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College Talk Blog

College Entrance Exams

ACT or SAT...Does it matter?

Parents worry about whether their teenager should take the ACT or the SAT to prepare for college admissions. Some are under the impression that some colleges accept one test and others might accept the other. The truth is that colleges accept either. The confusion is rooted in the fact that long ago some colleges preferred one test over the other.

Even though colleges do not have a preference, you should. The answer to the question "ACT or SAT?" is the test that is most comfortable for your teen.

New VT Admission Policy Penalizes High Achievers

College policy making is not easy and most colleges try to make policy that benefits students. While many colleges have taken the position that they will accept both the new SAT and the old SAT for the class of 2017, Virginia Tech has decided to boldly go where most colleges have not. They have decided NOT to accept the old SAT for the class of 2017 and beyond.

When I called an assistant director of admissions at VT to ask about the new policy, I was told that there would be no exceptions. I explained that one trend that I have noticed with the highest achieving students is that they tend to take the SAT early which means that there are eleventh graders right now who have taken the old SAT who may need to take the new SAT if they want to apply to VT (unless they plan to take the ACT and use the ACT for VT).

SAT Prep Starts in Pre-School

The Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT measures three areas: critical reading, mathematics and writing. The purpose of the test is to predict academic strength for college work. While the outcome of the test is not the only thing college admissions officials look at when making an admissions decision, high scores are very helpful.

Parents who would like their children to do well on the SAT should start preparing them early by focusing on three areas:

1. Critical reading skills begin when children participate in story time as toddlers.