I was a first-generation college student. I was also a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. In both my personal and professional lives, I’ve seen how inequitable access to academic resources and opportunities can create gaps for students.

Throughout my career, I’ve made it a priority to help close those gaps. 

One of the most powerful tools at my disposal was the SAT® Suite of Assessments. As principal of George Fowler High School in Syracuse, NY, I used the SAT Suite to boost student achievement. Score reports from the suite’s assessments let us know where students needed more support, allowing us to adjust our curriculum and accelerate learning in specific areas. 

Starting with the PSAT™ 8/9, the SAT Suite—which also includes the PSAT™ 10, the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), and the SAT—helps students and educators identify academic strengths and opportunities early in high school, when there’s still time to improve. These assessments also help students in high schools across the country that vary in size, resources, and relationships with colleges show what they know and can do, so they’re seen by colleges that could be a great fit for them. 

The tests connect students to scholarships and provide college and career planning information to support student success in high school and beyond. Schools that administer the SAT Suite also have access to AP Potential™, a dynamic tool designed to help identify students who are ready for AP®, helping to expand access to the rich learning and college credit opportunities the AP Program provides.   

The SAT Suite in Action 

Spring Branch ISD, located in the greater Houston area, is committed to providing students with access to postsecondary pathways. The district offers the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT to all students in grades 8–11, as well as SAT School Day. Since so many of the district’s students participate, educators benefit from the insights they get from score reports showing student progress over time across assessments.  

Dr. Jennifer Blaine, Spring Branch ISD Superintendent of Schools

“The assessment scores reflect not only our students’ hard work and dedication but also our teachers and administrators who actively provide our students with the resources to help them succeed. They work very hard to ensure our students reach their full potential.” – Dr. Jennifer Blaine, SBISD Superintendent of Schools

New Digital Format  

Beginning with the fall 2023 PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 administrations, the SAT Suite is moving to a digital format. The digital assessments are easier for students to take and easier for educators to give—all while staying on the same score scale, measuring the same knowledge and skills that matter most to college and career success, and providing rich reporting and insights for educators and students. 

This shift allows us to enhance the resources that come along with the SAT Suite to make the tests more relevant for more students, schools, and districts. Whether a student is pursuing a two- or four-year college degree, skills training programs, or exploring career options, the tests have value for them. 

In addition to in-depth college planning guidance, we’re expanding students’ ability to connect with career opportunities. With a rapidly changing workforce, it can be challenging for students to understand potential career options. Starting in fall 2023, students taking the PSAT/NMSQT will get relevant insights on their score reports, including state-specific information about in-demand careers and earning potential. In spring 2024, students taking any SAT Suite assessment will get even more personalized information about relevant, in-demand careers and pathways to them based on their interests and skills. This career guidance is being developed using insights from the SAT Suite mapped to corresponding knowledge, skills, and abilities for occupations in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database—the nation’s primary source of up-to-date job information.  

All students will continue to have the opportunity for deeper career exploration on BigFuture®, a free, comprehensive set of digital resources that helps students take the right first step after high school. In partnership with  Jobs for the Future, Lightcast, HumRRO, Opportunity@Work, and others, we’re excited to offer students the ability to identify careers that match their interests and skills, explore career options they may not have considered, and evaluate a wide range of educational opportunities after high school that may help them prepare for their desired careers.  

All students deserve a big future, and the SAT Suite of Assessments can help connect them to it. To learn more, visit sat.org/suitebenefits

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About the Author

Greg Walker is the Senior Vice President, State and District Partnerships, for College Board. As a former teacher, elementary and high school principal, and assistant superintendent, Greg is passionate about ensuring every student has access to the courses, scholarships, and opportunities that empower them to succeed in college and career.

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