College Admissions Tests


Most 4-year colleges and universities require applicants to take a college admissions test. Both tests are accepted and equally viewed by colleges and universities in their admissions decisions. Test scores are only one factor in the admissions decision and should not be viewed as the most important factor. Students are encouraged to take practice tests to help make a decision about which test to take.

(Source: Big Future: Testing)

What are College Admissions Tests?

You may know college admission tests by name — the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and the ACT. These tests, also called college entrance exams, are designed to measure students’ skills and help colleges evaluate how ready students are for college-level work.

How do colleges use test scores?

Admission tests apply a common standard to everyone. This helps colleges evaluate and compare the preparation of students who go to different high schools. All schools do not offer the same academic programs, learning environments or even expectations. Colleges look at your test scores, along with your high school grades and courses, to see how well prepared you are for college-level work.

When should I take the test?

  • Most students take the SAT or ACT for the first time in the spring of junior year.

  • Students who choose to take the SAT or ACT a second time typically do so in the fall of senior year.

  • SAT Subject Tests are best taken directly following relevant courses, while the material from class is still fresh in your mind. But you can take them at any time during high school.

How can I compare SAT vs. ACT scores?

Use the 2018 ACT/SAT Concordance table to compare scores. 


The ACT tests in four subject areas, plus an optional writing test. 

  • English: grammar and word usage

  • Mathematics: Arithmetic, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry

  • Reading : Reading comprehension in multiple subject passages

  • Science: Understanding scientific information in a variety of methods (text, charts, etc.)

  • Writing (optional): Timed essay

Register for ACT

ACT Test Prep



The SAT tests three subject areas:

  • Reading: Reading comprehension in multiple subject passages.

  • Mathematics: Arithmetic operations, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry

  • Writing (optional): Timed essay and a multiple-choice section on grammar and usage.

Register for SAT

Inside the Test

Khan Academy SAT Prep


SAT Subject Test

SAT Subject Tests are 1-hour long, content-based tests that allow you to show achievement in a specific subject area. There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general areas: English, history, languages, math and science. Some college require, recommend or consider SAT Subject Tests in the admissions process. Check admissions website of each college. 

Register for SAT Subject Test

2019-2020 Test Dates

For seniors, the December SAT or ACT is usually the final exam accepted by colleges, although some colleges may request that you test earlier.

SAT/ACT fee waivers are available for students who qualify. Please see Ms. Chung or Mrs. Hubner. 

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