Impact of SAT changes for students

GREEN BAY – Whether it’s the SAT or its competitor, the ACT, test taking is part of most college prep.

And changes to the SAT mean students and parents will need to take a closer look at school requirements.

“Depending on which school they’re looking at again, so the students will have to be more critical when they’re looking at schools and decide if they need to take that essay portion or not,” said Stephen Miller, Green Bay Area Public School District.

Green Bay public school officials say the changes to the SAT have put it more in line with what the ACT has already been doing. And they say most students opt for the ACT.

Here's a look at how the numbers compare nationwide.
Here’s a look at how the numbers compare nationwide.

“We have a little over 700 students annually who take the ACT, and around 40 districtwide who take the SAT every year,” said Miller.

Area education officials we spoke with do not see that trend changing.

“The ACT test is one that was born and bred in Iowa, so it’s a Midwest born and bred test. Your SATs are going to be far more common on the East and West Coasts,” said Jill Endries, UW-Oshkosh director of admissions.

All UW System schools require ACT or SAT score results.

UW-Oshkosh officials focus on standardized test scores because they offer a hard and fast number. But it’s just a snippet of the overall admissions process. Officials also consider factors such as GPA and class rank.

“The more different measurements that we have the better we can assess that student’s ability to be successful in college,” said Endries.

At Lawrence University, prospective students may submit SAT or ACT score results. But they’re not required.

“Everything we really need to know about a student’s capacity for being successful at Lawrence is embedded in the academic record, strength of curriculum, how well students have pushed themselves,” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence University dean of admissions.

Other area colleges such as St. Norbert in De Pere and Ripon College also require ACT or SAT results.

The SAT revamp may mean school districts will have to spend big bucks on new test prep materials.

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