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General Info

There are two options for college admission testing, the SAT and the ACT.  While most people tend to be more familiar with the SAT, both tests are viewed equally by colleges and universities.  To determine which test may be best for you, we recommend taking a practice test or two that can help you make a decision.  Wilson offers the PSAT every October for 10th and 11th graders and the PSAT 9 for freshmen in February.  A practice ACT is typically offered in January.    


When should you take your admissions tests?  Generally, we recommend taking the official test during the spring of junior year.  This gives you more time in classes that will expose you to content that will be on the test.  While you can always test earlier, especially if you are taking prep classes, the deadline will be November of your senior year  - while many schools will also take December scores, you are safer getting it done by November.

The Role of Testing in College Admissions

Most four-year colleges consider applicants’ scores on college admission tests when deciding whom to accept. Test scores are just one part of your college application. College admission officers give the most weight and importance to your high school grades and whether you’re challenging yourself.  **PLEASE NOTE: Many colleges have changed the way test scores are used in the admission process.  Always look for the most up to date guidance by the college or university.

What Are College Admission Tests?

You may know college admission tests by name — the SAT, ACT and the SAT Subject Tests. These tests, also called college entrance exams, are designed to measure students’ skills and help colleges evaluate how ready students are for college-level work.


How Do Colleges Use Test Scores?

Admission tests apply a common standard to everyone. This helps colleges evaluate and compare the preparation of students who go to different high schools. All schools do not offer the same academic programs, learning environments or even expectations. Colleges look at your test scores, along with your high school grades and courses, to see how well prepared you are for college-level work.


How Important Are Scores to Colleges?

The importance of test scores in the admission process varies from college to college and depends on an institution’s admission approach and policies. Each college has its own policy. Some colleges, including more-selective colleges, may place a high level of importance on test scores — within the context of the other parts of your application. Other colleges, including many community colleges, may not require a test or use your scores at all. If you have questions about how a particular college uses test scores, check its admission website or contact the admission office.

Access your PSAT scores!

Students should review their PSAT scores online once they receive the notification from CollegeBoard.  Generall, scores are available online in mid-December.  Paper reports will be available in January.  Click on the "Your PSAT/NMSQT Scores Are Ready" icon below to sign in.  

  • Students click SIGN IN or SIGN UP depending on whether or not they already have a College Board account.  This is the same account used to access AP and SAT scores or register online for the SAT.
  • Important Note:  If a student does not see his/her PSAT score report after logging in, they should click the “Add Scores” button.  At this point the student MAY be prompted to enter their PSAT access code.  The student access codes are available in the Guidance Office and will be printed on the front of the hard copy score report.
  • Want to print out a sample PSAT report to understand it better?  Click Here for the Sample Report!psat.jpg
UC sat/act policy

UC will no longer consider SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes. 

If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used to determine your eligibility for the California statewide admissions guarantee, as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll.

Details regarding UC’s testing policy are provided on the UC admission website for future application terms beyond 2022.

CSU sat/act policy

The California State University (CSU) will continue to temporarily suspend the use of ACT/SAT examinations in determining admission eligibility for all CSU campuses for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic year. 

IVY League Statement

 "If you are considering or planning to take the SAT or ACT for the first time or to repeat testing again this year, please do not feel you need to do this to strengthen consideration of your application.  Only if you are safely able to take a test locally near your home should you do so. Institutions will evaluate your application without standardized testing. For your health and safety, please always adhere to your local and state COVID-19 guidelines. Full consideration will be given to all applicants, regardless of whether they have the opportunity to take a standardized test."

Northwestern: Example of what many independent schools are doing...

We’ll be extending our test-optional policy for first-year applicants through next year’s 2021–22 admissions cycle. Applicants may submit an SAT or ACT score if they wish, but these scores are not required. With or without test scores, we will continue to evaluate applicants’ academic and intellectual fit for Northwestern as we always have: through a holistic assessment of grades, course rigor, recommendations, academic honors or awards, personal essays, and other information specific to students’ experiences and high school settings. 

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers are available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.  If you have used a wavier in the past, your codes will already be in your Collegeboard Account.  Email your counselor to request a fee waiver code.  Limit: 2 waivers per test per student.

Khan Academy & SAT

Take these steps to link your College Board and Khan Academy® accounts: Sign up. Link up. Get practicing. Visit This takes you to Khan Academy, where you should log in or create an account. Next, link your accounts - when prompted, agree to link your Khan Academy and CollegeBoard accounts. Finally, send your test results at CollegeBoard, sign in or create an account and hit “Send” to send your test results to Khan Academy.

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Understanding your PSAT Scores


Ready to Register?

Register for the SAT or ACT online!

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Understanding the test


Understanding a test is the first step to doing your best.  There are many resources to help you with this but nothing is better than going to the source.

Inside the SAT             Inside the ACT