Applying to college is expensive! There’s application fees, test registration fees, official score reporting fees. Some students are eligible to have these fees waived, but most students don’t qualify for waivers.
Colleges in the list compiled by Compass have stipulated that students may self-report their test scores in their applications. From Compass’ page, click on the name of the college to visit the school’s website where the policy is explained. Note: only colleges that have written policies on their websites or application materials are included in their list.
Fellow IECA member Cigus Vanni is the master of lists. He created many that he shares with fellow IEC’s, and one sheds light on that almost no colleges continue to require or recommend the writing portion of the SAT or ACT. The biggest exception is the UC system, which still requires it.
Here’s his list as of 6/27:
Abilene Christian University (TX) – recommend
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (NY) – recommend
Augsburg College (MN) – recommend (note: Augsburg is a test-optional school)
Berry College (GA) – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
College of Charleston (SC) – recommend
Duke University (NC) – recommend
Eastern Illinois University – recommend ACT; neither require nor recommend SAT
Manhattan College (NY) – recommend; used for placement in writing courses, not for admission to school
Martin Luther College (MN) – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
Michigan State University – recommend
Montana State University – recommend; used for placement in writing courses, not for admission to school
Oregon State University – recommend SAT; neither require nor recommend ACT
Rhode Island College – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
Saint Anselm College (NH) – recommend (note: Saint Anselm is a test optional school)
Saint Norbert College (WI) – recommend
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania – recommend
Soka University of America (CA) – require
State University of New York at Buffalo – recommend
Texas State University – recommend ACT
United States Military Academy (NY) – require
University of California Berkeley – require
University of California Davis – require
University of California Irvine – require
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – require
University of California Merced – require
University of California Riverside – require
University of California San Diego – require
University of California Santa Barbara – require
University of California Santa Cruz – require
University of Evansville (IN) – require (note: Evansville is a test optional school)
University of Mary Hardin Baylor (TX) – require
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – recommend
University of Montana – recommend
University of Montana Western – require ACT, recommend SAT
VanderCook College of Music (IL) – require
Webb Institute of Naval Architecture (NY) – recommend
NOTE: All information current with the updating of this list on June 26, 2019. Be sure to check with each college to which you apply before you register for any standardized test as requirements can change.
As you continue your essay work, open a Common App account, and begin filling out the base data (Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities). Unlike in past years, if you open up an account now, it will not be deleted before August 1, 2019. There is no better time than now to get your CA base data completed. However, keep in mind the CA is down July 28-31 as it’s updated for the 2019-2020 app season.
If you’ve finished testing, it is time to review your college list and application strategy. Pinpointing your top 5 or so schools now can help you maximize your time over the summer doing research and outreach (and writing supplemental essays!). Need help with your essays? Contact us!
If you are not finished testing, continue to prep.
If you have summer college visits planned, take advantage of the summer slowdown, and prepare meetings with your department of interest ahead of time. Interview if possible, too. You should always prepare for interviews, even if a school states they are not evaluative. Extended research and outreach can make a big difference in your admissions outcomes.
Many colleges don’t proactively ask for online resources yet, but you may have an interest in creating a digital portfolio (LinkedIn, SoundCloud, personal website, and/or blog). If you do, aim to complete it over the summer.
Continue working on your resume, and think ahead about the activities in which you want to deepen your involvement in 11th grade and beyond. If there are activities you took were involved in during 9th/10th that no longer serve your or your interests, drop them.
Come up with a plan for test prep. Summer before junior year is a great time to begin test prep! Here are a few resources to get you started if you are not quite ready to work with a tutor 1:1: = PSAT, ACT, SAT, SAT on Khan.
Thinking about how to explore your academic interests this summer? I hope so! There are tons of options, and you should be doing something “academic” this summer if possible. Please note: something “academic” is not limited to a class or formal academic program. Examples of ways you can explore your interests at any time of the year = Khan Academy, Coursera or edX, Ted Talks or Ted-Ed.
Volunteer work is also beneficial. It can be helpful to choose a few volunteer engagements and stick with them through high school/12th grade, so try to pinpoint something you will enjoy and plan to stick with it.
Continue working on your resume.
Explore your academic interests this summer! If you are unsure what they are, that’s even more reason to get out there and do some exploring. Figuring out what you do not like is often just as important as figuring out what you do like. Please note: something “academic” is not limited to a class or formal academic program. Examples of ways you can explore your interests at any time of the year = Khan Academy, Coursera or edX, Ted Talks or Ted-Ed.
Volunteer work is also beneficial. It can be helpful to choose a few volunteer engagements and stick with them through high school/12th grade, so try to pinpoint something you will enjoy and plan to stick with it.
Applying to college is expensive! There’s application fees, test registration fees, and official score reporting fees. Many students are eligible to have these fees waived, but most students don’t qualify for waivers.
Colleges in the list below compiled by Compass have stipulated that students may self-report their test scores in their applications. Click on the name of the college to visit the page on their website where the policy is explained. Note: only colleges that have written policies on their websites or application materials are included here.
*Will not accept self-reported scores, but publicly states that they will accept scores submitted by the high school counselor as “official.”
Please note: All colleges require official test scores upon enrollment; these are application policies only. Students should check directly with each college to confirm they have the most recent and accurate policy information.
Test prep is not really my thing, but it plays a big role in the college admissions process for many students. That said, be on the lookout for some testing-related guest posts in the coming months! The article below is by Nicholas LaPoma, the owner of Long Island-based Curvebreakers Test Prep.
Possibly the most important difference between the two tests is timing. In short, you get less time per question on the ACT. Check this out:
As you can see, you get much less time to complete any one question on the ACT. One of the most important examples is on the Reading tests. On the SAT you get 13 minutes per passage, on the ACT you get 8 minutes 45 seconds per passage. That is a huge difference! So, if you struggle with timing, the SAT is likely for you.
2. Question Distribution
The SAT and ACT have a vastly different distribution of questions in terms of subject matter. This is especially true in the Math section of the tests, as the ACT has a large amount of Geometry and Trigonometry questions and the SAT does not. The SAT is more Algebra focused.
Further, the ACT is considered an achievement test (What you learned) whereas the SAT is often considered to be a trickier, more aptitude based test (based on skills). If you hate Algebra, and like straightforward word problems, the ACT Might be for you.
3. No-Calculator Math
A similar but important consideration is how one will handle no-calculator Math. Many students are used to punching every question and operation into their calculator and are totally reliant upon the calculator for basic multiplication and division. These students will struggle on the no-calculator portion of the SAT, as you may have to do long division. Some schools do not allow students to use calculators until a certain grade level – those students will be better equipped to tackle this section. If you really struggle with no-calc, the ACT might be for you.
4. Science Section
As you probably know, the ACT contains a science-based section. This is actually a reading / chart reading / graph reading task, so it often correlates well with reading score. That means that the ACT is mostly based on reading skill, whereas the SAT is mostly based on Math skill.
As indicated above, the Science section actually makes the ACT a more reading based exam, where the SAT is a more math based exam.
5. Question Difficulty
The SAT is typically considered an aptitude test. It is based on your skills in each area that is tested. The acronym SAT initially stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, proving the point. The SAT is unable to move away from its roots and become a totally achievement based exam, so many students “feel” that the questions are more tricky or difficult. If you like more straightforward questions, the ACT may be a better test for you. We find little difference when preparing students for the exams, but some students in particular find one test more appealing than the other for this reason.
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From Compass, updated SAT Subject test (SAT II) requirements and recommendations for the Class of 2018. Not many changes here, but worth reviewing now as it is time to sign up for May and June exams, and think ahead as you create your testing plan. Thanks, Compass!
Carnegie Mellon requires the SAT or ACT with Writing AND 2 SAT Subject Tests (for most applicants). Subject requirements vary by program, but include Math (Level 1 or Level 2). College of Fine Arts programs, with the exception of Architecture, do not require Subject Tests.
Harvard requires the SAT or ACT with Writing. Two SAT Subject Tests are “normally” required. “While we normally require two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of taking the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them…If your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may be less helpful.”
Tufts requires the SAT and 2 SAT Subject Tests OR ACT. Engineering applicants submitting Subject Tests are advised to take math and either physics or chemistry. Students considering a major in mathematics or the sciences are advised to take math and a science test.
Duke requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and recommends 2 SAT Subject Tests if applicants submit SAT. Subject Tests are considered if applicants submit ACT. “Applicants to the Pratt School of Engineering who take the SAT must take one SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2).”
Emory requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing. “[SAT Subject Tests] are encouraged, but not required. Students are encouraged to submit SAT subject exam scores for academic areas of strength and/or interest.”
Northwestern requires the SAT or ACT. Northwestern recommends applicants take 2 SAT Subject Tests. The Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) and the Integrated Science Program (ISP) require specific Subject Tests.
Princeton requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing. Princeton recommends that applicants submit 2 Subject Tests. Engineering candidates are advised to take a math Subject Test and either chemistry or physics.
Stanford requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing. ALL test scores from ALL dates must be submitted for the SAT and ACT. “SAT Subject Tests are recommended but not required. Applicants who do not take SAT Subject Tests will not be at a disadvantage. Because SAT Subject Tests are optional, applicants may use Score Choice to selectively send their SAT Subject Test scores.”
UC Berkeley requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. College of Chemistry and College of Engineering recommend Math Level 2 and a science related to the applicant’s intended major.
UC Irvine requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. School of Engineering, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, and Program in Public Health all have specific Subject Test recommendations.
UCLA requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recommends Math Level 2 and a science test related to the applicant’s intended major.
UC Riverside requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and College of Engineering recommend Math Level 2 and either Chemistry or Physics.
UC San Diego requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. Biological or physical science applicants and applicants to the School of Engineering should take Math Level 2 and a science Subject Test related to the applicant’s intended major.
UC Santa Barbara requires the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing and considers Subject Tests if submitted. Math Level 2 is recommended for College of Engineering applicants and College of Creative Studies applicants in math, physics, or computer science. In addition, physics, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry majors are encouraged to take the appropriate science Subject Test.
Penn requires the SAT or ACT. Any 2 Subject Tests are recommended for arts, humanities, and social sciences applicants. STEM applicants are strongly encouraged to take Math Level 2 and a science Subject Test (Physics recommended for engineering applicants). Math Level 2 is recommended for business applicants. Nursing applicants are encouraged to submit a science Subject Test (preferably, Chemistry).
Boston University requires the SAT or ACT with Writing. Accelerated medical and dental programs require Subject Tests in Chemistry and Math 2. A Subject Test in a foreign language is also recommended for these programs.
Connecticut College is test optional. Students may choose to submit the SAT Reasoning Test, 2 Subject Tests, or the ACT if they wish. “If you submit multiple SAT Subject Tests, we will consider your two highest scores from two different tests.”
Johns Hopkins requires the SAT or ACT. Students may submit Subject Tests as a “way to demonstrate an academic strength . . . Engineering applicants are encouraged to submit Math Level 2 and one science.”
Union is test optional except for the Law and Public Policy Program and the Leadership in Medicine Program. The 6-year law program requires the SAT or ACT. The 8-year medical program requires either the ACT with Writing or the SAT and 2 Subject Tests.
University of Chicago requires the SAT or ACT and will consider SAT Subject Tests if submitted. “If you have done exceptionally well on a particular subject test and would like to show us, feel free to send us that score.”
Miami requires the SAT or ACT. Optional essays are required but used for placement only. Honors Program in Medicine and Honors Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology require minimum scores of 600 on a math Subject Test and on a science Subject Test.
Vanderbilt requires the SAT or ACT and will consider Subject Tests if submitted. School of Engineering applicants choosing to submit scores should strongly consider taking either Math Level 1 or Level 2.
Wesleyan is test optional. SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests will be considered if submitted. All entering first-year students must submit ACT or SAT and two SAT Subject Test scores after the conclusion of the admission process for academic counseling and placement.
Colorado College’s requirements are satisfied with 1 of the following options: (1) SAT (2) ACT (3) Three exams of the student’s choice, including one verbal/writing and one quantitative, selected from the lists provided by Colorado College’s website.
Hamilton’s testing requirements are satisfied with 1 of the following options: (1) SAT (Essay optional) (2) ACT (Writing optional) (3) Quantitative, verbal, and writing tests from among SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and APs.
NYU’s testing requirements are satisfied by fulfilling one of the following: (A) SAT (B) ACT with Writing (C) 3 Subject Tests (D) 3 AP exams (E) The International Baccalaureate Diploma (F) 3 IB higher-level exams (if a student is not an IB Diploma candidate). Students who choose to submit three SAT Subject Test, AP, or IB scores must submit one in literature or the humanities, one in math or science, and one of the student’s choice. Some programs have additional requirements.
The SAT is offered internationally several times a year. Unfortunately, the following changes to the international testing schedule were recently announced:
In June 2017, only the SAT Subject Tests will be administered internationally. The SAT will not be administered in June.
In the 2017–18 and 2018–19 school years, the SAT will be available internationally in October, December, March, and May. SAT Subject Tests will be available in October, November, December, May, and June.
Country-specific scheduling changes will be announced in spring 2017.
Learn more about international test dates and registration here.
Great post by the team at Applerouth! All juniors (and sophomores who want to get ahead) should give it a read!
It’s the start of a new year, and with the new year, new questions that need answering, especially those related to finances. If you are a junior who will meet with your college counselor in the next few weeks to begin the college admissions journey, you will want the SAT or ACT tests to be on your radar this spring. If you have already taken an SAT or ACT at least once and are wondering if you should try again, or if you have yet to sit the official test, helpful information awaits.
In 2017, the SAT will be offered this semester on January 21st, March 11th, May 6th, and June 3rd. This is the last year for the January SAT date and the first year for an August SAT administered this summer on August 26th. The ACT will be offered on February 11th, April 8th, and June 10th.
In determining which test(s) you should take, there are a few considerations to make in order to ensure that you position yourself to get your highest score. Most importantly, you will want to prepare adequately. Take a practice test at the College Board or ACT website, evaluate the scores you receive, and begin preparing for the content, strategies, and timing pressures that you will encounter on the test. Ideally, you will devote at least a month of daily practice, with a few timed practice tests, to give your first test a solid performance.
Not only is preparation essential, but you will also need to consider your own schedule. Do you have an important robotics competition that would prevent you from taking the February ACT? What are your spring break plans? Is finals week sufficiently stressful to preclude you from taking the June SAT? Look at your academic and extracurricular calendars, and discuss a potential date with your family to see if there are any conflicts.
Finally, if you are planning on taking the SAT, you might be considering taking an SAT Subject Test or two to submit to colleges. Those tests take place on the same day as the SAT and, while you may take up to three SAT Subject Tests on any one test day, you cannot take both the SAT and a Subject Test. Typically, students will take SAT Subject Tests around May or June in order to coincide with AP Exams, since both tests are content-heavy. If you were planning on taking the SAT as well, you will want to consider how to organize your calendar to accommodate both tests.
Maybe you took the SAT or ACT this past year and are wondering if or when you should take the test again. Taking the SAT or ACT test is an investment of time and energy, not to mention money. Is it worth spending another Saturday morning in a high school classroom, working on math problems and reading passages? In most cases, an extra test is worth the extra effort when accompanied by a few necessary steps.
In order for a student to do her best on any number of SAT or ACT tests, preparation is paramount, no matter how many times you have taken the test previously. A student may take the test a dozen times, but you will likely get the same score if you have not devoted considerable time to understanding the test format, building mastery with the content, and practicing the testing strategies.
Often, when you take the test the first time, you might feel considerable anxiety. Once you make it out of the testing center and realize that an SAT or ACT test is totally doable, you might perform better on the second test, simply because much of the burden of anxiety has lifted. You know what the proctor will say; you know how to pace yourself for each section; you can manage the various demands placed on you. Sometimes, it may take an additional test for a student to overcome the effects of those stressors.
Of course, it might be that you don’t need to take the test an additional time. You adequately prepared, felt that you performed your best on each of the test dates, and have the scores that put you in a competitive position with your colleges. In that case, you can focus your attention on other aspects of your application – boosting your GPA, contributing more to extracurriculars, arranging those teacher recommendations – or taking a well-deserved break.
Each student’s history of test preparation and test performance will differ; however, there are abundant opportunities this spring either to prepare for and take the test for the first time, or to shoot for one final test to achieve your highest result.
College Board Announces New SAT® Testing Supports for English Language Learners
NEW YORK—The College Board has overhauled its request process for testing accommodations, making it easier for eligible students to receive the support they need on College Board assessments.
Beginning January 1, 2017, the vast majority of students who are approved for and using testing accommodations at their school through a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan will have those same accommodations automatically approved for taking the SAT®, PSAT™10, PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT Subject Tests™, and AP® Exams. Most private school students with a current, formal school-based plan that meets College Board criteria will also have their current accommodations automatically approved for College Board exams. This streamlined process builds on the College Board’s August 2016 expansion of testing accommodations that can be approved directly by schools without the need for additional documentation.
Read full release here: https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2016/college-board-simplifies-request-process-for-test-ccommodations?ep_ch=PR&ep_mid=11326140&ep_rid=163330058
The College Board today announces average scores on the SAT for last year’s high school graduating class — and such announcements are typically a time of debate over the state of education, the value of standardized testing, educational inequities and more. This year’s results are somewhat difficult to analyze, because some students took the old version of the SAT and others the new. The College Board reported declines in the average scores from the class, but those averages are for those who took the old SAT. The ACT also reported declines this year, noting that more students are taking the test. Both the College Board and the ACT are pursuing more contracts with states to require high school seniors to take one test or the other, and that means more test takers may not in fact be prepared for or preparing for college.
In comparing the old SAT’s scores for the class of 2016, compared to 2015:
The average for critical reading was 494, down from 497.