Matt's Past SAT/ACT News Update:

Matt O'Connor

Aug 17, 2017

Catherine Gewertz of Education Week writes today about the College Board announcement that more students will be taking the SAT online:

More Students to Take SAT Online

Here is the College Board press release:

College Board Partners with AIR Assessment to Expand Digital SAT Testing

This comes amidst news that ACT, Inc. has delayed its major rollout of online ACT testing for another year. This was to begin overseas to combat the greater level of cheating there, and to allow for the kinks to be worked out among the smaller number of test-takers.

Jed Applerouth published an article today about this news:

Buying Time: ACT abandons aggressive timeline to implement Computer Adaptive Testing

The number of tests taken online has been modest so far, with the figures for the last year standing at 5,000 for the SAT and 82,000 for the ACT. The ACT administered those exams as part of statewide contracts, and has not yet offered digital testing as part of its "national" program (meaning as part of nationwide ACT test dates for which students sign up individually).

In another recent College Board announcement, its online test prep alliance with Khan Academy will be expanded for the 2019-20 school year to cover AP tests:

AP Announces Expanded Student, Teacher Supports and Khan Practice for 2019

Here is an Education Week article about the AP testing story:

College Board, Khan Academy to Offer Free AP Test Prep

An NBC feature asks Does the SAT Still Matter If Nearly 1,000 Colleges Are Test-Optional? Nothing ground-breaking, but there are quotes from Philip Ballinger and Bob Schaeffer.

Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed has written an article about a study that found increased chances for college applicants to be admitted if they demonstrate interest in a college by visiting in person.


...the study...found...that colleges most favor demonstrated interest of the kind that costs money. A student who visits campus, and does so long enough to participate in activities, will gain much more of an edge than an equally qualified student who talks with a college representative at a college fair at her school.

The impact is greatest on those with high SAT scores -- suggesting that many colleges (below the Harvard/Stanford level of competitiveness) are wary of admitting some applicants with high SAT scores and little demonstrated interest for fear of being used as a "safety school."

Those with both high SAT scores (on average wealthier applicants than others) and a campus visit are up to 40 percentage points more likely to be admitted than comparable students without those two "signals," as the paper calls those qualities.

Forbes recently offered a feature on the Old SAT / New SAT / ACT scores among its 12 top-ranked colleges and universities. The mean Old SAT score among these top-12 Forbes-rated colleges was 1478, and the mean New SAT score is 1514. This is an increase of 36 points, or 2.4%. This compares to an estimated 8% increase in the mean SAT score for all test-takers, from around 1000 to 1080. We will have more information about score changes for the previous versus current SAT versions when the College Board releases its 2017 SAT testing report within the next month or so.

America's Top Colleges And The SAT Scores They Expect

Two more test optional announcements:

Niagara University (US News-ranked no. 44 among regional universities north; 3,200 undergrads; acceptance rate 48%; SAT of 930-1130 25th/75th percentiles)

SUNY Purchase College (US News "Rank Not Published"; 4100 undergrads; 41% acceptance rate; SAT of 960-1180 25th/75th percentiles)

As shared in previous SAT news round-ups, the limited number of testing centers offering the newly implemented August SAT test date has caused availability issues for students. For instance, the article linked below states that only 10 Long Island test centers will offer the August SAT, versus 63 for the October SAT. Many students are therefore traveling out-of-state to take the SAT in August:

SAT vs. ACT test wars: First August exam has students scrambling