The new CEO of College Board, David Coleman, spearheaded a sweeping redesign of America's oldest college entrance exam. His plan was to tie the controversial Common Core with the SAT. In an internal memo, he called it a “beautiful vision.”
What does that mean? What is his beautiful vision? We do not know.
We do know that 2016 was a bad year for College Board. From a major security breach exposing 400 test questions to going ahead with test using leaked questions to knowingly overloading the test with wordy math problems, things were bad for college board.
Plus, President-elect Donald Trump has called the Common Core a “total disaster,” saying education must be controlled locally. Even though the decision to adopt or not to adopt Common Core rests with the states, such strong high-level opposition could determine whether the course charted by Coleman helps or hurts the College Board and the SAT.
In 2012, the ACT overtook the SAT as the most popular college entrance exam in America. Given the turmoil with the SAT, we see ACT gaining more traction. Recently, the ACT launched the preACT, to compete with the PSAT. And the ACT has been the more stable test, so we recommend taking it first, before the SAT.
College board has vast resources, so it is here to stay. According to data from 2015, it had about $77 million in annual profit and $834 million in net assets. The College Board offers test-fee waivers to poor students as well as free test-preparation services through a partnership with Khan Academy, a not-for-profit educational organization. It can get away with fee waivers, free-test prep services and making big errors. But does Coleman's “beautiful vision” of common core and poor judgment regarding tests really benefit, you, the student?
Regardless, you have to take tests to get into the college of your dreams. Do yourself a favor and take both tests, but take the ACT first, to cover your base and not getting pulled into someone else's dream.
Check out Hillview Prep's test prep services for the ACT and the SAT. Visit our “Thought Leaders” page to learn more about their experiences and what it takes to get into the college of YOUR dreams.