• Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Adoption of the New SAT

    Q: When and why did the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approve the SAT as a replacement for the ACT?

    A: This past December, the ISBE approved the College Board’s SAT as the state-funded college entrance exam. Based on the College Board’s proposal, the SAT will provide the state with an estimated cost savings of nearly $1.4 million over the next three years.

    Q: Is Community Unit School District 308 going to continue to offer the ACT or switch to the SAT this year?

    A: After reviewing several resources, including surveys of other school districts and feedback from district and high school administrators within School District 308, we determined it would be in the best interest of our students to immediately shift to the SAT.

    Q: Did other states switch to the SAT?

    A: Yes, both Illinois and Colorado awarded contracts to the College Board to administer the SAT free of charge to 11th grade students in public schools. This is the first year that all public high schools in Michigan will administer the SAT as the statewide exam.

    Q: Do all colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning accept the SAT?

    A: Currently, most institutions of higher learning accept both the ACT and SAT as application for admission.

    Q: Why did School District 308 decide to adopt the SAT?

    A: The district is committed to aligning its curriculum to the Common Core State Standards and the SAT aligns with those standards as well. Having our students take a college entrance exam that aligns with their actual curriculum makes the most sense. Because the SAT is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, it is anticipated that our students will earn a higher score and gain a competitive edge on being accpeted to the colleges or universities of their choice. Higher scores could also potentially allow students to earn more scholarships.

    Q: Does the SAT take longer to complete than the ACT?

    A: To complete either the SAT or the ACT is about a four-hour process.

    Q: My student has been preparing for the ACT. Will this work help my child pass the SAT?

    A: Time spent preparing for the ACT will not be wasted. Preparing for the ACT provides students with a better idea of time limitations, types of questions, and how to respond to questions to obtain the best possible score.

    Q: Are there changes to the 2016 SAT that my student should be aware of?

    A: Yes, the SAT has been redesigned for 2016. The new version eliminates penalties for guessing and makes its essay component optional. The revised SAT also has eliminated what were called “SAT words,” which led previous generations of students to prepare for the SAT using flash cards. The new SAT’s maximum score will also revert to 1600. For a comprehensive look at changes to the SAT, please refer to Side by Side: A look at the SAT and the Common Core.

    Q: When will the ACT test be offered and to what grade level?

    A: The new SAT makes its debut on March 5, 2016. School District 308 is planning to administer the SAT to all 11th grade students during a school day in April. Further information as to the time and date of the test will be provided to parents.