The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way higher education institutions review applications, with many colleges choosing to adopt a 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 brought on numerous 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.
February 10 will be here before we know it — the first ACT test date for 2024. And for U.S. students, the digital SAT makes its debut on March 9. At IvyWise, we advise students to start preparing for these tests early and to take multiple, timed practice tests in the weeks leading up to the actual testing date.
The SAT may have changed a lot in recent years, including going digital-only for international students in 2023 and for the U.S. in 2024. But one thing hasn’t changed — a good SAT score will help you gain acceptance into the schools on your college list, even if they’re test-optional. Of course, standardized test scores are just one component of a strong college application, but they help provide a more comprehensive picture of your college readiness. If you’re preparing to take the SAT, keep reading to learn more about how the score is broken down, what’s considered a good score, and what the score range is for the middle 50% of enrolled students at some of the top universities in the U.S.
Want to see how your scores on the SAT compare to ACT? The College Board provides concordance tables so students and educators can see how SAT total scores compare to composite ACT scores. You can also use the SAT score conversion chart below if you’ve completed both tests and want to determine which score is better to submit to colleges. These tables
In the past several years, testing policies have varied wildly across the U.S. admissions landscape. While it was once a given that applicants would submit their test scores with their college applications, students now may be wondering whether it is still worthwhile to take the ACT or SAT exam. Keep reading to find out why it is in many applicants’ best interest to submit a standardized test score — even if the school does not require it.Test-Optional Doesn’t Mean Test-Blind
While it is true that a fair number of schools have retained test-optional admissions for the upcoming application cycle, that doesn’t equate with being completely blind to applicants’ test scores. Instead, the role that SAT or ACT scores play in a student’s chance of admission has evolved: while scores are no longer a requirement at many colleges, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have an impact on students’ admissions odds. In fact, admissions officers are likely to look favorably upon applicants with compelling SAT or ACT scores. SAT and ACT scores that fall within or above your best-fit colleges’ desired score range will continue to
When preparing for the ACT or SAT it’s important to develop an effective test prep strategy. From selecting the right test to setting score goals and creating a testing timeline, a good test prep plan can make all the difference in students’ performance on the ACT or SAT. Here are some test prep tips to help students prepare for the SAT or ACT.
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.
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.
For high school students navigating the college application process, the back-to-school season is about a lot more than starting new classes. In addition to coursework, many students are preparing all of the components of their college applications, including submitting test scores.
Performing well on standardized tests is about so much more than thinking quickly and bubbling in the answers. In order to really excel on exams, it is important to have a thorough understanding of exactly what the test will cover and review accordingly.
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.
By Richard, IvyWise Master Tutor
When it comes to getting a great score on the ACT or SAT, the process of preparing and studying for the exam can seem quite complicated, especially if students are applying from abroad and aren’t familiar with the test. Instead of stressing out, know it can be done—as long as students learn about the exam and create a testing strategy.
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.
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.
By Priyam, IvyWise Master Tutor
It’s SAT and ACT season for college bound students, and many will go into these tests with a calculator in-hand. Make sure you know how – and when – to use it.
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?