What are the SATs/ACTs?
- Standardized tests that assess college readiness for 4-year institutions
- SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test
- ACT stands for American College Testing
- Colleges accept both tests equally, so the choice is up to you!
- The ACT and SAT generally test the same types of content; however there are some differences
Why Take the SATs/ACTs?
- Taking the test is required for most 4-year institutions
- Scores are used by colleges to determine who to admit
- Scores are used to determine merit-based scholarships
Who May Not Need to Take the SATs/ACTs
Students going to a community college, trade school, military (entrance exam is ASVAB), directly to work, or to a testing-optional 4-year college.
What are the Costs?
- Approximately $40-60 per test date (includes reports to be sent to up to 4 colleges if selected during registration period)
- $12 for reports to be sent to additional colleges (per school)
- Fees for late registration, rush fee, etc. will apply
- Fee Waiver - students from low-income families may qualify for test fee waivers on a first-come, first-serve basis (see your school counselor for more info)
When Should I Take the SAT/ACT and How Many Times?
There is no blanket answer for this. Most students tend to take the SAT/ACT for the first time in the Spring of Junior year, unless they feel prepared sooner and want to try it in the Fall of Junior year. Then depending on the results take it another time or two. Taking it more than three times typically does not yield higher results, however, you may also want to consider taking a different test (i.e. if you took the SAT a couple of times and still are not happy with your score, you may want to try the ACT). Know early which test is right for you by taking practice tests to compare. Many students do better on one than the other.
How Do I Prepare?
Test Prep Suggestions:
- HHHS runs a free 10-week SAT test prep course per semester. It runs after school hours (e.g. mornings, afternoons and/or evenings). You must register and then attend as a class as you will earn 2 additional credits at completion.
- HHHS offers free SAT test prep software to all students through their Naviance account. Login by clicking here and going to 'Naviance Test Prep' located in the left column. It can be customized to each student.
- Most bookstores carry an "Official" guide to each of the tests for approximately $40 with practice tests and strategies.
- There are many free and minimal cost websites and apps for your phone with tools for practice.
- Other resources include (clickable links):