My daughter, a high-school junior, has her heart set on becoming a physical therapist. While she scores way up in the 90th percentile in most academic areas on achievement tests, she is only in the 50th to 60th percentile in math concepts. Will this be a big problem in pursuing her dream career? -- Dreamer's Dad


Achievement test scores are not the only measure of how well a student is doing in a subject. Consider your child's grades in math, as they are a good indicator of her ability to handle this subject.

It would be helpful for your daughter to investigate now exactly what courses would be required for a degree in physical therapy. If she has the opportunity, she should also talk to someone who is a physical therapist about his or her college experience. And a visit to the physical therapy department at a college could also let her know more about what is involved in graduating in this area.

Should your child discover that her math skills are shaky for this career, she has both this summer and next year to work on improving them.