College Board’s new SAT came with different criteria, inflated scores, and confrontation with ACT leadership.

When a student takes both the SAT and ACT, they often use something called a concordance table to decide which test score will look more appealing to colleges. This concordance table does not include a direct comparison between the newly structured SAT and the ACT.

However, the SAT recently came out with a new concordance table — only without the ACT included. Instead, the tabled provides an old SAT score equivalent to the new SAT score. In response, ACT said this in a statement:

“ACT believes it is important for students and colleges to be aware of the limitations of the SAT score converter when it comes to comparing new SAT scores to old SAT scores and new SAT scores to ACT scores, as using the concordance could lead to incorrect admission decisions. Until a complete concordance study can be conducted with involvement of and cooperation between both organizations, such concordance tables should be viewed as suspect.”

They went on to respond to a couple of claims College Board made in regards to the concordance tables:

“In addition, ACT takes exception to two statements made in the College Board’s response:  First, Buckley claimed that the College Board’s approach to developing concordance exceeds industry standards. That is not the case. It certainly did not meet testing industry standards, such as The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Second, Buckley claimed that the College Board reached out to ACT several months ago to express their interest in conducting a new SAT-ACT concordance study. We are not aware of any such outreach.”

So what can a high school student learn from this? Understand that the current concordance table available is far from perfect. Try to find data outside of just a concordance table to make your decision about what scores to send in. Most importantly, prepare well for your standardized tests so deciding which one to use creates as little stress as possible.

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