For the first time since, 2005*, the class of  2017 has the option of taking 3 different college entrance exams: the current SAT, a redesigned SAT, and the ACT.  Is it crazy for a student to take ALL three? For most students, yes, it is not the best idea.  Let me explain as the answer is not that simple.

What type of student should consider taking the current SAT (this fall)?  Generally speaking, a  student who is a reader and is an exceptional student with a strong vocabulary would probably do very well on the current SAT. But there’s more to consider . . .

To affirm this, it is recommended that such a student take the 60 Second ACT vs. ACT Assessment  found on the website homepage. Also, recommended is to find out what type of learner your student is. Students who score at least a 7+ SAT on the assessment and who have self-identified as a Maverick, Accelerated or Sound learner would be more suited to take the current SAT.

So what type of student should take the ACT? Again, if the 60 Second Assessment score is 7+ACT and self-identifies as an Underachiever, Unmotivated or Hands-on learner, then the ACT is the better exam.

What about the redesigned SAT and the new PSAT which all students will take this fall? There are a lot more similarities to the ACT and the new SAT. Let’s review some of those content similarities:

  1. Unlike the current SAT which can test some challenging vocabulary within a sentence, the new SAT as well as the ACT, tests more ‘everyday’ words in passage context. Both tests phrase the question as such: “The word ___________ in line ___ most nearly means.”
  1. The reading comprehension passages have a similar ‘flavor’ as to how both the questions and answers choices are phrased. Unlike the current SAT, where students always have to go back to the passage to be able to answer a question, both the redesigned SAT and ACT have questions that a more commonly based on understanding the point.
  1. The current SAT does not have any interpretation of charts and graphs; the new one will have 2-4; however, they typically will only be relevant to a single question. The ACT Science section is based entirely on reading one or two short intro paragraphs and questions based on the accompanying charts and graphs. (Bottom line, the fact that there is no separate Science section on the new SAT could be a plus for many students.)
  1. Grammar and rhetoric on both exams is tested in the exact same format.
  1. The math on both the new SAT and the ACT test more like school math. The questions tend to be more direct and may reach a little higher level than before.

So what does this mean for your student? Assume that your teen has completed the 60 Second Assessment and is better suited to the ACT and is a Hands-on learner. Should the new SAT be an option as well?

*2005 was the last big format change to the SAT

Part 2 to follow  . . .


Ready to start making sense of this whole process for your teen NOW? Schedule your Complimentary Test Prep Strategy Session and get clarity as to how your teen can move forward and make junior year (almost) stress free! I look forward to our connecting!

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