ACT & SAT: Quick Reference and Tips

03 Nov ACT & SAT: Quick Reference and Tips

If you are in your senior year of high school, you’ve probably been hearing conversations of college tours, college applications, FAFSA, and more.

One important piece that will help you on the road to getting admitted into your college of choice is making sure that your SAT and ACT scores are up to speed.

Keep reading to learn more about what these tests are, deadlines and tips for good scores:


Q: What is the difference between the SAT & ACT?

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The SAT ( Scholastic Aptitude Test)  contains three sections:

  1. Reading 
  2. Math
  3. Writing & Language

The ACT ( American College Testing) contains four sections:

  1. Reading 
  2. Math 
  3. English 
  4. Science


Q: How do I know which one to take?  

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Start by figuring out which test your college would like you to take and which one is require by the state in which you live.

**Once you have those answers, you can use this chart to figure which test would fit your strengths:  

Test Advantage Strength Weakness
Applying trigonometry and geometry skills ACT
Answering math questions without a calculator ACT
Memorizing formulas* ACT
Comfort with scientific terms ACT
Remembering locations of details in reading* ACT
Applying grammar and punctuation skills* ACT
Skipping over questions that take too long* ACT
Living in one of the mandatory ACT testing states ACT
Answering questions in chronological order SAT
Finding evidence to support your answers* SAT
Answering questions on writing style* SAT
Living in one of the mandatory SAT testing states SAT



Q: When should I take these tests?


Please find below a list of  registration dates and deadlines for each test:


ACT Test Dates                          Registration Deadlines                       ACT Scores Available

December 10th, 2016                  November 4th, 2016                        December 20th, 2016

February 11th, 2017                     January 13th, 2017                           February 22, 2017

April 8th, 2017                             March 3rd, 2017                               April 18th, 2017

June 10th, 2017                            May 5th, 2017                                 June 20th, 2017


SAT Test Dates                          Registration Deadlines                    SAT Score Available

December 3rd, 2016                 November 3rd, 2016                       December 22nd, 2016

January 21st, 2017                    December 21, 2016                          February 23rd, 2017

March 11th, 2017                       February 10th, 2017                       April 13th, 2017

May 6th, 2017                            April 7th, 2017                                 June 8th, 2017

June 3rd, 2017                         May 9th, 2017                                    July 12th, 2017


Q: What test scores should I aim for?

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For ACT scores:

National Average : 20 Composite Score

Scholarship Average: Above 23

What you should Target: Above 25


For SAT scores: 

National Average: 1490

Scholarship Average: 1490 and up

What should you Target: 1490 and up


Q: How do I Register to Take the Test:




Q: How can I Prepare for these tests?

If you are a CMSD student, there are test prep tools located in your Naviance Accounts.

There are multiple resources available at your local library including work books, flashcards and books.

For Quick tips for taking these tests, watch the following video:

For more resources, click the following links: