• Standardized Testing

    The SAT is changing for spring of 2016.  For the latest information regarding The New SAT (and PSAT), follow this link:  https://sat.collegeboard.com/home.

    SAT & ACT - What's the Difference??

    **Remember FREE preparation classes for the SAT take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-3:45 p.m. in rooms B2227 (Math) and B1127 (Verbal)
    Both tests cover math, reading and writing and both tests are equally valued at the majority of colleges and universities in the United States. Allow the chart below to be a guide to the significant differences in the tests, but students are encouraged to investigate both tests (at collegeboard.com or act.org) to better asses  which is the best test for them. 
    Revolution Prep also delivered a presentation to parents and students regarding the Demystification of Standardized Testing. Please click here for the pdf version of the presentation click here for the pdf version of the presentation. 





    What is the focus of the test?

    Reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving in the areas of math, reading and writing. Vocabulary is stressed more heavily than on the ACT.

    Content-based knowledge in the areas of math, reading, writing and science. Some trigonometry is included in the math section.

    How is the test structured?

    10 Sections: three critical reading, three math, three writing and one experimental (masked as a real section, but does not count in score)

    5 tests: English, Reading, Science Reasoning and Writing (optional), sometimes an experimental section (only on certain dates and clearly marked as experimental)

    What content is covered?

    Math: up to geometry and Algebra II


    Reading: Sentence Completion, short and long critical reading passages, reading comprehension


    Writing: grammar, usage, word choice and a mandatory essay


    Math: up to trigonometry


    Reading: four passages, one each of prose fiction, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences


    English: stresses grammar


    Science: charts, graphs, data interpretation


    Writing: Optional essay

    Is there a penalty for wrong answers?

    Yes, ¼ of a point is deducted for each wrong answer on the multiple choice section.


    Which test should I take?

    Research both, but consider the SAT if you have a capacious vocabulary, you can ace grammar, you like writing illustrative essays, you’re a very quick thinker

    Research both, but consider the ACT if your vocabulary is not as strong as your reading skills, you’re great at writing papers but not an expert on the rules of grammar, you prefer to write argumentative essays, you are more academic than “test-savvy”

    How is the test scored?

    200-800 for each subject added together for a combined score of 600-2400; 2-12 for the essay

    1-36 for each test, averaged together for a composite score of 1-36; 2-12 for the writing test.

    Are all scores sent to all schools?

    No. Beginning with the class of 2010 (regardless of when they take the test) there is a “score choice” option.  Students chose which schools see their scores and which scores the schools see.

    No. Students chose which schools see their scores and which scores the schools see.

    Need more information?

    Educational Testing Service (ETS)

    609-771-7600 or ETS.org


    ACT, Inc.



    When and how many times should my child take the SAT?

    Great Question!  It all depends on the individual student.  A call to the guidance department is a good way to start.  We don’t support students taking the SAT more than three times.


    What are the SAT II’s?  Who should take them?  Which one?

                Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as ability to apply that knowledge.

                There are a total of 19 subject tests from the following areas: English, history, mathematics, science, and world language. They are one hour in length, so up to three can be taken in one sitting; it is not possible to take the SAT and the Subject Test in the same day.  The tests are independent of any particular textbook or  method of instruction. Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.  Currently less than 50 colleges in the United States require subject tests for admission and many will waive the requirement if the student submits an ACT score. Compass Prep (http://www.compassprep.com/admissions_req_subjects.aspx?sort=requirements) will provide a helpful overview of testing requirements at specific colleges, but always check for confirmation with the admissions office at each college to which you plan to apply. 

                Students who think they may apply to highly selective colleges should plan to take a subject test as soon as possible after finishing the course in high school, this may require a bit of forethought on the part of the student, but will save studying time later. 


    What is the PSAT?
                The PSAT is taken by 10th and 11th graders as a practice test for the SAT and for 11th graders it is the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship competition.  It is offered only one time per year in October.  It has the same types of questions as the SAT, but is shorter in length and there is no essay. Students will receive a detailed score report that may help them focus their preparation for the SAT.   


    When should my child take the PSAT?  How does my child register for this?

                The PSAT is taken twice: in the fall of the sophomore year and again in the fall of the junior year. Students will receive information about the PSAT in their homeroom classroom and all information is sent through email notifications and posted on-line.

Last Modified on August 12, 2015