Understanding scores on the new SAT

What an exciting week we have had in the test prep world. The much anticipated release of the first scores from the new SAT happened this week. While SAT and ACT scores are usually available to students 2.5 weeks after a test, the March SAT scores took 9.5 weeks to be released! But it was worth the wait. We are now starting to get a picture of how the test changes will actually manifest themselves in student scores.

As with any change there can be a great deal of uncertainty and misunderstanding and we are here to help guide you through this. Please contact us with any questions about how to read the score report, what scores mean and of course suggestions about how to improve your student’s scores. For now we would like to share one of the most important aspects of understanding the scores: understanding what the numbers actually mean. In other words how good is my student’s score? If you were waiting until the weekend to think about the answer to this question then here you go.

The key to this lies in comparison to the ACT, as that test didn’t change, and we can do that through the newly released concordance tables from the College Board. You can see this below. In essence what we look for is the corresponding ACT score for any given score on the new SAT. If you were to look at this table in comparison to previous versions what you would notice is that the SAT score for any given ACT score is now higher. For example a 29 on ACT used to be equal to a 1290-1320 and now it is a 1350-1380, likewise a 33 on ACT used to be equal to a 1440-1480 and now it is a 1490-1510. In other words SAT scores seem to have been inflated.

How this will play out for Bright Futures Scholarship requirements and college admissions remains to be seen but understanding this inflation is important information for you to have. What we do know is that higher scores are always better… so contact us today if you want to help your student improve his or her scores. Our summer and fall classes and individual sessions are filling fast so don’t miss this opportunity.

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