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ACT/SAT Test Prep


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PRE-SAT - SVHS will be hosting the PSAT on Saturday, October 16th !

Due to a limited supply, sign-ups will begin for... 

  • 11th graders only beginning on Monday, September 13th until Monday, October 11th.
  • 10th graders can sign up on a first come, first served basis beginning on Wednesday, September 29th until Monday, October 11th

To sign-up, bring $25.00 cash or check (made out to SVHS) to Leigh Jones in the front office between 7:15am and 3:15pm.  Sorry, no refunds given in the case of cancellation.

Important Updates Regarding SAT/ACT for College Admission 

  • The University of California (UC) system is no longer requiring or considering SAT/ACT exams for admission purposes or scholarship consideration through 2025. They may, however, consider test scores as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after university enrollment.
  • The California State University (CSU) system is also no longer requiring or considering SAT/ACT  exams for admission purposes for the class of 2022 but they have not yet announced how long this suspension will continue. It is likely they will become "test optional" or not require a test at all. We anticipate an announcement from the CSU within the next year.  
  • Most out of state and private colleges will remain "test optional" for the class of 2023. To be determined if they will continue for the class of 2024 and beyond. 

What the PSAT can offer you:

  • Measurement of reading, math reasoning, and writing skills critical for success in college
  • Less expensive practice for the SAT
  • Participation in Student Search service for information from colleges
  • Qualification for National Merit Scholarship program for Juniors
  • A detailed score report as a learning tool for improvement.


SAT and ACT - FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should I take an ACT/SAT?

  • You should take the ACT and/or SAT at least once during your junior year of high school. Most students take their choice of test once or twice their junior year and once in the fall of their senior year. You have until December of your senior year to test. Exception: Early Action and Early Decision Programs

2. Which test should I take?

  • You should try to take the PSAT and PreACT to gain practice and to get a feel for both tests. If you are unable to take these practice tests, you can find free practice tests online at the College Board and ACT websites. These practice tests will help you to determine which test is right for you. See chart below to see the main structural differences.


3. Do I have to take an ACT/SAT?

  • If you want to apply to a 4 year college right out of high school, you should take an ACT or SAT test. Community colleges (2 year colleges) do not require an SAT/ACT for admission. If you are unsure what your college path will be, we recommend you take one of these tests. Keep your options open.

4. Do I have to take the optional writing section?

  • Yes!!! Always take the optional writing section. Many colleges require it.

5. How many times can I take the SAT/ACT? Will the colleges see all my scores?

  • You can take these tests as many times as you would like, however it is the best strategy to prep well and test 2-3 times.

  • You get to decide what scores you send colleges. Some colleges will super-score your tests (combine the highest scores from different sections and test date sittings). Most of the CSU's will super score. The UC’s will only look at the highest overall score from one sitting.

6. Do I have to pay to take the ACT/SAT?

  • Yes, there is a registration fee ($50). However, if you cannot afford to take the test come see us to check if you qualify for a fee waiver

7. Do I need to take the SAT Subject Tests?

  • SAT Subject Tests are exams designed to test knowledge in a specific subject area such as math, biology, chemistry, or US history.  The SAT Subject Tests are required by many highly selective schools. The CSU's do not require them. The UC's do not require Subject Tests, however they recommend them for specific majors (Engineering and Sciences). If you decide to take Subject Tests, always take the Math 2 and another subject of your choice that is closely related to your college major. 

8. How long does it take to get my scores back?

  • 2-4 weeks.

9. What is a good score?

  • It totally depends on where you want to attend college. For ex: a 25 on the ACT might be a high enough score to ensure admission to one college, but at another college, it is considered low. Come check with us and we can help you determine what score you need to shoot for based on your college goals.

10. How do I register for the ACT/SAT?

Register online at:


11. How do I prepare for the SAT/ACT?

  • Preparation is very important - Handouts in the College and Career Center

    • Free Online SAT/ACT Prep (handout with free online prep resources)

    • Naviance Online Test Prep Course - FREE (log in to your Naviance account and get started at any time)

    • Local Test Prep Companies (handout with a list of private test prep tutors)

Sat& Act Prep

The SAT and ACT are important tests!

It's different from the tests that you're used to taking in school. However, don’t worry, they are predictable tests and can be well prepared through practice. Preparing for them is like studying for any tests. You need to review the test’s formats and become familiar with their content. Here are some options for preparing:

Free Online Prep:

Naviance Sign in to your account, there are free practice tests available
Khan Academy

4 Tests
Kaplan Free Act-practice


Schools That Do Not Use SAT or ACT Scores for Admitting Substantial Numbers of Students Into Bachelor Degree Programs

Fair Test

Begin Preparation Early - take the psat

Begin preparation early and get diagnostic feedback on your skills by taking the PSAT.
PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that students are encouraged to take in their Junior year. Some students take the exam in the Sophomore year. The PSAT is used to qualify students for National Merit Scholarship program of recognition and college scholarships. The PSAT provides practice for the SAT, the college entrance qualifying exam. Students are notified regarding registration for the PSAT through the Daily Bulletin.

Some commonly asked questions:

Why should students take the PSAT/NMSQT?
The PSAT/NMSQT is the best preparation for the SAT Reasoning Test. Students in eleventh grade who take the test and meet other program entry requirements may enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation programs. Most important, the PSAT/NMSQT is a comprehensive tool that gives valuable feedback to both the student and the school. All students who take the PSAT/NMSQT will receive an official Score Report. They will receive scores in critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills and will see how their scores compare to those of other students across the country. Through a question-by-question review of answers, students will be able to see which answers they got right or wrong. They will also receive a personalized statement of specific academic skills that need attention along with suggested steps to improve those skills. Students will receive free information from colleges and universities by using My CollegeQuickStart to access free resources and information about college and career planning.

Who should take the PSAT/NMSQT?
Typically, students take the PSAT/NMSQT in the Junior year of high school. It is also beneficial for Freshmen and Sophomore students to take the test to get a head start on improving academic skills needed for success in college and beyond.

How many times may a student take this test?
Only once a year, but there is no limit to how many years a student may participate. If students do not do well on the test will it hurt their chances of getting into college? Absolutely not. If anything, the PSAT/NMSQT will improve their chances, since it provides personalized information on the types of skills that the student needs to improve to prepare for the SAT and college. PSAT/NMSQT scores are NOT sent to colleges.

When may we expect to see the results from the PSAT/NMSQT?
Schools will receive Score Reports in December and will notify students regarding when, where, and how to get their individual reports. Schools also receive an extra copy for the student’s file.

See your Counselor if you have any further questions.

Community college assessment tests

If you plan to go to a community college, you must take assessment tests in Writing, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics to enroll. These exams are used to determine which courses you are eligible to take. It is important to review and take practice tests to do your best on the assessment tests so you don’t have to repeat curriculum that you already know. SVHS Seniors will have a specific date set aside to test at the Cabrillo Assessment Center. Call the Assessment Center at 479-6165 for an appointment if you miss the SVHS test date.