Important Information About The SAT and ACT

I’m passing on to you information about taking the SAT and ACT from Jed Applerouth, owner of Applerouth Tutoring, one of the top standardized test prep companies.

Applerouth advises students to wait until Junior year to test unless scores are needed by recruited athletes or for dual enrollment (to take college courses while in high school). Students who are taking Algebra 2 or who aren’t strong readers should wait until spring of their junior year.

Applerouth did a retrospective study on students clients who had already graduated to determine whether there was a significant change in the scores of students who took the ACT or SAT only in their junior year and those who took either test again in their senior year.  The results between the 2 groups was nearly identical.  The conclusion is that waiting until senior year to re-take the test does not create an advantage.

What did make a difference was the number of times a student took either test. The greatest gains were made by students who took the test 3 times.  The third test showed an average gain of almost 50 points on the SAT and 1.4 points on the ACT over the first test.

As you plan when take standardized tests, consider also if you will need to take AP tests or SAT II tests.  Choose times when you won’t be overwhelmed by classroom assignments or when you will need to take multiple tests on the same day.

Notes On Prepping The SAT

Over the last few testing dates there have been issues with the actual test questions and with the curve that left many students confused and fuming over their math scores.  College Board is no longer affiliated with Educational Testing Service which used to design and calibrate the questions on the SAT leading to a wider than expected variation in the difficulty of recent tests.

Easier tests mean that more students do well, raising the number of correct answers needed to score in the upper ranges of the curve.   In early 2017 ,47 or 48 correct answers out of 58 were needed to score 700.  In June 2018 it took 54 out of 58 to reach the same score because testers answered more questions correctly, raising the curve.

Additionally, changes in the test itself are not reflected in the test prep materials from College Board.  A student who uses these materials may feel prepared to score well when in actuality, the questions on the test aren’t reflected by the prep questions.  A better way to prep is to get from College Board Question and Answer Service  a copy of the October, March or May test which is a current and calibrated test similar to the test they will be taking.  I’d suggest the October 2018 test or after March, getting the March test.

Or, Take the ACT which at the moment isn’t experiencing these difficulties.

You have lots to think about.  Lets get to ether to talk about your testing plan.

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