Happy Grads

Standardized Testing (ACT/SAT)

  • Questions that are commonly asked are:
    Which college admissions test should my student take? and 
    Which test preparation company is the best?

    There are two admissions tests which colleges will accept, the SAT and the ACT. These two tests are different and occasionally a student will score better on one than the other. Then that student would send his/her best test score (whether it is an SAT or an ACT) to the college. I suggest that students try both tests.

    The SAT is a reasoning test. It consists of math and evidence based reading/writing sections, for a total score of 1600. The ACT tests the student’s knowledge in four areas: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning with each carrying 1/4 of the weight toward the total score of 36. Colleges know how to compare the different scores. Both registration forms are available in the College/Career Center or students can register on line at SAT or ACT (www.actstudents.org).

    There is also the SAT Subject Tests. The University of California system no longer require two SAT II subject tests.  However, subject tests are recommended.  Students choosing the math subject test, must take Math level IIC- the C means it is acceptable to use a calculator. Students taking AP U.S. History might consider taking U.S. History as their third tests. There are 16 subject tests possible, many of them languages. These tests are administered on a Saturday morning.

     

    Because more students in Marin take the SAT than the ACT, there are three sites in Marin that offer the SAT. They are listed in the registration manual by the city name: Novato (Novato H.S.), Ross (Branson School), and San Rafael .  Currently, only Novato offers the ACT. Register early to ensure that you get the location you want. Students may walk-in and try to stand-by to take the test if they miss the last registration deadline.

     

    Most California public colleges will accept an SAT or ACT test score taken through December of a student’s senior year. The SAT offers test dates in January, March, May, June, October, November, and December. The ACT offers  their test in  February, April, September, October and December. When students request that their SAT I test results be sent to a college, The College Board will either send results from all SAT tests taken or will send just a specific test date you request. The ACT will send just the one test date you request.


    When sending test score to the UC and CSU system, you may save money by sending them to only one location per school.  For the SAT, by sending their score to school code 3594, all California State Universities will have access to that score. Currently, students must may send the ACT scores to one California State University campus and the use the CSU Mentor Score Manager to share the scores with other CSU campuses.By sending scores (either ACT or SAT) to any one University of California campus, then checking the box at the end of the UC application, all campuses will have access to your scores.

     

    There are many test preparation companies offering classes in Marin. These courses typically consist of a series of group sessions. Several of the local high school offer free practice test sessions for the SAT.  Watch for e-mail announcements for these dates. Compass in Larkspur Landing offers free practice SAT and ACT tests. Compass provides private tutoring in all areas of test preparation. The local number is 800-620-6250.  Many students have taken classes or received one-on-one tutoring for the SAT/ACT/Subject Tests from TLC Tutoring in Fairfax. http://tlctutoring.org/

     

    Online help:

    http://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat 

    www.number2.com offers good free online test prep.

     Mometrix