College & Workforce Readiness

School Counselors Mixed on SAT and ACT Advice, As New SAT Arrives

By Caralee J. Adams — May 21, 2015 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new survey finds school counselors are offering a range of advice to students about whether to take the current SAT, the new SAT in the spring of 2016, the ACT—or a combination of the three.

About one-third of high school counselors polled by Kaplan Test Prep are advising students to take more than one of the college-entrance exams to see which might help them most in getting into their top-choice school. About 16 percent suggest students take only the ACT, 6 percent advise students to take the current SAT early, and 6 percent are recommending students wait until next March to take the revamped SAT. The remaining counselors say the SAT changes are not affecting their advice to students.

“There’s no strong consensus on which approach to take,” said Michael Boothroyd, a contributing editor at Kaplan in a press release May 20. Current sophomores who will graduate in the class of 2017 are in a unique position to take both the current and new version of the SAT, as well as the ACT, to see which they prefer. Boothroyd suggests taking all three increases their competitive advantage.

Officials from the College Board, which administers the SAT, have said the new test will be more closely aligned with what students are learning in the classroom. The essay, which will become optional, will require deeper analysis based on evidence. The math section will be more rigorous and calculators will not be allowed. And obscure vocabulary will be replaced with more commonly used words.

The New York-based nonprofit has shared test specs and introduced test prep materials, but educators have been waiting to see the actual test and colleges are still determining what policy changes they need to make.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” surrounding the rollout of the new SAT and how colleges will respond, says Jeff Fuller, the president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, in a phone interview. Colleges are waiting for information from the College Board about scoring and concordance, with a shift from a 2,400-point scale to a 1,600-point scale.

In October, College Board will debut a revised Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test that will give students a preview of what to expect on the SAT. By the end of summer or early fall, colleges are likely to make decisions about scores they will accept from which version of the test, says Fuller.

“Folks are eager for information. This is major in the world of college admissions,” says Fuller. It’s important that school counselors are well-informed enough to advise students on which test to take, he says.

Most high school juniors graduating in the class of 2016 will be taking the current SAT, but some may sit for the new version of the test if they plan to apply to open-access schools in May or June of next year. The shift to the new SAT will take place with the class of 2017, but some may opt to take both versions of the test.

The free online test prep now offered by the College Board and the Khan Academy gives students an additional tool to prepare and drill down on areas they need to improve, adds Fuller.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read