SAT I, SAT II, ACT: WHICH SHOULD I TAKE?
- 3.5 hour test, measures writing, verbal and math reasoning skills
- take in spring of junior year and/or fall of senior year
- penalized for wrong answers
- scores on each section range from 200-800 points
- can retake test to improve scores
- web site: www.collegeboard.com (new page)
- 1 hour test that assesses mastery in a particular field
- 22 tests offered in 5 subject areas
- scores based on 800 point scale
- take as soon as you finish relevant course work
- not required for all colleges; check with your college of choice
- web site: www.collegeboard.com
- SAT Dates and Deadlines. click here
- 3 hour exam, 215 questions, measures achievement in English, math, reading, and science
- take in spring of junior year and/or fall of senior year
- not penalized for wrong answers
- scores on each section are averaged to create a composite score; 36 is perfect
- harder questions are worth same amount as easy ones; answer easy ones first
- web site: www.act.org
In Texas, either SAT or the ACT are REQUIRED to attend a four year college or university. For all other colleges, check the admission requirements. This can be done on the internet.
SAT Reasoning or ACT college entrance exams are acceptable to most colleges and may be taken more than once. Students will register on-line with a credit card at www.collegeboard.com for SAT Reasoning or at www.act.org for the ACT. Colleges require the writing portion and this is an extra charge on the ACT. The dates, times, locations, and costs are on the websites. Please see your school counselor for the CEEB or High School Code. (There are fee exemptions for these tests for students receiving free or reduced lunches. Please see your counselor.)
What is the SAT?
COST of SAT $50, and must be paid when registering, there are fee waivers available through your school counselor.
The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you — the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college. The test is offered 7 times a year in the U.S.
Register for the SAT
Get test dates, registration information and more at:
When to Take the SATMost students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school. At least half of all students take the SAT twice — in the spring as a junior and in the fall as a senior. Most students improve their score the second time they take the SAT. Learn more about when to take the SAT.
The quickest and easiest way to register is online:
- Choose your test date and test center in real time.
- Receive immediate registration confirmation.
- Get 24-hour access to registration for printing or correcting your Admission Ticket.
Say "Yes" to Student Search Service®Help colleges find you before you apply. When you say "yes" to Student Search Service, we'll send some of your information to colleges, giving them the opportunity to reach out to you — a potential new student. Learn more about Student Search Service.
Register by Mail
You need to register by mail if you:
- Pay by check or money order (payable to "The College Board").
- Are younger than 13 years old.
- Register for Sunday testing for the first time due to a religious observance.
- Request that we open a test center nearer to your home.
- Cannot upload a digital photo as part of the online registration process.
To register by mail, you need The Paper Registration Guide for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, which is available from your school counselor. The Guide includes a registration form and return envelope.When filling out the form, you may need a College Board code number for college majors, college and scholarship programs, test centers or high schools. To find these numbers, use our Code Search tool or the code list from your counselor.
Photo RequirementsYou must submit a photo with your registration for the SAT. The photo you provide will become part of your Admission Ticket. Learn more about photo requirements.
Home-Schooled Student Registration
Home-schooled students can register online or by mail. When prompted for a high school code, enter: 970000.
Students schooled at home who do not have acceptable photo identification should download and print out a Student ID Form. Complete the form and take it to a notary public for validation. A current photo must be attached to the form, in the area indicated, before the form is notarized. This form must be dated and is good for only one year.You will be asked to sign the Student ID Form again at the test center.
School ID FormYour school can prepare an ID form for you. This form must include a recognizable photo, and the school seal must overlap the photo. Sign the ID form in the presence of your counselor or principal. You will be asked to sign the ID form again at the test center. This form must be dated and is good for only one year.
How to upload your registration photo
You must submit a photo with your registration for the SAT. The photo you provide will become part of your Admission Ticket. You will be asked to upload a digital photo during online registration. Your appearance in the photo must match how you will look on the day of the test or you will not be admitted to the test.
Note: You are not required to provide a photo if you are in the 8th grade or below.
Examples of acceptable photosExamples of non-acceptable photos
Choosing an Acceptable Photo
- Your passport-type or wallet-sized photo (sized from 2 x 2 up to 2.5 x 3 inches) must be at least 640 x 480 pixels.
- The photo must:
- Be properly focused
- Not have discernible pixels or be grainy
- Be correctly exposed (brightness and contrast)
- Be taken in full-face view, directly facing the camera
- Be clear enough so there is no doubt about your identity
- Not be too dark or too light, with no shadows or glare on your face
- Not show an outdated "look" for you (e.g., facial hair that you no longer have, a new and different hair length or color)
- Not show other people in addition to you
- Your appearance in the photo must match how you will look on the day of the test.
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and any head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
- Sunglasses or glare on eyeglasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
- File format must in one of the following:
Registering by Paper
If you are registering by paper, attach an acceptable photo to your Registration Form in the area provided in Item 24. Do not use a laminated photo (such as on an ID card). Write your full name, date of birth and high school code on the back of your photo, and then tape all four edges of the photo to the form, using transparent tape. Take care not to obscure your face or hair on the photo, or any of the information you have filled in on the Registration Form. Do not use paper clips, staples or glue.