ACT to be replaced by SAT


In December, Illinois decided to switch its funding of the ACT college entrance exam and fund the SAT for high school juniors instead.

The ACT and SAT come with some differences, but the tests also have similarities.

“The SAT is more about what you can do as a learner,” Kylie Gregor, RBHS Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction said. “The ACT tries to sort through people, but the SAT is more about giving a fair assessment of what a student can do.”

There are also academic differences in the tests. The SAT has a bigger emphasis on vocabulary and covers less math content. The ACT has four sections to the test, while the SAT has two.

The SAT that will be given to students is the newest version of the test. It no longer penalizes students for guessing. For the math portion, there’s a calculator and a non-calculator portion of the math section of the test.

Students will still have the option to take the ACT even though the state has decided to switch to the SAT.

“The SAT is a free test, and if you can use it for college admission, we want students to do well on it,” RBHS principal Kristin Smetana said. “We know students will still continue to take the ACT too.”

The administration is still uncertain when RB students will switch over to the SAT.

“At this point, we don’t have a concrete plan because the state funding hasn’t come through yet, and until the state passes a budget, we don’t know when the SAT will be given to students,” Smetana said. “People think that it could still possibly be given this year, and other people think that it won’t be given until next year.”

There is some concern to switching the ACT with the SAT due to college admissions.

“I think it’s a big shift for the state to switch to the SAT since most midwest colleges take an ACT as their typical preferred test, but I think colleges will have to make a shift and accept the SAT.”

There is also a concern with ACT prep class criteria.

“We’ll have to look at CAP classes and decide whether or not do test prep for the ACT and the SAT. We’ll have to incorporate the SAT in some capacity,” Smetana said.