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Most students who are planning to further their education beyond high school begin in their junior year to take examinations related to college admission. It is important that you pay particular attention to tests listed under the college admission requirements and ensure that you register for any necessary testing. In general, you must register at least six weeks prior to most test dates, either online or through regular mail. This information can be found in the test registration materials available in the Guidance Office, as well as on websites for each standardized test.
The standardized tests most widely used across the nation are the SAT Reasoning Test and the ACT with/without Writing. Although there is a preference on the East Coast for the SAT and in the Mid-West and West Coast for the ACT, most schools accept both tests. Be sure to check each college’s statistics to see which test is more utilized at that institution.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT):Starting with the March 5th 2016 test administration, the SAT has been re-designed to a new format. The redesigned SAT is composed of three parts (in five sections), which will follow the same order is every test book:
Evidence-based Reading and Writing: includes a Reading Test and also a Writing and Language Test. Each test is composed of multi-paragraph passages and multiple-choice questions.
Math: Includes multiple-choice and student-produced response questions base on the math that college bound students typically learn during their first three years of high school. Divided into two portions: one that permits calculator use and one that does not.
Optional Essay: asks students to produce a cogent and clear written analysis using evidence drawn from a challenging course test.
Test component: Time
Reading Test 65 minutes
10 minute break
Writing and language Test 35 minutes
Math Test – No Calculator 25 minutes
5 minute break
Math Test – with Calculator 55 minutes
2 minute break
Optional Essay 50 minutes
SAT Subject Tests: Unlike the SAT Reasoning test, which measures aptitude, the achievement tests measure the student’s knowledge in specific subject areas, from history to math to foreign language. Some colleges require these tests for placement purposes only, while some highly selective schools use the results in making their admission decisions. Early decision candidates at highly selective colleges should complete testing by June of their junior year.These tests are one hour each and you can take up to three tests in one sitting.American College Test (ACT):Like the SAT Reasoning Test, this test is used in determining your aptitude for college level work. The ACT is a battery of tests which yields a score of 1-36 in each of four areas- English, Math, Reading and Science and a composite score. It is a 2 hour and 55 minute test without the essay, and 3 hours and 25 minutes with the essay. Scores from the ACT are required by many Midwestern and West Coast schools and are accepted interchangeably with the SAT by many schools across the nation.Suggested Timeline: This link provides a suggested timeline for taking standardized tests (9th through 12th grades): Suggested Timeline for Standardized TestingOther Differences between the SAT and the ACT: APlus SAT vs ACT