Michigan drops the ACT


Although lots of time and money have been invested into the ACT, the SAT is a respectable exam and a compatible replacement (Photo Credit: Zaynah Siddique).

As you’ve probably heard by now, starting in the spring of 2016 the College Board will offer Michigan high school juniors the SAT rather than the ACT as their free, state-required college entrance exam. The state announced in January that it was awarding the College Board a $17.1 million contract for three years to have the SAT offered to Michigan juniors instead of the ACT. Obviously the change has its  pros and cons.

On the downside, it is a big change for current sophomores. “I’m really upset about the change because it affects our class first,” said sophomore Rochelle Chezik.

Moreover, schools will have to redirect their college entrance exam preparation toward the SAT. Many schools that have already spent thousands of dollars in ACT-prep materials and training for their students and staff, will now have to change their methods and shift gears for the SAT. While there are some fundamentals that are common among the two standardized tests, the ACT and SAT use quite different test-taking techniques.

“I think it’s not fair that the ACT is getting removed because some people feel more comfortable with the ACT,” said junior Blair Cha. “The ACT is a very valid test and thousands of students have taken it in the past.”

On the plus side, however, since Michigan colleges already accept and use the SAT for admissions, there will not be a big change in application processes. In fact, according to michigan.gov, 60,000 SAT scores were sent to universities in Michigan in 2014, and nearly 40 percent of the test scores sent to the University of Michigan were the SAT. Yet, students who already have taken the ACT and current high school juniors can still use their ACT score for college applications.

“I’m happy that the SAT is going to be used because the ACT just seems too stressful,” said sophomore Saveri Nandigama. “And the SAT is going to be redesigned so it will be a nice change.”