The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way higher education institutions review applications with many colleges choosing to adopt a temporary test-optional application review process. However, with record-breaking applicant pools and record-low admit rates, families are worried that test-optional may not really mean test-optional at all. Here is what we know, so far.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a number of changes within the standardized testing industry, including the introduction of a new, entirely digital testing format and many colleges shifting to a test-optional admissions process for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. In fact, 75% of four-year colleges and universities will not require SAT or ACT scores for the 2021-22 admissions cycle.
On January 25, the College Board announced that starting in 2023 and 2024, the SAT (including the PSAT) would become an entirely computer-based exam. High school students and families might be wondering how this will impact their test prep and college prep strategies. Read on to learn more!
Exams like the SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP tests can all seem overwhelming at first. Being asked to complete an academic assessment is already stressful, and it’s even more challenging to perform well under timed conditions when the stakes are high.
The good news is that it’s possible to put most of your test-taking anxieties at ease and ace your college test prep. The secret to performing your best is taking advantage of tried-and-true test-taking strategies that will set every student up for success.
This fall, students may feel like they’re approaching a crossroads. While many originally planned on taking the PSAT, SAT, or ACT during their fall semester, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a layer of uncertainty to their college preparation plans. As some testing sites begin to reopen, new questions have emerged. Some students may be wondering whether they should register for a fall exam, what taking the SAT or ACT during the COVID-19 pandemic will look like, and what their options are if they decide against sitting for an exam.
Want to see how your scores on the SAT compare to ACT? The College Board has updated the concordance tables so students can see how their SAT total scores compare to composite ACT scores.
Superscoring is the practice of considering only the highest section scores across all SAT or ACT test scores that are submitted when evaluating applications. Many schools already superscore for the SAT, but superscoring for the ACT has not always been widely practiced.
Most high school juniors have many questions running through their minds, as the upcoming college admissions cycle will be unlike any other. Amongst other changes, an increasing number of schools are shifting to test-optional admissions policies in response to the cancellation of spring SAT and ACT examinations.
Get a Head Start on Planning for the New Year
With the new year right around the corner, now’s the time to start thinking about your test prep goals for 2020. Whether you’re a freshman who is just beginning to think about college, a sophomore gearing up to start test prep, or a junior who is already in the thick of it, there are concrete steps that you can take in 2020 to get closer to achieving your test prep goals.
When it comes to editing, taking a moment to reflect on how something sounds can help you troubleshoot some common errors. Unfortunately, not every grammar question can be solved simply by sounding it out; there are some sentences that may sound “right”, but fall short when it comes to proper grammar.
For many students, the premise of passing up movie nights and weekends with friends for practice tests and study sessions is far from appealing. While test preparation will probably never become anyone’s go-to leisure activity, there are ways to make studying for the SAT or ACT more enjoyable.
The SAT and ACT can feel overwhelming for any test taker, but for students with learning differences or disabilities there can be an additional piece to the testing puzzle: obtaining appropriate accommodations in order to have the best chance of reaching their goal score on test day.
Before deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT, it’s important to understand each exam’s content, format, and timing. Here we’re going to take a look at the ACT in order to help students become more familiar with this college entrance exam.
By Richard, IvyWise Master Tutor
The college prep process can often be complicated, and the complexities of this journey can make it easy to overlook a few key tips that have a great record of helping students raise their ACT and SAT scores and pave the way toward long-term success.
A common question that families consider when their college-bound students are preparing for the SAT or ACT is “which test is better?” Or “are the ACT and SAT considered equally in the application review process?” There’s been a long-held myth that one test is favored over the other, however, that’s simply not the case.
The ACT is shaking things up this year for international test-takers. Starting in September 2018, the ACT is transitioning to computer-based testing for all international students, meaning students will need to take their entire examination on the computer (unless the student has approved accommodations that approve them for paper testing).
A question we often receive is “what is superscoring?” College-bound students are often confused about what it means to superscore, which colleges do it, and how it impacts submitting their SAT or ACT scores. But we’re here to help! Here’s what students need to know about the logistics of superscoring and how it may improve your score profile when applying to college.
Juniors: Still need to take the ACT but worried you’re running out of time? Fear not! You now have more chances than ever to wrap up your test prep before senior year, even with the school year coming to a close. This year will mark the first administration of the July ACT, which will be held on July 14.
For Students Requiring Testing Accommodations, It’s Important To Consider Your Options Along With Your Test Prep Plan
According to The College Board, nearly 160,000 requests for testing accommodations were made in 2015-16. For students with learning disabilities or differences (LDs), deciding which college entrance exam – the SAT or the ACT – is the best fit for their needs can be extra challenging as they must navigate additional considerations, like applying to accommodations. While one test isn’t preferable over the other for every LD – everyone is an individual – there are some elements that make one test for preferable over another depending on students’ needs and available accommodations.
Practice tests are an integral part of any test ACT prep program, especially when you’re preparing for the SAT or ACT. Regardless of the test you plan to take, practice exams give you an opportunity to challenge your skills and gauge your progress.
The spring semester is a big test prep season, and for a lot of students, the math section of either the ACT or SAT can be challenging – and often the difference between their goal scores or slightly missing the mark. There are a number of mistakes that students make on the ACT Math section that can be avoided with proper test prep and guidance.
The most important rule of test prep: Don’t sit for the SAT or ACT if you’re not ready. During the spring semester, students dedicate a significant amount of time preparing for a slew of exams ranging from AP exams and finals to the SAT or ACT and SAT Subject Tests. Many students may have a test prep plan in place already, but plans can change and that’s okay! Rescheduling your test date is an option, but how do you know if you should?
The spring semester is a big test prep time for college bound students, as many juniors will be taking the SAT or ACT in the coming months. Taking practice tests is an essential part of the test preparation process because the best way to prep for the SAT or ACT is to actually take them! But it’s not enough to take practice tests. Students also need to simulate the test day environment as best as they can.
By IvyWise Master Tutor
If you’re preparing to take the ACT this fall, it’s important to understand the exam’s content, format, and test-taking strategies in order to maximize your performance on test day. The ACT Math section is a great entry point for students in order to understand how the ACT is organized as well as the test’s key differences from the SAT.
By IvyWise Master Tutor
If you’re preparing to take the ACT this fall, it’s important to understand the exam’s content, format, and test-taking strategies in order to maximize your performance on test day. The ACT Science section has long been a source of worry for many students who do not consider themselves strong in the sciences – including those who are deciding which test to take. The ACT’s distinct ‘Science’ section is, after all, the most obvious difference between the ACT and SAT exams. So what can students expect on this portion of the ACT?
By Megan, IvyWise Tutoring Manager
With application season upon us, it’s time for sophomores and juniors to begin preparing for and taking standardized tests. The first step to preparing for the SAT or ACT is to decide which test is the best fit for your skills and abilities. While there are countless articles comparing the SAT and ACT and why you should take a certain exam, in reality the tests are incredibly similar. Ultimately, there is no clear sign of which test to prepare for without taking diagnostics of each exam.
By Megan, IvyWise Tutoring Manager
Expanding your vocabulary is important in high school, especially when preparing for the SAT or ACT, as they both have sections that will test your reading skills and your knowledge of certain words and their definitions. There are a number of free apps that students can use to enhance their vocabulary and make the most of their test prep.
Junior year is a big testing year for college bound students, and as they prepare for the SAT or ACT many students might not be taking the test for the first time. It’s not uncommon for students to take the SAT or ACT multiple times, but how many times is too many?
By IvyWise Master Tutor
If you’re preparing for the ACT with the goal of raising your score on the ACT Reading section, it’s important to know what’s new and how to approach the passages and questions in this section of the exam.
The makers of the ACT released a new version of their own preparation ‘Redbook’ this past June. While it is mostly resembles that of the previous version, the new release is a great opportunity to discuss how students planning to take the ACT can best make use of the book while preparing for the exam.
Preparing for the SAT or ACT is a major aspect of the college admissions process, and part of determining the best test prep strategy is to know exactly when you plan to take these college entrance exams. We’ve pulled together the SAT and ACT test dates and registration deadlines for the 2017-18 school year so that college-bound students can access this information in one place – and better prepare for testing this fall and next spring.
By IvyWise Master Tutor
Are you preparing for the ACT this summer? Understanding the exam’s content, format, and strategies to maximize your performance on test day is important in order to make the most of your test prep and, in the end, reach your goal score.
Last year saw some big changes for the SAT, and now both the College Board, which administers the SAT, and the ACT have announced changes for the 2017-18 testing season, including tighter security, new test dates, and more.
Taking the SAT or ACT is a big element of the college admissions journey for many students, and it’s important for students and parents to know when the exams are offered, when to register, and how much it costs.
The changes coming to the SAT in March 2016 have left many high school juniors confused about their options and the best approach for tests and test prep. For months, we’ve urged the Class of 2017 to opt for the ACT next spring in order to avoid any uncertainties regarding implementation and scoring that come along with this major overhaul. While we still stand behind the advice for all juniors to prep for the ACT, we realize there are still some that can’t get past the urban myths that ‘some schools prefer SAT’ or ‘the SAT is more coachable than the ACT.’ So for those doubters – with one big caveat – there is still the option to take the SAT in its current format with just one more offering in January 2016.
As the school year comes to a close, many students look forward to taking a much-needed break from studying and exams. However, for students taking the June ACT or SAT, the end of the school year can be an unwelcome event, as the culmination of the semester leaves them little time to prepare for these important tests. For some, the stress of end-of-year exams, AP and IB tests, and other final projects can force students to put off their test prep for the June ACT or SAT – leaving them unprepared come test-day.