Understand the test that you are taking. The SAT and ACT are different tests, with different timing and subtests. At SPSG, students will explore both test formats in their sophomore year. After determining which test fits their particular needs, each student should proceed along that path. If you have questions, a college counselor would be happy to discuss this at length with students and parents.
Prepare for the test the best that you can. As sophomores, embrace the opportunity for PSAT instruction; make the most of it! If possible, during second semester junior year, take a class or work with a tutor one-on-one. Get a book and practice on your own. Don’t just wing it! Again, if you have questions your college counselor would be happy to help you with this.
There is a growing body of schools that do not use standardized test scores in the evaluation of a student’s application. Wake Forest University and College of the Holy Cross are two of the longest standing schools that are “test optional”; more recently Bryn Mawr College and Temple University have adopted test optional policies. As the SAT changes many colleges find that scores are no longer a solid predictor of how successful a student will be in college. For a list of test optional schools, click here.
While some schools have decided not to use test scores at all, others have decided to be very flexible in their evaluation of scores. “Test flexible” means that a student can submit scores from a wide variety of tests to offer a broad view of their testing abilities. For instance, are you not satisfied with your SAT score, but very proud of your AP Calculus score? You can send both and the college will look at the larger picture to understand you as a student.
Each testing company provides a limited number of fee waivers that defray the cost of test registration. Please talk with your college counselor if you think you may qualify.