As 2016 comes to a close (phew!), we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the biggest topics in test prep from the year. The ArborBridge team is dedicated to staying on top of all the most important updates and announcements so you and your family are always in the loop. Where's the best place to look for that information? Our blog, of course!
In 2016, we published over 60 articles covering topics from the new SAT debut this past March to making sense of the ACT's Test Accessibility and Accommodations System. And that's just this year—you can guarantee our blog will feature bigger and better content in 2017 (so stay tuned!).
We decided to pull our top 10(ish) test prep articles from 2016 for your reading pleasure. If you missed one of the articles listed below, you might just learn something new before the year ends! Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy the roundup, and have a wonderful New Year!
ArborBridge's Top 10:
"Don't take the SAT in the spring! They make the test tougher in the spring." "This school doesn't accept the ACT." You've probably heard people say both these things, right? Well we're here to tell you: They're simply not true. There are actually a handful of myths floating around about college admission testing. Our test prep experts debunked some of the most popular myths in this post.
The ACT unveiled its brand new Test Accessibility and Accommodations System this past summer. In this post, we dissect the most important elements of the new system and what parents and students should expect. If you require accommodations on the ACT, reading this post is crucial. The more you know going in, the smoother the process of requesting accommodations will be!
Just this past year, we saw a significant number of U.S. colleges and universities decide to go test optional, perhaps due to the redesigned SAT and its impact on admission testing. Regardless, it's now more important than ever for students to understand the full scope of what test optional (and score choice) means when applying to schools. Plus, check out our list of colleges and universities that have chosen to go test optional and score choice!
#4: Coverage on the Redesigned SAT
We cheated a little bit and decided to feature a collection of the articles we posted during the debut of the new SAT back in March (it was too hard to just pick one!).
Reactions to the First Administration of the Redesigned SAT (March)
Report from the Test Center: The May SAT (May)
Redesigned SAT Concordance Tables Released (May)
College Board Releases New SAT Percentiles (June)
As we expected, the release of the redesigned SAT was, well, slightly bumpy. Since then, the College Board has been under heavy fire from the likes of Reuters (a multi-part blog series) and even one of their own (does everyone remember the case of Manuel Alfaro?). Needless to say, the ACT might have been the safer test choice this past year!
The ACT gave its score report a bit of a facelift this past September. While some of the changes have proven to be beneficial for students, the test prep experts at ArborBridge are a bit wary about new score report features such as the STEM Benchmark and the Interest-Major Fit Level and corresponding Career Connector. Find out why in this post.
Just when you thought the new SAT was enough, the ACT also underwent a few minor changes. As a result, some people worried the Math and Science sections transitioned to become far more difficult. But how much more difficult? Our very own Lisa McManus, Director of Curriculum, is here to tell you: There's no need to panic.
To follow up on the post above, Lisa went even further and looked at question number shifts and scaling on the ACT Math section, in particular. There's nothing more reliable than solid numbers to prove your point, right?
What?! More changes? Yes, that's right. The ACT decided to revert back to the original 2-12 point scale instead of the 1-36 scale. Here's why, and what it means for students.
The ACT announced the PreACT as a new test designed to prepare students for the official ACT exam. In many ways it mimics exactly what students can expect to see on actual test day, and that's the magic of it. However, it's important to note that students must rely on a school administrator in order to take the PreACT—they are not able to register for it on their own.
Okay, we know it's not test prep but we couldn't help but include this amazing TED Talk by our very own co-founder, Tim Urban! Tim is the mastermind behind Wait But Why, the popular long-form blog site that's taken the internet by storm. He's interviewed the likes of Elon Musk, introduced some of our favorite characters like Instant Gratification Monkey and Panic Monster, and more. We highly recommend watching his TED Talk on procrastination if you're in need of a good laugh!
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