SAT/ACT Frequently Asked Questions

Which test do I take?

You should find out which admissions test or tests the schools you are interested in require, then register for those tests. You can get information about college entrance requirements from high school guidance counselors and college admissions representatives. College planning books such as College Board’s The College Handbook and Peterson’s Guide can be found in school and public libraries. You can refer to these books or call the ICPAC Hotline (1-800-992-2076) for information about colleges. Most colleges accept the ACT or SAT.

When do I take it?

Students usually take the PSAT during their sophomore and junior years to prepare for the SAT and ACT. Students usually take the SAT and ACT during their junior year or senior year or both. Consider taking the SAT or ACT near the end of your junior year, then you will have time to take the test again – and even a third time – to improve your score and still meet college admissions and scholarship deadlines. By taking the test a second time, you might raise your score.

How do I register?

Contact your guidance counselor to obtain registration materials. The booklet provides information about costs, how to register for a test, how to report your scores to colleges, and when and where the test will be given. Register for admissions tests early because late registration fees can be expensive, and the test site may be full. You also want to take the tests in time to meet college admissions and scholarship deadlines.

Can I prepare?

Many books and computer programs are available to help you prepare for admissions tests. You will receive a preparation booklet when you pick up your registration packet. The booklets contain test-taking tips, practice tests, and sample explanations. These will familiarize you with the kinds of questions on the tests, specific sections and topics, and time limits. Look for additional study guides like workbooks, videos, and computer software at libraries and stores.

You also can prepare for admissions tests by taking the pretests or attending workshops or classes, usually on college campuses. IUPUI’s Continuing Education Division sometimes offers preparatory courses.