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Colorado School-day SAT

On Wednesday, April 12th, 2023, Colorado public schools will provide a school-day SAT. This post is part 2 in a 2 part series covering the school-day SAT. This post will focus on this history and background of school-day testing. Part 1 focuses on what students need to know regarding why and how to take the test, which you can read here.

Why Is There a School-day SAT?

The school-day SAT serves three main functions for students: expanding access, increasing comfort, and building confidence. Taking the SAT in school during the school day provides students an opportunity to take the test without having to juggle weekend responsibilities or find transportation to a testing center. Additionally, income-eligible students receive SAT fee waivers, unlimited free SAT score sends, and college application fee waivers. 

Taking the test in a familiar setting surrounded by other students they know can increase comfort during the test for the students. Additionally, the three-year SAT Suite of Assessments builds confidence as students get to take the same type of test three times. You can read more about why the College Board does this here>.

What Do Schools Learn from the School-day SAT?

The results of the school-day test are used to generate a long report detailing scores and benchmark attainment both on average and across demographic subgroups. These subgroups include gender, ethnicity, and family income. Having all students at a school take the SAT on the same day ensures that all students’ tests are graded on the same score scale, so all of the students’ scores are comparable for analysis. To learn more about how scoring works on these tests, check out these excellent mindfish blogs:

How Are the SAT and ACT Scored?

Why Different Test Dates Have Different Scales

The report also includes intended college majors and how well students who reported each intended major met benchmarks on the test. This provides helpful metrics, such as how well students who want to go into engineering are doing with math or how future English majors are doing with reading. 

There is also a list of the most common colleges that receive SAT scores from the school-day SAT. This provides information on which colleges are most popular among current students and may encourage high schools to build connections with those colleges. 

This information is released both statewide in PDF format and by district in an extensive Excel sheet. 

Here is the 2022 report 

Do Other States Have a School-day SAT? 

Some other states also have school-day SATs, though not all states do. Additionally, the dates for the school-day SAT vary by state. You can read more about other states that offer school-day SATs here.

When Did Colorado Adopt the School-day SAT?

Colorado has been administering a school-day standardized test since 2001. However, Colorado switched from the ACT to the SAT in 2017, so Colorado has been administering an annual school-day SAT since 2017. Colorado 10th graders began taking the PSAT 10 in 2016, and Colorado 9th graders began taking the PSAT 8/9 in 2018. 

Why Did Colorado Switch from ACT to SAT?

In 2015, Colorado decided to switch from the ACT to the SAT to better match the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) academic standards, which you can read about here. The SAT test topics are aligned with common core standards for English and math, which are included in the CDE’s academic standards. There are a few other reasons the CDE decided to switch tests as well.  The SAT has fee waivers, making the test accessible to a wider range of students. Additionally, the SAT is globally recognized and College Board, the company that runs the SAT, signed the Student Privacy Pledge, an agreement designed to protect students’ data. Additional reasons Colorado switched to the SAT can be found here

Can I still take the ACT in Colorado?

Absolutely! The ACT is still available, it just isn’t the state-mandated test anymore. Students can still take it on national weekend test dates and send their scores to colleges. 


We hope you’ve found our 2-part series on the school-day SAT helpful! If you have any questions, reach out to us using the prompts to the right of this text!