By Kyandra Simmons, News Writer

According the SAT booklet Your Key to College Opportunity, the ACT and SAT are different tests that measure similar but distinct constructs. The ACT measures achievement related to high school curricula, while the SAT measures general verbal and quantitative reasoning.

The SAT is more than an admissions test; the SAT provides free college planning resources that help you choose and apply to colleges that fit you best. It connects you to scholarships and aids to help you pay for college.

“The SAT is very challenging,” Senior Ariel Ashford said. “You just have to focus, and I mean a lot!”

In March 2016 The College Board will be launching a redesigned test; the new SAT focuses on the knowledge that current research shows is most essential for college and career readiness and success.

Changes include no penalty for wrong answers, the essay will be optional and the test will look more like the work you’re doing in classes.

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area test in English, mathematics, reading, science and a 40-minute writing test.

“Results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.,” Ms. Dalphine Humphrey, Director of Guidance, said. “The test includes up to 215 multiple choice questions and takes approximately three hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break.”

Many students test at least twice, once as a junior and again as a senior. Fifty-seven percent increased their composite score on the retest; 22% decreased their composite score on the retest.

“As a junior I made a score of 24; then when I took the test over, my score however decreased to a 22,” Senior Lyric Swinton said.

According to sat.collegeboard.org and actstudent.org, if you are testing on a national test date and can’t afford the registration fee for the ACT or SAT, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. You should work with your high school to determine if you are eligible.

To get more information on the changes to the new SAT and sample questions visit https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/; also for fee waivers for the SAT, visit https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-fee-waivers?excmpid=MTG277-PR-2-cwho, and for the ACT, visit your guidance counselor to see if you qualify.

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