1. During the Covid era, most colleges have made tests optional or become test blind. The University of California is now permanently test optional. The Cal State system will follow this spring. Many colleges are extending their test optional policies.
2. Some kids will need to take the tests to show their testing prowess. Others can relax and focus on their activities and passions.
3. Students will take a variety of standardized tests to gain admissions to colleges. While there is limited evidence that these tests make a difference, competitive colleges use them to help sort students. We need to help students do their best.
4.We need to help students develop their testing schedules: SAT. ACT, AP Tests. The College Board just announced a near online testing protocol that will reduce it to three hours, make reading passages and questions shorter, and allow calculators the entire math section.
5. SAT and ACT Readiness:
10th and 11th grade-Students can take the PSAT (readiness for PSAT) and PLAN (readiness for ACT). The 11th grade PSAT counts for National Merit Consideration.
11th-12th grade- Students can take the SAT and/or ACT. They are offered seven times per year. Students can take them as many times as they want though most students usually take them 2 to 3 times. Fee waivers are available for low-income students to take the tests twice.
6. AP Tests Readiness
Students can take these tests in May. They rarely ever re-take them. The scores come out in July.
7. For all College Board and ACT accounts. Please have your students record their usernames and passwords on computers, cell phones, and emails. Mac users use Stickies or Notes. Google Docs work well too.
8. Reporting/Sending Scores. Most colleges allow self-reported scores. Don’t spend money on sending scores if you don’t need to. You will need to submit scores to the college you decide to attend.
9. Test Prep Matters. Continue or start a test prep class. Princeton Review, http://www.princetonreview.com, offers good beginning classes. There are free test prep programs online such as http://www.number2.com/ and Khan Academy. https://www.khanacademy.org/
10. Test optional colleges. Many colleges do not require tests. Here is a link to Fair Test that keeps the most up-to-date list of these colleges. Check to see if test-optional colleges require anything in place of the tests. www.fairtest.org