The College Solutions Blog

Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.

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September 8, 2014

Is There An Easier SAT Testing Date?

Today’s college blog post was written by Bruce Reed, a principal at Compass Education Group, a popular test-prep firm in California. In the past, Reed explores whether students can gain an edge by strategically picking their SAT testing dates. This is the last in a series of expert posts about ACT and SAT scoring. You’ll find links to the other...
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December 4, 2013

What’s New With the SAT

Hi everyone – I will be launching a six-week, online course called Cutting the Cost of College beginning Feb. 12. Please scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn more and email me at if you want further notifications! Lynn O’Shaughnessy The College Board is delaying the roll out of its new SAT test. The launch of...
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August 21, 2013

ACT Test Results for the Class of 2013

According to the just released ACT scorecard for 2013 high school graduates, the composite ACT score has  dropped to its lowest level in five years. The latest composite ACT score is 20.9. That represents a .2 point drop from last year’s scores. The highest ACT score possible is a 36. Scores declined for all four tested areas – English, Reading,...
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June 17, 2013

Colleges and Universities That are Test-Optional

I don’t have to tell you that one of the biggest stresses of the entire college process is the standardized testing. The prospects of taking the SAT and/or ACT is daunting, particularly since so much can ride on the results. I wasn’t happy about the amount of time and money spent in my house on these tests for my own...
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June 5, 2013

Should You Take the ACT or SAT?

Should  you take the SAT or ACT? This is a question that has puzzled millions of teenagers. Today I’m sharing test-selection advice from Adam Ingersoll, a co-founder of Compass Education Group, which is a large test-prep firm in Southern California. I wrote about his predictions regarding the SAT changes to come in this recent blog post: Predictions About the New...
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May 31, 2013

Predictions About the New SAT Test

How much do you know about the ACT and SAT? I thought I knew a lot, but I learned more when I attended an illuminating session on standardized testing at the recent annual conference of the Western Association of College Admission Counseling. I’m sharing some of the presentation that was put together by Adam Ingersoll, who is co-founder of Compass...
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April 17, 2013

College Admission Heartbreak and Reality

One way that I try to keep up with what’s happening in the higher-ed world is to belong to some LinkedIn Groups including one called College Counseling for the Rest of Us. Last week Michael Szarek, the group’s founder, who is an assistant vice president at Felician College and a college consultant in New Jersey, started a discussion by throwing...
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February 18, 2013

Is There a Perfect Date to Take the ACT or SAT?

A couple of years ago I listened in on a webinar about SAT strategies that really impressed me. The guest speaker was Jeb Applerouth, who runs an eponymous test-prep firm that’s headquartered in Atlanta. Since the webinar, I occasionally visit Applerouth’s blog to see what he’s been writing about standardized testing. Jeb gave me permission to share the following blog...
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October 8, 2012

Study for the SAT for Free

Believe it or not,  students do not have to pay a fortune to prepare for the SAT. Enrolling teenagers in a $1,000 or $2,000 program isn’t going to work if they aren’t motivated enough to study. Just using the resources that the College Board makes available for free and/or for a incredibly cheap price, can be all a teenager needs....
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September 26, 2012

Disappointing SAT Test Scores — Again

The College Board released its latest SAT score results this week and the results are once again disappointing. The average score for the reading portion of the SAT is at its lowest level in four decades. The high school seniors in the class of 2012 earned an average reading score of 496 out of a maximum of 800. That represents...
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