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Should I take both the SAT and ACT?

act collegetest sat Jun 16, 2022

We normally start our students off with a diagnostic test, so we can assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend one test over the other.  About half of the students show a propensity for one test over the other, while the other half does equally well on both the SAT and ACT.  For the majority of students, it’s best to choose a single  test, focus all of their energy into that test, and stick with that test.  

 

There are several benefits to focusing on a single test.  It is better to focus on a single test and become an absolute expert in it. Mastering one test alone is far easier than splitting your attention between two different exams, with different pacing, different question types, and even different topics!  It is also a lot less stressful to study for a single test.

 

While it can be very rewarding, studying for the SAT or ACT is intensive, exhausting, and time consuming.  Adding a second test into...

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High GPA, Low SAT or ACT

Hi GPA, Low SAT/ACT
 
Even though more than a thousand colleges let you apply to them without submitting your SAT or ACT, you should be aware of a dirty little secret about admissions officers:
 
They'd PREFER to see standardized test scores!
 
Why?
 
Because, despite their flaws, the SAT and ACT are still helpful predictors of how well a student will do in college.
 
Before I continue, understand that I'm not here to defend either the College Board or the ACT. I'm well aware of the biases that affect kids' scores, especially financial means to take test prep or hire expensive tutors.
 
Side bar: I'm also old enough to remember the Party Line spoken by the College Board for years: that the SAT was so fair that there was zero advantage to studying for it or hiring a tutor!
 
Then one day they partnered with Khan Academy to provide classes and tutoring.
 
Weird.
 
Anyhoo, one of the most common...
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