Here Is Some of the Most Commonly Used College-Testing Terminology

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Here is some of the most commonly used college-testing terminology.

Standardized tests: These are exams associated with college admissions. Typically, community colleges do not require standardized tests for admission. But they administer placement exams, to sort students into the appropriate writing and math classes. You can also talk to your high school counselor, contact the testing agencies, or visit your local bookstore to find samples of past tests.

ACT: The American College Test measures your achievement in English, math, reading and science and has an optional writing test (some colleges require the writing component). Scores on each section are averaged to give you a composite score. A perfect score on the ACT Assessment is 36. Most colleges and universities in Illinois require the ACT test only for admission.

SAT:The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) measures only writing, critical reading, and math reasoning skills and has a required written test. Scores on each section range from 200-800 points. The SAT consists of more than 20 subject-area tests designed to measure subject-area knowledge. Some schools accept the SAT or the ACT test.

What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?

According to, the ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. The SAT takes points off for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing. The ACT has an Interest Inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.

Does it help to take both the ACT and the SAT?

Some students choose to take both the ACT and the SAT, and some test-takers do perform better on one than the other. …