SAT, ACT and PSAT –Testing Information

PSAT/NMSQT (Practice SAT)

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It’s a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills. You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test doesn’t require you to recall specific facts from your classes. The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are to:

  • Receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
  • See how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
  • Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
  • Help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
  • Receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Service.

SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)

SAT Website

School Code: 100-830

Test Center Code: 10374

To Sign up for the SAT, follow the steps below:

1. Go to www.collegeboard.org

2. Choose the “Register Now” button

3. Make a new account

4. Register for the test

5. School Code: 100-830

6. Use your zip code to find a testing location close to you.

7. Print out an admission ticket and show up for the test!

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.

ACT (American College Test)

ACT Website

School Code: 100-830

Test Center Code: 235570

To Sign up for the ACT, follow the steps below:

1. Go to www.actstudent.org

2. Choose “Sign Up/Log In Button”

3. Make a new account

4. Register for the test

5. School Code: 100-830

6. Use your zip code to find a testing location close to you.

7. Print out an admission ticket and show up for the test!

The ACT is universally accepted for college admission in the U.S. The ACT is accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S., including the Ivy League schools.

The ACT multiple-choice tests are curriculum based. The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Because the ACT tests are based on what is taught in the high school curriculum, students are generally more comfortable with the ACT than they are with traditional aptitude tests or tests with narrower content. The ACT is more than a test. In addition to the tests, the ACT also provides students with a unique Interest Inventory that provides valuable information for career and educational planning and a Student Profile Section that provides a comprehensive profile of your work in high school and your future plans. The ACT is a good value. As a private, not-for-profit organization governed by educators, ACT is committed to providing services at the lowest possible cost. Accordingly, the ACT provides a comprehensive package of educational assessment and career planning services for college-bound students at a modest fee that is lower than the fee for the competing admissions test.

When should students take the SAT and/or ACT?

Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year in high school. 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.

What is the difference between the SAT and ACT?

The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities.

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 2005, with a mandatory writing test. ACT continues to offer its well-established test, plus an optional writing test. You take the ACT Writing Test only if required by the college(s) you’re applying to.

The SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, they take off for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing.

The ACT has an Interest Inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.