New Test Dates
This is a major change, and the newest test dates for both the ACT and the SAT could be beneficial. Please note: each may change your testing timeline. It’s important to consider or to reconsider your plan.
SAT will begin offering a summer administration on August 26, 2017. This gives seniors the chance to test one more time before college applications. The SAT will drop its traditional January administration for 2018, allowing the following schedule: March, May, June, August, October, November and December each year. Note: subject tests will be offered on all dates, sans the March test, but different subject tests are offered during different administrations, so do your homework!
Beginning in 2018, the ACT will add a July administration in response to the SAT’s new summer date. This, again, allows seniors one more time to test prior to submitting scores for college applications. ACT’s administrations are in February, April, June, July (in 2018), September, October and December.
While all the new summer administrations are a nice opportunity for not only seniors but also rising juniors with Algebra II complete in the sophomore year. LEAP’s summer enrichment week courses and one-on-one tutoring are a great way for rising juniors to prep prior to their first ACT or SAT attempt in the fall.
State Testing Requirements
All Ohio juniors will take the ACT or SAT each spring as a possible pathway to graduation. Which test (ACT or SAT), which date, and which format (online—which LEAP discourages—or pencil-to-paper) are decided by local school districts. The state administered test is free, but it doesn’t offer writing; in 2016 many schools (all Ohio schools and many out-of-state schools) dropped the ACT-SAT writing requirement, but some out-of-state privates and publics still require submission of a writing score. To make sure students are application ready for all schools, students should take the “optional” writing portion when they test on their own; remember, LEAP encourages every student to test twice!
New Accommodation Request Procedures
In the past, requesting testing accommodations for both tests have been arduous. To become more inclusive, both tests have restructured requests. This doesn’t negate the urgency of requesting accommodations; rather, it may allow more students to gain necessary accommodations without numerous requests.
Beginning January 2017, College Board announced students with 504s and IEPs will have most of the same accommodations listed on their school plan automatically approved. The SAT request process remains the same and starts with your high school. This new policy also applies to the PSAT and AP tests, so request accommodations sooner rather than later.
Effective in the 2016-17 school year initiating ACT accommodations’ requests is now the FAMILY’s job, rather than the school’s (as it has been in the past). Students must first register for a test date, request accommodations, and specify necessary accommodations. Once registered, students will receive an email with a .Pdf attachment allowing school districts to release confidential information such as the student 504, IEP and teacher input—this must be forwarded to the student’s school guidance office. The deadline for requests is stated as “the deadline of test registration”, but LEAP encourages students to submit requests at least three months prior to deadlines. If requests are denied, this allows time for an appeal. As suggested in a prior post, arm yourself with necessary documentation: diagnoses from physicians, letters from teachers/tutors, and copies of current and prior IEP/504s. It works in your favor to have “your ducks in a row” and apply early.
Want more vital testing information? Watch this informative LEAP video. Good luck, testers; LEAP is rooting for you!