When College Board announced that an August SAT date would replace its traditional January test, it generated a fair amount of excitement as the change provides students with the opportunity to prepare for and take an official SAT free from the academic rigors of junior year and first-semester senior year.  For years, busy students have used the summer before junior and/or senior year as a time to study for standardized tests; however, the efficacy of this approach was compromised with a month or more gap between the student’s prep and the September ACT and October SAT test dates.   Now, with the addition of the August date, it is possible to eliminate the gap, and many students are interested in exploring this option.  Is the August 26 SAT date right for you?  The answer depends on several different factors.

Read more: Should You Take The August SAT?

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     Many students are rejoicing at their March, May or June scores from the revised SAT, which seem to compare favorably to the old SAT or the ACT. But, before you throw a party or declare yourself “done”, it is important to understand that the new test comes with a degree of score inflation that means that any score -- a 1300 for instance -- isn’t worth as much as it used to be. What?!?!?!?!

Read more: Why Your SAT Score May Not Be Quite As Awesome As You Think

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Planning a campus visit?  Download this college visit checklist from College Board to make sure you are covering all of the bases.  If you would rather let the colleges come to you, don't forget the San Diego National College Fair, one of the largest college fairs in the nation.  It is coming to the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday April 20.  This is an excellent opportunity for juniors to jumpstart their college exploration (applications are not far away!) and sophomores to begin assessing what they need to do to get into the school of their dreams. Here is the web address of the website for registration - the organization will not allow a direct link.  http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/SpringNCF/Pages/San-Diego.aspx.

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With the changes to the SAT, including score delays and adjustments as College Board works to fine tune its scales for the new test, there is more interest than ever in the ACT, for good reason.  The ACT remains largely unchanged (except for the recent essay change), there is a plethora of practice materials available, and many students find it to be a more straight-forward test.  The ACT is not for everyone, however: its speed can be daunting for slower readers and more deliberate thinkers, who find themselves unable to finish enough of the test within the time allowed to achieve the score they need.  

Read more: NEW Program: ACT Express

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Old SAT, New SAT

As most know, the January 23 test is the final administration of the SAT in its current form -- say “goodbye” to the 2400 scale, guessing penalties and the sentence completions that were the primary test of vocabulary. While all of that sounds good, the number of January 2016 testers looks like it will be a record-breaker for the College Board, as many students are cramming to be able to take the SAT in its current form rather than tackle the new one.

Read more: Old SAT, New SAT

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College Success Network Quarterly Newsletter

Summer newsletter includes:

  • the new August SAT and how to plan for 2017-2018 testing.
  • the importance of "demonstrated interest."
  • Senior Smart Start summer college application camp and SAT/ACT Intensive Therapy camps.

Download the newsletter HERE.