Why should students take the ACT or SAT?
Four-year colleges and universities use these tests to determine applicants' academic achievement and potential. As part of their admissions requirements, some colleges require applicants to have earned certain minimum test scores. Other colleges use test scores as indicators of academic ability when students' grades are not high enough to meet admissions standards. ACT and SAT test scores also serve as criteria for numerous financial awards.

How do I know if I should take the ACT or the SAT?
Some colleges prefer one or the other exam; however, most colleges accept either. Students should check with each school individually to see if they have a preference. If the college accepts both exams, students should choose the one that will most favorably reflect their abilities. The chart below illustrates the major differences.


sat explanation

The SAT Reasoning Test is made up of:

Writing (60 minutes)-one 35-minute section (multiple-choice questions) and one 25-minute section (student-written essay); questions cover grammar, sentence structure, and word usage. The essay is first section and it is factored into the overall score.
Critical Reading (70 minutes)-two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section; questions cover reading comprehension and sentence completion
Math (70 minutes)-two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section; questions cover algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, and data analysis

The ACT is made up of:

English (45 minutes)-75 questions relating to five prose passages (punctuation, usage and grammar, sentence structure)
Math (60 minutes)-60 questions covering algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
Reading (35 minutes)-40 questions that require students to draw conclusions from four prose passages representative of reading required in college freshman courses
Science (35 minutes)-40 questions that require students to analyze sets of scientific information (earth science, physical science, and biology are covered)
Optional writing (30 minutes)-one prompt that asks students to write an essay explaining their point of view on a given issue, usually a topic of importance to high school students. This is the last section of the test and not included in composite score.

To register for the SAT and for more information, please visit the College Board website -

To register for the ACT and for more information, please visit the ACT website -


Fee Waiver

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch may qualify for a fee waiver. See Guidance for details BEFORE registering for the SAT or ACT exam.