Which is more important for college admission?
If you’re a high school student, or the parent of one, then the acronyms “SAT” or “ACT” have become part of your daily vocabulary, and the epitome of college admissions.
With the College Board announcing serious changes to its SAT, starting in 2016, there’s more debate than ever as to how students should prepare for the exams, which test they should take, and even if schools should bother looking at scores as part of the admissions process.
It’s no surprise that everyone is experiencing even more stress from the uncertainty.
What’s the best advice? Focus on the day-to-day performance, grades. Especially college prep, honors and AP course grades.
- It’s the single most important admission factors considered by colleges*
- GPA is the most accurate indicator of how a student will perform in college**
- Over 800 of the 3000 US four-year colleges and universities no longer nor require the SAT and ACT as part of the admissions process*** (Including my own alma mater Bates College)
- It is the element of your academic profile that you have the most control over
Don’t get me wrong. Standardized tests are important. A high SAT or ACT test score will help separate you from the pack at some of the most competitive universities, but a low GPA will take you out of the game all together.
Bottom Line: Regardless of the debate over admission tests, the factor that best determines the success of college candidates is the grades earned over a high school career and the admissions officers know it!
Your admission plan is incomplete if it doesn’t consider to practice now what you need to be successful when you are accepted.
Students who try to learn from their homework assignments, focus and budget their time well, study as a part of daily routine and ask for help when they need it, stand out head and shoulder above the rest, no matter how their measured.
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(Next Month: So, why is the College Board overhauling the SAT? Learn more about the history, the truth behind the recent changes and the not-too-certain future of the SAT)