Yukon Public Schools switches to SAT from ACT

Yukon Public Schools has made the decision to switch from an ACT-based curriculum to an SAT-based curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year.

“We made the decision because we felt like it was the best thing to do for our students moving forward,” Yukon Public Schools superintendent Jason Simeroth said. “Advanced placement (AP) classes are tied to the College Boards and the College Boards are tied to the SAT test, so we felt like this was the right move.”

Most of the public school systems in the state, including Yukon Public Schools have used the ACT-based curriculum for multiple decades but with the ACT, the preparation doesn’t begin as early as the SAT.

With the ACT, students did not begin preparing for the text until they were in 10th grade. Each student would take a practice ACT examination in 10th grade and 11th grade and then go on to take the real exam.

In the SAT format, students begin practice testing in the eighth grade, then they take an introduction class as ninth graders to help prepare them for their second practice test, which takes place as a 10th grader before taking the actual SAT test as juniors.

Simeroth said on top of preparing them for the actual SAT test, there is another benefit of students taking their first PSAT test in eighth grade.

“It allows the students and their parents to better understand and guide them on advanced placement classes going into high school,” Simeroth said.

One of the common perceptions regarding the ACT versus the SAT is that colleges in this area of the country only accept ACT scores.

Simeroth said that is far from the truth.

“That is an urban myth,” Simeroth said. “All of the colleges in the state of Oklahoma accept both the ACT and SAT. I think both are functional and both are good tests. I actually recommend parents having their children take both the ACT and SAT. We just believe the SAT provides better resources for our students.”

Here are some of the benefits the SAT will provide versus what the ACT provides:

-Provides word-to-word dictionary, separate location is optional and paper instructions in native language

-Extended time, computer use on essays, reading and seeing accommodations and four-function calculator

-Individually awarded scholarships through college and scholarship partners

-Four free exams

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