SAT & ACT


Most colleges accept either ACT or SAT scores as their college entrance exam requirement. High school students often ask which test is better, but the answer is completely dependent upon the student. Luckily, both the ACT and SAT websites offer free complete practice tests and sample test questions that you can try for yourself so you can decide which test showcases your strengths to their max. Take time to prepare for whichever test you decide to take!

Remember – always check with the college/university to which you are applying to make sure they accept the test of your choice!

PSATs for 2016-17

PSAT testing will take place at CCS on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. All juniors are scheduled for this test. Sophomores will take the PSAT-10 on February 23, 2017.  (PSAT is a “practice” SAT.) Practice materials are given to students in August and are also available on the College Board website.

ACT Test Dates: 2016-2017

Test Date Registration
Deadline
(Late Fee
Required)
September 10, 2016 August 5, 2016 August 6-19, 2016
October 22, 2016 September 16, 2016 September 17-30, 2016
December 10, 2016 November 4, 2016 November 5-18, 2016
February 11, 2017* January 13, 2017 January 14-20, 2017
April 8, 2017 March 3, 2017 March 4-17, 2017
June 10, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6-19, 2017

For registration purposes:  You’ll need the CEEB code for our school — it is 341-764.

ACT Test Fee – No Writing Section = $42.50
ACT Test Fee – Plus Writing = $58.50
For more information about ACT testing fees and additional services, visit http://www.actstudent.org/regist/actfees.html.

NOTE:  From the report we received as of Aug. 21, 2013, ACT has updated the following as college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses.  A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college courses.

  • English Composition:   18 on the ACT English Test
  • Algebra:   22 on ACT Mathematics Test
  • Social Science:  22 on ACT Reading Test
  • Biology:   23 on ACT Science Test

SAT Test Dates – 2016-17

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
(Late Fee Required)
Oct. 1, 2016 Sept. 1, 2016 Sept. 20, 2016
Nov. 5, 2016 Oct. 7, 2016 October 25, 2016
Dec. 3, 2016 Nov. 3, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016
Jan. 21, 2017 Dec. 21, 2016 Jan. 10, 2017
March 11, 2017 Feb. 10, 2017 Feb. 28, 2017
May 6, 2017 Apr. 7, 2017 Apr. 25, 2017
June 3, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 24, 2017

For registration purposes:  You’ll need the CEEB code for our school — it is 341-764.

Fee for SAT Reasoning Test without Essay:  $45.00
Fee for SAT Reasoning Test with Essay: $57.00

Check the SAT Test Dates web page for all the test dates for both the regular SAT Reasoning Test as well as the Subject Tests. You will also find other information such as additional costs, services, resources, etc.

Need practice materials? Visit http://satresourcecenter.collegeboard.org/test-preparation for all the downloadable resources available to counselors and students.

More practice questions at http://www.exam2jobs.com/sat-test.html.


Writing Tips for the SAT

The links below were chosen by students in the SAT Prep/College Planning class and shared with classmates:

1. Tips for Writing the SAT Essay (get a perfect score)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPicYCCXOOk
I actually really thought this was a neat video because the guy speaking made a 12 (the perfect score) on his SAT essay three times! This made me believe that he really did have good advice. I would recommend this to you all for this reason and because his tips were extremely helpful.

Some of his tips included the following:

  • Length is actually important when you write because the graders want to see that you have written an adequate amount in the time given to you to take the test.
  • Do not use complex words to get a higher score, rather make your writing fluid.
  • Use historical examples and quotes to emphasize your points.
  • Keep your writing concise and detailed, but do not over elaborate just to have five sentences in a paragraph; it would be better to have one or two concise sentences than three or four repetitive sentences.
  • Read philosophy in order to learn how to write well in third person. He suggests to write in third person and avoid using “I” as much as possible, unless dealing with personal experiences.
  • Remember that it is graded by two different people and try to remain unbiased about such things as religion and personal beliefs – maintain a neutral attitude.
  • Penmanship needs to be clear and try to avoid using cursive.
  • Do not waste your time and make sure to have two or three minutes at the end to proofread your work.
  • Pace yourself as you write. Also, it isn’t always necessary to write a rough draft as long as you maintain focus and have clear thoughts throughout the essay.
  • Have a strong introduction and conclusion.
  • Stick to one or two examples and connect the concepts.
  • Do not be too-detailed.

*Also, an interesting fact this guy mentioned was that the SAT essay graders do not actually read your essay but for about 30 seconds.

2. SAT Writing Prep: Writing the Essay

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4uYjCvl50w&feature=related

This video is great because it is short and to the point. It discusses exactly what you need to know about the structure of your essay.
The key ideas of this video include: organization, development of the idea, and making sure essay is easy to read. The tips on how to obtain these ideas are listed below.

  • Write the ordinary 5-paragraph essay.
  • Have an intro containing a catchy sentence and thesis, along with three examples.
  • Have a body that includes 3 examples. Make sure to explain why each example is relevant and restate the point.
  • Use historic examples and personal anecdotes, but if you run out of time do not use three examples. Rather, use two examples.
  • Write a conclusion in which the thesis is restated, the examples are reviewed, and explain why you believe what you believe.
  • Check over your essay to ensure that you have clear language and few grammatical flaws.

I hope you guys enjoyed these videos! Lizzy


3. SAT Tips Videos

Okay, I have found what I believe to be a great video for this class, and in a way it helped me do well on the SAT.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wNWhtIFvUA&feature=related

On a more serious note it is really this video that I am interested in sharing with you all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=SloQxSB0eIM
In this video it talks about some simple test-taking strategies that I actually have used. These may seem silly, but it is usually silly things that we remember how to do! It sometimes goes with the cornier it is, the easier it is to remember. But the main gist of this video is to help with deductive reasoning skills in the math section of the SAT test.

This next video is something that has helped me with the essay section.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPicYCCXOOk
In this video the man basically states his experiences with the SAT essay portion of the test and elaborates on how it is graded. He goes on to say that you should want to write as much as you possibly can in it because the graders of the essay know what they are going to give you as a grade within the first 30 seconds of the reading. If you write less than the average amount, they will mark you down because you have ample time to finish it.

Submitted by Jonathan


4. How to Get a High SAT Essay Score on the SAT Writing Test

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgYrsdQGHog
This a pretty short video only about two mintues long so I’m going to cover pretty much all that he says.

  • Most all of high scoring essays have 400 words at the minimum, so write as much as you can without going off topic.
  • Don’t stress about if your information is correct or not. Argue your point and let it flow well.
  • Only write one fact per paragraph to avoid being too wordy.

SAT Essay Tips, Tricks, and Strategies – mindfishSAT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EerhjNrwIPM&feature=related

This video is a bit longer, nine minutes, so I’m going to cover only the gist of what they are saying

  • State your opinion.
  • Avoid using personal experiences. Instead, focus more on historical or literary facts.
  • Use the standard five-paragraph essay. It’s easy and simple to use.
  • Keep in mind the three questions you should answer in your essay: Yes or No? How do we know? Why?
  • When writing your essay, be able to compare and contrast with the opposing side; however, you don’t have to mention it in every other sentence.
  • Write as legibly as you can.
  • Be aware of how much time you have left. Don’t spend 10 minutes planning what you’re going to write and then not be able to finish it.
  • Be able to connect all of your examples together, making the paper flow and easier to understand.
  • Indent each paragraph.
  • Use some challenging words.