• Evelyn Fraser

SAT, ACT and college, oh my.

Rumors of standardized tests' death have been greatly exaggerated. This week the College Board cancelled all tests through June, but is adding a September test (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat)

And the ACT is currently scheduling a June 13th and a July 18th test (https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html)

The thing is, both tests now have a huge backlog. Even with September scheduled, hundreds of thousands of students literally do not have testing access, or their access is hours away from their house. Given this disparity, many colleges are going test-optional for the 2020 admissions pool, and some for three to five years beyond that. If you’re starting this process, please check in with the individual colleges on your wish list before committing time, effort and money to these tests.


If your student's college list is not mostly test-optional by now, I suggest ramping up slowly. Take a diagnostic (PSAT is here: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/practice/full-length-practice-tests, SAT is here: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice/full-length-practice-tests, and ACT is here: https://blog.prepscholar.com/complete-official-act-practice-tests-free-links)


Categorize your errors - are they mostly algebra? Semicolons? Circles? Paragraph structure? Then choose one error, and learn the rule(s). Apply it to the questions you missed. Take another test, focusing on that type of question. Rinse and repeat. Voila: higher score! Text me at 281-536-6689 for online coaching with the PSAT, SAT or ACT.


For those of you with college acceptance letters: congratulations! Even with all the uncertainty, you've put in four years of hard work, plus running the admissions steeplechase: it's a major accomplishment.


Now you get to choose: which college? For most students, financial aid is a decider; the COVID will impact it. Many international students pay the full admission price. Will online classes draw these students in a similar way as living in the US? No one can yet say. However, without those students, colleges may have to adjust their aid packages. If you have an offer, call the school's financial aid office asap.


And you can't visit your schools. Many of my clients last year visited after they got offers; for most, this made their choice easier. That experience is lost this spring. Instead, check your top-choice college websites for virtual tours and online Q & A sessions, find them on Instagram and YouTube, email available alumni and ask them your most important campus questions. Check out the school's support for the sport(s) you pursue. If you're aimed at a school even in part for its location (mountains, beaches, deserts, rivers), understand your transit options, too, both in and around your college town.

Higher education continues. College is going to happen this fall. The 2020-2021 admissions race will open, but the course is guaranteed to be different.

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