Standardized Tests are just one of many factors considered by colleges when making admission decisions. Since course offerings and grading scales vary between high schools, standardized testing allows the comparison of one aspect of student performance on a national basis. You will find detailed information about both the SAT and ACT in this section of the website. It is important to be aware that both the ACT and SAT are accepted at schools across the country. As students begin to develop a list of colleges of interest, they should check testing requirements as these may vary greatly amongst schools. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the individual requirements for each school on their list.
There is a growing number of schools that have made the decision to become test optional. These schools can be an excellent option for students that struggle with standardized testing, however, all students should be aware of any schools on their list that are test optional as they will need to decide whether or not to send scores. Counselors are available to assist with these decisions. A full listing of test optional schools can be found at www.fairtest.org.
If students receive testing accommodations in school through an IEP or 504 they should see their counselor as soon as possible to discuss requesting these accommodations for the SAT and ACT.
The testing process is highly individualized and each student's plan may differ based on individual circumstances. It is important that students are well prepared before taking any official exams and students should not test too early as it may lead to lower scores and burn out. Typically, students should not be taking any official tests prior to spring of junior year. Juniors should meet with their counselor to create a preliminary testing plan that makes the most sense for them.