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ACT/SAT Testing

2016-17 ACT/SAT Testing Calendar


What is the ACT?

  • The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in:

  • English, Mathematics, Reading, Science

  • The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test.

  • ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.

  • The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing).

  • The ACT is administered on six test dates within the United States

  • The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.

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What is the SAT?

  • 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.

  • The SAT doesn’t test logic or abstract reasoning. It tests the skills you’re learning in school: reading, writing and math. Your knowledge and skills in these subjects are important for success in college and throughout your life.

- The critical reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions.
- The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage.
- The mathematics section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.

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What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?

  • 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 Reading, 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 or requested by the college(s) you're applying to.

  • The SAT penalizes you for wrong answers, so guessing is discouraged. 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.


What is the PSAT/NMSQT?

The PSAT/NMSQT measures the knowledge and skills that research shows are most essential for college and career readiness and success. The
assessment includes the Reading Test, the Writing/Language Test, and the Math Test. A student’s scores on the Reading Test and the Writing/
Language Test are combined to arrive at a section score for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.The Math Test score is also reported as a second section score. For complete test specifications, visit collegereadiness.collegeboard.org.

Click here for more PSAT/NMSQT Information