BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Ridge High School students and their parents are invited next Tuesday evening to an information session about the differences between the two most common college acceptance tests - the SAT and the ACT - as well as a discussion on a redesign of the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) due to go into effect in spring 2016.

The session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Ridge High School, at 268 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge. The session will be led by The Princeton Review, which administers the SAT test.

The session invites students and parents to join The Princeton Review representatives to learn more about what to expect from the current SAT, the ACT (American College Testing) and redesigned SAT. The session will cover "how to guide your student through the transition," according to information in the Ridge Friday Folder sent home to parents.

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Topics to be covered are scheduled to include:

• Learn exactly how each test is structured and scored
• Familiarize yourself with the content of each test
• Find out how the changes to the SAT will impact students

The invitation from The Princeton Review said experts will be in attendance to take questions after the presentation. The information session will be a chance to have all questions answered, according to the invitation.

Trends for Ridge students taking the SAT and ACT discussed at school board meeting last month

Jillian Shadis, director of guidance at Ridge, said during a November presentation before the Bernards Township Board of Education that Shadis said that there has been a trend lately for students to take practice tests beforehand on the SAT and ACT, another college-placement test, and then to focus on doing well on the test on which they show greater strenths.

In response to a board member's question, Shadis said at the meeting that the number of students taking the SAT test has declined slightly because more students are taking the ACT alone. In previous years, students were more likely to take both tests if they decided to sit for the ACT, she said.However, Shadis noted during her report that more colleges are becoming "test optional" when it comes to relying on standardized test scores.

This past year, she said about 360 students sat for the SAT tests, while about 340 took the ACT.

In previous years, students throughout the Northeast, including those at Ridge, were more likely to take the SATs. But the gap has steadily been closing in recent years, Shadis said.

Counting all of the college-placement SAT tests taken during by juniors and seniors in the previous school year, Shadis said the median score for Ridge students was 577 in reading, a 9-point increase from the previous year (2012-13); 611 in math, a 14-point increase; and 585 in the writing section of the test, a 12-point increase.