"Do You Need to Take the SAT or ACT?"

posted Nov 18, 2013, 3:23 AM by williams@alumni.isd.sn

Class of 2015!  No, I am not getting ahead of things.  The time has come to make final decisions on taking the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and/or the ACT.  If you plan to apply to universities in the USA, and to some universities in Canada, you will most likely need to take the SAT Reasoning Test this year and may need to take one or two Subject Tests.  Every university has its own set of requirements so you will need to check individual university websites.  While it is true that some universities do not require the SAT or ACT, especially for international students, the odds are high that you will need to take one of these tests.  The tests are very different, so some students do both to see which they do better on. 

The majority of US colleges and universities require the SAT (or ACT) for students whose first language is English.  A small number of schools require one or two Subject Tests, and other schools recommend taking Subject Tests.  Some schools require certain Subject Tests, while others leave the choice to the student. 

Depending on the university (in other words, check each website carefully!), students whose first language is other than English may not be required to take the SAT but could be required to take an English proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS.  For some schools, a high enough score on the SAT Critical Reading test could substitute for the TOEFL/IELTS.  Unfortunately you have to do the research and check each college website for that school's requirements.

Deciding when to test is the next decision.  Most students end up taking the SAT more than once in an effort to improve their scores.  So, the January 25, 2014 is a good choice for your first attempt because you will receive your scores in time to study/prepare for a second attempt in either May or June.  This would also allow you to take Subject Tests on the other May/June date.  It is equally OK to wait until May or June for your first try.  It will also be possible to take the SAT again as a senior in October or November if necessary but those scores may be a bit late for some of the early college application deadlines.

Please note that the Deadline to Register for the January SAT is December 27, 2013.  But DO NOT wait until the deadline!  Seats are limited; by then we will be full and no seats will be available.  Talk with your parents and register as soon as possible.

To register, first create your account at
www.sat.collegeboard.org.  Please write down your username and password!  You will need them frequently throughout your senior year.  Then click the Register button and fill in all the required information.  The first time you register takes time as you complete a long survey, but you have to do this so just get through it.  Plan carefully!  Once you register and pay for a test date  (online by credit card), you must pay a fee to change the date or test center ($27.50 US).

 

The Cost:           SAT:                 $51 test fee + $31 international fee = $82 US

                        Subject Tests:     $24 test fee + $31 international fee + $13 per test = $68 US and up

 

Here are two codes for ISD that you may need.  Use these codes to find ISD during registration.   

ISD High School Code: 635920                        ISD Test Center Code: 79324


As always, I am here to help.  Please let me know if you have questions or need help.  Drop by my office anytime!

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