College Admissions Testing: ACT vs. SAT?

  • The ACT and SAT are both standardized tests that are used for college admissions. Students should be aware that they have a choice in which standardized test they choose to take. 


    COVID-19 Updates: Many colleges and universities, including all UC campuses, will be "test optional" for the Class of 2021 application cycle. All CSU campuses will be "test blind" for the Class of 2021 and will NOT use test scores as part of the application review. Please consult the SAT, ACT, and individual college websites for the most recent updates and more information. Feel free to email your CV counselor about the pros and cons for your individual applicant profile. 

    This article provides information about the differences between the two tests so that you can make a more well-informed decision.


    ACT Website and registration information


    SAT Website and registration information The SAT Subject tests may also be taken, if desired. They are not required for UC or CSU admission but may be highly recommended for some majors as another way to demonstrate content mastery. Some private colleges do require SAT Subject tests. Check individual school websites for required testing. 


    We encourage all students to set up a College Board account to check PSAT scores the week of December 6th. The website will allow students to link to Khan Academy for free tutoring and practice for the SAT or AP exams