One of the most common questions parents and students ask us is, “Don’t colleges only accept the SAT now?"
There’s been so much confusion over this topic because parents and students alike don't know if they should take the SAT or the ACT now, but it’s pretty simple to understand, so let us help you make an informed decision.
Every spring in the state of Michigan, all juniors in public schools complete a series of exams known as the Michigan Merit Examination (MME). The Michigan Department of Education uses the results of these exams to judge the overall progress of each school on a yearly basis. In the past, one of these exams was a free opportunity for students to take an ACT.
In a money-saving effort, the State of Michigan switched this free college admissions exam opportunity to the SAT. While this normally might not be that big of a deal, the SAT was completely redesigned in January 2016. As a result, CollegeBoard (makers of the SAT) is going through a lot of trial and error with the SAT as they attempt to establish some consistency with questions and passage types.
Like the ACT, the SAT uses a scaled score to curve each exam. Since the students taking the SAT are still the guinea pigs for CollegeBoard, these scaled scores have been very inconsistent from test to test.
For example, answering 44 math questions correctly on one SAT can results in a scaled score of a 640, while answering 44 questions correctly on another SAT results in a scaled score of a 710. This is a huge range of scores. Until CollegeBoard is able to work out the kinks of this exam, it will be a very difficult process for colleges to interpret SAT scores.
While colleges will use either a student’s highest ACT score or highest SAT when considering that student for admission, it's generally a safer option to take the ACT since it's a more established test.
Colleges in Michigan and across the country do not only accept the SAT – that’s a myth we’re here to debunk. When it’s time to go take the SAT in the public schools this spring, students should give 100% effort. However, if you are considering investing money into ACT or SAT tutoring, you might find more success with the ACT because it’s more established.
If you still have questions, contact us to learn more about how our full-length ACT and SAT analyses could help determine which test is the best fit for your child.