There are changes to the ACT brewing. Major changes. In fact, the ACT will no longer be an exam taken with paper and pencil. Instead, it will be a computer-based examination beginning in the spring of 2015, reports Tamar Lewin of “The New York Times” in her piece on the ACT. As for students at schools at which computers are not available, students at these schools can still take the ACT with paper and pencil. And for students who prefer taking the test by paper and pencil, they still can if they’d like, according to Jon Erickson (president of ACT’s educational division), as reported in Tamar Lewin’s piece in “The New York Times.”
And how will shifting the ACT from paper and pencil to computers impact the content of the exam? It won’t. The content of the ACT — with its four sections of English, reading, math and science skills, and the optional writing section will largely remain the same. According to “The New York Times” piece, “The computer-administered ACT will, for the first time, move beyond fill-in-the-bubble multiple-choice questions, with some optional items in which students perform virtual tasks to reach their answer. For example, Mr. Erickson said, one science question shows four beakers of chemicals, and lets students manipulate the items, pouring one beaker into another to monitor changes in density. Students might then be asked to predict the order of the layers if all four chemicals were poured into the same beaker. ‘We think these constructed-response items will allow students to get much more engaged and enthusiastic about what they’re doing,’ he said.”
What do you think about these changes to the ACT? Do you think it’s a good thing that the ACT will now be a computer-based exam or do you think pencil and paper was the better way to go? Do you think the SAT will soon be a computer-based exam as well? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below! And, don’t forget…The Ivy Coach offers terrific ACT prep to students around the world.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep Tags: ACT Test Changes, ACT Testing Changes, Changes to ACT Exam, Changes to ACT Examination, Changes to the ACT
We’ve got more information to report on the forthcoming SAT redesign. Apparently, the SAT redesign will, according to “The Washington Post,” be “an ambition effort” aimed “to better meet the needs of students and schools.” Within the last decade, the writing section was added to the SAT and the formatting of a number of questions was changed. And now, here comes another revamp from The College Board, owners of the SAT exam. So what exactly do we know about the redesign? Well, in an email to members of The College Board, the following was stated, as quoted by “The Washington Post”:
“In the months ahead, the College Board will begin an effort in collaboration with its membership to redesign the SAT® so that it better meets the needs of students, schools, and colleges at all levels. We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work that students will do in college so that they will practice the work they need to do to complete college. An improved SAT will strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills that evidence shows are most important to prepare students for the rigors of college and career. This is an ambitious endeavor, and one that will only succeed with the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the strong coordination of our councils and committees, and the full engagement of our membership.”
The goal with the SAT redesign is to increase the value of the exam to high school students, higher education professionals (i.e. college admissions officers, professors), and K-12 educators. What do you think about what The College Board is saying? What changes do you foresee for the SAT? Let us know your thoughts by posting below! Lastly, The Ivy Coach offers fantastic SAT tutoring. Fill out a consult form to inquire more about our tutoring services.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: Changes to the SAT Exam, Changes to the SAT Test, SAT Change, SAT Changes, SAT Redesign
There will be changes forthcoming to the SAT. We don’t yet know what exactly on the test is going to change and we don’t exactly know when these changes will take effect. But the College Board’s new president, David Coleman, alluded to these changes down the line upon taking his position. In a letter to members of The College Board sent recently, Mr. Coleman wrote as referenced in a piece by Tanya Abrams on “The New York Times’” “The Choice” blog, “We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work that students will do in college so that they will practice the work they need to do to complete college…An improved SAT will strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills that evidence shows are most important to prepare students for the rigors of college and career.”
In his letter to members of The College Board, Mr. Coleman did not cite specifics. But citing source material could be a forthcoming change on the reading portion of the SAT, suggests Tanya Abrams. And maybe students won’t have to study so many vocabulary words prior to taking the exam in the future. That change, too, is a possibility. Mr. Coleman nonetheless expressed that the SAT is still the best overall standardized test out there (distancing the test from its competitor — the ACT). But we suspect his remarks are a sign that changes to the SAT are not far away.
What parts of the SAT do you think The College Board should adjust? Do you think the SAT is a fair exam? If not, why not? Do you think students should have to study so many vocabulary words prior to taking the test? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on the matter so post a comment below! And, don’t forget, The Ivy Coach offers SAT tutoring to students around the world.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: Changes to SAT Test, Changes to the SAT, SAT Changes, SAT Exam Changes, SAT Test Changes
Are you a student trying to decide between ACT testing and SAT testing? If you are, here are the Top 10 Reasons To Take the ACT. We’ll be following this post up with a Top 10 Reasons to Take the SAT. And, remember, The Ivy Coach offers fantastic tutoring for the ACT to students around the world.
10. Take the ACT if you have a strong short-term memory.
9. Take the ACT if you like science.
8. Take the ACT is you don’t do well on sentence completions. The Reading section of the ACT is straightforward – there’s no sentence completion
7. Take the ACT if you cannot (or have no time to) memorize thousands of vocabulary words.
6. Take the ACT if you prefer 4 answer choices instead of 5 answer choices. On all subtests of the ACT, there are only 4 multiple choice answers.
5. Take the ACT if you don’t want to lose points for guessing and getting wrong answers.
4. Take the ACT if you want to avoid taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of SAT Subject Tests.
3. Take the ACT if you like easier questions. The easy questions are easier on the ACT than on the SAT.
2. Take the ACT if you do well on classroom exams but don’t do well on standardized tests.
1. Take the ACT if you have to study hard to get good grades.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: ACT Prep, ACT Test, ACT Testing, Prep for the ACT, Prepping for the ACT
At The Ivy Coach, we offer SAT test prep with dynamic tutors who help prepare students around the world for this all-important exam. If you’re a student trying to decide between taking the ACT or the SAT, we’ve posted reasons to take the SAT below. The ACT is better for some students and not others. The same is true of the SAT. It’s all about the right fit. So here are our Top 10 Reasons to Take the SAT:
10. Take the SAT if you did well on the PSAT.
9. Take the SAT if you’re a strong reader.
8. Take the SAT if you don’t have a strong memory.
7. Take the SAT if you like test strategies (i.e., universals are 90% wrong).
6. Take the SAT if you’re a slow test-taker. The ACT is a much faster exam than the SAT. On the SAT, there’s more time to do more questions.
5. Take the SAT if you’re at a lower level of math. The ACT has questions on trigonometry. There’s no trigonometry on the SAT.
4. Take the SAT if you have not yet taken geometry.
3. Take the SAT if you’re not so great in math but like figuring out problems.
2. Take the SAT if you don’t have to study very hard to get good grades.
1. Take the SAT if you’ve always done well on standardized exams.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: Prep for the SAT, Reasons for Taking SAT, Reasons to Take the SAT, SAT Test Prep, SAT vs ACT
We’ve been pretty critical of The College Board this year (remember the SAT that was going to be offered to students at Amherst College?). But this post isn’t about that SAT administration. It’s about getting to know your high school guidance counselor and how important it is to establish a relationship with him/her early on.
Jennifer Karan, the Executive Director of the SAT Program at The College Board, wrote a great article about how high school freshmen can take a more proactive approach with their education by planning towards college early. She suggests getting to know your guidance counselor right at the beginning of your high school career (always great advice). Your guidance counselor can help shape your course selection and discuss with you your extracurricular interests and activities. While high school guidance counselors are often overwhelmed (check out our infographic for some statistics on this), the more you get to know your guidance counselor, the more help he or she can be to you as you go about trying to get into a highly selective college. Developing that relationship is important (and don’t forget that your guidance counselor has to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf that is sent to all colleges to which you apply).
Have a question about The College Board’s SAT program? Post it below and we’ll get you answers. Interested in SAT tutoring? The Ivy Coach offers SAT tutoring to students around the world with the best instructors you’ll find.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing, Teacher / Counselor Recommendations Tags: College Board, College Board Program, College Board SAT Program, SAT Program The College Board, The College Board
Staten Island was one of the worst hit areas by Hurricane Sandy. Many folks lost their homes. Some lost loved ones. The borough is still trying to recover from its devastation. And not that the SAT matters when it comes to people losing homes and not having electricity, but can you imagine taking the SAT, studying really hard, thinking you did really well, only for your test to be lost? Such is the case for 30 students from Staten Island. Just imagine! How upset would you be if you were that teenager or that teenager’s parents? Missing SAT exams are not acceptable and ETS (which administers exams for The College Board) should be held responsible.
According to “The New York Post,” “Dozens of high school students who sat for the grueling SAT exam on Staten Island in October were crushed to learn this week that their answer sheets had been lost…To add insult to injury, the College Board told some of the 30 students whose answers disappeared — including many from St. Joseph by the Sea in Annadale — that they can’t get priority seating at tomorrow’s administration of the exam because it’s already booked, parents said.” They can’t even get priority seating? Are they serious?
Apparently, 770 students sat for the SAT on October 6th but only 740 answer sheets showed up for scanning. And now they’ll either have to sit for a makeup test (because they can’t get seating at the next scheduled exam administration) or get a refund. Gee, thanks ETS — thanks for the refund for the grueling hard work put in by these thirty students. ETS and The College Board need a new spinster. Their PR is a total mess. Remember when they offered SAT exams to an exclusive group of privileged students? Sometimes, they just don’t think about what’s right.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep Tags: Missing SAT Examinations, Missing SAT Exams, Missing SAT Testing, Missing SAT Tests, SAT Examination Fiasco
International students admitted to highly selective colleges – like Ivy League colleges – tend to have higher standardized test scores as compared to applicants from the United States. Does this surprise you that they often have higher SAT scores? It shouldn’t. It’s one of the advantages that international students bring to the table in highly selective college admissions. Sure, they’ve got their disadvantages, too. Their writing is often subpar. Their understanding of English can range dramatically. Their college essays are frequently written by others (rather than themselves) and college admissions counselors quite often look the other way. So their ethics aren’t exactly an advantage.
But those high SAT scores boost the school’s mean score. They boost their ranking in “US News & World Report.” And the international students aren’t getting financial aid. They’re paying the full cost of tuition (a.k.a. “full freight”). That makes up for a whole bunch of students from within the United States who need financial aid. Money doesn’t grow on trees for universities. But money sure does grow on trees when it comes to international students as they’ve got it to spend. A college doesn’t have to dip into its endowment when it admits international applicants.
There are pluses and minuses when a highly selective university admits many applicants. The football player with low ACT scores hurts the mean for “US News & World Report” but he helps the football team win games. And that leads to more donations and a bigger endowment — which is all good for a university. The international student often helps boost the university’s mean standardized testing scores. But when they get into college classrooms, their lack of fluency can be problematic to say the least! What happens when they have to write that first fifteen or twenty page paper? Oh boy.Categories: International Students, SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: International Applicants and High SAT, International Applicants and the SAT, International Students and the SAT, SAT and International Applicants, SAT and International Students
The College Board and SAT tutoring — now that’s a war that’s been going on for a while! The College Board continues to insist that tutoring doesn’t actually lead to increased SAT scores. We suppose that you can guess what we think about this. They eat a lot of bologna. Of course tutoring increases SAT scores. Why do you think students actually prepare for the SAT? Does The College Board really think that simply by sitting for the PSAT, students will be prepared to take the SAT? No. Of course they don’t think this. It’s just their PR spin. If only they could be a little bit more honest! They don’t want students to cheat on the SATs but it’s ok for them to state fiction? We don’t think so.
If The College Board really didn’t think that students could increase their SAT scores with practice and tutoring, then why would they have offered a SAT administration to students participating in an expensive summer program at Amherst College? It doesn’t matter in the least that The College Board subsequently canceled this program. They canceled it because of all of the negative publicity their ill-advised decision generated. They were offering a leg up to advantaged students — students who receive tutoring for the SAT — by offering the test outside of the normal school year, when their tutoring was fresh on their minds and when their focus was squarely on the SAT.
It’s high time that The College Board acknowledged that good SAT tutoring actually improves scores. Their PR spin goes against years and years of data-driven analytics. Are they even serious or are they joking? It’s sometimes hard to tell with The College Board. Let us know your thoughts on their PR spin by posting below. And let us know what you think about SAT tutoring.Categories: SAT / ACT Prep, Standardized Testing Tags: College Board and SAT Tutoring, SAT Tutoring and The College Board, SAT Tutoring Helps, The College Board, The College Board on SAT Tutoring
Many students debate whether or not they should take the SAT or the ACT. Some students decide to take both. Some students prepare for both only to realize during the SAT / ACT prep process that they’re much stronger at one test as compared to the other. Most students aren’t equally as good at the SAT and the ACT. Usually, a student is better at one. But what we find amusing is that many high school students (and their parents) believe that colleges have a preference for the SAT. That is absolutely, positively incorrect.
College admissions counselors at highly selective colleges — like the Ivy League colleges — don’t care if you took the SAT or ACT. Do they care how you did on the test you took? Absolutely! But they don’t care if you were an ACT or an SAT test-taker. SAT test-takers in no way have any advantage over their ACT counterparts. That’s a common misconception that really needs to be debunked. Over the years, we thought folks would realize this was wrong, but it seems the misconception persists today.
If you do well on the ACT in your prep, then take the ACT! If you do better on the SAT, take the SAT. There’s an easy scale where you can compare your scores so you know what the SAT or ACT equivalent is. If you did really poorly on an administration of the SAT, consider prepping for the ACT and vice versa. College admissions counselors just don’t care what exam you take. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do well on the exam you do end up taking!Categories: SAT / ACT Prep Tags: ACT or SAT Exams, SAT and ACT, SAT or ACT, SAT or ACT Testing, SAT Testing and ACT Testing