Saturday, Jan. 22, is the last time SAT will even offer a test without a writing section. ACT will offer an optional writing test beginning in February.
"More and more careers are requiring those complex communication skills," explains MSU admissions director Pam Horne.
Technically, ACT's test is optional, but Kalmazoo College, University of Michigan, and MSU are requiring it for applicants to the 2006 school year.
"We'd like to compare apples to apples," Horne says. She admits it won't be a quick transition. "We just gonna look at scores for the next couple of years."
She says there's no way to predict how students will do, and what those scores with mean. Plus, she knows they're bound to have questions about which schools require what.
"I really wish ACT would require it because it would eliminate the confusion," Horne adds.
Holt High School counselor Stephanie Kingsley says somewhere near half their students take ACTs. She says the biggest problem is confusion. They're working to educate them about their choices, and what they need to be bound to the college of their choice.
The merit test that Governor Granholm has approved to replace the MEAP is likely to have a writing section as well.