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SAT or ACT?

Studying+can+improve+score+on+the+national+exams.+Practice+improves+scores.
Studying can improve score on the national exams. Practice improves scores.

Studying can improve score on the national exams. Practice improves scores.

Studying can improve score on the national exams. Practice improves scores.

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The 2017-2018 school year has hit the ground running with college testing season is quickly approaching. Juniors are gearing up to face the choices of senior year while as the time and opportunities for seniors are quickly closing.

Teachers and counselors are pushing their students to study up for or retake college entrance exams. Seniors have only another month to improve their scores before college admissions are due.

Everyone knows she needs to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or the SAT, or the ACT, which original stood for American College Testing, but the lingering question is, “which one and why?

If you are planning to go to a four year university, you are required to take either the SAT or ACT.  Testive reports:  “According to the hundreds of thousands of students who have been admitted to four-year colleges and reported their profiles on Cappex, standardized test scores are the single best predictor of admissions decisions, even more so than grades.”

Mrs. Pamela Heins, counselor, stated; “I would encourage the students to take the test during the spring of their junior year because many times they are not sure of their high school plans are going to be and taking the test can not hurt them.” Taking the test in May or June gives a student time to retake the tests if he wants to improve his score.

For Southern California schools, SAT is the popular choice. Why? According to studies shown in the 2016 prepscholar study, the SAT is preferred by colleges in the Northeast and Northwest.

On the other hand, ACT is accepted by all four year colleges,, but most students shy away or do not even consider taking it. The SAT has taken dominance in the testing environment.

Heather Luster, senior, decided to only take the SAT. She said, “The content in the SAT applied more to me than that of the ACT.” In addition, Luster also added she plans on going to school on the west coast where the SAT is prefered.

Azad Nalbandian, senior, took only the ACT. Nalbandian said, “The ACT is less known at our school, and it is more obscure, at least in our community.”

Overall, the SAT and ACT are  measure one’s college readiness. In contrast, Heins stated, “I would say no, the tests do not contribute to college readiness; however, they do stop some students from going to the four year college simply because they did not take the test.”

Mrs. Crystal Volpe, counselor, said, “I had no clue what I needed to go through college. Though I did take the ACT, I ended up going to community and didn’t even need it.” But it is better to take the test and not need it. Sometimes plans change, but students are not prepared.

If you are planning to go to community or taking up two years of community then transferring, you are not required to take either tests.

Although Heins also stated, “Sometimes students take a year off to do missionary work or other voluntary experiences. The collegeboard still recommends that the SAT is taken while in high school.”

In the end, the choice between SAT and ACT is ultimately personal preference. Whether you are gearing up or neck deep in tests and essays, remember you are taking a step towards your future.

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The student news site of Charter Oak High School
SAT or ACT?