SAT and ACT Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I take the ACT or the SAT?
The ACT has a science section whereas the SAT does not. If science is a strength, then the ACT may be the test for you. The SAT tends to have a stronger focus on vocabulary. Both tests contain advanced math concepts. If you are not sure which test is best for you, we recommend taking both and then retesting the one that felt more like your style of test.
When should I take the SAT / ACT?
In general, we recommend that you take the SAT/ACT during the spring semester of your junior year. Of course, when you take math and English may impact your standardized test timeline. If you are taking English and math during the fall semester of your junior year, then you may want to consider taking the test towards the end of the fall semester or at the beginning of the spring semester when those subjects are fresh.
Does CHS send my scores to colleges?
When you register for the tests, you will be asked if you want to send your score report to four schools for free. At the time of registration, you can enter four university codes and scores will be sent to those schools for free. You must decide this at the time of registration. Participating in the "free report" is optional.
Does it cost to send scores?
Score report fees range.
How many times should I take the test?
How many times you take the test is a personal decision. You can take the tests as many times as you want. Typically, during the first administration, you are learning the format of the test, types of questions, timing, etc. The second time you take the test, it is more familiar. Therefore, students are more relaxed and may perform better.
What is the average score for the SAT or ACT?
The national average SAT score is 500 on each section (1000 is average on a 2 SAT part score.) The national average ACT Composite score is 21.
What is superscoring?
Superscoring is when colleges take the highest scores from each section of a test given over multiple administrations to give a new higher total score. For example, If you took the SAT in March and scored 520 Math and 480 on Critical Reading, and then you took the SAT again in June and scored a 510 in Math and a 550 on Critical Reading. Then a school that superscores would give you a combined SAT total of 1070 (520 MA + 550 CR.)
Not all universities superscore. It is important to ask each admissions office what their policy is on superscoring. All UNC System schools superscore the SAT and the ACT. Please note that old and new SAT scores will not be superscored.
Can I take the test in my senior year?
Some students want to take the SAT or ACT one more time during their senior year. We recommend that you take it as early as possible (usually Sept for ACT and Oct. SAT) if you are going to take the test during your senior year. Typically, students who take the tests in Sept. / Oct. will get scores added to their files in time for Early Action application consideration. We recommend students who are applying for Early Action and who want to take one more standardized test should go ahead and submit their application with an existing test score and then take the Fall semester SAT/ACT and have it added to their completed application.