College Testing: SAT/ACT
Many colleges and universities require students to take either the SAT or ACT as part of the college admissions process. Please use the following questions and answers to help you understand the basics of the SAT and ACT.
What is the SAT/ACT?
The SAT and the ACT are standardized testing used as part of the college admissions process. They test reading and math. The ACT also tests science – understanding graphs and tables, etc.
What is the difference between the SAT/ACT?
Here is a link to a useful comparison between the SAT and ACT provided by the Princeton Review: https://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-act. Please note that we do not sponsor the author; we only find the public document useful.
Do colleges care which test I take?
For the most part, colleges do not have any preference on which test you take so it is up to you!
How do the scores between the SAT and ACT compare?
Here is a link to a useful comparison between the SAT and ACT scores, provided by the Princeton Review: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/act-to-sat-conversion. Please note that we do not sponsor the author; we only find the public document useful.
When should I take the SAT/ACT?
We recommend students to take the SAT or ACT at least once their junior year and at least one more time during the fall of their senior year.
Is there a fee waiver available?
Yes! There is a fee waiver available for on-time registration. For late registration, the fee waiver will only cover the test fee and not the late registration fee. Unfortunately, there is no fee waiver for sending score reports because students have the opportunity to send four free score reports to colleges during their actual test day. To see if you are eligible for a fee waiver, please check out https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-fee-waivers.
How can I prepare for the SAT/ACT?
There are three awesome ways to prepare for the SAT/ACT!
- Take the classes through our Sammamish High School PTSA! SAT Prep Classes are available in the Fall and in the Spring. Please see your school counselor or look out for information in the Totem News.
- Use Khan Academy! Khan Academy collaborates with College Board to offer free, online SAT prep program. You can link you Khan Academy account with your College Board account to get free, individualized prep for the SAT. Register here. (link: https://www.khanacademy.org/sat)
- Use your KCLS log in. The King County Library System offers ACT test prep online. Students can log in using their library card. (link: kcls.org)
Will I have access to practice tests?
Yes! You will have access to different practice tests once a year at SHS. All practice tests are given during Super Wednesday in mid-October.
9th grade students will take the PSAT-9.
10th grade students will take the practice ACT.
11th grade students will take the PSAT/NMSQT. For more information about the PSAT and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, please go to http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php.
What are the SAT Subject Tests?
The SAT Subject Tests are standardized tests in a given subject such as math, biology, US History, etc. Some highly selective universities require students to take two SAT Subject Tests in two different areas as part of their college admissions process. To learn more about what subjects are available, please check out this website. (link: https://sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests/sat-subject-tests)
Are there any universities that do not require the SAT or ACT?
Yes! The National Center for Fair and Optional Testing has a list of universities that do not require SAT or ACT. Please go to http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional for more information and for a list of those universities.
What does my college admissions testing schedule in high school look like?
|9th Grade||10th Grade||11th Grade||12th Grade|
|Testing Schedule||October – PSAT||October – Practice ACT||
February/March -SAT or ACT
May/June-SAT Subject Test (optional)
August-Start College Applications
September/October– SAT or ACT
When are the SAT and ACT Test Dates?
For the most current information on the SAT and ACT Test and Registration Dates, please check on their websites: https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-us-dates or http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html.
|ACT – www.actstudent.org|
|Test Dates||Registration Deadline|
|September 12, 2020||August 7, 2020|
|October 24, 2020||September 20, 2020|
|December 12, 2020||November 6, 2020|
|February 6, 2021||January 8, 2021|
|April 10, 2021||March 5, 2021|
|June 12, 2021||May 7, 2021|
|July 17, 2021||June 11, 2021|
|SAT – collegeboard.org|
|Test Dates||Test||Registration Deadline|
|August 29, 2020||SAT and Subject Tests||July 31, 2020|
|September 26, 2020||SAT Only||August 26, 2020|
|October 3, 2020||SAT and Subject Tests||September 4, 2020|
|November 7, 2020||SAT and Subject Tests||October 7, 2020|
|December 5, 2020||SAT and Subject Tests||November 5, 2020|
|March 13, 2021||SAT Only||February 12, 2021|
|May 8, 2021||SAT and Subject Tests||April 8, 2021|
|June 5, 2021||SAT and Subject Tests||May 6, 2021|