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 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 help 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.
     

How can I compare SAT vs. ACT scores?

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

ACT

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

 

SAT

The SAT tests three subject areas:

  • Reading: Reading comprehension in multiple subject passages.

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

Register for SAT

Inside the Test

Khan Academy SAT Prep

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