Admissions Tests                                                  

Four-year colleges and universities generally require that a standardized test be taken to apply for admission. Oregon community colleges do not require standardized tests, but do have their own placement tests. Each school’s website and/or admissions office will give you the information you need on test requirements. School counselors are a resource for test preparation. Generally, you will help them keep this in their college preparation timeline. 

There may be test fee waivers available at the high school to students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. See a school counselor for more information.

Test Comparison

           ACT    SAT SAT Subject Tests PSAT/NMSQT* 
 Test AvailabilityOffered 4-6 times a year, depending on the state (usually September, October, December, February, April and June)   Offered 7 times a year. (October, November, January, March/April, May and June)Offered 6 times a year.
Not all tests are available on all the dates. (October, November, December, January, May, June) 
 October every year. 
*Recommended to take in 10th and 11th grades. 
 Timing3 hours and 25 minutes 3 hours and 45 minutes       1 hour 2 hours and 45 minutes 
 Format    4 portions: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. 3 portions:
Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing 
20 Individual test   95% same content as SAT 
Scoring RulesNo Penalty for Guessing
Each questions answered correctly is worth 1 point. No penalty for incorrect answers on the multiple-choice part.  
 No Penalty for GuessingPenalty for Guessing Penalty for Guessing
Each correct answer is worth 1 point; for each incorrect answer, 1/4 of a point is deducted. No points are deducted for incorrect math grid-in questions.  
 Cost$45.50 for ACT without writing
$58.50 including writing 
$46.00 SAT without essay
$60.00 with essay 
Registration $26
$21
additional fee per test
$26 language tests with listening sections
About $15 
 Recommendation    Take by the spring of junior year. 
Most colleges require either ACT or SAT
Take by the spring of junior year.
Most colleges require either ACT or SAT.      
Check if desired college requires this test.      Does not count towards college admission. This is the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships.  



Test Preparation

SAT Prep - This is a site with links to SAT video lessons, APPs that a student can download to practice SAT tests, links to study groups, and a lot more resources. 

SAT Prep Khan Academy- The prep course is free and highly recommended. Encourage your students to use this academy to prepare for the SAT prep. 

ACT Prep - This is a site with links to ACT online prep course. This is a difficult website, in that it requires to create a  profile and log in.