing the state’s 11th-grade standardized test with the two college admissions tests.

Some school districts argue that their students take the college readiness tests more seriously than the state’s standardized tests in math and English language arts.

Brown said he would prefer that the University of California and California State University use the state’s Smarter Balanced test as an admissions exam instead of the ACT or SAT. Both UC and CSU are studying possible changes in their use of the tests; UC requires one or the other for all applicants now and CSU says either ACT or SAT is needed for applicants to overcrowded campuses and programs and for students whose high school GPAs are below 3.0.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://edsource.org/2018/californias-sat-scores-rise-beat-national-averages/603943
The best satellite phones and devices of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed No result found, try new keyword!The best satellite phones and gadgets from Garmin, Motorola, and more offer features like SOS, SMS, and global coverage. Wed, 03 Jan 2024 05:57:14 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ See how students at Muskegon-area schools scored on the SAT in 2023 No result found, try new keyword!You’ll also see the 2023 SAT state ranking for each school, which is a ranking out of 1,028 high schools statewide. Tue, 28 Nov 2023 22:50:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Louise Glück Taught Poetry So She Could Write Poetry

To say that Sinead O’Connor never quite regained the musical heights of her 1987 debut album, “The Lion and the Cobra,” is not to slight the rest of her output, which contained jewels. There is no getting back to a record like that first one. It was in some sense literally scary: The label had to change the original cover art, which showed a bald O’Connor hissing like a banshee cat, for the American release. In the version we saw, she looks down, arms crossed, mouth closed, vulnerable. The music had both sides of her in it.

A fuzziness has tended to hang over the question of who produced “The Lion and the Cobra.” The process involved some drama. O’Connor clashed with the label and dropped her first producer, Mick Glossop, highly respected and the person the label wanted. In the end, she produced the album largely by herself. But not entirely. There was a co-producer, an Irish engineer named Kevin Moloney, who worked on the first five U2 albums and Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.” He and O’Connor went to school at the same time in the Glenageary neighborhood of Dublin, where he attended an all-boys Catholic academy next to her all-girls Catholic school. But Moloney didn’t know O’Connor then, though they took the same bus.

In Asheville, N.C., this fall, Moloney sat in the control room of Citizen Studios, where he is the house producer, and hit play on “The Lion and the Cobra.” The first song is a ghost story called “Jackie.” A woman sings of her lover, who has failed to return from a fishing expedition. You’re on deep Irish literary sod, the western coast and the islands. It’s the lament of Maurya in J.M. Synge’s play “Riders to the Sea,” grieving for all the men the ocean has taken from her, except that the creature singing through O’Connor will not accept death. “He’ll be back sometime,” she assures the men who deliver the news, “laughing at you.” At the end, her falsetto howls above the feedback. She starts the song as a plaintive young widow and ends it as a demon. “Gets the old hairs going up,” Moloney said.

“Where did she get that?” I asked. “Those different registers?”

“It was all in her head,” he said. “She had these personas.”

And the words? Were they from an obscure Irish shanty she found in an old newspaper? “Oh, no, she wrote it herself,” Moloney said. “Her lyrics were older than she was.”

Moloney’s connection with O’Connor came through U2’s guitarist, the Edge (David Evans). In late 1985, the band was between albums, so Evans did a solo project, scoring a film. He recruited O’Connor — who had just been signed to the English label Ensign Records — to sing on one tune, and Moloney engineered the session. O’Connor was 18, with short dark hair.

Ensign put her together with Glossop, who had just co-produced the Waterboys’ classic album “This Is the Sea.” But she spurned the results: “Too pretty.” Glossop remembered O’Connor as reluctant to speak her mind in the studio, leading to a situation where small differences of opinion weren’t being addressed, leaving her alienated from the material. With characteristic careerist diplomacy, she called Glossop a “[expletive] ol’ hippie” (and derided U2, who possessed some claim to having discovered her, as fake rebels making “bombastic” music). Glossop recalled that when he ran into her at a club a couple of years later, she hugged him and apologized — “which was a nice gesture,” he told me.

Nobody has ever heard those first, abandoned tracks from “The Lion and the Cobra.” “They put a big sound, a band sound around her,” Moloney said, “and she was disappearing in it.” Glossop remembered it slightly differently. “She had a rapport with her band,” he said, “and I recorded them as a band. But she was turning into a solo artist.”

She was also pregnant, unbeknownst to Glossop (“It would have been nice to know,” he said). The father was the drummer in the band, John Reynolds, whom she had known for a month when they conceived. According to O’Connor’s autobiography, “Rememberings,” the label pressured her to have an abortion, sending her to a doctor who lectured her on how much money the company had invested in her.

O’Connor not only insisted on keeping the baby; she also told the label that if it forced her to put out its version of the record, she would walk. “They eventually caved,” Moloney said. “They told her, ‘Make it your way.’” But with a “limited budget.”

That’s when she reached out to Moloney, in the spring of 1986, saying she needed someone she trusted. He started taking day trips to Oxford, where she was holed up in a rental house. “We were in the living room,” Moloney said. “A bunch of couches and a bunch of underpaid, underloved musicians who were struggling big time.”

“There was a bit of a little communal hub,” he said, “always a few joints going around the room. Sinead loved her ganja. A lot of talking, and then somebody would start to play, and people would pick up instruments. And Sinead was, like, captain of the ship.”

When they got into the studio in London, Moloney turned the earlier, band-focused approach inside out like a sock. O’Connor’s voice was allowed to dictate. The musicians worked around it.

For the song “Jackie,” he said, “Sinead wanted to do all of those guitar parts herself. And she wanted to do it really late at night, when everybody else was gone home. She didn’t feel good about her guitar playing. I got her to do this really distorted big sound, and then we layered it and layered it. It became this sort of seething. She was like, ‘Look at me — I’m Jimi Hendrix.’”

The most difficult challenge in recording O’Connor, he said, was finding a microphone that could handle her dynamic range, with those whisper-to-scream effects she was famous for. “Once we figured out the right way of capturing her vocals” — an AKG C12 vintage tube mic — “she did it really fast.”

I must have looked amazed — the vocals are so theatrical and swooping, O’Connor’s pitch so precise, that I had envisioned endless takes — because Moloney said, as if to settle doubts, “Within a couple of takes, it was done.”

The jangly guitar opening of the third track, “Jerusalem,” played. “I remember hearing her play this for the first time,” Moloney said. “I got it, knowing her background.” O’Connor was abused — psychologically, physically, sexually — by her mother, who died in a car accident, and by the Catholic Church. “All the systems had failed her,” Moloney said, “that were supposed to protect her.”

If he was right that he heard trauma in “Jerusalem,” the song lyrics also drip with erotic angst (“I hope you do/what you said/when you swore”). It introduces the record’s main preoccupation: love and sex as they intersect with power and pain.

The streams cross with greatest emotional force in the song “Troy,” one of the most beautiful and ambitious pieces of mid-1980s popular music. The track sticks out production-wise, with a powerful, surging orchestral arrangement (the product of O’Connor’s collaboration with the musician Michael Clowes, who also played keyboards on the album).

There’s a moment in the song when O’Connor repeats the line, “You should’ve left the light on.” I had never given undue thought to what it meant. Something about tortured desire: If you had left the light on, I wouldn’t have kissed you. But Moloney said it had a double meaning. When O’Connor was punished as a child and made to sleep outside in the garden shed, her mother would turn off all of the lights in the house. “There wouldn’t be a light on for her,” Moloney said.

O’Connor gave birth to her son, Jake, just weeks after Moloney finished the mixes. She told Glasgow’s Daily Record that although the baby had kicked when she sang in the studio, he slept now when the record came on. “She was so happy,” Moloney said with tears in his eyes. “She said: ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe I went through all of that and I’ve arrived here with a record I love. Also, here’s my baby!’ She had two babies in one year.”

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer for the magazine who lives in North Carolina, where he co-founded the nonprofit research collective Third Person Project.

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/12/22/magazine/louise-gluck-death.html




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