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09/04/2019

What are the SATs and ACTs?

QUESTION
What are the SATs and ACTs?
I’m going to be a sophomore and I heard about these things, I think they’re a test of some sort that universities look at. So how can I prepare for them ?

ANSWER
They both are college admissions tests. For most colleges, you will need to take either one or the other, or both and have a decent score to get in. For the SATs, there is the SAT I, called the Reasoning Test, which is the “ACT” in “SAT” form, and then there are the Subject Subject Tests, which you may or may not be required to take for admission, and are offered in Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, Chinese, French, other languages, Math 1 & 2, US History, World History, etc. lots of subjects. The SAT I Reasoning Test consists of tests in math, reading, and writing, which includes a required essay. The ACT consists of tests in English, Math, Reading, and Science, and then an optional essay writing test, and the writing test is required by some colleges and not others. On the ACT, it is out of 36, and average is about 21. Each individual subject within the ACT is out of 36, and then the scores of the 4 tests are averaged to get a composite score from 1-36. On the SAT I, it’s out of 2400, and average is about 1500. Each individual subjects, each of 3, are out of 800 each, and your scores are added to get a total score of 600-2400. To get into most state colleges, average scores are fine. For private colleges, you’ll need a score a decent amount above average, but it varies. To get into ivies, you’ll need 2200+ on the SAT I and 32+ on the ACT. You prepare for them partly just by high school coursework. Also, you can take a classroom prep course or buy review books such as Kaplan or Princeton Review from a local bookstore or online courses from these companies and many others. Most students take them a few times. You might just take ACT or SAT, or both. You can usually choose which subject tests to take, and if they’re required, it’s usually 2-3 required if any. You can only take the SAT I or 1, 2,3 SAT IIs on any one testing date; can’t take SAT I and SAT IIs on the same day. The ACT is offered every year in September, October, December, February, April, and June, and most students take it once or twice junior year and once or twice again senior year. The SAT I and II’s are offered in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June, and again, most people take it once or twice each in junior and senior years. Hope that helps explain it a little!