There are so many tests
it’s hard to figure out who should take what test and when below is a
short synopsis of what each test is.
PSAT is given only once a year in October. It
provides sophomores and juniors with an opportunity to practice for the
SAT. During the junior year the PSAT is also used as selection for
National Merit Scholarships. Please click here to obtain information on how to register for the PSAT's
is designed to help measure a student’s ability to handle college level
work. The 7 sections that currently make up the test are comprised
of a variety of math and verbal questions designed to gauge a student’s
critical thinking and problem solving skills.
II Subject tests: There are 22 different subject tests designed to
measure a student’s ability in a specific discipline. The SAT I measure
how well a student reads and thinks while SAT II subject tests measure
the extent of a student’s knowledge in a specific discipline. Not all
colleges require SAT II, so check with the schools you are thinking
about applying to.
- The ACT is more of a content-based test than the SAT I. While still
a test of problem solving skills, the ACT more closely tests a student’s
knowledge of the “Core-Curriculum” taught in most classrooms. The format
of ACT is 4 subject tests in English, mathematics, reading and science
Most colleges require the SAT or ACT; you can decide which one to take
based on your particular strength and weaknesses.
The SAT and ACT are changing format beginning in March 2005 for SAT and
January 2005 for ACT. Changes to the format include a writing sample
for each test and math will include more Algebra 2. SAT
and ACT scores are used for college admissions purposes because the test
predicts readiness for college work.
With more than 25,000 high schools in the US, courses and grading
standards vary widely. Since the SAT is standardized and objective, it
gives colleges a common yardstick that complements the high school
curriculum in a common manner. Your scores show how ready you are to
handle the work at their institutions and how your verbal and math
skills compare with those of other applicants.