College Admission Tests

College Admission Tests
How have the ACT and SAT tests changed?
The ACT administered the Assessment Plus Writing for the first time on Feb. 12. The College Board introduced the new SAT on March 12.
ACT added an optional Writing Test to the ACT test, but did not change the four tests on English, math, reading and science. In fact, the optional Writing Test does not affect the ACT composite score, which is on a scale of 1 to 36. Instead, the Writing Test is a separate subscore.
The ACT Writing Test is a 30 minute essay test given after the other four test sections. It is scored holistically, based on the overall impression created by all the elements of the essay.
Two trained readers read each essay. Each reader gives the essay a score of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). The Writing subscore is the sum of these two scores.
The New SAT includes sigificant changes. In the Math section, the quantitative comparison questions are gone. The test now includes questions requiring second-year algebra.
The Verbal section has been renamed Critical Reading. Analogy questions have been dropped. Short paragraph questions have been added. But the biggest change is the addition of a Writing section. It includes multiple-choice English grammar questions and a required 25-minute essay test.
The essay test appears at the beginning of the New SAT and is scored on a scale of 1 to 6 by two readers. The essay score is combined with the multiple-choice Writing score to produce an overall Writing score on a scale of 200 to 800.
Because the New SAT has three sections (Math, Critical Reading and Writing), the maximum possible score on the New SAT is 2400, compared to 1600 on the prior SAT.
With the addition of the Writing section and the elimination of the analogy questions, vocabulary is important now on only 9 % of the questions on the New SAT, down significantly from 24% of the questions on the prior SAT.

How do colleges use ACT scores?
Most colleges and agencies receive ACT College Report data via electronic media. This information can be used in a variety of ways to help students in the transition from high school to college.

ACT information can be a valuable tool in admissions and orientation, course sectioning and student placement, allocation of financial aid, advanced placement and credit by examination, academic advising, student retention and tracking, and other student personnel services.

How do I know which colleges recommend or require the Writing section of the ACT?
Go to:

Is RHS an ACT test site?
Yes. The RHS test center code is: 218390.

Should you test again?
There are no limitations on how many times you can take the ACT. 55% of those who take
the ACT more than once increase their composite score. You should definitely consider
retesting if:
-You had any problems during the test, such as misunderstanding the directions or not feeling well.
-You aren't satisfied that your scores accurately represent your abilities
-You see a discrepancy between your ACT scores and your high school grades
-You have completed coursework or an intensive review in subject areas included in the ACT since you were tested.

What are the ACT and SAT tests?
Most 4 year institutions require an ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score for admission purposes. These tests are not only used for admissions but also for scholarships. Most students in the Midwest take the ACT test. All schools will now accept the ACT. Some schools do require one or more SAT subject tests. Check w/your prospective schools to see if subject tests are a part of their admission process. In most cases, it is not necessary to take the ACT and the SAT.
One should plan to take the exam at least twice - first as a second semester Junior, and again at the beginning of your Senior year. (Research shows scores improve when a student retakes the test two to three times.) Registration packets for the ACT and SAT are available in C/C Center or you may register online. ACT site is: SAT site is:

What is our high school CEEB code?

What's the difference between an ACT and an SAT?
The ACT includes test areas in English, math, reading and science. Many Midwest colleges require the ACT. Scores for each section are averaged to create a composite score. A perfect score is 36. An optional Writing Test has been added this year.
The SAT measures critical reading, math and writing skills. Scores on each section range from 200 to 800 points.

When should a student take the ACT?
Students should pick a test date that is at least two months ahead of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarship agencies they might want to apply to. Reports for the ACT (No Writing) are normally mailed within 3-7 weeks after the test date. The ACT Plus Writing score reports will be mailed only after all of scores are available, including Writing scores, normally within 5-7 weeks after the test date.

Advantages to testing junior year:

*They have probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material.

*They will have their test scores and other information in time to influence their senior year. (For example, they may decide to take an additional class in an area in which their test score was low.)

*Colleges will know of their interests and have their scores in time to contact them during the summer before their senior year, when many of them are sending information about admissions, course placement, scholarships, and special programs to prospective students.

*They will have information about themselves and the schools they are interested in prior to their campus visits, making their visits more focused.

*They will have the opportunity to retest if they feel their scores don't accurately reflect their abilities. ACT research shows that of the students who took the ACT more than once:
* 55% increased their Composite score
* 22% had no change in their Composite score
* 23% decreased their Composite score

Why should I take the ACT?
Top 10 Reasons to Take the ACT- (provided by ACT)

1.Tests what students have learned in high school.
*Measures academic achievement in areas of English, Math, Reading and Science.

2.Does not penalize for guessing.
*Scores are based on the number of correct answers

3.Does not require expensive test prep
Preparing for the ACT Booklet–FREE
Describes the content of the ACT tests and includes test preparation suggestions and a practice test.

Sample Questions–FREE

Using Your ACT Results Booklet–FREE
Explains the ACT score report and offers suggestions on using the results. It also includes information about the College Readiness Standards, which are sets of standard-like statements that describe the types of skills and knowledge typically demonstrated by students who score in particular score ranges on the ACT. Provided free to students with their ACT score reports.

The ACT User Handbook–FREE
Manual intended to help high school and college counselors effectively use and interpret ACT results. Provided free of charge to high school and college counselors.

Sample Test Booklets
Retired ACT forms available for purchase and use by institutions.

The usefulness of test preparation activities depends on the objectives of the activities, the approach taken, and the students' educational backgrounds. Test preparation activities that are designed to help students develop test-taking strategies or to increase familiarity with how the ACT tests are administered may be useful if students are inexperienced in taking standardized tests. Short-term test preparation programs that emphasize the review and recollection of information previously learned may be helpful to students if considerable time has elapsed since students completed course work that covers the content of the ACT tests. Long-term instructional programs may be helpful to students who have not taken the appropriate course work. All students are likely to profit from the activities designed to increase student motivation to do well on the ACT tests.

4.Tells a student what they know and are likely to be able to do.
*Provides College Readiness Standards.
The College Readiness Standards are sets of statements intended to help you understand the meaning of the scores earned in EXPLORE®, PLAN®, and the ACT® (ACT's three curriculum-based assessment programs).

Whether you're a parent, teacher, counselor, or student, these sets of statements can help you:

* communicate widely shared learning goals and educational expectations
* relate the test scores to the types of skills needed for success in high school and beyond
* understand the increasing complexity of skills across the score ranges in English, mathematics, reading, and science

EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT measure students' progressive development of knowledge and skills in the same academic areas from grades 8 through 12. Therefore, the scores from these three programs can help educators monitor students' academic growth over time.

The College Readiness Standards are complemented by suggested learning experiences for students wishing to further develop their knowledge and skills.
The College Readiness Standards serve as a direct link between what students have learned and what they are ready to learn next. The suggested learning experiences, in turn, provide links between the Standards in one score range and those in the next higher score range. The ideas for progressing to the next score range demonstrate ways that information learned from standardized test results can be used to inform classroom instruction.
The College Readiness Standards are also linked to college instruction. More than 40 years of research has shown that performance on the ACT is directly related to first-year college grade point average.

5.Gives a student the option to take the Writing Test or not.

6.Accepted by all four-year colleges nationwide for admission.

7.More than 2/3 of colleges use the ACT to place students in appropriate Math and English courses.

8.It's affordable
*(ACT $32.00 and ACT Plus Writing $47.00)
*Expanded fee waiver policy

9.Students have control over their test scores by test date.

10.Takes less time.
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