Tag Archives: SAT

March 2024 didn’t mark the world’s first digital adaptive SAT–that took place in March 2023. This year’s first SAT was, however, the inaugural U.S administration, which meant that exponentially more eyes were on the exam and its implications. As the President of the National Test Prep Association, I facilitated a conference to bring 70 educators and counselors from around the globe to crowdsource observations from tens of thousands of students after March scores were released. Here are some of the major conclusions: 1. The official test is harder than the Bluebook tests. Based on reports from students who have been taking digital SATs outside the US, we anticipated that the Bluebook exams might not adequately prepare test takers for the highest difficulty items on the test. Even the newest additions to Bluebook–tests 5 & 6–more closely resemble the practice tests than the official tests. How did this disparity in difficulty…

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No matter how much you’ve planned or prepped for your official SAT date, you can’t get in without an admission ticket. In the days of paper tests, you’d have a paper ticket to print and present. Getting your SAT admission ticket in the digital age is a bit more complicated but every bit as essential–those who don’t follow the right steps in advance will not be able to sit for their exams. Start the process 1–5 days before the test. We strongly recommend taking care of this on Monday or Tuesday for a Saturday exam: Log into your account on Bluebook, the same testing application you’ll use to take the SAT, on the device you’ll use on test day. Follow the prompts to complete a system check and exam setup. When you see a green check and “Your exam setup is complete,” you’ve done it. At the end of exam setup, the…

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Nobody performs their best on a complex challenge like the SAT without practice. When you really want to excel, not just any practice will do. As legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” So make sure that every practice SAT you take is perfect by following these steps: BEFORE THE TEST 1. Find a full-length digital adaptive SAT practice test. The ones offered through the College Board Bluebook app are the best possible tests, as they best represent official test content on the official test platform. However, since College Board has only released 4 (as of January 2024) official tests, you may have to use third party tests. PRO TIP: If you plan to take many practice tests, save the Bluebook tests for practice closer to your official exam. 2. Make sure you have your fully charged approved device ready and loaded…

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Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT would be a whole lot easier if we were allowed to bring them home to take at our leisure. Unfortunately, these anxiety-provoking exams are defined in part by their stringent time limits. The minutes allotted per section often seem insufficient compared to the number and complexity of questions to be answered. Of course, time management is part of the test! But some students have diagnosed disabilities that allow additional time for academic tasks. With the proper documentation, these accommodations can be applied to SAT and ACT administrations. Most test takers who are approved for this time of accommodation will receive Extended Time, while Double Time or Special Testing is reserved for students with more serious needs. These are the Extended Time regulations for the tests as of January 2024: Extended Time Extended Time is the most common accommodation approved for test takers. In…

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Have you ever worked really hard towards something important, only to find you neglected some essential piece of paperwork that rendered all your preparation meaningless? This sad fate befalls all too many students who plan to sit for the SAT and ACT without actually registering for the test. My heart breaks every time I see this happen to one of our students. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you by understanding the registration process: 1. Your high school does not handle SAT or ACT registration. Don’t let the school’s more active role in organizing the PSAT and/or PreACT fool you. High schools do not and cannot manage registration for the SAT and ACT. That said, school counselors usually offer a lot of guidance in that area. Note that you should work with the school for the separate but related purpose of applying for test accommodations. 2. You have to register…

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For high schoolers, the academic year roars in with early opportunities to take the SAT & ACT. October no longer serves as the first chance to take either test–those honors accrue to the August SAT and September ACT. However, the month of fall foliage and Halloween treats is still one of the best times to take either test. What’s so great about October, besides pumpkin spice lattes? Classes haven’t really ramped up yet so early in the school year, which affords busy students a bit of breathing room to prep for the big tests. Most extracurricular activities, with the notable exception of fall sports, are equally slow to start. Thus, students can actually focus on the tests in October. However, other important benefits sweeten the deal for October: SENIORS, even those late to the college admissions party, enter October feeling the pressure to finalize applications. The October SAT dates is…

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