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, SAT Subject Test, 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, tests are administered in the spring. Any student may take the AP, but students usually students taking the AP course will take the test. Many institutions will accept a 4 or 5 score on the AP Test and give college level credit for that subject.
SAT Subject Tests:
Subject tests are offered in a number of different subjects. They are hour-long, content-based exams that allow students to display proficiency in specific areas of study. CSUs do not accept these and UCs do not require them, however "some campuses recommend that freshman applicants interested in competitive majors take the test to demonstrate subject proficiency."
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?
The question that is asked the most is this. There is no clear cut answer as many 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
• March 14 @ Windsor High
• May 2 @ Windsor High
• June 6
SAT Registration Deadlines (late Reg. Deadlines)
• February 14 (March 3)
• April 3 (April 21)
• May 8 (May 27)
Upcoming ACT Test Dates
February 8 @ WHS
April 4 @ WHS
ACT Registration Deadlines (Late Reg. Deadlines)
January 10 (January 17)
March 8 (March 25)
May 8 (May 22)
June 19 (June 26)