JUNIOR UPDATE #3
TO TEST, OR NOT TO TEST: THAT IS THE QUESTION
SHOULD I TAKE THE SAT OR ACT THIS YEAR?
Generally, students take a practice SAT or ACT in the fall of junior year and the real exam in spring of junior year. However, many colleges are going either test blind (where they do NOT use scores for admissions decisions at all) or test-optional (where it is up to the student to decide if they want those scores considered). You will want to start looking at the websites for schools that interest you to see what their policies are on testing.
- As of Jan 2021, the UC system and over 800 colleges across the country are test-blind
- If you have high anxiety and/or don’t test well, seek out schools that don’t require the tests. You can build a college list where these tests are not a factor (see Fair Test for more info)
- CSU’s: For the applying Class of 2022, CSU’s will be test blind. Keep checking their websites for updates beyond that.
- Traveling to test: Colleges prefer that students do not increase exposure for a test score. Please do not fly to another state or drive long distances in the wee hours of the morning to test. The additional anxiety involved with that travel may adversely impact your test score and certainly won’t improve your state of mind or finances
- The SAT Subject exams have been eliminated as of Jan 2021
- If you have a clear preference for the ACT or SAT, focus on that exam and don't tax yourself by taking multiples sittings of both
- All testing must be complete by December of senior year. Some private colleges require all testing to be complete prior to the fall of senior year if applying early action, so you will need to check carefully for requirements at each college
- We do NOT suggest taking any of these exams more than two times
- Students should do some college research so that they know the score they are seeking to obtain for entrance into their desired university. Please check every college website that you are interested in to see if you even need to take exams. If not, don't spend time or money taking exams unnecessarily
- Decisions about testing schedules are often unique to each student. Please contact your Counselor with questions
How do I register for the SAT or ACT?
- For SAT: please review the College Board site
- For ACT, please review the ACT site
- The writing portion of the SAT has been discontinued as of June 2021. Look for ACT updates and we will update this page as we are made aware of updates.
- Fee Waivers may be available so you don’t have to pay for these tests- contact Lisa Neumaier at email@example.com prior to registering for an exam if you think you may qualify for a waiver.
According to the College Board, the best preparation for the SAT - and for college - is for students to take challenging academic courses and to read and write widely.
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Last updated on 1.25.2021 by Sheila Souder
Emailed home on 1.25.2021