SAT/ACT & COVID-19 Update:
The March SAT National Exam scheduled at Windsor High is cancelled.
The February ACT National Exam scheduled at Windsor High is also cancelled.
The January, 2021 PSAT/NMSQT is cancelled.
Many colleges and universities are now "test optional" for SAT and ACT college entrance exams for the Class of 2021, including the University of California and the California State University. Check with the campuses you plan to apply to for their specific freshmen entrance requirements.
There is no official word yet for the Class of 2022, however some colleges are extending their test-optional policy for first-year applicants through next year's 2021-22 admissions cycle.
For private, independent colleges that are test-optional, many will continue to evaluate applicants' academic and intellectual fit for their campus by looking at grades, course rigor, recommendations, academic honors or awards, personal essay and other information specific to a students' experiences and high school settings.
Look under the colleges' testing FAQ's for updated information.
There are a number of different tests that students are able to take to prepare for college admission. Those tests are the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, AP, and ACT. Each one is different but you are not required to take every single one. You can get help deciding which ones to take here:
This is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is offered the 3rd week in October to help 11th graders prepare for the SAT and potentially qualify for certain scholarships. There is a fee to take the test and waivers are available to those that qualify. Students are notified to sign-up, through the school bulletin, for this test during late September in the counseling center.
The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is intended to assess academic readiness for college. Colleges use these scores in different ways, typically as a requirement for acceptance. In most cases, students take the SAT for the first time in 11th grade after studying from the results and information from the PSAT. A fair number of students take the SAT twice and perform better the second time. You can register for the SAT, find College Board Practice information, and get answers to general SAT related questions here.
Advanced Placement, or AP, exams are administered in the spring. Any student may take an AP exam, but usually students taking the AP course will take the exam. Many institutions will accept of score 3 or better on the AP Test and give college level credit for that subject.
SAT Subject Tests:
The College Board is no longer offering SAT Subject Tests.
The ACT, or American College Test, is another test accepted by institutions as a reflection of a students preparedness for college. Like the SAT it can be taken multiple times and with a written component option as well, which is required by the UCs. The main difference between the two tests is that the ACT has a required Science portion on the test. More information about the ACT, fee waivers, and practice questions can be found here.
Which one do I take?
That's a common question. There is no clear cut answer as most colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. Typically, it can be helpful to take both tests to see which they do better on. The tests are different and some find that they do better on one than the other. In general, SAT tests students problem solving whereas the ACT measures achievement. The ACT can prove to be slightly more beneficial for those who want to make science an emphasis in their future (STEM and Health majors/careers) because of the Science component. Regardless, neither test is considered to be a stronger or better indicator of success at the collegiate level than the other. That being said, it may be advantageous for students to take both and see which one they perform better on.
Upcoming SAT Test Dates
SAT Registration Deadlines (late Reg. Deadlines)
April 8 for May Test (April 27 Late Fee required)
May 6 for June Test (May 26 Late Fee required)
Upcoming ACT Test Dates
For updated information on the ACT visit: http://www.act.org/
Spring 2021 Test Dates
ACT Registration Deadlines (Late Reg. Deadlines)
January 8 for February test (Jan. 9-15 Late fee required)
March 12 for April test (Mar. 13-26 Late fee required)
May 7 for June test (May 8-21 Late fee required)
June 18 for July test (June 19-25 Late fee required)