Upcoming Changes to the ACT and SAT Tests

While not every college requires the submission of entrance exam outcomes from the ACT or SAT these days (see fairtest.org for a list of test optional colleges), at many schools it is still the case that test scores are a highly scrutinized component of a student’s application. Significantly, testing outcomes also serve as a leading factor in the awarding of non-need based aid at many institutions.

Last year the ACT outpaced the SAT and became the more frequently taken test for the first time in the history of the competition between the two. Predictably, the SAT folks responded by announcing sweeping changes to their exam that will take effect in 2016. Guess what? The new test will look a whole lot like the ACT. Here is a summary of what this year’s sophomores have in store when they take the test in 2016 as juniors:

  • A return to the old 1600 scoring system
  • The essay will become optional
  • There will be less emphasis on higher-level vocabulary
  • The one-quarter penalty for each wrong answer will be gone, so as with the ACT students can possibly gain some points from guessing

The ACT will be making more minor changes to their test at some point in 2015. One is that in some locations it will be possible to take the test on a computer. The other is that section outcomes will be presented in new ways. A STEM score will combine the science and math scores, and a language arts score will present combined English, reading, and essay scores.

Pinnacle helps students prepare for both the ACT and SAT tests, as well as assess which is their stronger test. Two eight-week ACT classes start in February 2015 for Colorado students testing in April. Click the test prep tab at the top for more detailed information. One-on-one tutoring is also available. No SAT classes are being offered at present, but individual tutoring can be scheduled for this test as well.

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