As SAT Test Taking Numbers Level Off and ACT Numbers Increase, Kaplan Test Prep’s Annual Survey of College Admissions Officers Finds 18% of Colleges Report An Advantage to Applicants’ Submitting Scores from Both Tests

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Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571
Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (September 24, 2012) – With more than half of the nation’s high school graduates taking the SAT or the ACT, new data from Kaplan Test Prep’s (www.kaptest.com) annual survey of admissions officers from the nation’s top 500 colleges and universities* shows that extra motivated test takers may have an edge.  Nearly one of out five (18%) admissions officers responded, “Yes,” to the question: “Is there any advantage to an applicant’s submitting both an SAT and an ACT score, instead of only one score, assuming both scores are strong?”

Jieun Choe, executive director of K-12 and college admission programs, Kaplan Test Prep, noted that over the past year, 60% of Kaplan’s SAT and ACT students reported plans to take both tests.

“While the vast majority of schools say there’s no advantage to submitting scores from both tests, 18% is enough of a percentage to take notice,” said Choe. “With applicants competing for every advantage in the college admissions process, it may be one strategy to consider, as taking both tests can be viewed by some as a sign of extra drive and motivation.  The fact that more than half of the students taking our courses tell us they plan to take both tests indicates many already seek out this advantage.”

Also indicating a rising bar for demonstrating academic strength: more Advanced Placement courses showcased in applications.  Sixty-nine percent of admissions officers surveyed said they’ve seen an increase in the number of students submitting scores from Advanced Placement exams over the past five years.

Other findings from Kaplan‘s 2012 survey of college admissions officers:

  • 85% of the colleges and universities surveyed require applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score – a percentage virtually unchanged from Kaplan’s 2011 survey.  Of schools requiring one of the exams for admissions, 97% have no plans to drop the requirement.
  • Sixty-four percent of the colleges and universities surveyed by Kaplan have an early admissions policy; of the schools that do provide this option, 53% said that at least half who apply early are ultimately accepted.
  • 18% of admissions officers said that a low SAT or ACT score is “the biggest application killer.”  Topping that was a low high school GPA at 37% and low grades in college prep courses at 28%.

Additional results from Kaplan’s survey will be released in the days ahead.

* For the 2012 survey, 350 admissions officers from the nation’s top 500 schools – as compiled from U.S. News & World Report  and Barron’s – were polled by telephone between July and September 2012.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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