Montgomery County Public School students have two opportunities to take the official SAT in March thanks to MCPS’s implementation of a 2013 Maryland law.
Students considering an SAT test track this spring should take advantage of this opportunity to get twice the testing with just one course of SAT prep. Students on an ACT track can also take advantage of the opportunity, but in a different way.
Defining College Readiness
Let’s back up to 2013. Maryland state leaders wanted to increase the competitiveness of Maryland’s graduating students, so the College Readiness and Completion Act of 2013 was enacted, which mandated several measures to increase the preparedness of Maryland students and measure the results.
Lawmakers intended to prevent students from reaching graduation without the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in post-secondary education and employment scenarios. Specifically, they wanted to reduce the number of students who enrolled in remedial classes in college because they were not prepared in high school.
One of these measures says that the students must demonstrate college readiness before graduating (and if they did not, they would be placed in a senior year course-track to help remediate this). The law left the implementation of that demonstration up to the local school systems. Scores from the MCAPs, SAT, ACT, AP, Accuplacer, and other measures can all be used to meet this college readiness requirement for graduation.
What’s the Benefit for Montgomery County Public School Students?
To provide more students an opportunity to use the SAT or ACT to meet the CCR, the district started SAT School Day for the 2018-2019 school year. With the success of the inaugural year, this year’s SAT School Day offers MCPS 11th graders the opportunity to take a free SAT in school on Wednesday March 25, 2020, during the school day. This is an actual SAT from the College Board and will count equally with tests administered on national testing days. Maryland is one of many states that offers the SAT School Day, with more than 960,000 students taking part nationwide in 2019.
Besides a free test, how can this benefit MCPS juniors? We think it can help a lot for these reasons:
What about the ACT?
We are strong advocates that students should take the test that is the best fit for their skills, knowledge, and strengths. So if you are on the ACT track, MCPS has you covered, albeit in a slightly less advantageous manner. MCPS students who opt not to take the in school SAT can receive a voucher for the cost of a national administration of the ACT on the April or June 2020 test dates. It is up to student to then register for one of these tests (April’s registration deadline is February 28) and attend the Saturday administration. The voucher will save you $50.50, which we would recommend you use to retake the test a second time later in June or July.
Students who opt not to take the SAT or ACT through the SAT School Day program also have the option to take an ACCUPLACER exam on the school test day. The ACCUPLACER is used by many community colleges, such as Montgomery College, and other institutions to assess applicants for admissions and to place students in the correct course level for first-year courses.
Get Prepared to Double Your SAT Prep in March
Everest offers a small-group class and private one-on-one prep for the SAT. Our small group class preparing for the March SAT begins February 9 and will provide students with all the skills and knowledge they need to maximize their performance on the two March exams. Contact us today to see which option is right for you.
Free SAT/ACT Diagnostic Test Set
Not sure if the SAT is the right test for you this spring? Everest is also offering a free SAT/ACT diagnostic test set in February. The test set offer for high school juniors includes a follow-up consultation covering the student's strengths and weaknesses and which test would be best for the student to take in the spring or early summer. The diagnostic test dates are February 22 and 29 from 9:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at our center in the Kentlands and consultations will be scheduled at your convenience shortly thereafter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seats.