SAT and ACT Danger

act sat test-optional Sep 15, 2023

Earlier in the week, a client said "Danger, Will Robinson!" to me, evoking a popular show people our age grew up with, Lost in Space.

That was a black and white adventure series about a family of space travelers, who bounced around from planet to planet, adventure to adventure, always trying to find their way home, but never quite getting there.

Reminds me a lot of how college planning works, including standardized testing. 

Parents (and kids) bounce around all over the place, getting conflicting, "adventurous" thoughts and advice form other parents, kids, guidance counselors, maybe even (artificial intelligence) robots about standardized testing, like:

  • Don't take either the SAT or ACT, colleges don't need them
  • Don't submit your scores
  • You have to submit your scores if you're not a minority applicant
  • You have to submit your scores if you want to get scholarships
  • The SAT is better for kids good at math
  • If you're bad at science, don't take the ACT
  • Study for both the SAT and...
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It's Here

ACT and SAT Group Tutoring

Coupon Code: PREVIEW23

BREAKING -- the Common Application is out today!  

I haven't been this excited since the new phone books arrived (bonus points if you got the movie reference).

Putting my giddiness aside, today's the day when Class of 2024 college-bound kiddos can get a clickin' and a clackin' on their little computers and officially start the college application process.  Some thoughts:

  • There's no race.  Even for rolling admissions colleges.   
  • However, there's no need to wait until hours before deadline to start your applications.  These easily avoidable faux emergencies occur in November and December.  Today's August 1, but those deadlines will sneak up on thousands. Maybe even some of my readers (not you of course :)
  • Generally, the Common App is straight forward. The parts that require some thought and strategy are 1. the personal statement, 2. supplemental essays and 3. the Activities Section.  Work...
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New: SAT v ACT Webinar

Registrants for tonight's live Q&A sesh on the SAT and ACT have already pre-submitted some good questions, among them:

How do I figure out which test my daughter should take?

Is the SAT or ACT better for a kid who Is stronger in math?

My son is not good at science.  Should he avoid the ACT?

Why can't she get a good score on the SAT, her grades in school are much higher!

There's more, much more.  If you have these or other questions about the SAT or ACT, consider this an official invitation from moi to you to attend tonight's live webinar.  

You don't have to bring anything. But if you're stressed out, feel free to mix yourself a nice summer cocktail.  We don't judge.

Here's where to sign up, please spread the word if you have friends who need this info.



Carpe College!

- Andy Lockwood

P.S.  Our classes and tutoring options are listed on our site,

But don't sign up for anything now,...

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Why Take the SAT if Colleges Are Test-Optional?

Why should you take the SAT or ACT if colleges are test-optional?

If you don't submit your SAT or ACT, how do admissions officers decide whether to accept or reject?

Should you submit your scores to some colleges but not others?

Do some colleges prefer one over the other (SAT v ACT)?

How do you know "Which Test is Best"...for your son or daughter?

Is it ok to sing a sad song with an upbeat tempo?

These (except one) are just some of the near-daily questions our head tutor, Marissa U and I get here at our college advisory firm.  This is just tip tippity-top of the iceberg, too.

That's why we're doing a live and unplugged open (and free) webinar tomorrow night, Monday July 31, where you can get these and your other questions answered, time permitting.

Here's how it works:

  1. Sign up (click that large blue button, below)
  2. Answer the 1-question survey about your "burning question" that you want answered (optional)
  3. Show up Monday night (you'll get the link once you sign up)


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Should I take both the SAT and ACT?

We normally start our students off with a diagnostic test, so we can assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend one test over the other.  About half of the students show a propensity for one test over the other, while the other half does equally well on both the SAT and ACT.  For the majority of students, it’s best to choose a single  test, focus all of their energy into that test, and stick with that test.  


There are several benefits to focusing on a single test.  It is better to focus on a single test and become an absolute expert in it. Mastering one test alone is far easier than splitting your attention between two different exams, with different pacing, different question types, and even different topics!  It is also a lot less stressful to study for a single test.


While it can be very rewarding, studying for the SAT or ACT is intensive, exhausting, and time consuming.  Adding a second test into...

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