Plan for College

Learn how to prepare for the education and training that will get you your dream job.

What Are The College Entrance Exams?

Know the tests and how they differ

If you go to college, you'll probably have to take an entrance exam. Don't worry though — you can prepare for these tests well ahead. Want more good news? Tests aren't everything. No college or university decides who gets admitted based just on entrance exam scores. Admissions decisions depend on many factors, including your grades, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, essays, and interviews. What tests do you need to take? Refer to the website of the school you're interested in attending, specifically the admissions or registrar's area. Here are the tests that many colleges require for some or most students.

Test

Means

When to Take

Details

For Help

PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test

Fall of high school junior year

Used to determine eligibility for National Merit Scholarship Program. Winners of National Merit Scholarships are chosen from the program finalists.

Visit the College Board website to learn more about the test and to take practice exams.

SAT

Scholastic Assessment Test

  • Spring semester of high school junior and fall semester of senior year
  • Access admissions test schedule for the next academic year
  • One of the two most widely used college entrance exams
  • Colleges usually require the SAT or ACT but not both

Visit the College Board website to take practice exams and learn more about the test.

ACT

American College Testing

Test times scheduled throughout the year. Refer online for the latest schedule

  • One of the two most widely used college entrance exams
  • Colleges usually require the SAT or ACT but not both

Visit the ACT website for practice exams and to learn more.

TOEFL

Test of English as a Foreign Language

Refer to the TOEFL website for testing dates

If English is your second language, your school may require you take an English proficiency test. The TOEFL is the most widely accepted such test.

Refer to the TOEFL website for practice exams and other information.



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