Tag Archives: SAT

According to the College Board, the redesigned SAT continues to emphasize reasoning while adding a clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success. While they would have you think this substantial revision was demanded by colleges, the trigger seems to have been more economic than academic in nature. The year 2012 marked the first time more high schoolers took the ACT than the SAT. The margin was only a few thousand more that year, but has ballooned dramatically as teens throughout historically SAT-focused regions like the Northeast discovered the friendlier test out of Iowa City. After nearly nine decades, the SAT’s reign as America’s predominant college entrance exam has ended. This matters because the new SAT has adopted a great many of the features that once set the ACT apart. But that rival test is not the only profound influence…

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The SAT has reigned as one of America’s most influential and impactful tests since the College Board administered its first multiple-choice college entrance exam back in 1926. As you’d expect, the exam has changed quite a bit over nearly a century of notoriety and number 2 pencils. This newest revision, however, may say more about the SAT’s future than its storied past. That the SAT is changing should come as no surprise to anyone at least marginally connected to students in high school. The College Board has been releasing information over time towards two important deadlines: October 2015: Students will take the new format PSAT. March 2016: Students will begin taking the new format SAT. This means that students in the high school graduating class of 2017 will be the first to take the new SAT if they choose. Of course, they don’t have to, since any of these students…

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Everyone with college admissions on their minds knows about the SAT and ACT. Unfortunately, far fewer of us think about SAT Subject Tests when planning which tests to take and when. Considering how many colleges require, recommend, or consider Subject Tests in admissions, such an oversight can be costly. The College Board offers SAT Subject Tests across a variety of subjects: English, two levels of Math, two areas of History, three sciences, and lots of languages. Think carefully about which SAT Subject Tests are right for you. Students sitting for these tests should consider testing in the subjects they excel in and hope to pursue in college. Either Math Level 1 or Level 2 is usually expected, but students on a math or science track should sit for Level 2. The question for many students, especially those targeting competitive schools is not if they should take SAT Subject Tests, but…

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If you’ve done any research into test scores and college admissions, you know that every admissions office can evaluate SAT and ACT scores in its own way. Some schools will consider your best single administration of the SAT or ACT. Other schools, however, recognize the value in accepting scores from more than one test date. These schools superscore, which is to say they allow you to send scores from multiple test administrations, from which they piece together your optimal score from your best scores in each section. Until recently, then, we’ve had colleges that superscore either the SAT or ACT, superscore both, or superscore neither. However, a new option has entered into the equation: Georgia Tech superscoring. Georgia Tech has a novel approach to the SAT vs. ACT dichotomy. Instead of looking at the tests as separate instruments, the admissions officers see them as interchangeable: Evaluating your Test Scores We…

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The College Board finally released a full practice PSAT/NMSQT Practice Test in the new format. I’ve deliberately tried to steer clear of the previously released questions so that I might be able to evaluate the new PSAT with fresh eyes. But as I reviewed each section of this new test, I couldn’t help but recognize a lot of familiar features… 1. A 60-minute Reading section seems very long. On the other hand, 47 questions in 60 minutes allows a lot of extra time. 2. The College Board appears to be running as far as possible from its old policy of testing advanced vocabulary words. Not only are Sentence Completions gone, but the contextual vocabulary questions here focus on relatively common words. 3. Graphs seem misplaced in a Writing and Language Test. 4. The College Board drastically underestimates how much anguish the No Calculator Math Test will cause in modern teens.…

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Considering the high stakes nature of the SAT & ACT, the number of students who have been caught (or not caught) cheating on their tests over the years hardly comes as a surprise. One of the classic cheats has been to hire a youthful-looking professional to test in one’s place. No wonder the testing organizations have been ramping up their efforts in recent years to ensure that the person taking a test is the person who should be taking it! Of course, heightened security leads to heightened anxiety, particularly when test day already evokes such anxiety. One major source of stress has been the photo submission requirements. Both the College Board and ACT require you to provide a recent photo of yourself in order to complete your test registration. The submitted photo is used for identification and test security purposes. Relieve anxiety on test day by making sure your photo…

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