The SAT and ACT are entrance exams used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT and ACT are used to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. Your SAT or ACT score is considered to be an important factor in the college admissions process. In their 2017 State of College Admissions Report, the National Association of College Admission Counseling found the top four areas that colleges place considerable importance to be:
- 77.1% Grades in All Courses
- 76.9% Grades in College Prep Courses
- 51.8% Strength of Curriculum
- 54.3% SAT or ACT Scores
The SAT is offered nationally in August, October, November, December, March, May and June for 2018-2019.
Beginning in March of 2016, the SAT will have a redesigned format. Some of the more significant changes include:
- Return to a top score of 1600
- No penalty for wrong answers
- Fewer choices
- More time for each section
- No more obscure vocabulary
- Increased use of graphs and charts
- Use of texts that are more similar to those you’ve seen at school
- Reading section focuses on evidence
- Revamped essay section: Not part of the writing score and optional
ACT assessment measures high school students’ general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work with the multiple choice tests covering four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The optional Writing Test measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. A Composite score, all four areas averaged, of 36 is the highest score on the ACT test. Colleges accept SAT and ACT scores but may vary on the emphasis given for either test. Make sure to check the colleges you are interested in for complete and accurate information.
The ACT is offered nationally in July, September, October, December, February, April and June for 2018-2019.