According to the data, only 56% of the class of 2015 took the SAT at least once. From the test administrator in my school, we had 97% attendance for our Juniors who took the SAT on Wednesday. Our average daily attendance is a bit lower so this data definitely proves offering the SAT during the school day increases the number of students who will actually take the test itself.
That being said, this month the College Board altered the SAT to reduce the overall score back to 1600 by removing the requirement of the essay section and completely revamping how the rest of the test questions look: most of them require more reading than ever before. Even though the test has around the same number of words they have been combined into longer passages, making reading comprehension and persistence necessary skills for success.
The experience I had on Wednesday was fairly usual for my students during this test: those who had been able to sit and read for prolonged periods of time did better than those who couldn't. All of my students were really trying for a majority of the test, with the exception of a small group that gave up towards the end. My assumption is that their lack of persistence stemmed from lack of full reading comprehension skills and just general reading fatigue.
We attempted to prepare the students by offering the use of the Naviance Test Prep tool, but limited access and short periods of the day made it more difficult to use it. Some students found other mobile tools to ask quicker questions but most students did not have enough time for practice. We as teachers did not really get any structured support to help prepare them other than to point them in the direction of Naviance.
I think it is an interesting mixed situation to offer the SAT in a regular school day. It does increase attendance dramatically, but it also causes complications when friends are sitting near each other and joking around, talking, etc during the test administration. There is a fine line that can be straddled in order to make sure students stay in the room (instead of storming out) and making sure no one is distracted in the room during administration. I hope we get better next year when this pilot program goes citywide.