Kaplan Test Prep Comments on the SAT® Scores Report and Releases Results from its 2016 Survey of College Admissions Officers, Showing an Environment of Uncertainty

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

New York, NY (September 27, 2016) — Kaplan Test Prep issued the following statement from Lee Weiss, vice president of Kaplan’s college admissions programs, about the annual SAT scores report released this morning by the College Board:

“This scores report shows another decline in average test scores, which can likely be attributed to the expansion and diversification of the test taking pool, a trend we’ve seen for several years. While that trend is notable, keep in mind that it only applies to the old SAT, which is no longer being administered. At this stage what students and parents are really thinking about is the current SAT, and we know there’s a lot of uncertainty about it as this is new territory for students, guidance counselors and colleges as well.”

(The scores report only takes into account scores from the old SAT, which expired in January. It does not take into account performance on the new SAT, launched in March, for which there is no publicly released score data yet.)

Weiss pointed to several results from Kaplan’s college admissions officers survey showing the jury is still out on the new SAT*:

  • Mixed Views on Whether it’s a Better Measure: Just 29% of college admissions officers survey say the new SAT will help them better evaluate applicants’ ability to succeed in their school than the old one did; 31% say it won’t; and 40% are not sure.
  • Skepticism on Essay Section: Only 4% of college admissions officers surveyed say their school will require the new SAT’s optional essay section; 21% say they recommend applicants submit it, but don’t require it; but the most popular policy, at 75%, is to not require or recommend students take it.
  • Increased Popularity of ACT®: Nearly half (49%) report more applicants submitting ACT scores compared to previous years, with 63% of this subset reporting the increase as “significant.” A plurality of admissions officers (43%) also say there is an increase in the number of applicants who submit scores from both exams.
  • Confidence in Evaluating Old vs New Scores: Nearly two thirds (65%) of admissions officers are confident in the ability of a concordance table to compare scores from the old SAT to scores from the new SAT and ACT and evaluate applicants; 17% say they are doubtful; and 18% aren’t sure.

“It’s great that students are adapting to the new SAT, as we hear many questions from them and their parents about how colleges will evaluate the new test. From what admissions officers are telling us, they are still figuring out what is in the best interests of their schools when it comes to the new SAT,” Weiss said. “The good news for students is that everyone involved — the test maker, admissions officers, administrators — has a vested interest in getting it right.”

To speak with a college admissions expert at Kaplan Test Prep, please contact Russell Schaffer at
russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

*For the 2016 survey, admissions officers from 374 of the nation’s top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities – as compiled by U.S. News & World Report — were polled by telephone between July and August 2016.

The 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.  The PSAT/NMSQT® is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation which were not involved in the production of, and do not endorse this product. The 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 100 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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