Proud Parent Moment

You might recall we signed Tomas up to take the SAT this past January as part of the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) program. My brother and I had both done this back when we were Tomas’s age, and I thought it would help him to be prepared to take the test later on, when it really counted.

From what I remembered, I’d done a fair bit of practice and preparation for the test, back when I was in seventh grade. We had a teacher who went over tips and tricks of the test for weeks? Months? (Time always seems longer in hindsight. For all I know, we had a single after school prep session, and that was it.) Either way, Tomas didn’t have much of that. Instead, he and I used Khan Academy’s practice tests to make sure he had an idea what to expect. Beyond that, it was me just basically telling him how to approach the test.

But there’s a difference between knowing the theory and actually applying it. Case in point: I discovered this was the first scantron test he was going to take. So the night before we went over how that worked. How to fill in bubbles. How to follow the directions. Good times. And then when we actually went and I dropped him off at the test, it was intimidating. He was there with a whole bunch of older students, of course. A few of his friends who were doing the same thing he was, but by and large it was high school Juniors or Seniors. You could tell Tomas was worried about it all. Who wouldn’t be?

I tried to do everything a good parent should do. Remind him to try his hardest. Remind him that this was just practice, and that for now, the grade he got really didn’t matter. He came out of the test feeling good about things, and we really thought no more of it. Project successful.

Yesterday he finally got his grades back. The SAT has gone through changes over the years since I took it. Back in the day, the best you could get was a 1600. Then that became a 2400, and now it’s back to a 1600. The average score a BYU accepted student gets is a 1280. The average score to get into the university where I work is a 1050.

Tomas got an 1130.

Denisa and I were, of course, very proud of him. But it was even more rewarding to see him be proud of himself. Not that I want to raise little stuck up humans who think they’re all that and a bag of chips, but I think it’s important to be able to know you did a good job. Tomas beat my score from back when I took it. (I think I got around a 900.) In fact, he even earned “High Honors” through the CTY program, which means he did better than 70% of the other CTY students who took the test. Middle School can be tough times. There are many reasons to feel down about yourself. It’s great to have tangible things you can look at that help you feel good, instead.

Anyway. He qualified for any CTY program he’d care to enter. Of course, the question now is if he wants to go to one, and if Denisa and I can afford it. The answer to the first is probably, and to the second is probably not. It costs about $5,000 to do a summer camp. That’s a lot of dollars. On the other hand, his scores also make him eligible to take AP classes through CTY, and those AP classes just cost about $1500, which is much more doable. I’m not honestly sure what AP classes our local high school offers, but it’s nice to know that if Tomas wants to, he’ll be able to end up supplementing his education with additional content.

In any case, it was a great day in the Bryce household yesterday. Thanks for letting me share, and go Tomas!

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