College Entrance Exams

College Entrance Exams

Fear of testing will only lead to lost opportunities.  You are allowed to retake your college entrance exams, if you don’t earn a score that is high enough for your initial goals.  A low score does not close any doors, it just may not open the doors that you have in mind.  Taking both the SAT and ACT will maximize your opportunity for acceptance.  Often a student improves their test taking ability by trying multiple exams.

ACT or American College

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test. ACT results are accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. 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).

SAT or Scholastic Aptitude

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.

Remember, college entrance exams are for your benefit.  It is important that you attend a university with students of similar initial preparation.  While the goal is to attend the best university available to you, it might be more enjoyable to be one of the strongest students in a school instead of the one who barely qualified to attend.

SAT Subject TestsSAT Subject Test Link
Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your achievements and interests.

Some colleges require or recommend that you take SAT Subject Tests.  In addition, you can enhance your application, demonstrate knowledge you’ve gained outside the classroom, and potentially perform well enough to skip some introductory courses.

Did you know that the University of California now requires three SAT subject tests?  UC requires scores from the SAT I (scores from the same sitting) or ACT (composite score), along with scores from three SAT II Subject Tests: Writing, Math (either level), and a third exam in English literature, foreign language, science or social studies.