Are you thinking of applying to a bachelor’s degree program in the United States within the next few years? If the answer is yes, then you probably know that students wishing to enter an American college or university must arrange to take either the ACT or SAT by the last year of their secondary studies. Your scores on these standardized tests, which are also required of American high school students, are considered by colleges in the admissions process, along with your secondary school records, your personal statement and letters of recommendation, and numerous other intangible factors.
The SAT is administered by the College Board, which also provides information for students who are beginning the college application process. Recently, the College Board made several important announcements regarding the international administration of the SAT.
Among other measures, the College Board will be cancelling the June 2017 international SAT and reducing the number of international testing dates for the SAT for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.
According to the official announcement from the College Board, the changes are due to security: “We are unwavering in our commitment to SAT test security and we will continue to confront any efforts to undermine it, including the unauthorized disclosure of test questions and test forms,” said Peter Schwartz, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel at the College Board. “There are three fundamental ways we protect the value of the SAT for test takers and score recipients: increasing the pool of test items, increasing security and deterrence, and limiting exposure of test materials by reducing the number of administrations. In all of our efforts, we’ve worked to strike a balance between thwarting those seeking an unfair advantage and providing testing opportunities for the vast majority of students who play by the rules.”
The changes mean that in 2017-2018, the SAT will be offered internationally on 7 October 2017, 2 December 2017, 10 March 2018, and 5 May 2018. Students will be able to take SAT Subject Tests on 7 October 2017, 4 November 2017, 2 December 2017, 5 May 2018, and 2 June 2018. Students can still take the SAT in May 2017, but only SAT Subject Tests will be available in June 2017. To see the list of dates and register for an exam, please visit collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/register/international-registration/test-dates-deadlines.
Even if college is still be several years away, it’s not too early to begin thinking about and preparing for the standardized exams you will need to take! While the SAT or ACT are not the single most important factor in your university application, scores on these exams are taken seriously by admissions officers. It is therefore important for students to prepare for whichever exam they choose to take by reviewing material, familiarizing themselves with the format of the test, and taking a full-length practice test. Some students choose to take the test more than once; for example, in the spring of their second-to-last year of secondary school and again in the fall of their senior year.
As you prepare for the SAT, ACT, or other standardized tests, consider paying a visit to the EducationUSA Advising Center in downtown Brussels. Our resource library features test preparation materials from the makers of the SAT and ACT, as well as review books for the SAT, ACT, TOEFL and more that can be borrowed for up to two weeks at a time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about available resources and to schedule an advising appointment.