Can international students apply to US colleges without taking the SAT or the ACT?

Yes. There are colleges and universities in the US which are test-optional or test-flexible. This should not be taken to mean that these colleges have lower admission standards. All it means is that these colleges realize the limitations of standardized exams in evaluating the potential of applicants and prefer to focus on other determinants of success such as GPA, excellence in extra-curricular activities, etc. Test-optional means that some students will have the flexibility to decide whether they want to submit ACT or SAT scores to the college along with their application. Test-flexible means that these colleges would allow the students to submit scores from SAT Subject tests, AP tests or the International Baccalaureate program, instead of SAT or ACT scores. A growing number of colleges and universities recognize that not all students excel on standardized tests. Some do not have the aptitude for the tests while others have test anxiety. Test optional colleges focus on other factors such as GPA, standing in class, exceptional talent in an area, etc., to make an informed decision. Art colleges have generally not required the applicants to take standardized exams – they focus instead on the applicant’s portfolio showcasing their talent in the discipline they wish to major in. So, if you have a good GPA and are, either terrified of taking the standardized tests or have done poorly in them, you could choose to look at test-optional schools. Some examples of test-optional colleges are American University, Wake Forest University, Bates College, Sarah Lawrence College and Bowdoin. New York University, Middlebury College and University of Rochester are test-flexible. Author: Mrinalini Batra. Mrinalini is...

Should you retake the SAT or the ACT test?

Is it worth investing the time, effort and money to do so? The question you must ask yourself is, “Would I be able to better my score?” But obvious, right? However, optimism often leads students to take the test multiple times without stopping to consider ‘why’ they would do better in the next test. If you had put in your 100% in the last test, then it is time to move on. There is no reason to believe that the next test would be easier than the one you took. If you were not serious the last time and would like to better your score, take the test only if you are convinced that you will work harder and in a more focused manner this time. Practicing for the tests is a time consuming process. And if you are just mindlessly taking tests to be able to say that you practiced so hard, stop! Use that time to do better in the school exams (the results matter in the admissions process) and in making your application the best it can be. And if you believe that the new SAT is easier to score, SAT, please go to the CollegeBoard site and use their score convertor – (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/scores/understanding-scores/sat-score-converter) A score of 2030 from the old SAT score converts to 1430 in the new format; 2150 -> 1490! So, a jump of 120 points in the old SAT is equivalent to 60 points on the New SAT. Take the new Sat for improvement only if you are convinced that you can increase your score by 50 points or more! Else, use...

SAT or the ACT – which is the easier test?

Since the CollegeBoard declared that the SAT test would have a new avatar in 2016, the ACT has had a surge in its popularity in India. Students, uncertain over how they would fare in the new format, are seriously looking at the ACT as a viable alternative. While I understand that there would be a certain amount of speculation vis-à-vis how one must prepare for the new exam, I am at a loss when asked which is the easier test – the SAT or the ACT. The SAT and ACT tests are used almost interchangeably in the US admissions process. However, the tests are structured differently and play to different strengths of the students. Just because one does not do well on the SAT is not reason enough to assume that you would do exceptionally well on the ACT and vice-versa. Aptitude does have an important role to play; however, it is not the sole criterion for an excellent performance. What matters more is your understanding of the test, you hard work, your preparation and practice. If these components are missing, it does not matter which test you take, you will not do well. The English section in the new SAT is much easier than its previous avatar while the Math Section has become considerably more difficult. The ACT has a Science section in addition to the English and Math and, the penalty for a wrong answer goes up in a non-linear fashion. Our advice is to take the diagnostic tests for both the exams and see which one you are more comfortable with. After that, focus on your...

Best wishes for today’s SAT Tests!

You have worked hard. Prepared diligently. Now, go out and do your best at the test centre! Our best wishes go to our students who are taking the SAT Reasoning Test (SAT I) and various SAT Subject tests: Aadi Sharma Aayush Bhasin Abhi Kumar Adil Singh Dhaliwal Ahana Sethi Akhila Roy Chowdhry Altarash Barthakur Anay Jain Anushka Kapur Ayesha Bedi Bharat M Ahuja Harish R Sai Isha Kakar Ishaani Goyal Jaimit Aggarwal Jhilmil Malhotra Kaajal Joshi Kajal Soni Karn Dev Sharma Kaustav Roy Kritin Thapar Kunal Sanwalka Kunal Singh Lavanya Virmani Madhav Baidurjya Mansha Goel Mansi Jain Naman Verma Nishant Goel Prateek Bhatia Pregya Arya Raghav Batra Ronit Nanda Sambhav anand Sanya Nijhawan Saumya Johri Shuchi Prasad Siddhant Dev Siddharth Bhogra Siddharth Singh Simran Kaur Sethi Sunaina Mathur Tanavi Sharma Tanay Sharma Tanish Pratap Tulika Mohan Tushar Chetal Vineel Guntupalli Yamini Mandava – Team...