SAT/ACT – College Admissions Testing


SAT and ACT Test Dates for 2015-2016


There are nearly 30,000 high schools in the United States with a wide range of courses and grading standards. College entrance exams like the SAT I, SAT II and the ACT help colleges determine who is ready for the academic rigors of college. These standardized tests are designed to compare the millions of students applying for acceptance into colleges and are very important in the college selection process. Please keep in mind that these scores are only one of the determining factors toward acceptance. It is important to find out the college entrance exams required by the colleges you intend to apply for. This information can be found on the college’s website.

Below is a brief description of each test and an explanation as to who should take the test and when. Also, you will find a number of links that will help you prepare for the test.  When registering for the SAT or ACT tests students must use our school code to ensure we receive their scores.  R-FH’s school code is 311335.


PSAT is offered on a specific Wednesday  in October by College Board.  RFH offers the PSAT on Wednesday (this year it is October 19). There will no longer be a Saturday option at local high schools.   

All sophomores are automatically registered, with the fee paid by RFH.    
Juniors must register individually Prior to October 13, online at

The PSAT provides sophomores and juniors with the opportunity to practice for the SAT. In junior year, the PSAT also serves as the qualifier for National Merit Scholarships.When students receive their score report , they also receive access to every test question, the answer, and the rationale for the answer, as a study guide for the SAT.  

Students should not use the actual SAT to practice, as any SAT/SAT II’s taken from grades 9-12 become part of their testing record which they will eventually release to colleges. They should also not take a first SAT before late winter/spring of junior year. 

This year, Catalyst Prep will offer a PSAT test prep bootcamp for juniors

Click the link for more information and registration details.



SAT I Reasoning Test   is designed to measure a student’s ability to succeed in college level work in freshman year of college.The three sections of the test include evidence-based reading, math, and writing. They measure the student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills along with the student’s writing abilities. In most cases students are prepared to take their first SAT test in the spring of their junior year.(SAT’s should not be taken before winter of junior year.)  RFH is a test site for the October, March and June test dates. Students should register on-line at

 College Board has just announced that June will be a SAT Subject Test only Administration


Score Choice- The College Board gives students the opportunity to choose which SAT scores (taken all on the same day) are sent to colleges. For example, if a student takes the SAT in May,June and October and the June scores (for Critical Reading, Math and Writing) are highest, the student may use Score Choice to send only the June scores. (Using the same example) Score Choice does not permit students to select the highest Critical Reading score from May, the highest math score from June, and the highest writing score from October.

Because most students do not earn their highest scores all in one day, most students will not be able to use Score Choice. As a result, students are not encouraged to take their SAT’s as often as they wish, for practice, because without Score Choice they must report all scores from all test dates. 


SAT Subject Tests: There are 22 different subject tests designed to measure a student’s knowledge in a specific academic area. Not all colleges require students to take SAT II tests, so it is very important to check Naviance or the websites of the colleges websites to which you are applying. Students who must take SAT Subject Tests are encouraged to wait to test until they have completed the most advance course in that subject. Registering for the SAT II is done on-line at


ACT test covers four subject tests in Math, English, Reading, and Science.The test still requires students to utilize both their critical thinking and problem solving skills.  RFH is a test site for ACT in June and September. Registering for the ACT test can be done on-line at


SAT/ACT conversion tool   allows users  to better gauge students’ success on the SAT and ACT by offering a quick comparison tool.  (convert SAT to ACT, ACT to SAT)
Includes valuable information regarding differences between SAT and ACT and  how each test is scored, as well.


Fair Test – The Center for Fair and Open Testing provides a list of all colleges and universities that have de-emphasized standardized testing by making admissions decisions about substantial numbers of applicants without requiring SAT or ACT scores (Test-optional).
Read all the details on their website by clicking on the title link.

Click  Admissions testing links  to be directed to other standardized testing and test prep sites.



Overview: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT

This high-level comparison between the current SAT and the redesigned SAT highlights major design features of the two tests. The first table provides a comparison of the major features of the current SAT and redesigned SAT. The second table provides a comparison by test, including the number of items and testing time. It is important to note that while the information in these tables represents our best understanding of the nature and features of the redesigned SAT, some specific elements, such as timing, length, and reported scores, are subject to revision based on the ongoing research process that guides the redesign.

Major Features

Comparison of the Major Features: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT
Category Current SAT Redesigned SAT
Total Testing Time*


*Redesigned SAT testing time subject to research

3 hours and 45 minutes 3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])
  1. Critical Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Mathematics
  4. Essay
  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading Test
    • Writing and Language Test
  2. Math
  3. Essay (optional)
Important Features
  • Emphasis on general reasoning skills
  • Emphasis on vocabulary, often in limited contexts
  • Complex scoring (a point for a correct answer and a deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)
  • Continued emphasis on reasoning alongside a clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact
  • Rights-only scoring (a point for a correct answer but no deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)
  • Required and given at the beginning of the SAT
  • 25 minutes to write the essay
  • Tests writing skill; students take a position on a presented issue
  • Optional and given at the end of the SAT; postsecondary institutions determine whether they will require the Essay for admission
  • 50 minutes to write the essay
  • Tests reading, analysis, and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text
Score Reporting*


*Redesigned SAT scores subject to research

  • Scale ranging from 600 to 2400
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Critical Reading; 200 to 800 for Mathematics; 200 to 800 for Writing
  • Essay results scaled to multiple-choice Writing
  • Scale ranging from 400 to 1600
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three traits for Essay
  • Essay results reported separately
Subscore Reporting None Subscores for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, admission officers, educators, and counselors




Test Length and Timing

Comparison of Test Length and Timing: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT
Current SAT Redesigned SAT
Component Time Allotted
Number of
Component Time
Allotted (minutes)
Number of 
Critical Reading









Writing and Language



















(230 with Essay)

(154 with Essay)









Score Components

Comparison of Score Components: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT
Component Current SAT Redesigned SAT
Composite Score 0 1
Area Scores 2 2
Test Scores N/A 3 plus Essay scores
Cross-Test Scores N/A 2
Subscores N/A 7

updated 12/22/14