To be considered college-ready, all four benchmarks must be met. Only 26% of 2013 test-takers achieved that. 64% met the English benchmark, 44% met the reading and math benchmarks, and 36% met the science benchmark.
Citing the growing crisis in student loan debt, and with college costs rising faster than grants and aid, President Obama last week proposed a plan design to put a lid on rising tuition costs by tying US federal student aid to college performance.
David Coleman, the new president of the College Board, the nonprofit that owns the SAT college admissions exam, announced on February 25 in an e-mail to the organization’s members that the test will be redesigned in “an ambitious effort” to more comprehensively address “the core set of knowledge and skills” that are most important to success in college.
In the wake of a recent cheating episode, the SAT and ACT exams will now require students to upload or mail in a photograph when they sign up for an exam. This photo will be printed on their admissions ticket, and on the roster at the test center. On test day, proctors will compare each test-taker’s photo ID with the photo provided at signup.
In a highly competitive college admissions environment, every advantage counts – and that can include a higher standardized test score. Knowing clearly which exam could give you an edge is a key first step in the test prep process.
College-bound high school students face intense pressure around preparing for standardized admissions testing – including choosing whether to take the SAT or the ACT. While it’s generally recognized that neither test is “easier” or “harder” than the other overall, their formats are different – so one might be better suited to a particular student than the other. But which?
High school students benefit significantly from college admissions counseling information and guidance – yet most don’t get much of it. According to the latest State of College Admission 2011 from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, “For many students, particularly those in public schools, college counseling is limited at best. Counselors are few in number, often have large student caseloads and are limited in the amount of time they are able to dedicate to college counseling.”
But is this “holistic” approach to admissions really about students? Or is it about the competitive marketing to college-bound students among the schools themselves? … And are test scores really optional at top-tier institutions just because the school’s policy says so?