| TESTING There are many who would agree with you that one of the most anxiety inducing aspects of the college application process is standardized testing. We hope to put you at ease with some information to help you navigate your journey. Test taking is all about strategy, and it is never too early to start preparing for the SAT or ACT. We often read articles and studies that question the relevancy of these tests in relation to a student’s successful collegiate career. The truth is, that until there is a unanimous decision to get rid of these tests completely, both the SAT and ACT are going to be a part of the application process for most colleges and universities and should be taken seriously. Common myths about the SAT & ACT: • The SAT is more difficult than the ACT • Colleges prefer SAT over ACT • If you have good grades, there is no need to study for the SAT or ACT • You cannot take the ACT or SAT multiple times
12 • The QUAD • WINTER/SPRING | 2020
One major downfall for most students is waiting until junior year of high school to begin preparing, which leaves little room for score improvement and strategy retention. The majority of the content covered on both tests are learned by sophomore year, however the questions are phrased and presented in ways that may feel unfamiliar to you. The key to becoming a strong test taker is to sharpen your analytical skills, learn how to read different types of graphs and be able to properly synthesize information. You should take an ACT or SAT diagnostic test to assist in best determining which test is the right fit for you. According to the College Board, the average SAT score in 2018 was 1068, while the ACT average was 20.9. Nevertheless, these averages to do not determine what a “good” score is, and you will need to take the time out to research the admission requirements for the schools that you are interested in applying to in order to decide on your personal SAT & ACT score goals. When researching admission requirements, we suggest not only exploring the scores that
will likely grant you admission but will also award you scholarships as well. It’s most important to remember that SAT & ACT scores are just a slice of the pie when it comes to whether you are admitted into any school. Your grades, extracurricular involvement and community service are certainly important factors, and sometimes can be your saving grace if your test scores are not as high as you’d like them to be. If you are a high school student and need direction as you prepare for your collegiate career, visit the College & Career Resource Center on Detroit Speaks website at DetroitSpeaksInc.org.