SAT & ACT PREPARATION
We have been helping students navigate through the SAT and ACT process for over 11 years. Now that every college accepts both tests, it has become increasingly important to determine which test might better suit each student. Through our personalized guidance and in-depth knowledge of each test, students from schools throughout Westchester County, nearby Connecticut and Putnam Counties have gained confidence and improved their test scores at College Planning of Westchester.
Beginning this school year, both tests will see significant changes. It is more important than ever to work with test prep professionals who thoroughly understand the intricacies of these tests and their changes, while having the experience to adapt their sessions accordingly. While we always try to pinpoint the appropriate test for each student, we can also prepare them to take both tests if they so choose.
For High School Juniors, there is still the option to take the "current" SAT through the January test. Starting with the October 2015 PSAT, the College Board introduced the new SAT format, which takes effect with the March 2016 SAT. The SAT will return to a 1600 point total score, and will be totally redesigned. The new test will more closely resemble the ACT with more classroom-based questions in line with the common core. Although there is not a unique science section, there are now science elements thoughout the test. The essay is now optional and is 50 minutes in length, twice as long as before. This transitional year is unique in that test results for both the March and May 2016 tests will be available at the same time in May/June. This makes planning for spring tests more challenging. We can help guide students through these unprecedented times. Our track record shows average increases on the SAT of between 260-320 points.
More than ever, students are choosing to take the ACT. With the introduction of the new SAT, the two tests will become more similar. One of the ongoing challenges faced by ACT test takers is the ability to complete each section in the allotted time. Like the SAT, the ACT has recently changed its optional essay format and it is now 40 minutes long. Our track record shows average increases of 3-4 points on the ACT.
HOW TO PERFORM BETTER UNDER PRESSURE
Do they understand when they are studying, but underperform when it comes to the big test or SAT/ACT?
Dealing well with pressure is critical to success in school, sports, and life.
We are excited to offer a new online, self-paced course that can help both parents and students:
- Challenge the myth that people perform better under pressure
- Get rid of the negative effects of pressure
- Learn strategies that help to reduce pressure
NEW PSAT RESULTS
Most HS Juniors took the PSAT in October 2016 and were able to view their scores online at the College Board site. When students log in, they will be able to see their scores for the whole test as well as the breakdown for individual problems.
For the student that had already decided to take the ACT, a good PSAT score can raise the question of whether they should switch completely to the SAT or add it to their plan.
One factor that parents should consider is the timing of the various tests. In other words, if the student had a lot of prep since the October test, then the PSAT may be showing abilities that were early in the process. Overall, this "lag time" needs to be remembered prior to making a directional decision.
The College Board released a 32 page document to help explain the test results. Click here to view College Board doc Even for an experienced professional, it takes a while to wade through.