The SATs &  ACTs in a Nutshell

Great Preparation for SATs/ACTs is practicing one section a day (35 mins.) 6 weeks before the test. One month before the test increase to two sections a day. Your goal is to increase your speed and familiarity with the questions. Correct your answers after each test. Your score could go up 100 points.

What are the SAT IIs subject tests? Two to three SAT IIs are often required by the most selective colleges (in addition to the SAT). Check the college’s requirements. They are administered by the College Board, 60 minutes in length and are offered on the same SAT Test dates (except March). You cannot take the SAT II subject tests on the same day you plan to take the SATs since they are administered at the same time. Note that if you are submitting ACT scores instead of SAT, their are no required Subject tests. Be sure to take the writing portion of the ACT then it is all inclusive.

Register early!   “Test centers” which are nearby high schools, often “sell” out.  This is an important tip otherwise you might be driving as far as an 1 hour away to a strange high school at 7 AM on a Saturday morning.

SAT & SAT II    Register  & print admission ticket

Sign up email “SAT Question of the Day” and other helpful hints.

  • SAT            $51         If registering late fee +$27.50 fee
  • SATIIs       $24.50  Registration fee + $13 per test (language $24)

Register to send 4 test scores for free, each additional $11.25

Send the first 4 free scores to your safety schools. When you take the test a second time send the next 4 to the next four favorites and hope your score is better than the first time around. If indeed you scores went up, you will want to resend them to the first batch of schools.

ACT   Register  & print admission ticket

  • ACT with Writing            $52.50      Late fee   +$23
  • ACT without Writing      $36.50

Register to send 4 test scores before the test; additional fee of $12 for more.

What to Bring to  Test:

  1. Student photo ID (they will not let you in if you do not have this!)
  2. Admission Ticket
  3. Scientific calculators are allowed
  4. New #2 Pencils– several and sharpened
  5. Protein snack & water for break– gum or lifesavers too.
  6. No cell phones; if it rings, you could be ejected from test.


                        SAT                         vs.                     ACT           

  • Test time is 225 min                           · Test time is 175 min..
  • 25 min. experimental section             · Writing sect. is optional
  •  No science section                              · Science section
  • No trigonometry section                      · Math includes trigonometry
  • Vocabulary emphasized                      · Less vocabulary
  • Contains non multiple-choice             · All multiple choice
  • Penalized for guessing                         · No guessing penalty
  • Grammar not tested                             · Grammar tested
  • Math accounts for 50% of  score         · Math accounts for 25%
  • Questions move from easy to hard     · Easy & hard ?s mixed in
  • All scores reported or Score Choice   · Select which scores to report