College and Career Planning

                           Testing Preparation and Testing Information

If you are seeking entrance to any of the United States many colleges and universities, a requirement for admission in almost 100% of non-community college schools is an SAT or ACT test score. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays.

This Page is designed to provide you with as much information about these tests, as well as resources you can access to help maximize your scores on these exams. It also has resources and information about the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT.

*Note: Please check the College Counseling calendar. You do not have to register for the school-administered SAT

Compare the ACT and SAT tests

  • ACT includes a Science section
  • SAT includes one SAT Math Section on which you may not use a calculator



Why Take It                 

Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

Test Structure

  • Reading
  • Writing & Language
  • Math
  • Essay (Optional)
  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science Reasoning

Essay (Optional)


  • 3 hours (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)
  • 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)


5 reading passages4 reading passages


None1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)



  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis


  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry, Trigonometry, and Probability & Statistics

Calculator Policy

Some math questions don't allow you to use a calculator.You can use a calculator on all math questions.


Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.

How It's Scored

Scored on a scale of 400–1600Scored on a scale of 1–36

Should I Take the ACT or SAT?

Students are increasingly taking both the SAT and ACT . Changes made to the SAT in 2016 have made it easier than ever to prep for both tests concurrently — and earn competitive scores on both!

The best way to decide if taking the SAT, ACT, or both tests is right for you is to take a timed full-length practice test of each type. Since the content and style of the SAT and ACT are very similar, factors like how you handle time pressure and what types of questions you find most challenging can help you determine which test is a better fit. 

  • This section has been reposted from the Princeton Review. For more information about the Princeton Review or to order their resources, click here


The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 are highly relevant to your future success because they focus on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education. They’ll measure:

  • What you learn in high school
  • What you need to succeed in college

If you think the key to a high score is memorizing words and facts you’ll never use in the real world, think again. You don’t have to discover secret tricks or cram the night before.

The best way to prepare for the test is to:

  • Take challenging courses
  • Do your homework
  • Prepare for tests and quizzes
  • Ask and answer lots of questions

In short, take charge of your education and learn as much as you can.

Our Freshmen are introduced to collegiate standardized tests with the PSAT 8/9

Want to try a practices test or two? Click the buttons below for two practice versions of the PSAT/NMSQT

What exactly is the difference between the PSAT 10 and the PSAT/NMSQT? Click below to find out!