Testing should not be confused with educating. We in the Ramaz College Office believe that the primary duty of a student is to educate himself or herself. The high school years should be a time to acquire both skills and knowledge that will serve a student well during college, graduate school, and life. Studying for the SAT or the ACT, with or without the help of a tutor or course, should never take precedence over studying for the high school courses that will form the core of a solid, broad-based education.
There is no question that high standardized test scores (with the SAT or ACT more closely considered than SAT Subject Tests) are an important factor in admission to competitive colleges today. However, grades earned in a challenging program over the course of an entire high school career more accurately reflect the work and learning that a student has achieved throughout high school. Fortunately or unfortunately, high standardized test scores will not compensate for poor grades or a flat program in college admissions. In fact, particularly high scores in conjunction with low grades are a red flag for colleges. Admissions committees would much prefer to see a consistent and hard-working profile than very high potential (as indicated by high scores) that has not yet been fulfilled. Most private colleges will consider grades more strongly than scores, provided that a student's standardized test scores meet that college's testing profile.
Differences between SAT and ACT:
In March, 2016, the College Board released a new version of the SAT. The "New SAT" is more closely aligned with Common Core State Standards than the prior version, and is therefore more similar to the ACT than the prior SAT was.
Please see the following pages for more information about each test.