Hayes makes switch from ACT to SAT for juniors


Isa Quilter

This spring, Hayes will proctor the SAT for all juniors after giving the ACT over the past several years.

Elizabeth Atanosian, Staff Writer

Around the end of last school year, Delaware Hayes High School began preparing their students for the switch from the ACT to the SAT.
Many reasons go into the test change, but the main factor that caused the switch was the ability to line up the data with other College Board assessments.
“Basically, the reason that we moved to the SAT is it really was kind of data driven,” college and career counselor Jennifer Pollard said.
The school gives the PSAT, AP tests, the Accuplacer for College Credit Plus classes and the Workeys assessment for students at the Delaware Area Career Center. All of these are College Board assessments.
According to College Board, SAT results provide feedback across assessments in order to help students stay on course and teachers adjust their instruction for students who are either ahead or behind.
The SAT provides the necessary information to predict how well students will perform in certain classes and on other tests.
“It also helps us appropriately place students in AP courses,” Pollard said. “Once we get the SAT data back, it tells us which students have potential for taking AP and as we move to graduation requirements.”
The SAT also plays a fairly large role in attaining certain achievements for graduation.
“It’s also part of the college ready seals, citizenship science, honors diploma and technology seals,” Pollard said. “That is kind of the main rationale for doing it.”
Other districts such as Dublin, Hillard and Westerville have also switched to the SAT and Pollard said they are seeing improvements in test scores.
“Since they’ve switched to SAT, they’re actually seeing improvement in testing scores,” Pollard said. “If you think about it, it’s basically your English, your reading and then also your math. So now that the science section is eliminated, it’s one less subject that you have to focus on.”
Students can still take the ACT on their own, however, it is up to them to pay the fee in order to take the test as the school is only allowed to provide one free assessment, which they have chosen to be the SAT.
“I typically do encourage them to take both [tests],” Pollard said.
Senior Kailyn Smith took the ACT when the school was still providing it, but decided to take the SAT as well in order to see if she would test better on that.
“You don’t really know if you would be better on one or the other,” Smith said. “I personally scored better on my ACT than my SAT, and I’m glad I took both because I might have gone with the test I’m weaker in otherwise.”
Throughout high school, it is often thought that colleges favor either the ACT or SAT more depending on geographic location, however this is not the case.
“Colleges don’t have a preference on which assessment you’re using,” Pollard said. “We also kind of have to keep Covid in light right now…colleges have actually been waiving the testing requirements.”
Students are usually told to submit whichever test they scored higher on as part of their college application, in order to show admissions offices what they are capable of.
“I had a pretty decent score on my ACT, so I submitted them to colleges,” Smith said. “Also, at the time that I took them, there was no guarantee that it would be test optional for my class, so I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.”
The school helps to give students opportunities in order to better prepare themselves and study for these tests such as workshops to attend, including a test prep workshop hosted by former teacher Dan Morrison.
“Typically, [Morrison] is an ACT kind of guru,” Pollard said. “But because he knew we’re moving to the SAT, he’s been developing a whole new SAT workshop for us.”
Even though students are provided with a variety of study tools, some find that they do better studying on their own.
“I think I spent a few hours each studying for each test the first time,” Smith said. “I didn’t really know what to expect so I was largely relying on my prior knowledge. I didn’t do any workshops. Your score depends on luck a lot more than you think.”