College Entrance Exams

  • Both the SAT and the ACT are acceptable for college admission. Students should plan on taking each test at least once by April of the junior year. After receiving your scores, you may decide that one test is better suited to your strengths, or you may want to retake both of them again. See your counselor for more information about testing, including the dates on which you can take the SAT for free.

    What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?

    The ACT has up to five components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and an optional Writing test. The SAT has only three components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics and Writing.

    The SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, points are taken off for wrong answers. The ACT score is based on the number of correct answers, with no penalty for wrong answers. The scoring of the two tests differs as well: The SAT is on a scale of 2400, with each section worth 800 points. On the ACT, each subject test is scored from 1 to 36, and then each of these scores is averaged to create a composite score. The writing test is also given a score of 2 to 12.

    Fee waivers

    The fee-waiver grant program assists high school students for whom payment of fees for the SAT may be a barrier to college entrance. Eligible students should meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • Be enrolled in certain programs for the economically disadvantaged
    • Have an annual family income that falls within prescribed USDA levels
    • Reside in a family that receives public assistance or lives in federally subsidized housing
    • Reside in a foster home

    Check with your counselor about your eligibility and how to receive a waiver if you qualify.