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College Entrance Exams - PSAT, SAT, ACT


The University of California and the California State University do not require nor will they accept SAT and/or ACT scores for admissions.  Please check the individual colleges, other than a UC or CSU, for SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and ACT requirements.


Take the PSAT in 10th and 11th Grades. 

The Importance of PSAT Testing
The PSAT is used by the National Merit Program to award its scholarships and commendations to seniors. It is very important for Juniors to take this exam if they want to be considered for these scholarships.  The P is for Preliminary, not Practice.  Many students think it is merely a "practice" and that they will automatically be considered for scholarships by taking the SAT later.  Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT in your Junior Year.  Becoming a Commended, a Semi-Finalist, Finalist, and National Merit Scholarship Winner is based upon the highest PSAT Selection Index scores (calculated by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Test scores). In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified for one of these honors.

  • Sign up for the PSAT (pre/practice SAT test) at the activities office (ASB).  The PSAT, SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement (AP) tests all offer fee waivers to students with financial need.  Check with your counselor to determine if you are eligible and receive help in obtaining a fee waiver.  

             ⇒  Cost:  approximately $25 per exam – Keep your receipt!

             ⇒  Dates: PSAT - TBA.

             ⇒  Bring to test: Picture ID, two #2 pencils, calculator.


Registration for all tests is done online.  Sign up for SAT Tests and SAT Subject Tests on the College Board website. Sign up for ACT Tests on the ACT website.  

Of those colleges that still require the SAT or ACT test for admissions, most accept the SAT or the ACT so students do not need to take both exams. Keep in mind that colleges and universities may require the optional Writing section on the ACT. Students who plan to take only the ACT should sign up for the optional Writing section.

If you are not sure if your college or university requires the ACT or ACT with Writing, take the ACT with Writing.  If you are not sure if your college or university requires the SAT or the SAT with Essay, take the SAT with Essay. You can take these tests multiple times.  It is recommended students take the SAT and/or ACT at least twice as studies have shown tests scores usually increase.  You can take both tests and submit scores from both tests to your colleges and universities or you can choose scores from one test to submit.

Take a look at THIS ARTICLE to learn the differences between the tests. 

The best way to determine which test students should focus on (SAT or ACT) is to take a full-length practice SAT and a full-length practice ACT then compare the two scores as well as their experiences.  Local test prep companies also offer full-length exams for FREE.

Some colleges and universities are "test-optional." This means that they either do not require standardized testing or they will accept alternate forms of measurement like a graded paper. To learn more, visit the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) at

For a comprehensive guide to college admissions testing, please click HERE and download, for free, The Compass Guide to College Admission Testing.


SAT and SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests:  Suggestion: take an SAT Subject test after you have completed a particular course, i.e. take a World History subject test after completing RHS World History, take a Biology subject test after taking RHS Advanced Placement Biology, etc.  While not all colleges and universities require the SAT Subject tests, many competitive schools do.  Check with individual colleges/universities and your interested major to determine any specific requirements.  Example:  if you are interested in an Engineering major, check the Engineering department of the colleges and universities to check which subject tests, if any, are required.  TIP: if a college states that "SAT subject tests are not required but recommended," then take two subject tests.  

  • Visit  UC Subject Test Requirements to view the required SAT Subject Tests for each UC campus.

Do you have a 504 Plan or IEP?  You may be eligible for testing accommodations for the ACT, SAT, SAT Subjects Tests, and the Advanced Placements tests.  It may take up to seven weeks for review of your request for accommodations so apply early.  You must see your counselor for help in submitting the request for accommodations.

SENIORS:  Make sure you send your SAT and/or ACT scores to the colleges and universities for which you are applying.  Rim High School does not send Official SAT/ACT scores. In order to do so, you will need to visit or to send official scores.  


Parents and students frequently ask what are options for test prep.  These are some options but we encourage you to explore others to meet your needs and finances.  

We do not endorse one company over the other. If you are interested in receiving test preparation from any of the companies listed below, we strongly suggest that you ask for references.

For free test prep, visit the College Board/Khan Academy at  College Board/Khan Academy