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Testing Information

SAT Test Dates

Basic Fee $49; Late Fee $26; Standby $43; Change Fee $25

www.collegeboard.org

School Code is 112-742

SAT DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
Mail
Late Registration Deadline
Phone/Online
October 3, 2015 September 3, 2015September 18, 2015September 22, 2015
November 7, 2015 October 9, 2015October 23, 2015October 27, 2015
December 5, 2015 November 5, 2015November 20, 2015November 23, 2015
January 23, 2016 December 28, 2015January 8, 2016January 12, 2016
March 5, 2016February 5, 2016February 19, 2016February 23, 2016
May 7, 2016April 8, 2016April 22, 2016April 26, 2016
June 4, 2016 May 5, 2016May 20, 2016May 25, 2016

Online registration for SAT Program tests at www.collegeboard.com.

ACT Test Dates

Basic Fee $49.50 with writing, $34 without; Late Fee $21; Standby Fee $42; Change Fee $21
www.actstudent.org

School Code is 112-742

ACT Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
September 12, 2015 August 7, 2015 August 8-21, 2015
October 24, 2015 September 18, 2015 September 19-October 2, 2015
December 12, 2015 November 6, 2015 November 7-20, 2015
February 6, 2016 January 8, 2016 January 9-15, 2016
April 9, 2016 March 4, 2016 March 5-18, 2016
June 11, 2016 May 6, 2016 May 7-20, 2016

Online registration for ACT tests at www.actstudent.org.

Why do colleges and scholarship committees require tests such as SAT and ACT?

  • To provide a common yardstick for measuring potential success in college.
  • To serve as a check on grade inflation (High schools vary in quality and difficulty. An “A” from one school may not be equal to an “A” from another.)
  • To serve as confirmation of the high school record.
  • To help in self-selection for college admission. Students may research what percentage of the freshmen at a given college made scores similar to theirs.

Which tests are accepted where?

The SAT-1 is the preferred test in 278 institutions. Ten institutions in the US are the SAT-1 exclusive: California Institute of Technology Harvey Mudd College (CA), Westfield State College (MA), Loyola College (MD), Wake Forest University (NC), CUNY-Barnard M. Barcuch College (NY), CNY-College of Staten Island (NY), College of Insurance (NY), Webb Institute of Naval Architecture (NY), and Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music(PR).

The ACT is the preferred test is 654 institutions, and the 1,420 institutions will accept either test equally. All Ivy Leagues will accept either test, with the SAT-1 being preferred at Princeton and University of Pennsylvania. Students should ask colleges which test they prefer and whether they will accept results from the other test.

ACT

The ACT includes four tests, the High School Course/Grade Info questionnaire, the ACT Interest Inventory, and the Student Profile Section:

  • English Test – 75 items/45 minutes
  • Mathematics Test – 60 items/60 minutes (Includes 23% pre-algebra, 17% elementary algebra, 15% intermediate algebra, 15% coordinate geometry, 23% plane geometry, and 7% trigonometry)
  • Reading Test – 40 items/35 minutes
  • Reasoning Test – 40 items/35 minutes

Students must be able to remember and use math formulas and rules of grammar, punctuation, and usage. Students may use calculators. There are only four answer choices in each area other than math where there a re five. There is no penalty for guessing. Students receive twelve scaled score s on the Enhanced ACT Assessment: four test scores, seven sub scores, and a composite score with a maximum of 36 points. Score reports are mailed four weeks after each national test date.

The SAT I: Reasoning Test is a three-hour multiple-choice test divided into seven sections:

  • 2 Thirty-minute and one fifteen-minute verbal sections testing vocabulary, verbal reasoning and critical reading skills
  • 2 Thirty-minutes and one fifteen-minute math sections testing ability to solve problems involving arithmetic, algebra, and geometry

Which test should a student take?

Some reasons to take the ACT:

  • There is greater detail in score reporting. This information may help students make college choices and assist with college course placement decisions.
  • Some schools will take the ACT instead of the SAT I plus SAT Subject Tests. This one is the preferred test in some neighboring states.
  • The academic abilities of good students who may not test well are sometimes more evident with the ACT.

Some reasons to take the SAT:

  • Some Georgia colleges ma prefer the SAT. Students need to check with the college.
  • This test is mentioned often on scholarship applications. (remember that your child has the option of asking if ACT scores may be substituted.)

Comparing ACT Composite scores to SAT I V+M scores.

The estimates are based on the test scores of 103,525 students from 14 universities and two states who took both the ACT and the SAT I between October 1994 and December 1996. Because the ACT and the SAT I have different content, student’s actual scores on the ACT I could differ significantly from the concordance estimates in the table.

Source: SAT, Inc. Questions about the concordance study may be directed to ACT’s Research division (319.337.1471.)

ACT Composite Score Concordant SAT I V + M Score
36 1600
35 1580
34 1520
33 1470
32 1420
31 1380
30 1340
29 1300
28 1260
27 1220
26 1180
25 1140
24 1110
23 1070
22 1030
21 990
20 950
19 910
18 870
17 830
16 780
15 740
14 680
13 620
12 560
11 500

What is the difference between the ACT and the SAT?

ACT

The makers of the ACT say that the tests measure a student’s academic achievement in the areas of English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. It is not an aptitude test.

SAT

The makers of the SAT say that the verbal portion of the test is designed to test vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and understanding of what you read. The math questions test your ability to solve problems involving arithmetic, elementary algebra, and geometry.

Understanding PSAT Scores

Who takes the PSAT?

Of the more than two million students who take the test, most are high school juniors. Nearly all students who take the test indicate they plan to attend college.

The 20,000 high schools that test-takers attend vary greatly in size, curricula, standards, grading systems, population served, and source of support. For students who take the PSAT/NMSQT, the score report provides a standardized view of their scholastic skills, regardless of the school attended, and helps them compare themselves to other college-bound students nationwide.

What does the PSAT/NMSQT measure?

The PSAT/NMSQT measures skills in three basic academic areas important for success in college.

  • Verbal reasoning questions involve analogies, sentence completions, and critical reading.
  • Math problem-solving questions deal with arithmetic, algebra, and geometry; some involve quantitative comparisons.
  • Writing skills questions ask students to identify sentence errors, improve sentences, and improve paragraphs.

How is the PSAT/NMSQT scored?

First, a raw score is computed. Students receive one point for each correct answer (regardless of difficulty). For incorrect answers to multiple-choice questions, a fraction of a point is deducted based on the number of answer choices: four choices, 1/3 point deduction; five choices, 1/4 point deduction. Nothing is deducted for unanswered questions or for an incorrect answer to a student-produced response question.

Next, the raw score is converted to a score on the PSAT/NMSQT scale of 20 to 80. This statistical procedure, called equating, adjusts for differences in difficulty between various forms, or editions, of the test. Equating makes it possible to compare the scores of students who have take different editions of the test.

Do PSAT/NMSQT scores fairly reflect student’s skills?

Concern for fairness is an integral part of the development of the PSAT/NMSQT. Comprehensive reviews and analyses ensure that questions and tests are fair for different groups of students. Although differences in test performance may be the result of many factors, long-term educational preparation is the primary cause. The test itself reflects such differences but does not cause them.

Can PSAT/NMSQT scores be used to estimate SAT scores?

Verbal and math questions in the PSAT/NMSQT are the same kind as those in the SAT I: Reasoning Test. Writing skills questions are the same kind as those in the multiple-choice section of the Sat II: Writing Test. These similarities are intentional, as the PSAT/NMSQT is designed to be a practice for Sat Program tests. The PSAT/NMSTQT scale of 20 to 80 is equivalent to the Sat scale of 200 to 800.

Estimated SAT score ranges are included on student score reports. Two times out of three, juniors will earn SAT scores within these ranges but actual scores may be higher (or lower) than these estimates. Higher than estimated SAT scores may result from intervening activities, such as

  • Developing skills through rigorous academic courses
  • Participating in problem-solving activities
  • Extensive, quality outside reading
  • Following the advice in the “Improve Your Skills” section of Score Report Plus
  • Becoming familiar with test directions, types of questions, and pacing

Juniors frequently take the SAT six or seven months after taking the PSAT/NMSQT. Estimated SAT scores for all test-takers assume the SAT is taken within a year of taking the PSAT/NMSQT. Sophomores will usually not take the SAT for 18 months, so there may be a greater likelihood that intervening activities will influence their SAT scores.