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SAT vs ACT? Why should Jamaican students take these college entrance exams?

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Should Jamaican High School students take the U.S. college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT?

For Jamaican students in grades 10 to 13, the decision to take a college readiness course has been a topic of keen interest. Some may often think thoughts like, “I want to study abroad; I see family members/friends posting photos on social media of their lives while studying abroad and I would love to have that experience!”

SAT ACTSome Jamaican students may have started researching potential programmes at various universities across the United States. During this process many will realize that all US based colleges and universities require entrance exams called the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)  or the  American College Testing (ACT).

St. Andrew High School

Brianne H, a 5th form student at St. Andrew High School, enrolled at National Educational Venture Alliance (NEVA) to better prepare herself for the SAT exam:

“The classes were very helpful and the tutors were very approachable and I was able to reach them both in class and outside of class. NEVA has helped me to figure out my path for university. They gave me a career aptitude test and helped me to plan the best route for me based on my results. Yes. I would recommend NEVA to friends and family that want to sit the SATs.”

Campion College

Bethanie Jones, a 6th form student at Campion College, also attended NEVA’s SAT prep. course. Of all the students attending, Jones received the highest SAT score and was rewarded with a Samsung S6. Although her determination paid off, Jones recalls her difficulties and how she overcame them:

“My greatest struggle with the SAT exams was appreciating that they are much unlike the testing requirements we are accustomed to in Jamaica. Nonetheless, I found the best approach to this feat was practice, practice and much more practice: an allowance I was never short of with the many mock exams administered by NEVA. ”

Students may also utilize an admission essay writing service when preparing their college applications.

What is the SAT Examination?

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission exam that tests critical reading, writing and math. Plus, everyday subjects taught in high school classrooms.

Revised SAT Exam

Most students are worried about the new SAT examination coming into effect in May 2016. Some may have heard that the exam is harder.  Others may reminisce of the previous SAT format (circa 2005) when the exam was scored out of 1600.  Well for those who wanted the format of “yesteryear”, that wish is now a reality—making the SAT exam easier now than ever before.  Benefits for the 2016 SAT exam include:

  • Removal of mandatory vocab words like “antediluvian” or “solipsism”.
  • Elimination of the “guessing penalty” in which points are deducted for incorrect answers.
  • The essay is now optional.
  • Math questions will focus on three areas: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning.
  • More time will be allocated for certain sections.
What is the ACT Examination?

Like the SAT, the ACT is a nationally administered, standardized paper-and-pencil test that helps colleges evaluate candidates. The ACT examination consists of subject tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The 40-minute writing test is optional. Colleges now accept ACT or SAT scores interchangeably. In many cases, students prepare for and take both exams.

Merit based scholarships are available for students who receive high exam scores for either the SAT or the ACT.  If a student’s SAT/ACT scores are in the top third of a college’s suggested range, it is likely that the student will qualify for a merit-based award. Therefore, those aspiring to study in the US should not overlook the need to prepare for the SAT/ ACT exams as these score(s) are mandatory for university admissions.

For students interested in learning more about the SAT, ACT and other US-based entrance examinations, contact National Educational Venture Alliance (NEVA) at 1-876-925-NEVA (6382), 1-876-815-2915, or by email at [email protected]



Dr. Neva Helena Alexander is the Director of the National Educational Venture Alliance (NEVA) with offices in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami, Florida. She is A member of the Higher Education consultants association, she guides students nationally and international on the university admissions process. Dr. Neva previous taught leadership to females in Saudi Arabia where she worked as a faculty and Associate Chair for the College of Arts and Science female Campus at Prince Mohammad University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor for City of New York University SPS Program. Her research interests include leadership, entrepreneurship, and education.

In addition to being an educator in the classroom, Dr. Neva trains and coaches people from every walk of life and profession. She has published educational research and is the author of Females’ Guide to Understanding Leadership and #Risingleaders. Dr. Neva’s book helps readers harness their unique potential to become better leaders in new global arena that has emerged during the last decade.



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