The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you — the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.
Students must register for the SAT’s at http://sat.collegeboard.org/home?affiliateId=nav&bannerId=g-cbh-sat. Practice tests are also available online at http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/ or there are paper copies of SAT tests in the Guidance Office.
When to Take the Test
Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year in high school, but the SAT can be taken at anytime during a student’s high school career. At least half of all students take the SAT twice — in the spring of their junior year and in the fall of their senior year. Most students also improve their score the second time around.
For the SAT Subject Tests™, most students take them toward the end of their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. In general, you should take tests such as World History, Biology E/M, Chemistry or Physics as soon as possible after completing the course in the subject. Students tend to do better on other tests like languages after at least two years of study. Students should check on college admissions pages in Naviance to see which schools require subject tests.
The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.
The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing test. Practice tests are available at http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/
ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Students must register online at http://www.actstudent.org/
What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?
The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test.
The College Board introduced a new version of the SAT in 2016. The SAT now has three sections that cover Critical Reading, Math and Writing and Language. Their is an optional Essay Test that students can take.
US colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT so the choice of which test to take really depends on a student’s personal preference. If a student takes both the SAT and ACT they should plan on taking a second administration of the test that they preferred.