The SAT and ACT exams are a fact of your high schooler’s life.
And so, of course, lots of parents are talking about them right about now.
I know you’ve been hearing some things about the exams from friends whose kids have taken them already. And maybe some of your teen’s friends. And maybe from the faculty at your teen’s school.
What you need to know, though, is that myths and legends abound when it comes to SAT and ACT exams.
I’m here to help reveal some of truths about them. I hope you’ll find this helpful and, in some cases, even find a little comfort in having a deeper understanding of these beastly exams.
Let’s dispel a few myths, now, shall we?
Myth #1| Some colleges require the SAT and some require the ACT.
False. Both SAT and ACT exams are accepted at all four-year colleges in the U.S., and there’s no preference for one over the other for admissions.
The only caveat I’d add here is that, when you’re applying to some of the most selective schools, like the Ivies, it’s a good idea to have BOTH SAT and ACT scores to remain competitive – most of the other students who get in to those schools have them both.
Want to know which exam your teen performs better on? Download an SAT and ACT practice exam and follow the instructions for having your teen take and compare scores.
Myth #2| Colleges will see all of the exam scores from all of the tests that my teen takes.
Not unless you send them intentionally. You and your teen have the choice of which test score reports to send to colleges after you have an opportunity to review the score reports.
One big tip here: DO NOT add any college names to the registration forms for the ACT and SAT exams, or the testing company will automatically send those scores to specific colleges. Wait until you see those scores reports. Your teen may want to increase that score to become more competitive. Send them separately once your kid knows which will be best.
Myth #3| All colleges require the ACT or SAT for admissions.
Not all of them.Some schools are “test-optional.” FairTest is a company that lists colleges at which these exams are optional for admissions.
There are controversies over whether the SAT and ACT exams truly measure anything useful for college admissions, and so you’ll see that every year more colleges are added to this list.
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