As Students Face Uncertainty about the New SAT®, Kaplan Test Prep Reports Its ACT® Business Has Surged by More Than Half

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With one month to go before the debut of a redesigned SAT, Kaplan Test
Prep is reporting that its business for students prepping for this
weekend’s ACT has jumped more than 50%, as many students opt to hedge
their bets by prepping for both tests. In a November survey of parents
of college applicants, 43% reported that their child plans to take both
admissions tests, and in a 2012 survey of college admissions officers,
18% reported an advantage to applicants’ submitting scores from both

“Given the uncertainty that comes with a new test, we’ve seen a
noticeable increase in students prepping for both the ACT and the SAT
this year,” said Lee Weiss, Vice President, College Admissions Programs
at Kaplan Test Prep. “Some of the changes in the new SAT that make the
test more student-friendly reflect existing elements of the ACT, such as
no wrong answer penalty, an optional essay, and removal of obscure
vocabulary. By the same token, many students may find the increased
rigor of the new SAT more challenging, as it includes multi-step word
and math problems, greater integration of data and reading, and greater
focus on analysis and interpretation. It’s not surprising that students
aren’t sure how they’ll do on the new test and are covering their bases.”

Among the changes coming to the March 5 SAT:

  • Administration: the scoring scale has reverted from its 2400
    point scale to its pre-2005 1600 point scale, calculator use is now
    restricted, and the ¼ point wrong answer penalty has been eliminated.
  • Structure: the sections are longer, with fewer breaks — no
    sections of the old SAT were longer than 25 minutes, while the new SAT
    includes a 65 minute Reading section and a 55 minute Math section. The
    essay is now twice as long, but optional. And the new test has only
    four answer choices instead of five.
  • Approach: the old SAT focused on testing students’ knowledge,
    while the new SAT focuses on students’ ability to analyze information,
    integrate data from multiple sources, and solve multi-step problems.

“The way students are tested will be fundamentally different on the new
SAT, but our advice to students about whether they should take the SAT
or the ACT remains the same,” said Weiss. “Take practice tests for both
and decide which you’re more comfortable with. All colleges accept both
tests, so each student should make his or her own decision based on
personal preference and strategy.”

To schedule an interview with a Kaplan Test Prep expert on the SAT
changes and how students can best prepare for the tests, contact Russell
Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or

SAT® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board,
which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this
product. ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc,
which was
not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (
is a premier provider of educational and career services for
individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the
world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of
online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital
products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests,
including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate
school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys,
physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and
graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates
new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide
immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job
market and prepare participants for hire.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings
Company (NYSE: GHC)


Kaplan Test Prep
Russell Schaffer, 212-453-7538