New SAT, the PreACT, scandals, press releases, acceptance letters: March was a big month in the world of college admissions and standardized testing! Let's dive right on in.
#NewSAT? More like #ClownCollege
The New SAT was finally administered for the first time this month. The reaction? Students seemed to think that the math section is harder than the old SAT's math section, but the critical reading section is around the same or easier than the old version. Students also agreed that it was a long and tiring test, but according to a survey done by the College Board, students preferred the New SAT by a 6 to 1 margin over the old test. To read more student reactions and see some interesting statistics, check out this post we did covering what students thought about the New SAT.
The New Player in Town: The PreACT
You've probably heard of the PSAT, which is a shorter version of the SAT that students typically take during their sophomore year of high school. There hasn't been an equivalent version for the ACT - yet. This month ACT Inc. announced that they will be releasing the PreACT: a shorter version of the ACT for high school sophomores to take. Sound familiar? It seems quite clear that the ACT created the test to compete with the PSAT. For more information about the PreACT, you can take a look at the ACT's PreACT web page. If you want to read about which students should consider taking the PreACT (and which students shouldn't even bother), have a look at our post breaking down this new test.
Reuters published a two part report detailing a rising scandal involving the SAT. Basically, the SAT is administered in Asian countries (such as China and South Korea) later than their USA counterparts. To cut costs, The College Board uses the same tests as the ones administered in the US. You can probably see where this is heading. There are "cram schools" in Asia that are meant to help prepare students for these college entrance exams. They have been able to get their hands on the questions and answers that were used on the US tests and passed them along to their students. Of course, people are worried that this is incredibly unfair to the students who had to study on their own without knowing any of the questions and answers beforehand.
Got your decision letter?
Now's around the time that students are receiving their decision results from the schools they applied to. Was it a big packet or a small envelope your student received in the mail (or is everything digital these days)? Or is it the anxiety-inducing waitlist letter? This post from the Huffington Post offers some advice for what to do next for all three decision results, whether your student was accepted, waitlisted, or rejected.
More Affordable College??
College is expensive, that's basically something that almost everyone can agree on. I think I hear a joke (or sad truth) about paying off student loans almost every day. So the US Department of Education's latest press release should be seen as some good news (or at least some hope). They announced that they would be streamlining the FAFSA process to make it easier for families to apply and (hopefully) get more aid money.
And as per usual, we'll end this monthly update with some articles containing advice from around the web.
USA Today wrote up 10 things that college applicants need to understand.
Time lists some schools that accept a large percentage of students off of their waitlist (and a look at some methods to help increase those chances even more).
Forbes took a look at which of the Common App essay topics were the most popular.
Our own Testive Coach, Yale grad Ben Flores offers some advice on how to get into an Ivy League school.