If you intend to apply to 4 year universities directly from high school, you need to take either the SAT or the ACT. You may also have to take several SAT Subject Tests. The ONLY way to be absolutely certain to keep your options open is to take BOTH the SAT and the ACT and verify with your college of choice what they expect.
The PSAT is a “practice” SAT test that is useful for many reasons. First, it is a way for you to experience taking a test very similar to the SAT so that you get familiar with the questions/subjects that will be asked of you on the SAT. This will better prepare you for the SAT. Second, you will given a score report a couple months after you take the test which will explain your areas of strength and those that may need more improvement. This will help you know what you need to study more of before the next test.The PSAT is administered to all 10th and 11th grade students every fall.
It is recommended that students take the SAT in the spring of their 11th grade year and again (if desired) in the fall of their 12th grade year. The SAT test includes multiple choice English/Reading and Math sections, as well as an essay component. Fee waivers are available in counseling if applicable.
Students should take the ACT in the spring of their 11th grade year and again (if desired) in the fall of their 12th grade year. The ACT test includes multiple choice English, Reading, Math and Science sections, as well as an essay component. Fee waivers are available in counseling if applicable.
Do all colleges require the SAT and ACT?
You do not have to take the SAT or ACT if you plan on attending a community college. However, it is important to remember that it is better to take the tests and not need them than not take them and need them. Keep your options open!
How many times can I take these tests?
You can take the SAT and ACT as many times as you like, and most colleges will look at your best score.
What is the difference between the SAT and ACT? How do I know which one to take?
Due to the differences in the tests, we encourage students to attempt both. It is hard to know which test a particular student will score better on so it is recommended to take both. Some of the differences between the tests can be found below:
Where can I get test preparation material? Test prep information can be found online on the SAT and ACT websites. These sites offer free practice tests, scoring keys, writing prompts with sample essays, daily questions, etc.
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