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College Admissions Tests

College Admissions Tests

College Admissions testing includes the ACT, SAT and SAT Subject tests.

ACT test

The ACT is a college admission test offered five times throughout the year. The ACT is given to students at school during the spring of their junior year (students will register and pay for the test in the fall). Students often retake the test on their own in June or October. The ACT is made up of five different tests: English, math, science, reading, and an optional writing test. Some colleges will require the writing test (the U of M, Carleton are a few examples). Students should register online at

SAT test

The SAT is another college admission test that measures a student’s math, reading and writing skills. This test is more popular among students residing on the east/west coast of the United States. It is not necessary to take both the ACT and SAT but some students take both to see which test they can score higher on. Students planning on attending a four-year college would want to take the SAT in the spring of the junior year. For more information on this test, go to

SAT Subject tests

SAT subject tests are individual subtests such as: United States History, Calculus, Chemistry, etc. Sometimes, students are required to submit subject test scores at the selective colleges. Students should check with the colleges they are considering attending to see if they are required or recommended to take the subject tests. Go to to sign up for the tests or find out more information.

PSAT Testing Day

In October of each year, Stillwater Area High School conducts a school-wide testing day to allow sophomores and juniors the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT.


The PSAT/NMSQT (The National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) measures reading, math and writing skills that students have developed over the years. To qualify for a National Merit scholarship, students must take the test while they are a junior. Sophomore students who are in the top 10% of their class may elect to take the PSAT. Students will sign up and pay a small fee for the PSAT in the counseling office beginning in late September. For more information go to