College Board/SAT & ACT

College Readiness and College Acceptance Testing

One way for students to demonstrate readiness for college is through scores on two college admissions tests – ACT and SAT. In Ohio, a remediation-free score on either test is one of three ways a student can meet requirements for a high school diploma. In spring of junior year, students will take a free ACT® or SAT® test provided by the state. Each school district selects whether the free test will be ACT® or SAT®.
The two most common college admission tests are the SAT®, produced by the College Board, and the ACT®, produced by the ACT® Corporation. The tests are designed to measure knowledge in areas predetermined to predict academic success in college. Colleges use test scores alongside high school grades and a variety of other factors to try to identify students with the highest potential or probability of success.
The ACT® is a nationally administered, standardized test that helps colleges evaluates candidates. Colleges now accept your ACT® or SAT® scores interchangeably—in which case you may want to decide if the SAT® or ACT® is better for you. It’s also common for students to prepare for and take both exams.
Generally, you'll take the ACT® for the first time in the spring of your junior year. This will allow you enough time to retake the test during the fall of your senior year if you're not satisfied with your score—and to reserve the summer months for college applications.
Without the optional Writing Test, the ACT® exam lasts 2 hours and 55 minutes—or 3 hours and 35 minutes with the Writing Test. What do ACT® test sections look like? The order of ACT® test sections and the total number of questions covered in each ACT® test section never change. Here’s how it breaks down:
Created by the College Board, the SAT® is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. However, it is just one factor in the admissions decision. Schools also consider your high school GPA, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, interviews, and personal essays. The weight placed on SAT scores varies from school to school.  The SAT® exam is offered nationally every year in October, November, December, January, March, May and June. As of March 2016, there are two SAT® sections:  Math, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, plus an optional Essay. The Essay results are reported separately. Start to finish, the test will take you three hours and 50 minutes. Each section of the SAT® is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale, making the "perfect" score 1600.