The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that it will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year. The SAT will replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment as the high school state and federal accountability exam in Illinois. Both the SAT and PARCC tests align with the Illinois Learning Standards, but the SAT provides a college-reportable score for admissions purposes.
Illinois students have traditionally taken the ACT college entrance exam. However, when deciding which testing company to use, ISBE found that the SAT is more closely aligned with state learning standards and will cost less to administer statewide. The SAT also offers more help and learning services to students. For more information on the SAT and where to find help, click here.
The decision was heavily influenced by the listening tour ISBE conducted, feedback from school districts, and the state’s current budget climate.
The listening tour and school administrators found overwhelmingly that equitable access to a quality college entrance exam was essential in providing future opportunities to all students. They also stressed that the amount of testing time and the number of assessments administered to students need to be reduced. By providing the SAT for free to all juniors during the school day, instead of PARCC, the state can eliminate redundancy and maximize the value of student testing time.
Students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment. PARCC results will continue to provide educators with data that may be used to provide individualized support to students while preparing them for their educational future.