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grad-pic.jpgParker’s local newspaper, the Parker Chronicle, recently published an article regarding the switch from ACT to SAT as the official test that juniors take in the Colorado public school system. The article started with this statement, “State officials avoided possible student panic and further controversy by delaying the switch from the ACT to the SAT for high school juniors until 2017.”

The original plan, decided in December, was for the new and improved SAT test to be administered to students starting in March. Juniors at public schools will take the SAT while sophomores will take the PSAT. The plan has since been delayed with the implementation of the new system now not taking place until 2017.

LuHi students, regardless of the date of implementation, do need to worry about the change for these three reasons:

  1. This change doesn’t affect Lutheran High because it is a private institute. As a private school, Lutheran High is not required to administer the same college entrance exams for juniors that are required in public schools. Different colleges have different expectations for which test is favored in the admissions processes and Lutheran High gives students the freedom to take the exam that best fits their needs whether that is the ACT, SAT, or both.

  2. LuHi students are given practice tests and materials for both the SAT and ACT. Starting as freshmen, LuHi students have the opportunity to practice the SAT test in the fall and practice the ACT test early spring. Every junior student takes the PSAT in the fall to become eligible for the National Merit Scholarship, but our students also take it as freshmen and sophomores so they can become familiar with the unique nature of the test.

    Lutheran High will continue its partnership with College Drive at no cost to the students. College Drive offers an ACT prep class at Lutheran and options for an SAT prep class are being pursued as well. All of this is in addition to the preparation that happens every day in the classroom through critical thinking development, strong curriculum, and lessons diversified to meet the needs of individual students.

  3. Colleges across America will continue to accept both ACT and SAT scores for entrance. Denise Noffze, Lutheran’s Guidance Counselor, reminds families that some colleges prefer one test over the other, while some college do not require either exam. At this time, all Colorado colleges prefer to receive ACT scores. Select public universities in California and along the East Coast prefer the SAT. More information on which test a specific college prefers can be found by going to the university website and looking at the undergraduate admissions information.

As always, students are encouraged to practice one or both tests as often as possible as they will score higher the more familiar they are with timing, question format, and content areas.

Now, all this is not to say that Lutheran High is not excited for the changes in the SAT test. College Board, the company that sells the SAT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement assessments, has made some long overdue changes to the test including:

  • removing obscure vocabulary
  • removing the penalty for wrong answers
  • reworking the essay
  • offering free test prep
  • cutting it down from 10 sections to 4 (with an optional essay)

Read 7 ways the SAT is changing in this article from Time. 

For more information about which exam will work better for your student, the differences between them, and why it's so important, plan on attending a presentation by College Drive entitled, Understanding the Importance of the ACT and SAT.

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