If you have a blood relative who is planning on applying to college at some point within the next 10 years, you’ve probably already heard of the announced changes to the SITTING. I tweeted last week that the fervor surrounding this announcement is one more reminder that the three biggest letters within college admissions are S-A-T. Here on our blog, we’ve discussed the potential effect of these changes on companies that offer test prep. And if you keep an eye on our Facebook web page , you’ll see a handful of additional comments and articles related to the brand new SAT roll-out. There’s a lot to take.
With so much available, it’s hard to know the specific ways these changes will affect a person when it comes time to apply at college . Should you be nervous? Thrilled? Cautious? Here are a few important points to bear in mind as you assess what the new SITTING means for you:
- If you’re graduating before 2017, peruse the articles just for fun, because changes won’t affect you. If you’re slated to graduate in 2017 or later, keep reading.
- The SAT is moving returning to a 1600 scale by making the writing portion of the test optional. Because the writing test was introduced within 2005, students have heard mixed messages from colleges on the creating section. While some schools gave creating equal standing with the math and critical reading sections, others handled it as a glorified subject test. Now that the writing section is certainly optional, you don’t have to wonder about the importance of the writing section in the selection process: if a school cares about your creating score, they’ll require or recommend that you take the optional section of test.
- Because some schools are likely to recommend or require the “optional” writing test in very similar way that they currently ask for issue tests, it’s important for you to end up being clear on their expectations when you sign up for the SAT. If you’re unsure regardless of whether colleges to which you will apply need the writing score, just take it! If no schools on your listing expect it, it won’t hurt a person. A good score could even be to your benefit.
- As Karen Crowley pointed out last week , we might see higher SAT scores over the board in the first few years since College Board tries to calibrate the brand new test content. If you’re a great test taker who wants to set yourself apart from others, it could be prudent to take the ACT rather than the SAT, as its scoring scale is time-tested. Students who also aren’t great test takers might benefit from inflated SAT scores in the first few iterations of the test. Depending on the schools to which he may apply, it may even be a good idea for a second-semester junior to take both testing. Before carving out a plan with regard to testing, make sure you are aware of school-specific screening policies, as many schools require every scores in the admissions process.
- The sweeping changes towards the SAT have purportedly been made in order to bring the test into alignment with the content you learn in school, specially the Common Core curriculum. This should reinforce the fact that your academic coursework is the central aspect of your college application. Along with earning quality grades for top functionality, students now have the added benefit of picking up content in class that they can use for the test.
- Finally, keep in mind that there are an increasing number of schools that have test-optional or test-flexible admissions policies. If all of this talk of screening stresses you out, consult the web for a list of schools that do not really require standardized tests for admission. You’ll find there are plenty of terrific schools available that will never ask, “What are your scores? ”
Ian Fisher is a member of University Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Ian received his master’s in policy, organization, and leadership studies through the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining College Coach, Ian worked as a senior admissions official at Reed College.