SAT, PSAT and ACT
One of the most commonly asked questions every year is, should I take the SAT or the ACT? The answer is there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Colleges will accept either test, some research says that students should take both, and the state of Colorado has chosen to provide the SAT series for free in April for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. As counselors, our job is to help our students be successful in college application process, and standardized tests play a major factor in the final decision. It is a fact that all colleges and universities will accept either the SAT, ACT, or both. There is research that says students should take both tests because if they are successful then they will have two great test scores when other students only have one. However, for some students only taking one is all they need. It is important to meet with college admissions representatives and have the standardized conversation with them. If you are trying to figure out which test is right for you scroll to the bottom of the page for the comparative chart. Even though the tests have the same effect on admissions, they are designed quite differently. It is important to study for both exams, and there are many resources for each exam. Talk to your counselor about these resources or visit the bottom of the page.
SAT/PSAT: The state of Colorado requires that all students participate in the SAT and PSAT test series in the month of April. The state pays for the administration of these tests, and the registration process is completed by our school. There is no extra work for families to sign up or register their students for the test date in April. Juniors are registered to take the SAT, sophomores are registered for the PSAT 10, and freshmen are registered for the PSAT 8/9.
If students would like to take the SAT outside of the April date, registration and payment will have to be completed on their own. To register and pay for future SAT tests please click here. If you have questions about the SAT please visit their website at SAT.org or talk to your counselor. The PSAT tests are not offered outside of the April test date and they are not counted in the college admissions process.
SAT Essay: The SAT allows students to sign up for the essay portion of the test through College Board when they register for a test day. The SAT Essay is a lot like writing assignments you'll see in college. It asks you to read a passage and analyze how the author constructs a persuasive argument. You'll have 50 minutes to complete your response. The essay is not required, however, there are multiple colleges and universities that either recommend or require students to complete the essay portion of the SAT. If you are curious as to which schools require the essay you can either visit your counselor or click here for more information. Finally, if you want to register for the SAT Essay on April 9th (the official SAT Test Day for Colorado students) you will need to login to your College Board account and sign up for the essay by Feb. 12th. If you have questions about this process please contact your counselor.
PSAT/NMSQT: The PSAT/NMSQT is the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test that D'Evelyn provides for all juniors in October. This test is payed for by our school for all juniors to take, and D'Evelyn completes the registration process for all juniors. The scores from this test are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. This test will not count towards your college admission applications. If you have more questions about this test please contact your counselor.
ACT: The ACT is another standardized test that is accepted by all colleges and universities in the United States. The state of Colorado and D'Evelyn does not provide this test for free for students. However, the test is offered almost every month of the year for students to take at specific locations around the state. The ACT also has a writing section if students choose to participate in the ACT -Writing they need to sign up for that during their online registration. The ACT-Writing requires students to answer 1 prompt in 40 minutes in an essay format. To register and pay for future ACT tests please click here.
*Information provided by The Princeton Review
Which test should I take? Click here to find out.
Test Prep Resources
- Khan Academy (SAT) - free test prep and a great resource for SAT test takers
- College Drive (SAT & ACT) - has partnered with D'Evelyn for test prep courses; test prep tutoring or classes
- The Princeton Review (SAT & ACT) - online courses, classroom courses, cram course, and private tutoring
- Method Test Prep (SAT & ACT) - online test prep
- ACT Academy (ACT) - free test prep and a great resource for ACT test takers
- Remote Tutors (SAT & ACT) - online tutoring, free SAT and ACT tutoring on their YouTube page