The PSAT is a multiple-choice test taken by an estimated 3.4 million high school juniors, sophomores and younger students every year. The PSAT is shorter and has no essay section or Algebra II. The PSAT includes math, critical reading and writing questions.
The PSAT is essentially a practice test. After taking it, students should have a good sense of their strengths and weaknesses. However, keep in mind that the PSAT is also a qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships and Letters of Commendation, and a high score can help secure scholarship money for college.
The PSAT is offered at your high school in October. You must sign up for this test through your school. All sophomores are required to take the PSAT.
The SAT is a test used by most colleges to help decide whether to admit students or not (along with GPA, transcript, recommendations, etc…) some schools don’t require the SAT, but the great most do.
In a nutshell, the SAT is offered 7 times a year, lasts for 3 hours and 45 minutes, and has 3 sections (math, reading, and writing). It costs $52.50 to take.
The SAT is scored on a scale of 600-2400. A score in the 50thpercentile (average) is a 1500; 1730 is 75th, and a 2040 is 95th. You can decide which scores will be sent to your schools.
The ACT is one of two options for admissions tests required by many four-year colleges (the other is the SAT). The ACT tests four subjects: English, Reading, Math and Science plus an optional writing test (essay). It is an increasingly popular alternative to the SAT.
The ACT is now accepted by all schools across the country. The ACT is scored on a 1-36 basis (the average score is about 20 or 21). You can decide which scores will be sent to your schools.
AP Exams are end-of-year, college-level exams. These tests can give high school students college credit at many colleges and universities.
Some popular subjects include: English Language and Composition, and U.S. History. The scoring grid goes from 1-5 (higher is better), with 3 or 4 representing a passing score. These tests are administered at high schools during the second and third weeks of May. To register for AP courses and exams, speak with your school counselor.
SAT Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice exams that focus on individual subjects. They are very important at University of California schools and of significance to elite private colleges.
SAT Subject Tests are offered for a wide variety of subject matter. The most popular are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World History, U.S. History. Each Subject Test is scored on a 200-800 scale.
- For SAT, SAT Subject Tests or ACT administration dates, visit the testing sites below.
- We recommend you complete all testing by November of 12th grade. However, December is typically the last test date accepted for college applications.
- Be certain to carefully review and meet testing requirements and deadlines for private/out-of-state universities.
- Most colleges require students to send their SAT and/or ACT scores directly to them from the College Board or American College Testing Inc. These scores are not posted on your high school transcript.
- Students can take up to three (3) subject tests in one sitting and should take subject tests in at least two different subject areas (ex: history & science or math and science)
- Students who wish to take the ACT should sign up for the optional Writing section
- PSAT- October
- Optional: SAT Subject Test (World History)- May or June
- PSAT- October
- ACT + Writing - April or June
- SAT Reasoning - March, May, or June
- SAT Subject Tests - May or June
- Language with Listening ONLY offered in November
Summer between 11th grade & 12th grade:
- Examine test scores and work on areas that need improvement
- Re-take tests, if necessary
- ACT + Writing - September, October, or December*
- SAT Reasoning - October, November, or December*
- SAT Subject Tests - October, November, or December*
- Language with Listening ONLY offered in November * December is typically the last test date accepted, but is NOT recommended.
- Students who qualify for free & reduced lunch based on family income, can use fee waivers to satisfy test fees (PSAT, AP, SAT, ACT) and some college application fees.
- If you feel that your family qualifies for the free & reduced lunch program, see you counselor. All students are strongly encouraged to apply for the program as this is how we fee waiver eligibility is determined.
- See your counselor for details and to pick up a fee waiver.