College Entrance Testing
College Entrance TestingMUHS College Counseling
ACT and SAT – Tip Sheet
1. ACT versus SAT - I advise our students to try one SAT and one ACT sometime in the spring semester of junior year. Colleges across the US will take either test for admission purposes. The tests are somewhat different - while they are both timed tests, SAT is a reasoning test while ACT is testing what you know (meaning the more curriculum you have, the better you should do). A higher score on either test can play into an admissions decision as well as a scholarship decision, depending on the college.
2. The Registration Process - You can check the dates and register online at their respective websites http://www.collegeboard.com/ (SAT) and www.act.org . Be sure to check your schedules especially if you are a spring athlete since you may discover some schedule conflicts. If you prefer to register via paper or use a check to pay your fee, please see Mrs. Sullivan, Ms. Sahagún or me for a paper registration packet for either test.
3. Registration Fees and Test Waivers – Registration fees will vary depending on when you register (early/regular, late or standby) and if you are taking writing or not (this applies to the ACT only). If cost is a burden, please see me about the possibility of a fee waiver for the process. Fee waivers are granted based on family size and financial information.
4. Taking ACT With or Without Writing - The SAT test includes a writing section and the ACT has an optional writing section. You'll need to decide if you want to take the writing when you register. You can always consult a college's website (usually under "Admission Requirements") to learn if they require the writing test. In our area, Marquette U, UW-Madison and U of Minnesota all require the writing portion. Currently, other UW universities and in-state private colleges do not.
5. Choosing a test site - When you register, you'll also have to check the test date for testing sites in the area and rank the top three (3) preferences of where you'd like to test. The benefit of registering early is that your test site should be closer to home. Some students registering late have had to drive to Kenosha, Madison and Illinois. Testing in a familiar school setting may be helpful. Please note: MUHS is NOT a test site for ACT or SAT.
6. Sending Test Scores to the Colleges - At registration time, you can select up to four (4) colleges to receive your scores automatically. The benefit is that you won't have to pay an additional fee later to send them. Most colleges accept any scores that are sent but keep the highest score for admission and scholarship consideration. Students will be able to select the particular test date/test score to send to their colleges for both ACT and SAT (previously SAT sent a history of scores). Of course, you are always welcome to wait to send your scores or feel free to consult with me if you're uncertain.
7. Accommodations for Students with Disabilities – If you (your son) has a documented disability, he may be eligible for testing accommodations including extended time, testing across days, a reader, etc. A documented disability is defined by both ACT and SAT on their respective websites ( http://www.act.org/aap/disab/policy.html http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd/student/document.h... ).
8. Test Preparation - As for test prep, there are free materials in a number of places including the websites mentioned previously. If you're looking for test prep, I have a number of sites and phone numbers listed on the College Counseling website (and included below). You'll have to check out a few places and decide what dates and times work, costs and if you want to be part of a class or have individual tutoring. As far as recommendations go, the feedback I receive from our students is mixed. The one consistent positive I have heard is that the boys have appreciated individual tutoring over the group/class setting. In addition, I believe it depends on the student's attitude (a student who wants to learn something about standardized testing probably will get more out of any prep sessions over a student who doesn't want to take the class). Remember, everyone does NOT need to pay to have productive test prep. See Mrs. Sullivan or Ms. Sahagún to check out test prep books available in the College Resource Room. Again, if you have questions, please see me.
9. SAT Subject Tests – Some colleges may recommend or require SAT Subject Tests in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test. Subject tests are one-hour, subject specific tests in areas ranging from math and science to literature, history and languages (similar to AP tests). Colleges requiring the tests will specify how many (usually two or three) and sometimes which ones (math and science are common). Colleges will clarify their recommendation or requirement on their website or you may contact the admissions' office.
10. Questions – As with all topics related to the college search and decision-making process, please feel free to contact Mrs. Annette Cleary anytime at (414) 933-7220 ext. 3035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACT and SAT Testing Information
Getting and Sending SAT and ACT Test Scores