Pros and cons between the SAT and ACT

Learn about: Pros and cons between the SAT and ACT from Robert K. Cooke, MEd,...
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Pros and cons between the SAT and ACT

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You know, the SAT and the ACT are both used by colleges to try and gauge students. And one interesting thing is that where 10-15 years ago, the SAT was much more popular than the ACT, last year, the same number of students took both tests. In fact, the ACT was slightly more popular for most families. I don't think that there is a generic benefit to one or the other. Both are standardized, which means that they standardize them year after year for all students who take them. So your score today is the same as it would have been 20 years ago and the same as it would be 20 years from now. That's the standardized component of it. However, some students do score better on the SAT and some students do score better on the ACT. And it's impossible to guess without trying both. So my recommendation is for families to have their student take an SAT and take an ACT as a practice. Families can sign up with a local test prep place. They can actually go in. They'll take the SAT or the ACT under time conditions. They'll score that for you and give those scores back to you. And then you can actually compare those scores as a family and say, you're naturally a little bit better at the ACT or naturally a little better at the SAT or neither. Students will sometimes feel better about one or the other. And having done both of them, they might be able to say, you know, I felt better with the ACT. I felt better with the SAT. Let's do that. And then you can really focus your test preparation on that. But again, for colleges, it really doesn't matter. And almost every college will accept both.

Learn about: Pros and cons between the SAT and ACT from Robert K. Cooke, MEd,...

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Robert K. Cooke, MEd

Upper School Director

Robert has been in K-12 education for thirty years; for sixteen years he was a high school history and social studies teacher, teaching subjects such as AP US History, Western Civilization, World History, Economics, and Anthropology. His school administrative career has been equally varied, serving as Director of Activities at a large public high school, and a Middle School Director and Upper School Director at independent (private) schools in the Midwest and California. Robert earned his Bachelor's Degree in History from Carleton College, and his Master's in Education from Claremont Graduate University. He is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Robert has served on school accreditation teams in the Midwest and California. He has two children, one of whom is an acting and English Literature double major at a large urban university on the East Coast, while the other is a high school junior in Los Angeles.

 

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