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Prepping for the SAT and ACT

You've probably seen the signs around your school saying, "Sign up now for the SAT!", "Have you registered for the PSAT?", or "How to get your ACT together: Ace the ACT". Are they talking about you? Yes! The SAT and ACT are important parts of your education and can help you get into college. Tests can already be intimidating and the pressure to earn a certain score in order to be accepted into college can make everything worse. The best way to conquer these tests is to understand what they are and why you have to take them. Here are some answers to your questions about the SAT and ACT.

What are the SAT and ACT?

The Scholastic Aptitude Test and American College Testing are standardized tests that evaluate your knowledge of math, reading, writing, and science. The tests are multiple choice questions answered with a bubble sheet. The highest score you can earn on the SAT is 1600 (800 for math and 800 for reading), and the highest for the ACT is 36. Both of these tests have optional essay sections. It is likely that you'll be expected to take the essays as well, but you can look up your college admission requirements to see if they say it is "optional" or "recommended". The scores you receive will be used to apply to college. Colleges look at these scores because they should be a good reflection of how you understand what you learn in school.