College Ready: What You Need to Know – College Admissions Exams
High exam scores can improve your chances of getting into your dream school. Even if you are not planning on attending an elite four-year university, a strong score can open doors of opportunity. Test prep is your best friend. In fact, with the new education law into effect called the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, states that require high school students to take SAT and ACT tests are becoming more common (Kapelke-Dale, 2017). One upside to this is that students have an opportunity to practice taking lengthy and rigorous exams as early as ninth grade. Another benefit is that students may even be able to test and attend test prep workshops for free if the school in their state mandates SAT or ACTs.
Not everyone fares so well on exam day, but this is no reason to panic. First of all, test prep is available online and may even be offered in your school. Secondly, the SAT and ACT can be retaken. Moreover, these scores are not always the main deciding point: admissions officers also consider “soft factors” when reviewing your application. College applicants with scores in the lower percentile for the SAT or ACT might still be accepted into a well-known college due to a strong application essay, well-roundedness with multiple extracurricular activities and a good GPA.
Taking into account all of the “hard factors” and “soft factors,” preparing for college is a tremendous endeavor. After studying and preparing for the college admission exam, loading up your schedule with advanced courses, writing amazing essays rounding out your identity as a desirable candidate with athletics, the arts, club participation and community service, the college board or scholarship committee may turn to social media to get a full picture of the person that they are reading about in the college application.
Kapelke-Dale, Rachel. May 15, 2017. “States that Require the SAT or ACT.” Magoosh. Retrieved from: https://magoosh.com/hs/act/2017/states-that-require-the-act-or-sat