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SAT Info

There are a number of tests you most likely will need to take to apply to college. Let’s go through them one by one.


This test is regarded as a measure of the critical thinking skills you will need for success in college.  It contains two sections: Evidence-Based Reading, Writing & Language, Math:no calculator and Math:calculator.  The Reading/Writing and Math sections are scored on a 200-800 point basis for a possible score of 1600.  For the Math:calculator section, students should use a scientific or graphing calculator.

It is strongly recommended that all BSA students take the SAT at least twice.  It is recommended that students take it in school in March of junior year and  October of senior year (both paid for by the district).

It is not advisable to take the SAT more than three times.  Statistically, scores do not change significantly after taking the SAT twice.

ACT & ACT Plus Writing

The ACT comprises four subject areas (English, Reading, Math, and Science) and an option essay (the ACT Plus Writing).  Generally, the more advanced students take the ACT Plus Writing.  Colleges will accept the SAT or the ACT.  The ACT can be a great choice for students who have good grades in English, but tend to have low scores on the PSAT or SAT Critical Reading section.  A student will receive four separate sub scores (1 is the lowest, 36 is the highest), one for each subject area, as well as a composite score that is the rounded average of the four sub scores.  If you take the ACT Plus Writing, the essay is scored on a 2-12 point basis.

It is recommended that students take the ACT at least twice (in addition to the SAT).  Many students do better on the ACT than the SAT.  Give yourself the option of picking your highest score!

You can find an ACT – SAT score comparison chart at

SAT Subject Tests (also called SAT II tests)

These are one-hour tests based on individual subjects, required by some of the more competitive universities. The best time to take a subject test is just after completing the course related to the test subject. Like the SAT Reasoning Test, the subject test is scored on a 200-800 point basis. A student can elect to take up to three subject tests on one testing day.

The SAT subject tests are as follows:

  • Math Level 1: Can be taken after Algebra 2
  • Math Level 2: Can be taken after pre-calculus
  • Foreign Language: Should not be taken until the third year of a language has been completed. The Language with Listening test (November only) is recommended only for students with strong listening comprehension.
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • Literature

Test Preparation

The most important thing you can do to prepare for the SAT and/or ACT is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.  Every student should link their College Board account with Khan Academy (see below) for free, personalized test prep.  You should do 10-20 (or more!) questions a night, along with your regular homework.  Score yourself and if you get a question wrong, read the description of the correct answer.  When you are within a month of taking the test, take one morning on a weekend and time yourself taking one of the practice tests.

If you are finding it difficult to discipline yourself to study and your family can afford to pay for an SAT or ACT class, take advantage of the assistance.  It is advisable to take a class or see a tutor within a month of taking the test.

In addition, there are several online tutoring options.  Please note that prices for tutoring services vary. 

The GO-TO spot for personalized SAT prep, FREE, and linked to your College Board account

Registration and sending scores

The district should pay for two SATs (usually March and October).  Abby will register you for these two tests.  To register for any other test dates, to be taken on a Saturday at a local testing center, you can register online at HERE.  If you are taking the SAT or ACT on a Saturday at a test center, you must bring a photo I.D. and the ticket.

To register for the ACT, go to

After you have taken the test, you should receive an email letting you know that the scores are ready to view and send.  This usually takes about three weeks.

It is the student’s responsibility to send his/her scores to the colleges to which they are applying.  To send SAT and ACT scores, you may do this from the College Board website ( or the ACT website ( using your usernames and passwords.  If you do not have a fee waiver, it costs money to send scores to colleges.

College Board (SAT) and ACT have implemented a ‘Score Choice’ option.  This allows the student to choose by test date which SAT or ACT scores they want sent to colleges (e.g. You may have your highest math score in March, but your highest Reading score in October.)  Please note that many highly-selective colleges do not allow students to use the ‘Score Choice’ option.

Most schools are currently ‘test-optional’.  This means you do not have to send your standardized test scores.  To see a list of schools that do not require standardized test scores, go to