So, you've probably heard by now that The College Board's test security sucks. I mean downright ridiculously awful. Look at the headlines: SAT Cheating Scandal Broadens with Indictment of 15 Chinese Nationals, SAT Integrity Falls Victim to China Cheating Scandal, Was Saturday's SAT Compromised, and many more that mostly involve international testers and test prep firms doing some very shady things. The result: The College Board comes out with a statement claiming they've tightened security, that test takers will be punished, and then, everyone waits with bated breath to see what happens next.
The sad part of how rampant this cheating has become is that your fate is entirely in the hands of The College Board or whatever testing agency you're dealing with. So, how do you protect yourself?
1. Do not save testing for your senior year. You want to do everything in your power to test ahead of your senior year, and more than once, just in case there's a security breach and your entire test gets thrown out.
2. Take BOTH the ACT and SAT. Take a good practice test first to decide where you want to focus your preparation (ACT or SAT or Both?) and then, prep at least 6-8 weeks prior to your first "real"test. For most EDvantage clients, we recommend that prep begins in November of your junior year for the February ACT and March SAT. But, there are many outside factors that affect when you test and which test you take, so that's not "one size fit all"advice.
3. Go Test Optional. Huh? Yes, folks, this is a thing. Applicants are 'more than a score.' That's Fair Test's motto. There are more than 1000 accredited colleges and universities that are"test optional," "test flexible" or otherwise de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions -- without using ACT or SAT scores -- for all or many applicants who recently graduated from U.S. high schools. Check out the list.
Finally, if you took an exam and the exam is inadvertently cancelled, don't panic. For most colleges, you are able to submit test scores from exams taken all the way through December of your senior year. Of course, that means you have to refresh your skills and be ready for whatever exam you take, but for the most part, there is time.
If you don't have a test preparation plan and haven't mapped out your testing schedule, that's a part of what I do in your Strategy Session. Schedule yours today and breathe easier knowing you have a clear plan with an expert advisor helping you every step of the way.