SAT: Advice from College Admissions



Are college admissions counselors prepared for the NEW SAT? Kirk Daulerio from AdmitHub chimes in on this important topic.

How do you think the NEW SAT will affect the college application process?

Tough to say. I think it will take a few years of research on the part of colleges. From my understanding, the NEW SAT (in Critical Reading at least) will utilize more relevant lines of questioning, i.e. words/questions that students are actually likely to use in everyday conversation.

What questions are you seeing about the NEW SAT at AdmitHub?

We haven’t gotten too many questions about the NEW SAT yet, but we have a standardized test section on our website where parents and students can keep abreast of what conversations are happing on this topic going forward.

How are college admissions offices preparing for these changes?

When writing this article, we posed the following question on our website, “How do you think the new SAT will affect the college admissions process?”

The Vice President of Enrollment Services and Dean of Admissions at Cooper Union had this to say:

“From a practical standpoint, college admissions offices have access to plenty of information about the redesigned SAT.

The College Board has information online and is offering in-person workshops to help colleges prepare in advance. This entails learning how to integrate the new SAT I format within our student information systems, how the new exam differs from a scoring and content perspective, and preparing our staff and faculty on-campus for the changes.

Similar to when the College Board added a writing section back in 2005, most colleges will probably accept both the old and new formats for a while and assess after a few admissions cycles, if the new test is helping us to better select incoming students.

The most accurate way to determine how an individual college will be using the redesigned SAT is to contact the schools directly.”

For the Class of 2017, who will be able to take the current SAT in the fall and the NEW SAT in the spring, which test should they take?

If I were taking the test, I would lean toward the NEW SAT because:

  1. The NEW SAT will offer more life-relevant lines of questions, and
  2. There will be no penalties for wrong answers

However, with that said, students should consider taking practice tests for both SATs, as well as the ACT, and whichever they feel most comfortable with, have at it!

If students take both SATs and do really well on one and not the other, are they required to send in both scores?

In most cases, Score Choice will allow students to choose which scores to send to colleges. However, according to the College Board website:

If you decide not to use Score Choice, all of your scores will be sent to your recipients. You should still feel comfortable sending all scores, since most colleges consider a student’s best score.

Also, it seems that colleges will be given a concordance table to compare scores to show how to relate the scores of one test to the scores of the other. Concordance tables enable admission offices to have consistency when evaluating applicants that have taken different exams.

Now that the essay will be optional, who do you recommend should complete the essay and why?

Based on a student’s list of prospective colleges and their requirements, he or she might consider taking the essay. Another way to look at it is, you’re already there, why not take it?  Some colleges will require the essay, so if you’re not sure whether or not you should take it, you should review the admissions guidelines of the schools you’re interested in prior to signing up for the NEW SAT.

Because of the uncertainty of the NEW SAT, do you think the safest bet is to take the ACT?

The ACT is a great test, but it presents different challenge than the SAT. Usually, if you are a strong reader and fast worker, the ACT is a good option. As I mentioned earlier, we suggest taking a practice test in each and seeing which you feel more comfortable with.

How can parents keep informed about the NEW SAT or college admissions in general over the coming months?

Sign up for Testive’s NEW SAT Academy and check out the AdmitHub website. The College Board is also providing updates.

Any final words of wisdom?

Don’t stress! It’s just a test. Plus, you can always go test optional at the colleges that offer that if your scores don’t show your best side.

Kirk Daulerio is a former admissions officer at Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Bowdoin College. AdmitHub’s forum, AboutAdmissions, is an industry-supported community of admission and counseling professionals offering free and open advice about college admissions. Check out their podcast, too! 

Download our FREE eBook – NEW SAT: Everything You Need to Know to have all of this content in one place. You can also watch our pre-recorded webinar The NEW SAT What it Means for YOU & Why it Matters. 

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