There is no denying standardized testing is an important part of the college application process. Test scores are among the many criteria used to determine your acceptance. However important, though, your scores are evaluated along with your grades, rigor of curriculum, essays, interviews and letters of recommendation. Once accepted, a college may also use your scores to award scholarships, determine placement in college classes, and offer admission to special programs.
Juniors, don’t let all the talk about upcoming ACTs, SATs and SAT IIs overwhelm you. Instead, use this information to map out a plan.
- Your PSAT score offers valuable feedback. Start by reviewing your test results and identify the sections you need to work on.
- Determine which test is best for you. Take an online ACT and SAT practice test and compare your scores. Talk to your guidance counselor, as well as your parents, for input on which test to prepare for and take.
- Understand each schools’ specific test requirements. For example, some schools require the SAT and 2 Subject Tests, some require 3 Subject Tests, while others require none.
- Test optional schools offer a different route. Hundreds of colleges do not require either exam as a part of their application process. FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, provides a complete list of 4 year SAT/ACT test optional universities.
- Plan ahead. Look at the ACT and College Board test dates and registration deadlines for the entire school year and choose test dates that do not conflict with any of your personal obligations. To ensure your spot at the location of your choice, register for tests as soon as possible.
- It’s a good idea to keep a master calendar of the tests, test dates and locations that you register for. Make sure your family is also aware of your testing schedule.
Seniors, if you’re considering retaking a test, register now. If applying early decision, check with the admissions office to determine the last possible test date that will be considered by admissions.