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Test Preparation FAQs

SAT ISAT IIACTAP ExamsPSAT / NMSQT SAT Test Dates and Deadlines

 

SAT I

  1. What is the SAT?
    The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is administered by the College Board.
  2. How long will the SAT take?
    The test consists of timed sections that in total last 3 Hours (+50 minute optional essay), but the entire process may take longer due to proctors, distribution of materials, etc.
  3. What is tested on the SAT?
    The new SAT has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math, and an optional essay. There are 154 questions, allocating 70 seconds per question.
  4. When should I register for the SAT?
    You should register for the SAT at least six weeks before your testing date. The earlier, the better because you can avoid late registration fees and increase your chances of taking the test at your first choice testing center. You can register online for the SAT at www.collegeboard.com or through the mail by completing the SAT registration form.
  5. How is the new SAT different from the SAT in the past?
    Starting from 2016, the College Board will employ a new format for the SAT I. The new SAT I has these four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math, and an optional essay. The Reading section will replace Critical Reading, and the Writing and Language section will replace Writing. Additionally, the redesigned SAT has a changed scoring scale of 400-1600, and the exam does not give a penalty for wrong answers, as in the past it took off ¼ a point for incorrect answers.

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SAT II (Subject Test)

  1. Do I need to take the SAT II Tests?
    Students take the SAT II to demonstrate their knowledge of specific subjects such as English, History, Mathematics, Science, and Language. These exams show a breadth of academic achievement in different subjects. Not all schools require students to take it, but it is a good addition to your application if you are applying to more selective schools or the UC system.
  2. How many times can I take the Subject Tests?
    You can take the test as many times as you want, but your score report will show your most recent test score. You cannot select which Subject Tests to send, so take the test only if you are confident that you will improve from your last score.
  3. How are the Subject Tests scored?
    Each of the Subject Tests is scored on a 200 – 800 scale.
  4. When are the Subject Tests offered?
    Most Subject Tests are offered on the same dates as the regular SAT exam, excluding the March date. The Language tests with listening, however, are generally only available in November. A calendar of test dates and registration deadlines can be found on The College Board’s official website.
  5. Is taking Chemistry in school required before taking the SAT II Biology?
    No, it is not required, but it does help you understand key concepts tested in SAT Biology. These concepts include the chemical structures of molecules that play a role in biological processes and selective permeability of the cell membrane.
  6. What is the difference between SAT Biology test and the AP Biology test?
    The difference between SAT Biology and the AP test is that the AP test ask may ask the same questions, but in a more specific manner, meaning that they more probe deeper into the same subject tested on both exams.
  7. Should I take AP Biology before I take the SAT Biology Test?
    It is highly recommended to take AP Biology so you know what to expect on the SAT Biology Test. Additionally, studying hard for the AP class material will also help with the SAT Biology test. Ultimately it depends on what you want to take first, but either way, the exams test similar subjects and have overlapping concepts.

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ACT

  1. What is the ACT?
    The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science with an additional Writing section for the ACT Plus. The results are accepted by all four year colleges and universities.
  2. How long does the Act test take?
    The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete (including the essay).
  3. Who can take the ACT?
    People of all ages and grade levels are eligible to take the ACT. This includes students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 and high school graduates. However, most students take it in their high school years to prepare for their college admissions.
  4. What is the highest possible ACT score?
    The highest possible ACT score is 36.

  Select ACT Courses

 

AP Exams

  1. Do I need to take AP exams?While taking an AP course does not require that you take the exam, it is highly recommended for students to take the exams for several reasons. First of all, many colleges will reward university course credit for subject areas where a student has received a passing score on the AP exam (3 and above), which helps save time and money in college. Also, taking AP exams makes students more competitive for college admissions, as it demonstrates the ability to perform academically at a university level. It is possible to take AP exams without enrolling in the AP class.
  2. Can I take the AP Examination if I haven’t taken an AP course?
    Yes, because the College Board is committed to providing access to the AP Exams to homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP courses. This requires a solid understanding of the curriculum a student would encounter in the AP class.
  3. When are AP tests given?
    The exam is administered throughout the month of May each year.
  4. How much time does it take to finish one?
    Most of the exams take two to three hours to complete.

  Select AP Courses

 

PSAT / NMSQT

  1. What is the PSAT/ NMSQT?
    PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT I exam. If you score high on the test, you may be awarded a scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
  2. What is on the PSAT?
    The PSAT/NMSQT has three sections: Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The whole test requires 2 hours and 45 minutes, with a maximum score of 1520.
  3. Do I need to write an essay in the PSAT?
    No. Unlike the SAT, the PSAT does not have an essay writing section.

 Select PSAT Courses

 

 

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