College Testing

  • What is the PSAT/NMSQT?
    The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is designed for juniors and will be given to all sophomores and juniors at WA in October. The PSAT gives students practice for the SAT, which they will take for college admission, and is used to determine National Merit Scholarship candidates. Another benefit of the PSAT is identification of students who have the potential to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The PSAT measures math reasoning and reading and writing skills and includes multiple choice and fill-in response questions. Results are sent to WA and reviewed with students in December.

    What tests do students need to take for admission to a four-year college?
    Standardized tests can be an important factor in admission decisions at most selective colleges and universities. A recent trend is the growing number of colleges which have eliminated test requirements entirely. Students should carefully check test requirements at the schools they are considering and arrange to complete all tests and send results in time to meet college deadlines. Be sure to copy school and test center codes correctly and have a social security number on hand, as this will be used for both college examinations and applications.

    What is the SAT?
    The SAT is the most widely used test for college admission and is used as a predictor of academic success and as a requirement for entry at many colleges. It is a 3 hour and 45 minute test with three sections yielding three scores: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. Scores are reported on a range of 200 to 800 with 500 as the average. Students register online at www.collegeboard.com. Students must submit a photo when registering for the SAT. Results are sent to the student, to the high school, and to colleges the student has selected. The SAT is given on designated Saturdays throughout the school year at a local test site. Please be sure to provide the High School Code: 070975 when registering.

    When and how often should I take the SAT?
    The College Board recommends that most students take the SAT twice, but not more than three times, usually in spring of the junior year and early fall of the senior year. Because of block scheduling at WA, some students prefer to take an SAT in January of the junior year if they are just completing their math course in semester one. Registration deadlines are set well in advance of test dates, so it is important to check and register early.

    What is the ACT?
    The ACT is also a standardized college admission test which students can take instead of or in addition to the SAT. The ACT gives sub-scores in English, math, science, reading, and an optional writing test. At some colleges, the ACT can also replace the SAT: Subject Tests requirement. While the SAT and ACT have a high statistical correlation with each other, some students will do significantly better on one than the other. For that reason, students may want to take the ACT with writing at least once in addition to the SAT. Students must submit a photo when registering for the ACT.

    Do colleges accept both the SAT and ACT?
    Every college and university that requires standardized test scores will accept either the SAT or ACT.

    Should I take the SAT or ACT – or both?
    Some students may want to take each test at least once, given that colleges will use the highest score set. We recommend students take one SAT and one ACT and then compare the scores to determine which test suits the student best and then take that test for a second time.

    What is Score Choice for the SAT?
    Score Choice gives a student the option to choose which scores (by test date for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests) to send to colleges. In most cases, WA does not recommend that the student select Score Choice for the SAT, as almost all colleges consider a student’s best scores regardless of when they were achieved.

    What are SAT: Subject Tests?
    SAT: Subject Tests are each one hour long and cover a specific academic area. Only 45 (7%) of the most selective colleges require subject tests, and all but three of these colleges want two scores. Sometimes specific majors require specific tests (e.g., an engineering major might require a math and a science subject test). Students can take a maximum of three subject tests on one test date. Students must check college websites to confirm requirements.

    When should students take SAT: Subject Tests?
    Most students take SAT:Subject Tests at the end of the semester when they have completed the highest level of the course prior to senior year. More information can be found HERE

    What if a student has a diagnosed learning disability or physical challenge?
    Non-standard testing is available for students with documented disabilities. Students who qualify can receive extended time, large-print materials, and other accommodations. Please see your counselor for more information.

    How can students raise their scores on the SAT or ACT?
    Studies have shown that practice can improve scores. Students should become familiar with standardized testing by taking the PSAT and by reviewing their results. Many free, inexpensive, and some very expensive test prep programs are available from the College Board, ACT, commercial guides and courses, software, online, and from tutors. WA also offers an SAT prep course in the fall and spring of each year. It is clear that students who prepare for these tests usually can improve their results, but the best long-term prep is classroom learning and study and outside reading.

    What are Advanced Placement (AP) courses?
    Advanced Placement offers more than thirty college-level courses, each of which culminates in a rigorous subject exam. Many four year colleges grant incoming students credit and/or placement in higher level courses for qualifying grades on AP exams. Colleges are increasingly using AP scores as part of admission decision-making. Students who achieve a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam should report this to colleges to which they are applying. It is not necessary to submit official AP scores for consideration in the application review process. Students may note the AP scores on the Common Application or colleges’ own applications or submit a photocopy of score reports to the admissions office. Official AP scores should only be sent to the college the student decides to attend. Students are responsible for sending this information to the colleges.

    What if a student cannot afford the fees for test registration and college applications? Fee waivers for college entrance tests and for applications are available for low-income students from their counselor.

    Which colleges have made testing optional? A list of colleges which do not require the SAT or ACT can be found at www.fairtest.org.

    SAT/ACT What is the Difference?
    View Side-by-Side Comparison

    SAT/ACT: Which one should I take? 
    View Side-by-Side Comparison

    Where can I compare my SAT/ACT scores?
    Here

    Where can I see a list of SAT Dates & Deadlines?
    On our website in the calendar, or HERE

    Where can I see a list of ACT Dates & Deadlines?
    On our website in the calendar, or HERE


    How do I register for the SAT?
    You will need to create an account at www.collegeboard.com

    Once you have created an account you will then sign up for the SAT test. Please be mindful of registration deadlines.

    How do I register for the ACT?
    You will need to create an account at www.actstudent.org

    Once you have created an account you will then sign up for the ACT test. Please be mindful of registration deadlines.

  • When registering please be sure to add Woodstock Academy's High School Code: 070975

  • SENIORS: IF A COLLEGE REQUIRES THE SAT OR ACT YOU MUST SEND YOUR OFFICIAL SCORES FROM EITHER COLLEGE BOARD OR THE ACT. WA DOES NOT send SAT or ACT scores. It will take time for colleges to receive the scores so please send at least 2 weeks prior to the college application.

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