Testing Preparation and Testing Information

If you are seeking entrance to any of the United States many colleges and universities, a requirement for admission in almost 100% of non-community college schools is an SAT or ACT test score. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays.

This Page is designed to provide you with as much information about these tests, as well as resources you can access to help maximize your scores on these exams. It also has resources and information about SAT Subject tests, the PSAT, and AP Exam Resources.

Learn

About the test

Practice

taking it

Register

to take the test

Compare the ACT and SAT tests

  • ACT includes a Science section
  • SAT includes one SAT Math Section on which you may not use a calculator
 

SAT

ACT

Why Take It                 

Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

Test Structure

  • Reading
  • Writing & Language
  • Math
  • Essay (Optional)
  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science Reasoning

Essay (Optional)

Length

  • 3 hours (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)
  • 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)

Reading

5 reading passages4 reading passages

Science

None1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)

Math

Covers:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis

Covers:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry, Trigonometry, and Probability & Statistics

Calculator Policy

Some math questions don't allow you to use a calculator.You can use a calculator on all math questions.

Essays

Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.

How It's Scored

Scored on a scale of 400–1600Scored on a scale of 1–36

Should I Take the ACT or SAT?

Students are increasingly taking both the SAT and ACT . Changes made to the SAT in 2016 have made it easier than ever to prep for both tests concurrently — and earn competitive scores on both!

The best way to decide if taking the SAT, ACT, or both tests is right for you is to take a timed full-length practice test of each type. Since the content and style of the SAT and ACT are very similar, factors like how you handle time pressure and what types of questions you find most challenging can help you determine which test is a better fit. 

  • This section has been reposted from the Princeton Review. For more information about the Princeton Review or to order their resources, click here

Click above to convert a SAT score to ACT or vice versa

 

The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 are highly relevant to your future success because they focus on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education. They’ll measure:

  • What you learn in high school
  • What you need to succeed in college

If you think the key to a high score is memorizing words and facts you’ll never use in the real world, think again. You don’t have to discover secret tricks or cram the night before.

The best way to prepare for the test is to:

  • Take challenging courses
  • Do your homework
  • Prepare for tests and quizzes
  • Ask and answer lots of questions

In short, take charge of your education and learn as much as you can.

Our Freshmen are introduced to collegiate standardized tests with the PSAT 8/9

Want to try a practices test or two? Click the buttons below for two practice versions of the PSAT/NMSQT

What exactly is the difference between the PSAT 10 and the PSAT/NMSQT? Click below to find out!

When, Where, and How

  • SAT Subject Tests are generally given six times in any given school year, on the same days and in the same test centers as the SAT — but not all 20 tests are offered on every SAT date. Find out when specific tests will be given.
  • The Language with Listening tests are only offered in November.
  • You can take one, two, or three Subject Tests on any test date.
  • You can’t take the SAT and an SAT Subject Test on the same day.
  • Some SAT Subject Tests require you to bring special equipment — for example, CD players for Language with Listening tests.
  • You choose what tests to take when you register, but on test day, you can add, subtract, or switch tests — with some limitations. Learn more.

Advanced Placement Test Prep

Taking AP courses and exams improves your chances of getting into college, and can even help you minimize your college costs. In fact, 85 percent of selective institutions report that a student's AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions. AP courses on your transcript show colleges that you are intellectually curious, unafraid of hard work, and capable of learning the knowledge and skills expected of college students.

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