Admissions ExamsIt is recommended that students take both the ACT and the SAT during the Spring of Junior Year. After receiving scores from both exams, the student should determine which exam they performed highest on, then study for and retake that test in the early Fall of Senior Year. Both the ACT and SAT are accepted at nearly all U.S. colleges, so take the exam that best suits you.
SAT Subject tests may be required or optional at some of the more competitive universities. Be sure to check the admissions requirements of every college you are interested in. SAT Subject tests should be taken soon after the completion of the related coursework. Beginning with the Class of 2012, University of California will no longer require two SAT Subject tests, however scoring highly on these exams could still improve your chance of admission, and is recommended for all students applying to math, science and engineering majors.Comparing the Exams http://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-actAbout the ACTThe ACT Plus Writing is composed of five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and an Essay. The Math section includes questions, divided among Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry and data analysis functions. On the ACT you receive points for correct answers, but wrong or blank answers are worth zero points. This means that you should not leave any answers blank on the ACT. If time is running out, you might as well randomly bubble in the unanswered questions and hope you score a few extra points. According to the Princeton Review, the average ACT score is 21 out of a possible 36. www.actstudent.orgAbout the SATThe SAT is made up of three sections: Math, Reading, Writing and Language and an Essay. Math Concepts covered on the SAT include Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and is out of a possible score of 1600. www.collegeboard.comComparing ScoresWondering what the scores mean? Here is the word from The Princeton Review:
“The national average for the new SAT is 1500. For the ACT, it’s between 20 and 21. If you are close to these averages you will likely be accepted into a considerable number of colleges and universities (as long as you have decent grades), but may not be considered at more selective schools. Above average SAT/ACT scores will improve your chances of getting into a more selective school.
“Scores below an 1100 on the SAT or a 15 on ACT are considered low at just about any four-year college. You can overcome low scores with good grades or an outstanding application. But even if you’re accepted by a four-year college, the school may advise or require you to take some remedial courses as a freshman.” http://www.princetonreview.com/college/good-sat-score-act-score.aspxTest Taking Tips
- Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.
- Read each question carefully.
- Pace yourself—don’t spend too much time on a single passage or question.
- Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.
- Use a No. 2 pencil with a good eraser; do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen.
- Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones.
- On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.
- If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test.
- Mark your answers neatly. Erase any mark completely and cleanly without smudging.
- Do not mark or alter any ovals on a test or continue writing the essay after time has been called or you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.