The Class of 2017's Standardized Testing Dilemma

June 17, 2015


Normally, college admissions season begins in the spring semester of 11th grade.  But next year’s juniors are in a unique situation, which requires planning and decision-making right now!


3 Test Options Instead of 2

Most colleges require students to take a standardized test as a condition of admission.  Since schools accept either the SAT or the ACT, students generally have a choice between the two.  But because a new SAT will be released during the next school year, next year’s juniors will have three testing choices:  the current SAT, the new SAT, or the ACT.  So which test should your child take?


Don’t Take the New SAT

Based on conversations with college admissions officers, test prep professionals, and others, we are advising our students to avoid taking the new SAT.  There are a few key reasons:

  • Because it is new, there will not be many practice tests or other prep materials available.  Those materials that are available will likely need revision after the first several rounds of the test are administered.  Tutors will also need a period of time to become familiar with the new instrument.

  • As opposed to the usual 3-week turnaround of test scores, the first round of the new SAT will take substantially longer.  As many students will want to take the test twice, they may not receive feedback on their first performance soon enough to help them prepare for their second.

  • It’s unclear how college admissions officers will interpret the results.  The new test will be scored differently than the current test.  The top test score will be 1,600 instead of 2,400 and multiple subscores will be reported.

  • The SAT has been changed to make it more like the ACT, so why not just take the ACT?