Four year colleges require students to submit either ACT or SAT scores. The ACT is the American College Testing program. The SAT is the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The tests give colleges an indication of a students academic readiness for college level instruction. Most schools accept scores from either test.
Both tests assess students in English and Math. The ACT also includes a Science section. There is also an optional Writing test offered on both the SAT and ACT. The SAT has scores ranging up to 800 in each of the two sections, for a total possible score of 1600. A 4-year college bound student should score 1000 or higher. The ACT has scores ranging up to 36 in each of the four sections, and they also give a composite or average score. A good score for the ACT is 22 and higher.
A student can take the tests as often as they would like, however 2-3 times is on average when scores are the highest. Most colleges will combine the best sub-scores from multiple tests to get a best representation of a student’s ability. Test preparation usually improves test scores, and options vary from self-prep to test prep classes to simply taking the PSAT (Practice SAT) and reviewing results.
It is recommended that top students take the SAT or ACT for the first time at the end of their junior year or when they are taking Honors Algebra 2- as that is the math level tested . Then they can take the test a second time, if so desired, in the early fall of the senior year. This will allow time for the student to have scores sent to colleges between December – February, when most college applications are due.
To register for the SAT, and/or get prep materials, go to http://www.sat.collegeboard.com/
To register for the ACT, and/or get prep materials, go to http://www.actstudent.org/index.html
Other Self-prep options include acquiring prep books from the public library or local book store, or visiting sites, like http://www.number2.com/
or Khan Academy
or students can access Peterson/s Test Prep through the CHS created CIS Portfolio,http://oregoncis.uoregon.edu/login/login.aspx
For prep classes, students can sign up for classes from:
Portland Community College Community Ed – Test Prep