Jan 27, 2016 | Academic, Informational

Each year in January, The Bay Area Tutoring Centers proctors about one hundred practice ACT tests at Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA. Shortly thereafter, we return the tests and present information about the test itself, content, scoring, etc., some quick strategies to improve scores, and some basic information about what we at the Tutoring Center do.

This year is a unique year as there have been a few changes to the ACT test in 2015 and the SAT has been completely redesigned as of March 2016. In preparing for our presentation at Monte Vista this week, we have been putting together a packet of information we think will be helpful to families as they make the decision about which test to take. For obvious reasons, this year the packet grew and grew to the point of being unwieldy and, we thought, perhaps unmanageable.

In order to make the process of wading through endless streams of information more streamlined, we have decided to include in our handouts only the most essential pieces of data. But because we also have found so much additional interesting and helpful material, we are providing links here to the pieces we thought our families might be able to make use of.

First, any time the discussion of standardized test taking turns to one of anxiety and stress, we like to remind parents that there is an alternative to the standardized test process. There are several reputable, selective colleges that have decided to make the SAT and ACT optional portions of the application. Here is a link to those colleges:


Along the same line, we frequently have discussions with families about which schools super score, so here is the link to that list:


For the many of you wondering if the new SAT might be right for you, here is the New York Times article that lays out, as the title suggests, everything you need to know:


And finally, for those of you that have taken the PSAT and are wondering what the score means to your possible SAT or ACT scores, here is the Washington Post article, which addresses the inflation of PSAT scores and the timing, among other things:


We hope you find these links helpful. We will continue to post links to our website as new information becomes available. Some of us are parents ourselves, and all of us work with these students who are earnestly aiming toward the college experience. Know that we are here fighting alongside you, not for one test or another, for one score or another, but for the test, the score, the college, that is right for your family.