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Tests, Tests, Tests

QUESTION: Tests, tests, tests. When should my child take the SAT or ACT

ANSWER: Well, the simple answer is, when they are ready. But we all know that the simple answer is not always the best answer, so what should be considered in planning for standardized tests?. First, bear in mind their schedule. Does she play a sport or have major time commitments at some particular point during the year?. Individual schedules should be considered when planning a testing schedule. Your child should have sufficient time to prepare and focus. Second, can your child handle standardized tests at the same time as high school final exams?. If not, she might want to consider taking exams for the first time in the earlier spring, before the June rush, using the fall test dates senior year as options for retake opportunities. Third, will your child need to take SAT Subject Tests?. Factoring Subject Tests into the schedule may also dictate when it is optimal to take the SAT or the ACT. Students cannot sit for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same test date. Finally, go back and ask yourself the initial question, when will my child be ready?. When will she be sufficiently prepared to give the exam her best effort?. This raises an even more preliminary question. When should your child begin to prepare for these tests? That too, depends. Will she take a classroom-type course, be tutored privately or study on her own using the many test prep books available?. Most courses for spring test dates begin in January, whereas students tutored privately may have more flexibility in their preparation process. These decisions, like most associated with the college application process, should always be made based on your individual child’s needs and best interests.

Leslie Berkovits, Collegistics

Collegistics LLC provides comprehensive services to students and parents who are embarking on, or in the midst of, the college application process. Providing families the benefit of seven advisors, Collegistics uses a team approach, offering the kind of practical and emotional support that results in an informed and less stressful college application experience. If you have any questions about the college process you would like to see addressed in future issues, email: info@collegistics.com or call: (914) 722-6050. Please visit our website at www.collegistics.com for further information.

SAT or ACT…that is the question.

Every college-bound high school student is, at one point or another, faced with this conundrum. Do I take the SAT or the ACT? If I take the ACT, should I take it with Writing? Will I need to take SAT Subject Tests if I take the ACT? And the answer is maybe, perhaps, it depends.

Just as there is no definitive answer to Shakespeare’s famous query, so there is no cut and dried response to this question. First and foremost, do your research. Today most, if not all, colleges that require standardized tests for admission accept either the SAT or the ACT, without preference. So, first check the schools’ websites to confirm, and then the choice is yours. Be aware, however, that many schools that accept the ACT require the optional Writing section, and plan accordingly. Further, determine whether the schools in question will still require specific SAT Subject Tests if you submit the ACT. Many colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of their required Subject Tests, but others still require them. The next step is to look at the tests themselves. The test format and material covered is different. The SAT (3 hours 45 minutes) covers Critical Reading, Math and Writing (including grammar and a written essay), while the ACT (2 hours 55 minutes) includes English, Math, Reading and Science and an optional Writing segment (30 additional minutes). As a general statement, the ACT is curriculum-based, while the SAT is aimed more at general reasoning and problem-solving skills. Often, students find that the format and specific subject matter of one type of test works better for them than the other. Review the prep books, take some practice tests, and see which exam affords you the opportunity to best display your academic abilities.


Leslie Berkovits, Collegistics

Collegistics provides comprehensive services to students and parents who are embarking on, or in the midst of, the college application process. Providing families the benefit of seven advisors, Collegistics uses a team approach, offering the kind of practical and emotional support that results in an informed and less stressful college application experience. If you have any questions about the college process you would like to see addressed in future issues, email: info@collegistics.com or call: (914) 722-6050. Please visit our website at www.collegistics.com for further information.

Hot Colleges - See the list!

The Daily Beast has published a list of 15 colleges that rose up in the rankings of “Hot Colleges” and have transformed themselves in the past 10 years.  Though it’s difficult to discern the criteria for their rankings, as “first-choice” schools, it’s nice to see what they consider to be “hot” and learn more about colleges that many not have been on your list.

Check out this gallery of what's hot on the Daily Beast:

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