ADMISSIONS (SAT/ACT) TESTING THOUGHTS WITH REGARD TO THE VIRUS
- Over 1,815 4-year colleges/universities have waived the SAT/ACT requirement for the class of 2022. This is more than two thirds of the 2,330 bachelor-degree-granting institutions in the U.S. (Some schools only exempt students who meet minimum grade or class-rank criteria; others use test scores solely for placement purposes. Check individual schools’ websites for details.) For more information, visit the website for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest).
- All Oregon public universities no longer require the SAT or ACT.
- Be aware that some of these schools have become test optional (SAT/ACT isn’t required; but if you submit it, it will be considered), and others have become test blind (SAT/ACT won’t be considered as a factor in admission to the school).
- Highly-selective schools seem to be more likely to use SAT/ACT scores as a significant factor in admission, even when they are test optional.
- Test-optional and test-blind schools often waive the SAT/ACT requirement for scholarships, as well, but don’t bet on it. Check individual schools’ websites for details.
- I suggest that if you are a junior who needs to test and you feel safe being in a classroom with other test takers, you register to take the SAT/ACT during winter term of 2021-22. Finding an available testing site may continue to be tricky during this school year, but Sheldon High School plans to offer the SAT on March 12 and May 7, 2022.
- If you don’t feel safe, it’s not worth risking your health or that of your family for a test. There will be plenty of test-optional and test-blind schools you can apply to. The FairTest website, as well as individual schools’ websites, are good places to find that information.
- If you can’t find a site offering the test, know that you’re not alone, and colleges/universities are aware of this obstacle. Contact individual schools’ admissions offices for help. Typically, they eventually find a way to make the application process work despite hurdles that students face. They’re not fast about it, but they eventually make the process work.
I’m sorry that I don’t have more definitive answers right now. If you’d like to talk further by phone/Zoom, please let me know. I’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you. Lori Sauter [email@example.com]
SAT/ACT/AP EXAM SCHEDULES
How long should I study?
PrepScholar suggests this for the SAT:
Once you know your base score based on the PSAT or an online practice test, figure out your target score. Your target score will be based on colleges you want to go to. Then, plan to study for the following lengths of time based on how much you need your target score to improve over your base score:
0-50 SAT Point Improvement: 10 hours
50-100 Point Improvement: 20 hours
100-200 Point Improvement: 40 hours
200-300 Point Improvement: 80 hours
300-500 Point Improvement: 150 hours+
Need help preparing for SAT/ACT tests?
- Free online study options (such as the Kahn Academy and the LearningExpress Library)
- Checkout-able books in the Career Center and in South’s library
- Schedules for test-prep courses in the Career Center (All test-prep courses incur some cost, and South does not endorse specific classes.)
Come by to see which method sounds right for you.
The ACCUPLACER READING Test may be used by Lane Community College (and other community colleges and vocational schools) to place you in appropriate reading and writing courses. (Lane uses the ALEKS Test [see below] to place students in math courses.) Lane may also be able to place you in your courses without requiring a test. Visit its Testing Office webpage to learn about other placement options.
The ACT (American College Test) is a national college-entrance exam accepted by virtually all 4-year U.S. colleges/universities. It is a curriculum-based test with sections of reading, English, math and science reasoning. An essay segment is optional, but some colleges require it. Test scores range from 1-36. If possible, 4-year-college-bound juniors should test by the end of winter term. (Covid has changed this timeline for the moment. Please see Covid section above.) Seniors should test by fall at the latest. See above link for date and deadline schedule. For more information, contact the Career Center (Lori Sauter, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The AP (Advanced Placement) Tests offer students an opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing at many of the nation’s colleges and universities, usually after taking a yearlong AP course. SEHS administers AP tests for courses offered at South. A list of these courses can be found in this year’s curriculum guide. Test scores range from 1-5 and are reported in July and August. Colleges vary in policies granting credit, ranging from granting a full year’s worth of credit to granting no credit. They may also offer introductory course exemption. Students should check with colleges for individual AP-credit policies. See above link for test dates. Test registration takes place within the classes, themselves. Visit the Advanced Placement (AP) Information page on this website for more information about AP at South.
The ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) Tests may be used by Lane Community College to place you in appropriate math courses. Lane may also be able to place you in your courses without requiring a test. Visit its Testing Office webpage to learn about other placement options.
The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) measures basic skills and vocational aptitude. It is administered by the military without obligation and without charge. It is a great career exploration tool for all students, regardless of post-high-school plans. South doesn’t routinely offer the ASVAB, but contact the career center for suggestions as to where to take it.
IB (International Baccalaureate) Exams are available to students participating in South’s International High School program (IHS). They may opt to take individual certificate tests or the full diploma (six tests including two during junior year and four during senior year). They are similar to AP exams in providing the opportunity to earn college credit or advanced standing. The tests are offered in Literature, History of the Americas, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math Studies, French, Japanese, Spanish, and Economics. Scores range from 1-7, and are sent out in July. As with the AP exam, colleges vary in policies granting credit, including granting a full year’s worth of credit, a semester’s worth of credit, and/or course exemption. Some also award credit for students having taken the IHS-required Theory of Knowledge Course and/or attaining the full diploma. Students should check with colleges for individual credit policies. For more information, contact the IHS office (Melanie Namkoong, email@example.com).
The PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT. It also automatically enters those testers who are high-school juniors into the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) competition. The PSAT measures: critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills. At South during the 2020-21 school year, due to Covid-19, the PSAT was not administered. Juniors still had a chance to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Competition using an alternate method. The College Board has not yet said whether an alternate method will be available for the class of 2023. For more information, contact the Career Center (Lori Sauter, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The SAT (acronym which no longer has any meaning) is a national college-entrance exam accepted by virtually all 4-year colleges/universities in the U.S.. It is a test with math and evidence-based reading and writing sections. The essay section is no longer offered except in states where it’s required for SAT School Day administrations for accountability purposes (not Oregon). The College Board expects to shift to a fully digital version of the SAT by spring, 2024 in the U.S.. Test scores range from 400-1600. 4-year-college-bound juniors needing to take the test should complete their first one by the end of winter term. Seniors should test by fall at the latest. See above link for date and deadline schedule. For more information, contact the Career Center (Lori Sauter, email@example.com).
The SAT Subject Tests were one-hour tests designed to test a student’s depth of knowledge in core subjects. As of 01/19/2021, the College Board is no longer offering the Subject Tests.