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SAT and ACT News Roundup – October 2012

 

SAT scoresIn this week’s roundup, we take a look at the top ACT, SAT and high school education news around the net. 

What do SAT, ACT scores really mean?

How did the US’s high schoolers fair on the 2012 SAT/ACT?   Current scores, trends and statistics are discussed in this informative blog. And be sure to review the embedded links to interesting facts like the colleges that do not necessarily use SAT and ACT scores to make final admission decisions. An overall theme pointed out repeatedly is that GPAs still consistently prove to be the best markers of a student’s potential for being a winning college student. But with the heavy competition between the increasing number of college applicants, standardized testing is still heavily relied upon by most schools. And test scores are still directly related to average household income levels. 

ACT now more popular as SAT scores go down

As the 2011 SAT and ACT results are further discussed, this article goes on to highlight the fine details of last year’s test data for both tests. The most notable mentions are a few demographic indicators of test performance, some regional participation levels and differing test taking capacities of the males and females. The SAT results are discussed in more detail than ACT results, although the article points out that more students took the ACT in 2012 then took the SAT. 

SAT, ACT: Most high school kids lack skills for college

Details from the recently released reports by the College Board (SAT) and ACT organizations about the performance levels in 2011 show that only about half of all tested students could attain a -B average their first year of college. Some critics of the test point to the failure of No Child Left Behind as a culprit of these poor scores. Others claim that educators have been “called to action” to make a difference in these scores and truly prepare students for college, and that every student should be able to try to go to college if they want to. 

More Students Take the SAT for Free

Within all data being released about last year’s SAT performance, one interesting side note stands out: more students took the SAT for free last year than in any previous year. High school seniors were able to use “fee waivers” to cover the costs of the tests, take them multiple times and also have them submitted to the colleges of their choice. Students are encouraged to talk to their school guidance counselors to begin the process of applying for the fee waiver. There are also opportunities to have ACT fee waivers as well. Students dealing with the challenges of family social and financial difficulties should seek out this help. And all students taking the SAT and ACT should be taking course loads that reflect their desire to take similar college level courses to prepare them for the tests. 

As SAT Test Taking Numbers Level Off and ACT Numbers Increase, Kaplan Test Prep's Annual Survey of College Admissions Officers 

Kaplan Test Prep released their own report and statistical data from their annual survey of admissions officers from the top 500 colleges and universities. They concluded that there is an advantage to taking both the SAT and ACT tests when it comes to the admissions process. There has also been an increase in the number of students submitting advanced placement test scores as well. With competition for admission and financial aid, these findings are hardly surprising. Students must do everything they can to solidify their spot in the next year’s freshman class. And still the number one positive indicator of admission is a solid GPA, with 18% of schools looking at low SAT and ACT scores as a negative indicator. 

The Schoolmaster

This pithy portrait of the new head of the College Board, David Coleman, is sure to satisfy. It is full of details about this interesting intellectual, Rhode Scholar and poetry loving academic who is poised to transform the American educational system state to state. Colorful language and big picture ideas about the reforms Coleman foresees and is planning are discussed with humor, angst and criticism. Coleman is clear that his intent is to see teachers teach children to think differently, and thus find their way back to an educational system that benefits the students. He is also the lead creator of the new Common Core curriculum standards that is being adopted and implemented in 48 states.

 

Photo credit - Photosteve101