The New SAT and Suggestions for Rising Juniors (2015-16 school year)

Did you know that the SAT is changing in March of 2016? The new test will have several key changes, including a writing and language test and a portion of the math section on which no calculator is allowed. In the long run, the changes are promised to be a more accurate representation of a student’s abilities. As the test is administered and scored over the next year or so, we will see trend data and will be able to compare student scores to their success in college. For details about the new SAT, click here.

What does this mean for rising seniors? There will be three opportunities to take the SAT in its current form in 2015 and one opportunity in 2016. These dates will not impact seniors much, as most of their college application deadlines will fall within the range of these test dates. It will be very important to pay close attention to all application deadlines, to plan ahead, and to register to take the current SAT this fall at least twice, if not three times. It is also important to take the ACT at least two to three times as well. Colleges will often take the BEST scores from either the SAT or the ACT. The ACT is NOT making changes to its current format. For details about the differences between the current SAT and the ACT, click here.

What does this mean for rising juniors? The class of 2017 will be allowed to submit both current (2015) SAT scores and new (2016) SAT scores when applying to colleges. As always, colleges will also accept ACT scores and will take the best scores. What is advised for you to do? We suggest doing things a little differently this year. It is best for juniors to begin preparing for the current SAT this summer, but no later than August in order to be prepared for the SAT this October and November 2015. It is best to take the SAT at least twice this fall, but three times is recommended. This allows for optimum score potential. The SAT will also be administered in December, 2015 and January, 2016. The exact national test dates will be posted sometime this June. Juniors should also plan to take the ACT at least two to three times.

Should juniors take the NEW SAT in March 2016 or later? It’s definitely up to the individual student. We recommend “go with what you know.” If a student has the opportunity to take the current SAT, it is definitely better for him/her to prepare for and take it as often as possible, as colleges are more familiar with the current test and what the scores represent. Taking the current SAT and the ACT will give juniors more options when applying to colleges.

What does this mean for rising freshmen and sophomores? They will be required to take the new version of the SAT, and at present, colleges will only accept test scores from the SAT’s newest version. Rising freshmen and sophomores will also take the new version of the PSAT this October.

How can Total Learning Concepts help? We offer a preparation course for the new PSAT and will have our first class this summer. We will also offer SAT/ACT preparation session options for rising juniors and seniors this summer and fall to prepare for the current SAT. For more information on our course dates, please click here.

To discuss your student’s academic goals for the summer and upcoming school year, please call your center director and schedule an in-person consultation. Together, we can determine the best course of action for you and/or your student!

Click here to contact a Center Director.
Click here for more information about our SUMMER SAT/ACT course.
Click here to register for our SAT/ACT preparation course.

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