SAT & ACT Information

  • What do all of these letters stand for? What kinds of tests are these? These are common questions and fortunately, we have the answers! Here is a brief run down of the alphabet soup.

    •PSAT - The PSAT (provides practice for the SAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a test offered one time each fall, primarily to high school Juniors as a practice SAT and qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Yes, the PSAT can be taken by anyone but only Juniors can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition and therefore the majority of PSAT takers are Juniors.

    •SAT - The Scholastic Aptitude Test is one of the college entrance exams accepted by most colleges and universities. The test is offered several times a year and can be taken more than once. (Please see the list of test dates and registration deadlines below.) We recommend first taking the test in the spring of your Junior year and then again in the fall of your Senior year if you feel it is needed.

    •ACT - The American College Test is also a widely recognized college entrance exam. It is also offered multiple times per year. (Please see the list of test dates and registration deadlines below.) We recommend taking at least one of these tests your Junior year and another one fall of your Senior year, if necessary.

    The SAT and ACT are both equally accepted by most colleges and universities. They differ in several distinct areas. The ACT is often described as a “content based” test while the SAT tests “critical thinking”. Specifically the ACT includes a science reasoning section, a trigonometry section and tests English grammar to a greater degree. The SAT tests more vocabulary and is not entirely multiple choice.

    Can’t decide which test you should take? Read more about the SAT & ACT, or see a side by side comparison of the two tests. The Career Center offers test prep books that can be checked out and a free online test prep site with the SAT, ACT and PSAT included. See the Career Center for details.

    SAT or ACT tests are required for students applying directly to a four-year university, and must be taken before December 31st of senior year. Test dates and registration materials are available online for the SAT at and for the ACT at

    The creators of the SAT have given Khan Academy exclusive access and advice to build a personalized practice program for anyone, anywhere.  These tools are FREE and available now for every student to take ownership of their learning and their future.  Khan Academy is available in many languages.
    March 2 Success provides full length practice tests for both the SAT and ACT.  Videos are also available to help students understand the college admissions process and financial aid opportunities.  March 2 Success is also available in Spanish.
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