Plan for College Testing
Applying to a California State University
You can list Cal State Apply as an SAT score recipient. The SAT institution code for Cal State Apply is 3594. Cal State Apply will then store your scores for ALL CSU campuses to utilize. If you have not yet sent your scores to either a CSU campus or Cal State Apply, you can request that here.
Applying to a University of California
Freshmen applicants must take the ACT With Writing or SAT Reasoning Test and order score reports from the testing agency no later than December of your senior year. You can have a report sent to one campus and it will be shared with all the campuses to which you apply.
The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are a suite of tools designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century.
The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.
SAT Subject Tests
Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your achievements and interests.
SAT Subject Tests allow you to differentiate yourself in the college admission process or send a strong message regarding your readiness to study specific majors or programs in college. In conjunction with your other admission credentials (your high school record, SAT scores, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a more complete picture of your academic background and interests.
Some colleges also use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or receive credit for introductory-level courses.
There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science. Try the free practice questions.
ACT Assessment plus Writing
ACT Assessment plus Writing
The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test. ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is two hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing).
The ACT is administered on six test dates within the United States, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada September, October, December, February, April and June. In other locations, the ACT is administered on all of the above dates except September.
The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.
The ACT tests are prepared according to the:
- Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).
- Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement, National Council on Measurement in Education (1995).
- Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Joint Committee on Testing Practices (2004).
If you have listed a CSU campus as an ACT score report recipient, you can use the ACT Score Manager to release your score to additional campuses. Before you can use the ACT Score Manager, you must first have arranged for your scores to be sent to a CSU campus.
If you have not yet arranged for your ACT scores to be sent to a CSU campus, you can learn how to request that here.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures:
- Critical reading skills
- Math problem-solving skills
- Writing skills
You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test doesn't require you to recall specific facts from your classes.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are to:
- Receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
- See how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
- Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
- Help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
- Receive information from colleges when you check "yes" to Student Search Service.
Through AP's college-level courses and exams, you can earn college credit and advanced placement, stand out in the admission process, and learn from some of the most skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers in the world.
With 34 AP courses to choose from, including Chinese Language and Culture, Environmental Science and Psychology, you'll be able to explore your interests and discover new passions. In AP classes, you'll study fascinating topics and ideas that just might become the foundation of your future college major or career.
AP courses can help you acquire the skills and habits you'll need to be successful in college. You'll improve your writing skills, sharpen your problem-solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline and study habits.
Most four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores. By entering college with AP credits, you'll have the time to move into upper level courses, pursue a double-major or study abroad.
Once you've decided to take the AP challenge it's easy to enroll. Talk to an AP teacher or the AP Coordinator at your school about the course you want to take. Discuss the course's workload and any preparation you might need.