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Yesterday’s Newsday article tackles a lot of important information surrounding the SAT and ACT competition. One of its main focuses is the short supply of August SAT test center on Long Island (a situation I alerted my readers and students to early on). Here are a few highlights:

Statements I am in full agreement with:

  • Why the August SAT is a fantastic idea: “Every SAT and ACT exam has always been during the school year when students are constantly getting pulled in other directions and are bombarded by multiple obligations” ~ yours truly, Jake Berman of Jake SAT Prep

    Jake SAT Prep on Long Island

    Less Stress: Most students are stressed by these important exams. Our perspective is: Relax. Everything will be okay! But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to work hard to master the SAT and ACT.

  • Right now they’re (the SAT and ACT exams) really just looked upon as equal alternatives.” ~ Jane Grappone, the director of school counseling services in Manhasset. Parents frequently wonder if the ACT is as readily accepted as the SAT. Yes! All colleges accept both exams equally.
  • Educators have said that “today the two tests resemble each other more than ever.” This is not to say that there are no significant differences, but both the ACT and SAT have been copying various elements from one another as a result of their intense competition to become the primary college admissions test.

Statements that are misleading:

  • “The ACT … reflects the curriculum.” ~ Paul Weeks, ACT’s senior vide president for client relations. Like the SAT, the ACT tests grammar, reading comprehension, math, and data analysis skills. This is a reasoning exam and not a “did you learn all of the information” exam like a final or regents.
  • The new SAT is “way more applicable” to what students learn in school. ~ David Adams, Vice president of College Board’s Middle States Regional Office. What makes the SAT tricky has not changed with this redesign. The answer choices are still expertly designed to deceive students.

A mostly true statement:

  • “It (the SAT) isn’t measuring how smart I am. It’s measuring how much effort I’m willing to put into practice.” ~ Sal Kahn, founder of Kahn Academy. The proper training and practice can help a student reach his or her full potential, but we still have different levels of potential. Not every student is capable of a perfect score. But for the most part, this sentiment is huge: how hard are you willing to work to achieve your goals?

If you have the time, I recommend you check out the full article: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/sat-vs-act-test-wars-first-august-exam-has-students-scrambling