Hopefully you took the PSAT in your Junior year and are working towards taking the SAT Reasoning Test in the Spring. The 2015 administration of the PSAT will be a "redesigned version" aligning closely to the redesigned SAT. Check the College Board website for more information. The test is always administered in October, with results returning in late December. When you get your results back, you can see how your verbal and mathematical skills compare to high school students across the country who will be applying for college when you do. This is a very comprehensive report and gives you a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses on the test. Students also have access to "My College QuickStart", CollegeBoard's free personalized tool to prepare students for life beyond high school.
National Exams: SAT/Subject Tests & ACT
Two of the most common and most important high school national exams are the SAT and the ACT Assessment. These standardized tests not only measure a student's academic capabilities, but they also act as a major influence in college admissions.
A redesigned SAT will launch Spring of 2016. Check the College Board website for more information.
A question commonly asked is what is the difference between taking the SAT and ACT - and should you take both?
The tests you take will probably be determined by the requirements of the colleges you would like to attend. Most accept either test, the SAT or the ACT. Some colleges prefer one or the other, so check the catalog or admission procedure section of the college or university information book to make sure you know exactly what tests you are required to take. If you take the exam more than once, most colleges will consider your best score and not be concerned about how often you took the test, although we recommend you not take the test more than three times - and never without doing some preparation before each new test. Just re-testing without preparation will not usually increase your score, and it could go down.
Should I take the SAT Subject Tests?
SAT Subject Tests are not required by all schools. Competitive colleges usually require the writing and math tests and ask you to choose a third test. Many Texas colleges require that you take the writing and math SAT Subject tests. Check admission procedures to find out if you have to take them.
You have to register to take the SAT Subject Tests. They are not a part of the standard SAT exam, but they are usually given on the same day and at the same place. Each test lasts one hour and you can take up to three of them on a testing day.
State Exam: Accuplacer
If you are planning to attend a Texas Public University, you will need to meet the Texas State Initiative (TSI) Standards. If a student is not exempt then they must take the Accuplacer exam at the college/university they plan on attending. The test cannot be taken until a student has been admitted so contact the college about the exam administration. Although it is not used for admission, there are many schools which use it as a form of placement. Some students are exempt from taking Accuplacer - your counselor will be able to tell you if you need to take the test.
If you plan on taking coursework at Collin College during the summer, you will not be permitted to register unless you complete the TSI requirements.
Students may be exempt from the TSI:
- Student is exempt on the basis of SAT scores (less than 5 years old) with a minimum qualifying score of 1070 composite, with 500 Critical Reading and 500 Math.
- Student is exempt on the basis of the ACT (less than 5 years old) with a minimum qualifying score of 23 composite, with 19 English and 19 Math.
The College Board redesigned SAT in the spring of 2016 may affect the TSI exemptions.