Most college-bound students know that a necessary component of an admission application is a college entrance examination score; a university cannot process an application without one. Most students also know that there are two exams--the ACT and the SAT--and that almost all U.S. colleges accept both.
The average student may not, however, know a great deal about the two tests and how they differ and, therefore, may be unsure about which test would be best for them to take--based upon their abilities, experience and needs. The option is the student's, as colleges use the results from either in the same ways--for admission, talent identification and academic advising.
Counselors, teachers and parents are a good resource in helping students choose the test that will best demonstrate achievement. Either way, students should remember that entrance exam scores are only one piece of information a college considers. Class rank, grade point average, school/community activities and work experience (if applicable) will also be factored in the decision.
Test Prep Classes - Registration Form
What is the ACT?
Students should register for the ACT test online at actstudent.org, record the username and password they create for future use, and report their scores to Union using the code 370-475. In addition, students are encouraged to report their scores to four colleges. They should be prepared to upload a head and shoulder picture and use a credit card for payment. The ACT-No Writing (cost-$35.00) is the recommended test unless a student knows the writing test is required for his or her desired college.
Students on free or reduced lunch may take the ACT two times at no cost with waivers that are issued through College/Careers located in the Student Union. Students on free or reduced lunch are also eligible to register for one ACT preparation workshop without cost. Students on an IEP should contact the Special Ed department for help with registration that includes accommodations.
Why should a student take the ACT?
Students take the ACT for two primary reasons: the first to reach admission standards for college and the second to compete for scholarships associated with ACT scores.
When should a student take the ACT?
Sophomores who have completed Algebra II or are interested in the Tulsa Community College concurrent program, should take the April test. This allows students to assess their performance and possibly qualify for TCC classes.
Juniors should take the ACT once they have completed Algebra II, unless again, they want to take TCC classes their junior year. To enroll in fall TCC classes, the ACT must be taken by April. To enroll in spring TCC classes, the ACT must be completed by the September test date. If juniors have no interest in TCC classes, then they should take the ACT in April or June to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
Seniors should take the ACT in the fall, preferably the September or October test. Students test to achieve a qualifying score for college admission, but also to contend for scholarships. In most cases, colleges will consider only the highest ACT score. Some colleges continue to accept ACT scores for scholarships all the way into June.
What is the SAT?
The SAT is designed to test your skill level in math, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The test is divided into seven sections: 3 math, 3 verbal, and 1 experimental section. The math and verbal sections each have their own distinct question types, including quantitative comparisons, sentence completions, grid-ins, and more. The experimental section, used by the test developer to try out new questions, is not scored and can be either math or verbal. You will not know which section is experimental.
The SAT is scored on scale of 200-800 for both the math and verbal sections. The College Board sets the average for all test takers at 500 for each. A perfect score on the SAT is 1600. However, in recent years, fewer than 20 percent of all test takers achieve a math score of 600 or better. Fewer than 10 percent score higher than 600 on the verbal section.
A one day, intensive review designed for students who have never taken the test. The goal is to reduce test anxiety by familiarizing students with the content and format of the test. By the end of this workshop, students will have completed a practice test and have a composite score. The cost is $25. Need-based scholarships are available to Union students.
Saturday classes held at the High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is on your own from noon to 1 p.m.
This three-hour workshop is a practical hands-on instruction session developed by Chad Cargill, a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University. It is designed for students who need a few extra points on their ACT to win certain scholarships or who are a few points away from qualifying to get into college. This workshop is packed full of relevant, practical information on what will be on the test and how to master the techniques to how to increase your ACT score. The workshop is not a practice test. The cost is $30. Make checks out to Union Public Schools.
Class date: October 23, 2012, - Payment deadline October 16 (Spring 2013 TBA)
Class held at Union High School 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
This course may be taken as an in-depth preparation tool for students who have not taken the ACT or to get personalized assistance in math, language arts, and science for students who have taken the ACT and received low scores in certain areas. Cost is $80.
Class held 5 to 7 p.m. at the High School, 6636 S. Mingo
2012 Fall class dates: September 12, 17, 19, 24, 26 and October 1, 3, 8. Payment deadline is September 9.
2013 Spring class dates: February 25, 27, and March 4, 6, 11, 13, 25, 27. Payment deadline is February 24.
The SAT Reasoning Test is a college-entrance exam required by many colleges outside of Oklahoma and a growing number of scholarship programs. It measures verbal and math abilities, which the student has developed over many years. SAT registration forms and practice test booklets are available in the CCC. The SAT tests are administered in several locations in Tulsa. Students must mail registration forms by specific deadlines and there is a charge for taking this test.
OKCIS has an SAT online course and an ACT practice test.
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