High School Counselors » College Entrance Exam Information: ACT/SAT

College Entrance Exam Information: ACT/SAT


What does “Test Optional Mean?” Test optional means that you are not required to provide SAT and/or ACT scores to the university as part of your admission file. You must check with the prospective college or university to determine admission requirements regarding test optional. Applying test-optional doesn't hurt your chances if you've got an outstanding application and are as strong as or stronger than the other applicants. If a school or program has a test-optional admissions process, each applicant gets to choose whether or not to submit their ACT or SAT scores. In other words, submitting your test scores is not a requirement for admissions. Usually, this policy applies broadly to all applicants. So, should you test or notIt is recommended that high school students in the class of 2024 still consider taking the ACT or SAT, but whether or not they submit their scores should depend on test availability and personal performance. Our advice is that: 1. Students should not sacrifice their mental or physical health to take a test; 2. If your test score does not fall within the upper 50% range of your desired school OR it doesn’t reflect your academic school performance, you have the option not to submit; 3. Remember, if you decide not to submit your test score, everything else will matter more in the admissions process. Rigor and grades continue to matter the most supported by a compelling story.

Juniors ACT School Day Testing: Each year there is a FREE ACT given at school. One time only you get the chance to test at school, during the school day, for FREE! We will begin signing up in your English class in November. Please be paying attention to get your name on the list!

Students who qualify for the free/reduced lunch program can use a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT tests.  This waiver is a one time use but you are allowed a maximum of TWO during your high school career.

SAT:  Remember, you can only take either the SAT Reasoning test or up to three SAT subject tests in one day.  You cannot do both in the same day.  Find out from the college you plan to attend whether they require subject tests for college entrance.  Some do and some don’t.


2023-24 ACT Test Dates & Registration Deadlines: Register online at www.act.org

Test Date


Late Deadline

September 9, 2023

August 4, 2023

August 18, 2023

October 28, 2023

September 22, 2023

October 6, 2023

December 9, 2023

November 3, 2023

November 17, 2023

February 10, 2024

January 5, 2024

January 19, 2024

April 13, 2024

March 8, 2024

March 22, 2024

June 8, 2024

May 3, 2024

May 17, 2024

July 13, 2024

June 7, 2024

June 21, 2024

ACT: Students are encouraged to register online at www.actstudent.org.   ACT Only-No Writing costs $66; ACT plus Writing costs $91.00. www.act.org has a complete list of colleges requiring the writing. Click on “Assessments”, click on “The ACT,” click on “Writing Test Option,” and then click on “What Colleges Have Decided . . .” To be safe, take the writing.

 A Master Card or Visa will be needed to register online. 

 If you plan on pursuing athletics in college, be sure to send NCAA an official score report (9999)  as they will not accept the sticker on the back of the high school transcript as “official.” 

** 55% of students who retake the ACT improve their scores (22% score the same and 23% see their scores decrease).


2023-24 SAT Test Dates & Registration Deadlines - Register online at collegeboard.com

Test Date Registration Deadline Online/Phone Late Registration Deadline
Aug 26, 2023 Jul 28, 2023 Aug 16, 2022
Oct 7, 2023 Sept 8, 2023 Sept 20, 2022
Nov 4, 2023** Oct 6, 2023 Oct 25, 2022
Dec 2, 2023 Nov 3, 2023 Nov 22, 2022
Mar 9, 2024 Feb 23, 2024 Feb 28, 2023
May 4, 2024 Apr 19, 2024 Apr 25, 2023
June 1, 2024 May 17, 2024 May 23, 2023

A Master Card or Visa will be needed to register online. The SAT Reasoning Test costs $64.50 and $93.50 for late registration. The essay is now OPTIONAL!  The cost for the SAT test without the Essay is $49.50.  SAT Basic Subject Tests are $26 per registration.  Students are encouraged to register online at www.collegeboard.com

PROSPECTIVE COLLEGE ATHLETES:  you must register with the NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE if you are planning on pursuing sports in college.  Register by going to the following website:  http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp
Texas Success Initiative - students attending Texas public institutions of higher education must be in compliance with the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).  The law requires all entering college students to be assessed for college readiness in reading, mathematics and writing unless the student qualifies for an exemption.  Each student who fails to meet the minimum passing standard of the exam offered by the institution must be placed in a developmental education program designed to help the student achieve college readiness.  Students must take a TSI exam and have scores on file before they can enroll in college-level classes.  Each college and university offers a different exam.  TSI exams available to students are:  TSI ASSESSMENT.
TSI EXEMPTIONS:(a student may be exempt from taking a TSI exam if they meet one of the following standards)
  • ACT - composite of 23 or higher with at least a 19 on both English and math sections (Prior to 2/15/23)
  • ACT - Combined score of 40 on the English & Reading tests; A 22 on Math-no combined score (After 2/15/23) 
  • SAT - Math 530, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing 480 (SAT taken March 5, 2016 and later)
ACT TEST DAY REMINDERS: Examinees must have the following at "Check-In" to gain admittance to the ACT test:
1. Admission Ticket
2. Listed on the Roster
3. Current Official Photo ID including ALL of the following: must be valid/current, issued by the school or city/state/federal government agency, Examinee's first and last names in English must match the admission ticket, photo is clearly recognizable as examinee...OR
4. ACT Student Identification Letter with Photo.  All items must be completed and include:  Individually completed in English - and signed in ink - by official of the student's school or notary public.  The official or notary may not be a relative; recent, recognizable, individual (not group) photo of the examinee attached to the letter; school or notary seal/stamp or school official/notary ink signature overlapping a portion of the photo; examinee's first and last names - must match the admission ticket and roster; examinee's date of birth, gender, school name and location; signed by the examinee in ink in the presence of school official or notary; signed by the examinee on test day, in the presence of testing staff...OR
5. ACT Photo Exception Identification Letter, All items must be completed and include:  name and test date completed by ACT (section 1) - must match admission ticket and roster; individually completed in English - and signed in ink - by official of the student's school or notary public.  The official or notary may not be a relative; examinee's first and last names (section2) - must match section 1, the admission ticket and roster; examinees date of birth, gender, school name and location; examinee's physical description (age, height, eye color and hair color) - must match the individual; school or notary seal/stamp or school official/notary ink signature overlapping a portion of the physical description; signed by the examinee in ink in the presence of school official or notary; signed by the examinee on test day, in the presence of testing staff.
6. Name, gender, ID and roster must ALL match
SHOULD YOU TEST AGAIN? go to www.actstudent.org and click "Retake the test" for more information.
57% of students INCREASED the Composite Score on a Retest
21% of students had NO CHANGE
22% of students DECREASED
The following restrictions apply to a retest - even if your scores are cancelled by you or by ACT:
  • You can test only once on a given ACT test date (National, International, State).
  • You can take the ACT a maximum of 12 times.
  • If you test more than once, you choose which test date or set of scores to send to colleges.
  • All scores from a test date are reported as a set.  ACT does not create new records by combining scores from different test dates.
  • If you want to report your Writing score, all scores from that test date will be reported.
Sending your scores:
If you want to send your scores to other colleges, you can order Additional Score Reports (ASRs) for a fee. Go to www.actstudent.org and click "Send your scores." to keep your scores confidential, ACT will not provide them to anyone by telephone, email or fax.
ACT/SAT Prep Resources:
Use this information sheet to guide you through various free, online ACT/SAT preparation resources below
that are in addition to the activities we normally recommend:
1. http://march2success.com 2. www.khanacademy.org/
10 - 15 minutes a day; 5 to 6 days a week; can lead to a 2 - 12 point increase on ACT Composite [we have seen it] or 100— 350 point increase on the SAT Composite [we have seen that also].
https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat — Online guided SAT practice, full practice exams, targeted math, reading, and writing practice with videos that show step-by-step solutions for each question. Can tie PSAT & SAT scores to guide practice (Khan Academy also has its own YouTube channel — www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy
https:/lacademy.act.org/ - ACT Academy provides free resources for students that are unique to their learning gaps. Access the best resources from top publishers, all in one place, and accurately aligned to standards
http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-test - SAT practice exam directly from the College Board
http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-questions — SAT practice questions directly from the College Board
http://collegeboard.org/QuickStart - use your PSAT Access Code for great SAT Preparation and analysis for SAT Prep
http://www.eprep.com/diagnostic#start - Diagnostic SAT Exam (timed with ability to pause, graded upon conclusion instantly, solutions provided with video and/or written explanation)
http://www.eprep.com/wordsmith/challenge - Wordsmith Challenge (SAT prep game designed to help prepare you for SAT verbal sections)
http://blog.pwnthesat.com — Tons of SAT practice and study guides from an SAT expert
http://ultimatesatverbal.blogspot.com - Expert blog on how to tackle the SAT verbal section with exercises, grammar rules, critical reading tips, essay writing guide, idiom list, etc.
www.majortests.com/sat/ - Hundreds of SAT practice questions with step-by-step explanations of the correct answer for each question
http://www.proprofs.com/sat/ — SAT study guides, practice tests, SAT Wiki, practice questions, test prep videos, flashcards, and cram sheets
www.4tests.com/sat - SAT practice exam and questions (allows you to choose content sections to focus on)
http://www.powerscore.com/sat/help/content_practice_tests.cfm — Multiple full SAT practice exams
www.princetonreview.com/college/free-sat-practice-test.aspx — Register with Princeton Review for free and get access to a free online practice test
http://www.kaptest.com/college-prep/getting-into-college/free-practice-test - Register with Kaplan Test Prep for free and get access to a free online practice test
http://www. youtube.com/user/PrepInteractive — Prep Interactive SAT tutoring videos
http://quizlet.com/subject/sat/ — Hundreds of online quizzes to help study for the SAT
http://www. freerice.com — Vocabulary practice questions (for each correct answer the website donates 10 grains of rice to help end global hunger)
http://www. youtube.com/user/2400Expert —- Webinars and videos outlining effective SAT strategies to maximize your score