It’s test prep season for high school juniors, and many will start preparing for the SAT or ACT this fall in anticipation of spring exam administrations. This year saw a lot of changes to the SAT, and for students just becoming familiar with the new exam there are a number of test prep tips to keep in mind that are very different from strategies promoted for the old test. For those just beginning to consider test preparation, it’s important to remember that a perfect SAT or ACT score alone won’t gain admission to a top-choice college, but great scores are necessary in order to be competitive in the highly-selective college admissions process.
For international students preparing to apply to US universities there’s a lot to consider – from the holistic admissions process, to other things like visa requirements and tuition costs – but one thing that many students overseas recognize the importance of is college entrance exams, specifically the SAT. However, this isn’t the only test that international students need to consider when applying to US universities. While college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT are required for all applicants at many US colleges and universities, there can be additional tests that are either required or suggested, and some of these apply specifically to international applicants.
While the concept can be intimidating, standardized testing doesn’t have to be an ordeal. As a student, you have a variety of options. Though the SAT has traditionally been the most widely-used test, students are no longer required to take it.
With many students juggling schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other commitments, it’s easy for some to put off the SAT or ACT and hope for a good score the first time around. However, just like with college applications, there’s a lot of preparation and planning that should go into standardized testing. Test prep is a critical piece of the college admissions puzzle, as it can greatly increase students’ chances of acceptance to their top-choice colleges.
By Meg, IvyWise Premier College Counselor People of all ages and backgrounds love to complain about the SAT. The New York Times Magazine recently published an article by Todd Balf about the College Board's recent announcement that they plan to overhaul the test. The article begins: The SAT Is Hated By: A) Stressed-out students B) Frustrated Educators C) Hamstrung Admissions Officers D) Anxious Parents E) All of the Above You know the answer.
If you’re looking to apply to graduate school or live outside the US and want to take the ACT, you might soon be faced with a computer-based standardized test. Computer-based testing (CBT) is increasingly the norm, as test-makers feel they can be delivered and administered more securely, with the trend moving towards exams entirely unique to individual test-takers. Happily, CBT means more choices and tools for you as you leave the messy world of misbubbled Scantrons behind!
Even as a growing number of colleges in the US are becoming test-optional, in most cases, SAT and ACT scores are necessary in order to be competitive in the college admissions process. While a perfect standardized test score isn’t a ticket to a best-fit college, it is one of the many components that admissions officers consider, so it’s in a student’s best interest to perform well. In order to have a competitive SAT or ACT score, preparation and planning is necessary.
Most students wait until the summer after their Junior year to study and cram for the SAT/ACT. As a result, once you get your scores in October, you only have one or two more opportunities to re-take the exams to improve scores. Give yourself more time to improve by taking the tests early in the spring semester.
For many students, mystery can surround the ACT and SAT, with rumors and misinformation circulating as students prepare to take these important college entrance exams. It’s important for students to inform themselves on the content of each test, and to not buy into the hype about which test is “better” and other common myths. The truth is, there’s no test that’s more valuable or more likely, on its own, to get you admitted to your dream college.
As we head into late fall, juniors may be taking the ACT or SAT for the first time, but many seniors will be taking these college entrance exams for the second, or even third, time. It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of where you are in test preparation, it is a – one that involves, for most students, taking the test more than once. It’s critical for students to not only prepare for their first sitting of the ACT or SAT, but also any retakes.