Most colleges in this country require that you submit standardized test scores. We are giving you a free SAT on April 5. However, it is highly recommended that you take the SAT or ACT more than one time to see if you can increase your scores. High schools do not register students for these exams! You may take these exams as often as you like and choose which score reports to send to the colleges on your list. These exams are given on Saturday mornings in different high schools in Staten Island and in different months. You can take the exams at any location. The colleges do not care which exam you choose. You can send them your SAT or ACT scores, or both. You must be on the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch list in order for me to give you a fee waiver.
SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) Register at: www.collegeboard.org This is the test that is most often taken by students in the Northeast. A perfect score is 1600 that breaks down to 800 on the Reading section and 800 on Math. A score of roughly 500 on each section indicates college readiness. A score of 600 and above will open more doors to colleges and scores of above 700 on each section are usually required for the Ivy League and our nation's top tier colleges.
ACT (American College Test) Register at: www.actstudent.org This test used to be the most common one that students in the Midwest used. This exam includes a science section but upon close inspection, you will see that it is really a combination of reading skills (you read a short scientific piece and answer questions) and math skills (you interpret scientific charts, graphs, or diagrams).
I gave all students a Concordance Chart that shows how the 2 different tests match up. For example, colleges consider a score of 23 on ACT to be equivalent to a range of 1050 - 1080 on the SAT.
SAT also offers 1 hour subject tests in English, math, science, history, and foreign language. You may take 3 subject tests on the same Saturday morning but not on the same Saturday that you take the regular SAT. Competitive colleges of engineering often require a subject test in Math 2 and Physics. Ivy League and top tier institutions may allow you to take subject tests of your own choosing. Most students will not need to take subject tests but if you know you are excellent in a specific area, why not take one and show off your talent?! You may sit for 1, 2, or 3 subject tests on a single Saturday morning.
www.fairtest.org provides a nationwide list of colleges that do not require SAT or ACT for admission. There are approximately 900 colleges on that list. It is alphabetized by the colleges' names but if you click on the "state" column, the list will be alphabetized by state and easier to read.
You can buy SAT/ACT practice books at Barnes & Noble but you must time yourself on each section in order for these books to truly help you. Of course, you can sign up for tutoring at a wide variety of centers but these individual help sessions cost as much as $79 an hour. Check out Khan Academy. There is a link to it on College Board and they have an entire program that is designed to help you achieve higher scores on your SAT, and it is free!