The Lyceum

Aristotle Circle's blog covering topics in private and public school admissions, and college and graduate admissions.


In an effort to adapt to the ever-changing college admissions landscape, the College Board has decided to add an August, 2017 SAT date and eliminate the January, 2018 SAT date.

The new August test date will provide students with an opportunity to get one more SAT attempt in before applications are due. With more and more students opting to apply to colleges via Early Decision and schools steadily moving up those Early Decision application dates every year, the earlier test date will be a welcome change.


The ACT can be daunting even with a calculator in hand but imagine taking on the test without your trusty number cruncher! It’s important to remember that even though certain calculators are permitted during the math portion of the test, not all calculators are accepted. The ACT has laid out some pretty strict guidelines on which calculators are allowed and if you break the rules, you run the risk of getting your calculator taken away during the test.


When it comes to studying for the MCAT, students have always had a difficult time knowing what the best strategies are. However, the new MCAT is even more challenging: there are now 230 questions over 6 hours and 15 minutes as opposed to 144 questions in 3 hours and 20 minutes. With new topics such as Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology, questions focus more on critical thinking, data analysis, and practical application of prerequisite subjects.


The College Board is launching new and redesigned assessments in fall 2015 and spring 2016. The redesigned PSAT/NMSQT and the new PSAT™ 8/9 — for eighth- and ninth-graders — will launch in October 2015. The new PSAT™ 10 — for 10th-graders — will launch in February 2016 and the redesigned SAT in March 2016. These exams were designed by the College Board to work together to assess student skills. Closely aligned to challenging classroom work and the common core curriculum, the SAT exams will focus on college and career readiness.


The Educational Records Bureau (ERB) has announced the specifics regarding the Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners™ (AABL™), which will serve as the new evaluation tool that New York City private elementary programs will use during the admissions process. ISAAGNY removed the WPPSI-IV test that had been used for years in March of 2014 and the AABL™ will serve as the replacement assessment.