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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

SAT: A Note of Appreciation

Standardized testing most certainly makes the top 100 list of divisive issues these days, so it is indeed a challenge to take a perspective that appropriately includes and validates our audience’s range of opinions and experiences. Just look at College Board’s twitter page, namely, the comments below their celebratory tweet, and you will see what I mean.

All that said, we focus today on celebrating the success of our school partners, who worked hard to create safe, testing opportunities for students this past weekend for SAT test-takers. While College Board has not yet released stats on the SAT administered last weekend, many of our school partners successfully administered the SAT. The late registration deadline for the September SAT is coming up on 9/15. We messaged before the operational burden that administering a standardized test places on school administration. With current safety protocols, that burden is far greater.

We are grateful to these schools and their staff for their commitment to offering access and opportunity for students. We are also appreciative of our students’ and families’ patience, persistence, and resilience. We hope that the key learnings you generated help others find practical solutions for what—invariably—will be a school year in which we all will need to find many practical solutions to a number of challenges.

PSAT Update

Due to the challenges of accessing testing, the National Merit Scholarship Foundation has followed the lead of most colleges and universities and is not requiring a confirming ACT or SAT score for current seniors hoping to become finalists. Students can learn more about the requirements here. In addition, the cutoff scores have appeared online for semifinalist status. In all 50 states, the cutoff was lower this year than last (unsurprising, since the cutoff for commended status dropped from 212 to 209). Illinois’ cutoff dropped from 221 to 219; New York’s from 221 to 220.

Students who qualified for semifinalist status may not hear about their status until mid-September.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

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