24 Feb 2017

Important Announcement About the SAT

It was just a couple months ago that I thought that College Board could possibly replace the January test session with an August one. This in turn, would make it easier for students because the January test was mostly taken by juniors. Having an August test would allow seniors an extra test date to prepare everything for college admissions. However, recent announcements by College Board suggests that the opposite is now happening and test dates will actually be cut down to ONLY 4. Tests will now only be administered in the following months:

October
December
March
May

The ramifications of these changes are huge. Most students should know that in their senior year, they should have taken at least one SAT test by then. This allows them to have test opportunities left in October, November, and December. For Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) applicants, they mostly have only October with maybe November as a backup. This isn’t the case anymore. Students MUST have testing done by October if they want to apply ED or EA, or if they want to apply to the UC schools. This does not even take into account that many students need to take SAT subject tests in order to remain competitive for elite universities. Finding time to do that when only 4 SAT test dates are offered will be difficult. You can read the reasoning for the changes in the article, but I find it highly unfair for students who play by the rules. Instead of working on fixes from their end, College Board is now putting the pressure on students and hoping that this solution will fix their issue. This is totally misguided and quite lazy on their part.

So what can you do? First, planning will be extremely important. Your timeline for testing will have to be pushed back earlier. You should also expect to finish SAT subject tests as soon as you can do it. Even if you have to take the SAT chemistry at the end of your sophomore year, do so if you have already taken the class. The spring of your junior year and fall of your senior year will mostly be about the regular SAT. Furthermore, if you find that schedule to be too intimidating, you can also look at the ACT, which is a great test. The test dates for the upcoming school year for international students are below:

September 9, 2017
October 28, 2017
December 9, 2017
April 14, 2018
June 9, 2018

As you can see, there are still 5 ACT test dates and they don’t coincide much with the SAT. So it is a great alternative.

That’s it for the announcement. I know it’s a lot of big changes and it can be scary for you guys. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at [email protected] You may also stop in and talk to any of the instructors. I’ll be writing again about planning some time in the future.