The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that colleges use as part of their application process.  These tests are administered by the College Board and American College Testing respectively.  

 

What is the SAT Exam? 

The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a college entrance exam administered by The College Board. The test focuses more on reasoning than content, including sections in Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading, Writing & Language, and an optional Essay.

The College Board offers the SAT several times a year, and may be taken more than once.  It's the student's responsibility to register in advance, and complete test to target specific school application timelines.  There are limited spots at each location, so early registration helps secure desired testing date and location.  Most students take the SAT for the first time during Junior year, and a second time in the fall of Senior year. 

Collegeboard’s SAT Coronavirus Updates and Test Dates

Register for the SAT

What is the ACT Exam?

The ACT Exam or American College Test is a college entrance exam administered by ACT.org. The test focuses more on content than reasoning.  The ACT includes sections in Mathematics, Science, Reading, English, and an Essay.

ACT.org offers the ACT several times a year, and may be taken more than once.  It's the student's responsibility to register in advance, and complete test to target specific school application timelines.  There are limited spots at each location, so early registration helps secure desired testing date and location.  Most students take the ACT for the first time during Junior year, and a second time in the fall of Senior year. 

Given Covid 19, ACT continues to make changes to its processes and test dates. See the ACT News/Blog for recent updates.  Review the test dates and register for the ACT

 

What is the PSAT Exam?

The PSAT or Preliminary SAT (also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a test offered one time each fall to provide firsthand practice for the actual SAT while acting as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition. 

The PSAT mirrors the SAT format, focuses more on reasoning than content, including sections in Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading, Writing & Language, and Essay. 

The PSAT is given to all IHS Sophomores and Juniors, but only Juniors may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition, co-sponsored by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

 

Which College Entrance Exam should I take – the ACT or the SAT?

The ACT and SAT are devised to showcase different academic strengths.  So, part of the answer lies in each student's preferred testing content area.  Also, the answer depends on which test individual colleges and universities accept, as part of their own admission process.

However, some students elect to take both tests, in hopes of increasing application options, and possibly performing better on one test over the other. Today, most colleges allow students to submit the best score, for either test.  As a result, taking both tests could be a smart strategy.  

 

What are the basic differences between the ACT and the SAT?

The Princeton Review provided this ACT/SAT exam differences discussion, defining the differences between both exams.

 

SAT Subject Tests

Most schools do not require SAT Subject Tests (most only require the regular SAT or ACT); however, most will accept the SAT Subject Test scores, which can further demonstrate your knowledge and skills in a subject important to you.  Certain majors (e,g. Computer Science) require SAT Subject Tests.  Dates and Details

 

Practice at Issaquah High

The IH PTSA offers students the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT just for practice multiple times (usually 1-2x in fall and again in spring.)

Questions: contact ihptsaCCP@gmail.com.