With spring on the horizon, students are turning their attention to scoring well on the SAT or ACT and taking other college prep steps. From getting your transcripts in order, making use of social media for college admissions and getting to the bottom of the new anti-cheating rules, here’s a roundup of the most important standardized test stories this month.

SAT, ACT Have Tough new Measures to Prevent Cheating – Hot on the heels of a scandal that led to 20 arrests last fall, both the SAT and ACT announced that they are instituting new anti-cheating rules. The rules will be in effect for exams starting next fall (2012). Students will be required to provide additional identification in order to take the test. The cheating scandal took place in Nassau County, New York and involved fake IDs that “ringers” used to take the test for students who had paid a fee.

Digital Portfolios Paint a Complete Picture – For many hopeful juniors, social media can be just the feather in their cap that they are looking for – or cause major problems. Online portfolios – including Facebook timelines – are being used to evaluate a student’s experiences, aptitudes and ability to succeed. CollegeOnTrack – a student social profile tool start up – is profiled in this article from KQED. 

Calendar   April resized 600Counselor’s Checklist for April – The New York Times highlights a few key things that counselors and involved teachers need to know for prepping their students this spring. College bound juniors and advisors can use this checklist to stay on track and make sure all the “I”’s are dotted and “T’”s are crossed for college admissions. There’s also a checklist for March that can be used to catch up or saved for reference for next year.

ACT and SAT Test Accommodations for ADHD and ADD – Did you know that students with ADHD and/or ADD can receive accommodations to help them score better on the test? The ADHD Initiative outlines several key steps that students with attention deficit problems can use in order to maximize their success with either test. The main focus is to start preparing early – as much as 12 months before the first exam. This will give students enough time to cover all that they need to cover with plenty of time for rest between subjects.

How Are SAT and ACT Scores Used in College Admissions? – Connecting the almighty SAT and ACT score to a student’s admissions chances is easier with this breakdown of the test’s weight in college admissions. Larger schools place greater emphasis on the test scores, as well as a student’s overall grades. This article covers the basics of the weighting so teachers and students can be prepared.