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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

Next Steps Blog


College Counseling 101: Standardized Testing for the Class of 2017

We realize choosing which standardized test to take may feel overwhelming, particularly for the Class of 2017. We promise that colleges are open to both the ACT and SAT tests and colleges know that this is a year when students may be taking a new exam. The exam is new to the colleges, as well!

We assure you, there is no one correct answer regarding which test to take.
  • If you want something familiar for which you can prep, take the ACT in April for the first time.
  • If after taking the PSAT your student feels the redesigned SAT may be the better test for them, we recommend planning to take the SAT in March or May (both sets of scores will be returned in June) without any prep. If a student would like to do some form of prep for the SAT, we recommend beginning in the summer, in advance of the October SAT. By summer 2016, test prep publishers and professionals will have accurate information about the exam.
  • Please remember: most students take the SAT or ACT exam more than once.
  • As some of you may have heard, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free online SAT prep materials. Right now this is the only SAT prep that accurately reflects the content and format of the new SAT. In advance of an actual administration of the new SAT it is impossible to determine the value of the Khan Academy material.

Again, there is no single testing path that will meet the needs of every student. We are here to provide guidance and advice for what is ultimately a personal family decision.

Posted by lgersick on Thursday December, 17, 2015 at 11:25AM


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Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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