Tag Archives: SAT

As feared, the coming of fall this year has also brought a surge in COVID-19 infections. Fortunately from a testing perspective, test sites for the August SAT should remain open in most areas. Our Annotated Test Day Checklist already includes a facemask, and it looks like you’re going to need it. As per College Board, here’s what you should expect when you arrive to take the SAT: All students and staff must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status upon entering the test center and throughout the duration of testing. We recommend you bring a spare. You won’t be allowed into the testing center unless you are wearing one. You’ll be required by test centers to be seated at least 3 feet away from other students. Check your test center’s website for any additional health and safety measures so you’ll be prepared to follow them. If you don’t feel well…

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A sophisticated college-level vocabulary is so last century, at least as far as the SAT, ACT, and possibly colleges themselves are concerned. The priority for today’s academics and knowledge workers is graphical literacy. ACT was actually ahead of the curve on this one with the data-rich Science Test, but College Board only got the memo in the last decade. The 2015 revision of the SAT Reading section jettisoned the last of the discrete vocabulary questions in part to make room for a new and unfamiliar–at least to the SAT–addition: passage-based graphs. The Reading section of the current SAT presents 52 questions across 5 passages covering a wide range of topics. Test takers can expect 3 of those passages to present natural and social science topics, and these passages can include a total of 3-4 graphs. Usually each passage will hold 2 graphs but sometimes a single one appears. The most…

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  When the 4th day of July rolls around, we citizens of the United States sometimes ponder questions deeper than just where to watch the best fireworks. We think of patriotism and pride, and even the most cynical among us contemplates what really makes America great. If thoughts like these have been rolling around in your head lately, here’s something to consider about American excellence… According to a 2014 tally, over 300,000 students outside the United States took the SAT in more than 1,000 international test centers across 175 countries. In Hong Kong alone, one 2013 SAT administration was inundated by 10,000 test takers. The ACT commands similar–and, in some countries greater–numbers of international test takers, and both tests have seen more test takers last year than ever. Why should students across the world take the SAT & ACT, when only colleges and universities within the U.S. use these scores…

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Why do people lie so much? Why do we persistently spout demonstrably false statements simply to provide others who cling to the same skewed biases purchase to elevate rumors and wishes to the level of accepted fact, even when all evidence belies our flawed reasoning? No, I’m not talking about politics here. Instead, let’s turn those jaundiced eyes to college admissions policies. The global pandemic may not have inspired the crusade against standardized test scores in college admissions, but it certainly energized the opposition. The expansion of test optional admissions, while the farthest thing possible from a panacea for structural educational inequity, empowers more students to apply to selective schools they might have otherwise given up on. Unfortunately, such policies don’t materially improve an applicant’s chance at admission to those schools. The writing on the wall for the coalescing college graduating class of 2025 suggests that higher education still places…

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Of all the test administrations of the year, the ones in June present the most problems. Many high schools have already flipped the CLOSED sign while others are facing finals and other culminating tests. Even worse, students have to contend with a host of other distractions: Playoffs and championships for spring sports Prom Exhaustion That summer feeling wafting through the classroom windows… Clearly, the odds of a student earning his or her best SAT or ACT scores in June appear unfavorable to say the least. No wonder we strongly recommend that high schoolers take the tests as early in junior year as makes sense based on preparation and extracurricular commitments. Yet, a case for the June SAT & ACT can and should be made. Three different groups of students benefit from blocking out the first two weekends of the month for testing: 1. Juniors who have already prepped but haven’t…

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The future of standardized testing will undoubtedly be digital. Less certain is when a computer- or device-based format will be distributed evenly across all assessments. Right now, many of the most popular graduate entrance exams such as the GMAT, GRE, or, most recently, LSAT have migrated to digital platforms. Certain high school entrance exams also appear in a computer-based format. But the biggest tests of all–the SAT and ACT–haven’t made the jump yet, at least not everywhere. Our March 2021 Tests and the Rest Online Summit focused on both the present state of Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and what the future might hold. What questions should we be asking (and demanding wise, equitable answers) about the inevitable digital SAT and ACT? WHEN? ACT not only anticipated widespread digital testing starting in September 2020, but predicted the exciting option of individual section retesting. College Board teased an at-home SAT option a month…

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