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Testing Information


The ACT is one of the standardized tests required by colleges. It has five categories: english, mathematics, reading, science, and an optional writing section. Each section is scored separately and combined together for a composite score. The highest score a student can receive is 36.



The SAT is one of the standardized tests required by colleges. It measures three skill categories: critical reading, mathematics and writing. Each section is worth 800 points, with a total of 2400 points.The SAT test has 10 sections, with one unscored section to ensure validity.


The SAT Subject(s) Test is required by several private colleges. The test measures a student's knowledge in a particular subject area. Each test is worth 800 points. A student can take up to 3 subject tests in one sitting.The subject areas include languages, history, science, english, and mathematics.

Differences between the ACT and SAT Reasoning

  • The ACT is an achievement test while the SAT is more of an aptitude test.
  • The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test. However, in order for the ACT to be equally considered with the SAT, students must take the ACT w/ writing.
  • The SAT has a total score of 2400, and the ACT's total is 36.
  • The SAT has a penalty for guessing (if the answer is wrong). The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing.


The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT. Juniors who take the test can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. From Collegeboard, the most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:

  • to receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
  • to see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
  • to enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11).
  • to help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
  • to receive information from colleges when you check yes to Student Search Service.

The PSAT has three sections: critical reading, math and writing skills. It is offered once a year in October.

Advanced Placement

Advanced-Placement (AP) are considered to be college-level courses students can take while in high school. Students usually take the AP test in their course's subject matter. AP tests are administered in May, and the score ranges from 0 to 5, with 5 as the highest. 3 is considered the minimum passing score.

Unlike honors courses, students may earn college credit, depending on their AP test scores and the colleges' requirements. To find out more about AP tests, please visit the collegeboard's website.