Ranchview Counselor Corner – October 2017

Upcoming EVENTS at Ranchview…

10-2 Counselors in Senior English classes to discuss all things COLLEGE

10-9 No School, Fair Day

10-10  Parent workshop: Financial Aid 101

10-11 PSAT & ASVAB testing

10-16 Senior Portraits

10-17 Parent Workshop: Financial Aid

            Working Session with TWU Mobile Unit

10-18  Anti-Bullying Assembly for school

10-23 Red Ribbon Week and Homecoming Week

10-24 Parent Workshop: College Application Process

10-27 Homecoming Parade, Pep Rally and Game

10-28 Homecoming Dance

11-3 Career Panel for school


More info:


Looking for scholarships?  GO to https://cfbisd.edu/schools/high-schools/ranchview-high-school/campus-leadership/counseling-office/scholarships/

Timeline https://cfbisd.edu/schools/high-schools/ranchview-high-school/campus-leadership/counseling-office/2016-2017-senior-timeline/

Fighting Stress with Mindfulness

Presenter: Neeti Prasad

Davis Elementary Counselor

For: Elementary, Middle and High School parents

Presentations are the same, choose one:

 Blalack MS – 1706 E. Peters Colony Rd., Carrollton 75007

                           Thursday, Oct 12, 2017, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Field MS – 13551 Dennis Ln., Farmers Branch 75234

                          Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Presented in English and Spanish

Free Childcare for children 3 years and older

Contact Information: Bridgit Basel baselb@cfbisd.edu

Does PSAT Prep Make Any Sense?

  • Author: Evan Wessler, Method Test Prep

When I think about PSAT prep, I am reminded of Judge Alex Kozinski’s closing line at the end of his ruling in Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.: “The parties are advised to chill.”

Let’s start by laying out the facts.  For the vast majority of students, the utility of the PSAT is twofold.  First and foremost, the PSAT exposes them to the style, structure, and content of a major standardized college admissions exam (the SAT).  For most students, the PSAT will be their first experience dealing with this type of test.  In turn, this will allow them to establish baseline scores and to familiarize themselves with a test format they’ll face in the future.  Second, the PSAT provides the highest-performing students with a chance to achieve glory and a small financial award through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

As parents and students have become ever more concerned with test scores, they have begun to seek test prep for just about every exam.  Naturally, PSAT prep has become a thing.  But, with the best interests of already stressed students in mind, is it necessary?

It depends on how you define prep.  What students don’t need is 30 hours of intense course instruction or private tutoring with homework assignments and multiple full-length practice exams. This is, quite simply, overkill.

What students should seek, however, is a resource through which they can learn about what’s on the PSAT, including the question content and time constraints. This will allow students to mitigate the nerves associated with being dropped into an otherwise unfamiliar situation, and thus to perform at their best on test day.  When students take a little time to look through a sample exam, work through questions, and learn some basic strategies, they dramatically increase their chances of walking away from the PSAT with a positive, growth-oriented mindset.  This can contribute significantly to success on the SAT (or ACT) later on.

What about those high-achieving students whose goal it is to win a National Merit Scholarship?  On the part of you, the counselor, it’s helpful to foster realistic expectations.  Of the 1.6 million students who take the PSAT annually, 50,000 (a little over 3% of test-taking juniors) are “commended” or achieve “semifinalist” status––they get a feather in their cap for achieving a great PSAT score.  After several rounds of winnowing, only 15,000 (about 1% of test-taking juniors) are designated as “finalists”, and then only 7,500 (about only 0.5% of test-taking juniors) actually win a merit scholarship. Attaining any level of recognition is noteworthy, and high-level students should be encouraged to maintain this as a goal.  Actually winning a scholarship, though, is very difficult: many factors on top of a stellar PSAT score affect who wins.  So even those students whose goal it is to crush the PSAT ought to know that they shouldn’t go over the top with their prep: the cost/benefit analysis shows that the added stress and time commitment just aren’t worth it.

As counselors, you can help students acquire the proper materials like official practice exams.  You can also have discussions with students about the real value the PSAT provides: the opportunity to see where one stands and to set a plan for the future.   If your students see the PSAT as a simple chance to get the ball rolling on their standardized admissions tests, everyone wins.

Evan Wessler is VP Education of Method Test Prep.com

As Ranchview counselors, it is our duty to expose our students to all academic opportunities.  At Ranchview High, we strive to encourage all students to take every opportunity given to them and make the best of it.  CFBISD offers the PSAT for free to all 10th and 11th graders.  As preparation for the PSAT, our teachers will be integrating test prep strategies, practice questions and basic PSAT information into their class time next week leading up the PSAT on October 11th.  We want our students to be educated on why doing one’s best on test day is so important.  As parents, you can help facilitate this by making sure your students have a good night’s sleep and good breakfast the morning of October 11th.  In addition, testing will begin no later than 9am so please make your student arrives to school on time that day! 

In addition, please visit the College Board website as there are numerous free resources for parents on PSAT/SAT Prep, college planning and career exploration.


As always, please free to contact your student’s counselor at any time!

Wynter Nash

Lead A-K


Tracey McLeod



Tamara Johnson

Crisis/9th grade Initiative