Mapping Out School Day SAT and ACTs
As IECs help families plan for a bit more ‘normalcy’ during the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, K-12 state and district-contracted assessments may provide helpful glimpses into academic readiness and student achievement. In fact, numerous states and school districts contract with the various testing administrators, including the College Board and ACT, for student benchmark assessments that may also assist with college admissions strategies.
While many states and districts require 11th graders to take an SAT or ACT for high school graduation, others may simply offer the SAT, ACT, or both to their students at no charge during the school year. In addition to satisfying a college application requirement, the availability of this test can be an integral part of developing a college-going culture while satisfying college application requirements. And while test registrations are now back up to levels prior to March 2020, we have learned that these school day test administrations can be more reliable. While weekend national test administrations were cancelled during the height of the pandemic, school day test days persisted.
A school day test is typically administered during the spring of the junior year, normally in March or April, a timeframe that can benefit students who start their testing in the fall of 11th grade as well as those who wait until the spring of 11th grade to begin SAT/ACT testing as well as providing a ‘last chance’ for a senior seeking a certain score in order to secure a scholarship award.
Applerouth’s research concluded that in order to achieve their highest possible score, students should plan to sit for three official tests. Incorporating these school day tests into your students’ testing plans is an easy way to attain a free official test (AND avoid the sacred time of a Saturday morning)! Jenna Berk, Tutor Services Manager and IEC Account Manager for Greater Washington DC reminds us that “Tests can be stressful and throw you off your game, so having at least one test that is guaranteed to be held in your school (a place that should be familiar and comfortable) can help you with an extra confidence boost.”
We heard in our recent survey that an outgrowth of the pandemic is families’ increased comfort working online, so IECs are increasingly serving students across the country (and world), yet if you initially built your practice locally, you may not be as familiar with assorted states’ school day testing calendars. For your convenience, Applerouth’s IEC Engagement Team put together the below information on the 29 states and the District of Columbia who offer state-contracted 11th grade SAT/ACTs to help you help your students plan to make the most of an 11th grade school day test:
|District of Columbia||SAT|
|Idaho||Either SAT or ACT; determined by district|
|Minnesota||Either SAT or ACT; determined by district|
|Ohio||*Either SAT or ACT; determined by district|
|Oklahoma||*Either SAT or ACT; determined by district|
|South Carolina||Both SAT and ACT offered; determined by district|
|Tennessee||*Either SAT or ACT; determined by district|
|* Outside of exempted students, this test (or other state-approved test) is required for high school graduation.|
Please bear in mind that this information is always subject to change, but as of July 2021, the ACT leads with fourteen state contracts compared with the College Board’s 9. You may also want to look to your students’ local districts for opportunities as well. For example, while Georgia does not have a state-wide school day test day, Atlanta Public Schools do.
Both tests typically offer several testing windows to states and districts to select for standard testing in addition to sets of dates for accommodations as well as make up dates. Starting in the spring of 2022, the ACT plans to offer both paper and online versions of the test as part of its school day administrations. The exact dates for a particular school are generally available via the school district by late fall.