College Entrance Exam
College entrance exams are tests that are designed to measure the skills and aptitude of the student and gauge how ready they are for college-level work. Applicants can take either the SAT or ACT as both tests measure math, verbal, analytical and writing skills.
For the previous years, applicants with strong SAT scores and high grades were often admitted to all of the colleges to which they applied. However, due to the pandemic, some schools are going test-optional or totally abolishing college entrance exams. Students have the option to take these tests and submit test scores as a supplemental part of their college application. Many applicants think that this gives them a better chance to gain admission into their college of choice. But the opposite is actually true. With more students submitting their applications, the competition only grows and becomes stiffer and it becomes harder to stand out. So unless you have an otherwise perfect application portfolio, like an outstanding GPA and impressive extracurricular activities, a good standardized test score may be advantageous for your college application.
In other words, in today’s competitive climate, solid standardized test scores, a challenging high school curriculum, and GPA rank are foundational to be competitive at selective schools; students must also have an exceptional application highlighting the strengths and talents that make them unique.
To achieve favorable results on these college admission tests, it is highly recommended that you prepare intensively by taking the SAT practice test and the ACT practice test. Early preparation is key so you can take and retake the mock tests as many times until you feel satisfied with the outcome and confident enough to take the test.
Taking both the SAT practice test and ACT practice test will help you decide which exam is best suited for you. If you are taking the ACT and you are a strong writer, it is advisable to complete the optional ACT essay because it can demonstrate your competency in writing. It will also display another dimension of your college worthiness and may differentiate you from the other applicants.
Both tests offer accommodations for students with learning differences through extended time to take the test, testing over multiple days, typing instead of hand-writing the optional essay, an assistant to read questions out loud, or a specific seating arrangement.
To decide which test to take, we recommend taking both diagnostic tests with us and speaking with a managing consultant for recommendations. Children with learning disabilities can also be successful with the SAT and ACT diagnostic tests.
While most colleges are adhering to the test-optional policy, submitting SAT and ACT test scores may still give you merit and admissions advantage. Your chances of qualifying for admission will depend on how well you distinguish yourself from other applicants. So unless you have an otherwise perfect application (stellar GPA and outstanding extracurricular activities), a good standardized test score will, in most cases, be a net positive for your college application.
Both tests are equally accepted by colleges for admission and there is no preference for one over the other. Since both tests basically assess the same skill sets and aptitudes, your test scores will have a lot to say about your skills. So make sure that you take the test which will maximize your chances for college admission.