September 1, 2021
Do They Still Matter?
The ACT and SAT are the foundations of college applications but understanding how they are important, how to prepare for them, and what to do afterwards can be confusing, especially for first-time college students.
What’s the difference?
Taking the ACT or SAT does not affect how a student’s application is considered. Most colleges do not have a preference for one test over the other. The ACT has an expansive science section and optional essay portion while the SAT focuses on English-based skills like reading, writing, and language. Students with a strong understanding of Language Arts may prefer the SAT over the ACT, but neither test is easier or more difficult than the other.
Why are they important?
The ACT and SAT are used to see how well a student performs in certain subjects. Depending on the individual section scores, a college or university might find a student needs remedial courses before taking college-level classes. However, this isn’t all they are needed for. Certain scholarships require these scores to judge whether a student is eligible for their aid.
How do I prepare for them?
Students in Louisiana are well-acquainted with LEAP testing and practice SAT or ACT exams, which helps prepare them for the real tests. There are official ACT and SAT prep booklets for sale online with questions and examples that a student can work through to help familiarize themselves with how the exams are laid out. Online practice tests through the respective exam’s website are also available. Exam “boot camps” and tutoring are also offered.
How do I take them?
The ACT and SAT are offered at various times throughout the year, typically held at schools and testing centers. Registration can be done online through the ACT website and College Board site and even through the student’s school if offered. Students can take these exams as many times as they would like and submit their scores to a host of colleges and universities across the country.
Stay on the nose!
Some colleges are opting to have test-optional semesters, meaning that incoming freshmen can choose whether to submit SAT or ACT standardized test scores. This is meant to help minimize the stress put on students due to the pandemic while allowing colleges and universities to continue to consider all applications equally, no matter if the test scores are included or not.
While test scores may not be required for all students applying for college, they are still a recommended measure to take. Applications with test scores prove how well students do in an academic setting and are an excellent way for colleges to gauge where new students may need to start.