Frequently Asked ACT & SAT Questions?

SAT and ACT are standardized tests colleges use as part of the application process. These tests are administered by the College Board and American College Testing, respectively.

 Watch: IHS Counselors video on SAT versus ACT .

 

What is the SAT Exam? 
The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a college entrance exam administered by The College Board. The test focuses more on reasoning than content, including sections in Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading, Writing & Language.  The essay is no longer required.

The College Board offers the SAT several times a year, and may be taken more than once.  It's the student's responsibility to register in advance, and complete test to target specific school application timelines.  There are limited spots at each location, so early registration helps secure desired testing date and location.  Most students take the SAT during late Sophomore through Junior year, College applications are traditionally sent late summer/ early fall, during Senior year.  Register for SAT HERE.

What is the ACT Exam?
The ACT Exam or American College Test is a college entrance exam administered by ACT.org. The test focuses more on content than reasoning.  The ACT includes sections in Mathematics, Science, Reading, English, and an Essay.

ACT.org offers the ACT several times a year, and may be taken more than once.  It's the student's responsibility to register in advance, and complete test to target specific school application timelines.  There are limited spots at each location, so early registration helps secure desired testing date and location.  Most students take the ACT for the first time during Junior year, and a second time in the fall of Senior year. Updates, read ACT News/BlogRegister for ACT HERE. 

What is the PSAT Exam?
PSAT or Preliminary SAT (also known as  National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test - PSAT/NMSQT) is a offered each fall to provide firsthand practice for the actual SAT, while acting as qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition. 

PSAT mirrors the SAT format, focusing more on reasoning than content, including sections in Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading, Writing & Language, and Essay. 

The PSAT is given to all IHS Sophomores and Juniors, but only Juniors may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition, co-sponsored by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Which College Entrance Exam should I take – the ACT or the SAT?
The ACT and SAT are devised to showcase different academic strengths.  So, part of the answer lies in each student's preferred testing content area.  Also, the answer depends on which test individual colleges and universities accept, as part of their own admission process.

However, some students elect to take both tests, in hopes of increasing application options, and possibly performing better on one test over the other. Today, most colleges allow students to submit the best score, for either test.  As a result, taking both tests could be a smart strategy.  

What are the basic differences between the ACT and the SAT?
The Princeton Review provided this ACT/SAT exam differences discussion, defining the differences between both exams.
 
Practice Tests at Issaquah High School
IH PTSA offers students the opportunity to take practice SAT or ACT tests, multiple times, in fall and spring.

Questions: contact ihptsaCCP@gmail.com.