In the most competitive era of college admissions ever, high school juniors and seniors are looking for any competitive edge they can get. Historically, students from the northeast and the west coast primarily took the SAT as the standard college admissions test, while students from the mid-west and south took the ACT. In the past several years, however, perhaps as a response to the increasing competitiveness of college admissions, more and more students are taking BOTH, but then only releasing one or the other to colleges.
There are several compelling reasons why student SHOULD TAKE BOTH tests. First, the tests are different enough such that most students will do better on one of them, but there’s no way of knowing which one if they don’t take both. Second, it’s a no lose proposition, as students need to release only one of the scores, i.e., the better one! Third, since there is about an 80% substantive overlap of material, students can easily prepare for both tests simultaneously. Fourth, there’s no substitute for experience, i.e., taking high-stakes tests under pressurized conditions; each time a student sits for 3.5 hrs (the approximate length of each test), s/he is acquiring invaluable experience for the next standardized test. And finally, taking the ACT can be a one-stop-shop; that is, since it comprises five sub-tests, each of which generates its own score, ONE ACT test can “count” as both the SAT and several SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges still require students to take the SAT AND SAT Subject Tests OR the ACT.
For all these reasons, the top prep schools and public schools across the nation are already beginning to require their students to take both exams. On the cutting edge of this trend, CollegePrepExpress offers cost-effective combo-classes to prepare students for both tests throughout their junior year. Check out our Classes page for all the details!