As Students Face Uncertainty about the New SAT®, Kaplan Test Prep Reports its ACT® Business Has Surged By More than Half

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Press Contacts: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT

Students prepare for the new SAT, which launches March 5, 2016.

Students prepare for the new SAT, which launches March 5, 2016. (Feel free to use photo, but please give credit to Kaplan Test Prep as the source.)

New York, NY (February 4, 2016) — With one month to go before the debut of a redesigned SAT, Kaplan Test Prep is reporting that its business for students prepping for this weekend’s ACT has jumped more than 50%, as many students opt to hedge their bets by prepping for both tests. In a November survey of parents of college applicants, 43% reported that their child plans to take both admissions tests, and in a 2012 survey of college admissions officers, 18% reported an advantage to applicants’ submitting scores from both tests.

“Given the uncertainty that comes with a new test, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in students prepping for both the ACT and the SAT this year,” said Lee Weiss, Vice President, College Admissions Programs at Kaplan Test Prep. “Some of the changes in the new SAT that make the test more student-friendly reflect existing elements of the ACT, such as no wrong answer penalty, an optional essay, and removal of obscure vocabulary. By the same token, many students may find the increased rigor of the new SAT more challenging, as it includes multi-step word and math problems, greater integration of data and reading, and greater focus on analysis and interpretation. It’s not surprising that students aren’t sure how they’ll do on the new test and are covering their bases.”

Among the changes coming to the March 5 SAT:

  • Administration: the scoring scale has reverted from its 2400 point scale to its pre-2005 1600 point scale, calculator use is now restricted, and the ¼ point wrong answer penalty has been eliminated.
  • Structure: the sections are longer, with fewer breaks — no sections of the old SAT were longer than 25 minutes, while the new SAT includes a 65 minute Reading section and a 55 minute Math section. The essay is now twice as long, but optional. And the new test has only four answer choices instead of five.
  • Approach: the old SAT focused on testing students’ knowledge, while the new SAT focuses on students’ ability to analyze information, integrate data from multiple sources, and solve multi-step problems.

“The way students are tested will be fundamentally different on the new SAT, but our advice to students about whether they should take the SAT or the ACT remains the same,” said Weiss. “Take practice tests for both and decide which you’re more comfortable with. All colleges accept both tests, so each student should make his or her own decision based on personal preference and strategy.”

To schedule an interview with a Kaplan Test Prep expert on the SAT changes and how students can best prepare for the tests, contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

SAT® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc,  which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product.

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. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire.

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