Since the last significant revisions of the SAT were in 1994 and 1995, it appears to be nigh time for a thorough re-thinking of the SAT by the College Board, as was announced on Monday of this week. Given that this last revision was almost 20 years ago and that, by the time research and controlled testing is accomplished, we will probably be looking at a quarter if a century since that last new SAT hit the market.
And a market it is, as the College Board has been losing significant share to the ACT in recent years. As the ACT has broadened out from its traditional bastion in the mid-western states, the percentage of SAT vs ACT test takers (consumers) has been shifting. In 2012, for the first time ever, 2,000 more students took the ACT than took the SAT.
Many counselors are recommending now that students try one SAT and one ACT to see which test feels more comfortable. Then, they can continue ongoing test prep and testing in just one of those tests. At IESolutions, we generally recommend this practice to most of our students.
Traditionally, the SAT posited that it tested “developed ability.” More recently, the College Board suggests a shift to testing “a core set of knowledge and skills that are essential for readiness, access, and success.” To us, this shift sounds like a move toward the more subject-based emphasis of the ACT.
Interesting fact: On the SAT, Asian-American students score an average of 595 on the math section, while white students score an average of 59 points lower and African-Americans score an average of 167 point lower.
Sarah C. Reese, Executive Director, Informed Educational Solutions