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A Symposium on Admission Testing


Please join us for a Symposium on College Admission Testing, a professional development opportunity. The program will take place on April 16th at 11:30am (CST) online. The webinar will be led by Compass Education Group’s Adam Ingersoll, who is presenting a webinar for families the night before. In addition to presentations at schools for parents and workshops for college counselors, Adam also provides training on test interpretation for admission teams, most recently at Caltech and USC. While Compass presentations for students and parents are often billed as “Admission Testing 101,” the symposia they facilitate for college counselors could be considered graduate-level. We will take a critical look at the current landscape of admission testing, offering up-to-date, nuanced information on all the thorniest questions. There is no cost to attend.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • COVID-19’s sweeping impact on college admission testing
  • What to expect from new test formats and delivery models. Modified AP Exams at home are likely only the first step; will the SAT and ACT be next? What are pros and cons for students? How will colleges respond?
  • How to successfully discourage students from starting too soon, correcting the “more is more” assumptions around testing and test prep, what do the data tell us about developmentally-appropriate testing timelines
  • Helping students choose optimally between the SAT and ACT, what differences are meaningful, how to understand practice test reports and make the correct decision
  • Making sense of the shifting milieu of college testing policies, the surge of SAT/ACT optional schools, premier STEM programs going Subject Test blind, will AP Exams become admission tests?
  • What are some of the ways that college admission decisions for the classes of 2021 and beyond are likely to be changed, maintained, or upended? What are some of the ways that student matriculation decisions may be affected? How might assumptions about the latter (yield) affect the former (admits)?
  • What may be the role of all the various standardized tests in this climate? Many testing-related decisions creep well down into the high school years. Testing was already complicated and nuanced; now it seems impenetrable. We’ll try to cut through the confusion and give balanced, clear guidance or at least best-guesses from our range of perspectives.
  • The pace of changes to testing policies and practices is accelerating and already has us in uncharted waters. We’ll discuss test optional, test blind, and traditional testing expectations. We’ll break down the latest news on at-home APs and the possibility that the SAT and ACT may go that route as well.
  • Will the rollout of ACT Section Retesting continue as planned, how would this new option interact with potential new remote testing options?
  • What might the testing and admission world look like post-pandemic? What are potential impacts on yield models, aid packages, and more.

We’ll share detailed updates, rationales, and perspectives around these questions and more, which you can put to use immediately to help encourage healthy and smart testing-related behavior by students and parents.


In order to participate in the live webinar, register here. You will receive a confirmation email with an explanation of how to connect on the day of the event.

The webinar will be running on the Zoom video-conferencing platform. It may take several minutes to download and run the program on a computer. Zoom is also available as an app for smart phones and tablets. If you plan to watch the webinar from a phone or tablet, we recommend that you download the Zoom app in advance of the event.



Adam Ingersoll

Adam began his career in test prep in 1993 at USC, where he was a student-athlete and worked in the admission office. Over the last two decades he has guided thousands of families to successful experiences with standardized tests. Adam is known nationally as a leading expert on college admission testing and is a frequent presenter at higher ed conferences, faculty development workshops, and school seminars.

Jonathan Burdick

Prior to joining Cornell, Jonathan Burdick was the University of Rochester’s Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for 16 years. As Cornell’s Vice Provost for Enrollment, Burdick oversees admissions, financial aid, and the university registrar. He is charged with strategically positioning Cornell to better achieve its institutional goals and priorities, while also supporting and strengthening the specific enrollment-related needs and goals of the university’s colleges and schools. He has also served in governance and advisory roles for The College Board and other higher education entities.

Praise for Our Events

Compass is an invaluable resource for us. Their approach to testing is smart and reasonable. Their sophomore parent testing evenings are of the highest quality – useful, comprehensive, well-researched, and delivered with compelling and fresh insight.

Laura Hotchkiss, Director of Upper SchoolMarlborough School

Compass is my go-to source for clear, helpful, and thorough information about college standardized tests. Their style is polished and professional as well as accessible and fun. I find Compass to be in tune with and responsive to the needs of teenagers, educators, and parents.

Erin Johnston, Director of College GuidanceNational Cathedral School

We are delighted to partner with Compass, as so many of our colleagues have done. The education and training Compass provides to our school and the counselor community are invaluable. Their excellent research de-stresses rather than raise alarms.

Katy Murphy, Director of College Counseling & Former NACAC PresidentBellarmine College Prep

What we value most about Compass is their integrity. We trust the services they provide -- private tutoring, practice testing, and public speaking -- and the intelligently responsive manner in which they offer them.

Sharon Cuseo, Upper School DeanHarvard-Westlake School

Compass provides testing knowledge and high-quality research shared in an accessible, anxiety-reducing way for audiences from experienced college counselors to families just starting the college process.

Emmi Harward, Executive DirectorACCIS