SAT and ACT prep booksTwo very important Test Prep updates today!

The ACT Writing will once again be scored out of 12 – not 36

While the SAT was very publicly overhauling its entire test last year, the ACT was quietly revamping its Writing component – or the ‘ACT Essay’ as most people call it. Others may know it as the “Optional” section you encounter during test registration.

The two more significant changes to the ACT Writing section were 1) the style of the prompt and 2) that it would be scored out of a 36, no longer a 12.

This in itself would have led to some diminished scores. But then the scores started coming in even lower than anyone could have imagined.

Ivy Experience had numerous students who scored a 30 or above in all of the other sections but would get Writing scores in the low 20s during the first scoring. But then, if they submitted their Writing section to be re-scored, their scores suddenly jumped up.

Needless to say, going back to a score system out of 12 will help bandage the problem. Students and parents will not panic if they see a score of 8 out of 12 – nor should they panic, but many did when they saw equivalent scores of 24 out of 36 that were not at all consistent with the other sections.

But it does not change the fact that the new style of prompt remains very confusing to students and graders, and that scores still may be diminished, just on a tightened scale.

This is a nice step in the right direction, but we will see if there is further reform to come.

The SAT will begin offering August test dates next year

This is REALLY exciting news for a test that has continually frustrated students and parents this past year.

In the past, the ACT offered test dates in September and October, but the SAT only offered the test in October.

This proved very problematic for seniors hoping to raise their scores one more time but were applying to colleges rolling decision, early action, and early decision. Their scores would not get in on time! Or if they were to get in on time, the students would have to pay extra to “rush” the scores to colleges.

Now this problem is avoided!

And for students who are prepping for the SAT during the summer – juniors and seniors – now there is no longer an awkward month overlapping prep with school!