An important part of the college admission application is the college entrance exam score – either the ACT or the SAT. Most colleges do not prefer one test over the other, although some of the more selective schools may have a preference. When taking these exams, students can select the colleges they would like to receive their scores automatically. 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, academic rigor, school/community activities, and work experience (if applicable) will also be factored in the decision.
At Union High School, all sophomores take the PSAT. This test not only allows them to become familiar with college entrance exams and the testing process, but it also is used during the junior year to identifying candidates for the National Merit Scholarship Program. During spring of their junior year, all students will take the SAT during school hours.
Both the ACT and SAT are offered several times throughout the year at Union High School and other surrounding schools.
Because ACT and SAT scores influence college admission and scholarship award decisions, it is important for students to prepare for these exams. Familiarizing themselves with the test details, taking the time to do full-length practice exams, using online or printed preparation guides, and practicing vocabulary will help students to do their very best. Visit the College/Career Center for assistance in finding test prep resources.
In addition to self-guided preparation, students can take advantage of the numerous test preparation opportunities provided here at Union High School. Students should watch the scrolling announcement and social media for more information about evening and weekend prep classes.
When should a student take the ACT?
Typically, we recommend that students take the ACT after they have completed Algebra II.
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 after completing Algebra II, unless they plan to enroll in TCC concurrent enrollment classes. 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.