IMPORTANT: Students submitting standardized test scores are responsible for sending scores from their ACT/SAT account directly to the colleges they are applying to during the application process. Standardized tests are currently still a component of the college application review process for some colleges.
An increasing number of colleges offer test-optional and test-blind admissions. Check each institution’s website for admissions policies. With test-optional, students who choose not to submit scores will not be penalized. In a test-blind scenario, scores will not be considered for admissions review even if submitted. Fairtest offers a comprehensive list of all test-optional and test-blind colleges and their latest policies regarding ACT/ SAT.
Types of Standardized Tests
The PSAT is administered by the College Board at HSES once per year. HSES and the DOE offers the PSAT to all 10th and 11th graders. The PSAT is also the National Merit Qualifying Test for current juniors. The PSAT is not required for college admission, and colleges do not have access to students’ scores.
SAT & ACT Tests
Some colleges still require an official ACT or SAT score as part of their application process. Check Fairtest for an up-to-the-minute list of a school’s testing policies. Students taking standardized testing register on either the College Board or ACT website, depending on which standardized test best fits their academic strengths. The testing calendar year runs from August - July. Registration typically opens anywhere between May - June. Early registration is recommended to ensure a seat for a student’s desired test dates and locations.
The ACT administers the ACT
The College Board administers the SAT
Students typically begin taking the SAT/ACT in the winter or spring of their junior year.
Our recommendation is, if testing, do not take the SAT or ACT more than three times, beginning in the early spring of junior year through the early fall of senior year.
Many seniors will continue to test into the early fall of their senior year to improve their scores. Testing should be complete by October or December of junior year, depending on your application deadlines.
Offered by the College Board, AP tests are a way for colleges to see a student's depth of knowledge. They are rarely used for admissions purposes; however, obtaining a passing score of 3, 4, or 5 (depending on the college) may earn students college credit or serve as a placement test in college courses. Registration takes place in the Spring and Fall. Details and the registration process can be discussed further with a student's guidance counselor and AP Test Coordinator.
Standardized Testing Registration Sites
Preparing for ACT/SAT
The College and Career office at HSES has many different test prep resources that students may borrow to assist with test preparation.
Khan Academy offers free SAT prep.
ACT offers free test prep on their website.
Individual test prep companies offer test prep for a fee.