SAT, New SAT or ACT?

(PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

This year’s junior year class will be the first to take the new SAT.  Should students take the old SAT?  The new SAT?  The ACT?  A combination of all three?

Question: Why should I take the new SAT?
Answer: You should take the new SAT for the following reasons:

  • The old SAT will no longer be administered after January 2016.
  • Many colleges will not superscore the old SAT and the new SAT.
  • The College Board offers many resources, in partnership with the Khan Academy to help prepare students for the new SAT.

Question: Is there any reason that I should take the old SAT?
Answer: There are a few reasons you can take the old SAT:

  • You took the old SAT already in the fall and would like to take it again.
  • You did really well on the PSAT and just feel more comfortable with the format of the old SAT.
  • You have already taken a prep course based on the old SAT.

Question: Should I take the new SAT or the ACT?
Answer: It depends. You should have received a chart with the differences between the two tests. It is toward the back of the junior college packet I sent by email. Please review the information so that you can make a more informed choice.

If you are really motivated and would like to see which test is a better fit for you, both the Princeton Review and Kaplan offer FREE, online or in-person diagnostic tests of both exams. You can register for them, take it online or in their office, and they will score it and return it to you. I highly recommend doing this if you have the time. Fall break would be a good time.

Here’s my recommendation: Juniors should take either the new SAT or the ACT.  I don’t recommend that you prepare for both the new SAT and the ACT.


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