By Carolyn, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor As you might have heard, many colleges across the country have been adopting a test-optional application review process in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know you will be submitting applications of your own sometime in the next few years, you might be wondering what exactly 'test-optional' means and whether or not these policies will apply to you. In this article, I will address some of these questions and consider the possible scenarios that you might encounter when your senior year rolls around.
SAT and ACT testing has been dramatically affected by COVID-19. Testing opportunities have been few and far between over the past two years, spurring many colleges to announce test-optional admissions policies. While some colleges have said the switch is temporary, standardized testing has been a hot topic for many years and this gives us an opportunity to reimagine the admission process.
The process of preparing for, taking, and responding to standardized test scores is a stressful and overwhelming one for students and families, and with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this process has only become more stressful in recent years. One of the ways that colleges have responded to the pandemic's obstacles is to implement test-optional admissions policies to avoid disadvantaging students who have been unable to sit for an ACT or SAT. This was a sudden and drastic shift that left many students and families with questions about how it will impact their own applications.
In light of the recent dissolution of the SAT Subject Tests by the College Board, many students in the US and around the world are wondering how now to demonstrate their academic knowledge to universities. While stellar grades, internships, and independent research will always remain a core part of this process, we also know that some colleges still value being able to compare student achievement in standardized test settings. If you’re already enrolled in AP or IB courses at your school, good news!
The standardized testing landscape has dramatically transformed over the past few years. What do these changes mean for you as you prepare to apply for college? Join an IvyWise Tutor and IvyWise College Admissions Counselors to learn about what changes to the SAT mean for the college admissions landscape and how to adapt your testing and application strategies to demonstrate your personal strengths and passions in your applications.
The math sections of the ACT and SAT can be a challenge for many students, especially those who tend to struggle in these subject areas. However, there is good news for students who are looking to improve their math scores on these standardized tests: by mastering a few easy concepts you can be well on your way to reaching your goal scores. I have always considered the math sections of the SAT and the ACT to be completely games of skill.
For many college bound students, the fall SAT or ACT will be the first standardized test they will take. It's important to take these tests multiple times to give yourself plenty of opportunity to improve your score with each test. Remember, most colleges will superscore your results, so taking the SAT or ACT multiple times will help boost your chances of achieving your goal score!
Wouldn't it be great if there was a key that unlocked all of the answers to questions on the SAT, ACT, and other standardized exams that can give students major anxiety? While there's no one tip or trick that will help you achieve a perfect score, practice and a proper test prep plan can help dramatically improve students’ performance on college entrance exams. There are also some test-taking strategies and “hacks” that students can utilize to maximize their time and performance on these high-stakes tests.
Taking the ACT this fall? There are a number of formulas that students should know before sitting for the test, and many can be programmed into students’ calculators beforehand in order to save time and give students’ the best chance of completing the math section in time and to the best of their ability. There are a lot of math concepts tested on the ACT and the ACT does not provide students with any formulas on a reference sheet.
The requirements for college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT have experienced some major changes over the years with the rise of test-optional admissions policies and the fact that the SAT, which previously required students take the essay section, has now made that essay portion optional. As a result, some colleges have stopped requiring first-year applicants to submit SAT and ACT essay scores as part of their testing profile. So where does this leave students weighing whether or not to take the optional essay portion of the SAT or ACT?
The ACT is an important exam and your score will be used not only for college admission purposes, but also to determine qualification for scholarships and even course placement. Your performance on the ACT Math section may be particularly important for admission into a technical school or a quantitative major. So if you choose to take the ACT, how should you prepare for the math section?
The science section on the ACT can make many students nervous, especially those who dislike science, and can lead those students to falsely believe they should avoid the ACT altogether. However, the key is knowing how the ACT science section operates and coming to a firm understanding that the ACT does not necessarily test the depth of your scientific knowledge, but rather analytical skills in a scientific context. What Does the ACT Science Section Test?
If you are planning to apply to a college or university in the US, chances are you’re going to have to take either the ACT or the SAT. At IvyWise we advise students to prep for test – not both. So how do you decide which one is the best fit for you?
The spring semester is the testing season! Whether you're a sophomore preparing to take your first standardized test or a junior retaking the SAT or ACT to achieve your goal score, test prep and performing well is on the minds of many students this month. There is one thing that remains consistent for students of all ages, however: test anxiety.
The most important piece of information that students will receive after taking the ACT is their Score Report. The ACT Score Report is multi-faceted, and contains information that not only lets students know how they did, but also understand their specific and relative strengths and weaknesses to help guide their preparation for the next test sitting. So how can students and parents use this information to improve their scores in the future?
The SAT and ACT are the most often used exams for college admissions in the US, and given that they are standardized, they must be taken under strict time constraints. Students can struggle with the limited amount of time per question, leaving points on the table when they’re unable to finish certain sections. Simple pacing strategies, however, can help students improve their test performance and overall scores.
The two most commonly asked questions by students regarding ACT or SAT test prep are: “When is it too early to begin test prep?” and “How much prep is too much prep?” While the answers to these questions vary per student based on college admissions goals, academic and extracurricular priorities, and personal SAT or ACT test goals, it’s important to keep a couple of key points in mind so that students are spending their time in the best way possible and not overdoing test prep.
With all of the stress, pressure and confusion surrounding the college admissions process, it's no wonder that people start to develop their own theories on how it all works. You've likely heard a "secret" admissions rumor from a friend of a friend that has made you panic. But what is the truth?
Standardized tests are a controversial factor in the college admissions process, and with so many opinions on the value of these college entrance exams, misinformation can run rampant. From the value of one test over the other to how to prepare and how scores affect a student’s chances of admission, there are many myths out there about the SAT and ACT. In order to have success in the college admissions process, parents and students need to first separate fact from fiction.
IvyWise counselors Nat and Eric offer advice on when and how students should start planning for standardized testing and discuss the important distinction between test-optional' and 'test-blind' on the college admissions podcast, giving listeners expert insight from former admissions officers. Listen Now! According to NACAC, 58.