What Tests to Take

SAT or ACT?

In order to head directly to a 4 year college after high school, you need to take either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT).   In addition to a student's GPA, course selections and involvement in extracurricular activities, 4-year colleges and universities take a solid look at how students do on either the SAT or ACT when making admission decisions.

Which test should I take?

Many students don't know if they should take the SAT or ACT.  Here is some information that might help guide your decision:

  • Colleges have absolutely no preference between the the ACT or SAT for admission
  • Taking both tests can be helpful in determining which test works best for you.  They are slightly different in format and one might be a better fit for you.
  • You do not need to take SAT Subject Tests unless the college(s) you are interested in require them. Look on the admissions page at colleges you are interested in to find out for sure if they are required.

See our SAT vs. ACT webpage for a more detailed comparison between the two tests.

Is there any way to prepare for the test?

Taking the PSAT will give you a sense of how you might do on the SAT exam.  However, since you take the PSAT much earlier than the SAT, most students do better on the SAT because they have had more core academic classes and are more knowledgeable at that point.

Don't forget that you can use your PSAT score on Khan Academy to develop a personalized SAT study guide. However, they can help you prepare for the ACT as well.  Visit Khan Academy's Preparing Yourself for Success on the Tests webpage for more information.

What if I am not happy with my scores?

  • You can take these tests more than once so if you feel as though you could have done better, feel free to sign up to take the test again.
  • When you are registering for the test it will ask you if you want to send your scores to colleges.  Colleges will only use this information if you apply there, and they will automatically consider your highest score so don't worry if you took the test more than one time to improve your score!

Registering for the SAT

SAT exams are administered 7 times per year at locations outside of the Northshore School District.  Students will need to establish a College Board account before they can register for these tests.  It is important that the student registers with their own account, not a parent's account.  Creating an account takes about 30 minutes.  This is the same account that you will use if you are registering for an AP test.

With a College Board account, you can register for the SAT, and print your SAT Admission Ticket.  You can also access your SAT scores online, and send them to colleges.  Additionally, an account lets you manage your personal college list, save your scholarship searches, compare costs at colleges that interest you, and more.

North Creek High School's CEEB code is 480013.  You will need this code when you register.

As these tests fill up quickly, we recommend that if you want to test at a convenient location that you sign up for the SAT early.  Otherwise you might end up taking the test at a location further away.

Further information on the SAT can be found at www.sat.collegeboard.org

 

Registering for the ACT

ACT exams are administered at different locations and are administered by ACT.org.  

Students will need an ACT account in order to register for these tests.

North Creek High School's CEEB School code is 480013.  You will need this code when you register.

Further information about the ACT exam, including requirements, locations and how to register for the ACT, can be found at http://www.actstudent.org.