The most important indicators of college success are your grades in high school and your curriculum. However, colleges have long used admissions tests like the ACT and SAT as a way to compare academic records across high schools.
Most students who do well in high school classes will find similar success in the standardized tests. Some preparation can be helpful and there are many options that range from free to more expensive. The Compass Group Guide is a very thorough overview of these standardized tests.
Eagle Ridge Academy hosts both the ACT and SAT. 2016-17 testing dates are as follows:
SAT: November 5, 2016
ACT: December 10, 2016 and June 10, 2017
There are two options for admissions tests in the US – the ACT and the SAT. Some things to know:
- Every college will take either the ACT or the SAT.
- Admissions tests are usually taken in the spring of the junior year because students have completed the necessary curriculum in order to be successful.
- The tests can be taken more than once, although a strategy of repeating the test many times is generally not advisable.
- For most colleges, you can choose which score to send. A few very selective schools and the University of California schools require you to send all of your scores.
- A few selective colleges recommend or require SAT Subject Tests. Scroll down for more information.
- AP tests can be used to get college credit and can also be helpful in admissions. Scroll down for detailed information about AP tests at Eagle Ridge.
To Register for the ACT, go to www.actstudent.org.
To Register for the SAT, go to https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register.
Not all colleges require the ACT or SAT. An increasing number of colleges have become test optional, which means that they will review your application without a standardized test. Here is the latest list of test optional schools.
- Early in the junior year, take a practice test under test conditions (timed, etc.) to familiarize yourself with the structure, content, and timing of the test.
- Consider taking a practice ACT as well as a practice SAT to determine which test suits you best.
- Review strengths and weaknesses and decide how you want to prepare for the actual test.
- Register for the ACT or SAT in spring of junior year. Be prepared to take it one or two more times if you are targeting very selective colleges for admission.
Practice Tests for ACT and SAT
Live practice tests offered by test prep companies for free:
Online tests to be taken at home:
Preparation Options for the ACT and SAT
There are FREE and low priced options for ACT and SAT preparation. Some great options include:
There are many paid providers of ACT and SAT preparation. This list is a sample of some area options and not an endorsement of the providers:
Breakaway Test Prep: http://www.breakawaytestprep.com
Club Z Tutoring: www.clubztutoring.com
College Tutors: http://www.collegetutors.com/edinamn
Huntington Learning Center: www.huntingtonhelps.com
Kaplan Test Prep: www.kaptest.com/college
Princeton Review: www.PrincetonReview.com
Sylvan Learning Systems: www.sylvanlearning.com
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects. These tests are recommended or required by some highly selective institutions. Many very selective colleges will consider SAT Subject tests and they can be another way to show a college what you can do. Here is some good information about the tests and which schools consider them.
SAT Subject tests are offered by the College Board. Their website offers detailed information about the tests, when they are offered, how to register and how to prepare.
AP Tests - 2017 AP Exam Order Form, Due March 15
AP tests are usually taken after the completion of an AP course. Taking an AP course is one way to pursue your academic interests and build a record of academic rigor. College admissions officers tell us that they are most interested in the rigor of your curriculum and your grades. Many colleges (not all!) will give academic credit for AP scores at a certain level. Check each college webpage for details. Eagle Ridge Academy offers the following AP courses:
- AP Calculus
- AP Statistics
- AP Art History
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics
- AP Studio Art 2D
- AP Studio Art 3D
Eagle Ridge Academy students, based on the classical curriculum are well positioned to take other AP tests if they are willing to commit to additional study.