College Test Prep
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 the 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.
High school juniors or seniors who can't afford the registration fee for the ACT (No Writing) or ACT Plus Writing, may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools.
To be eligible, a student must meet the following requirements:
He or she must currently attend high school as a junior or senior in the United States, U.S. territories, or Puerto Rico.
He or she must meet at least one indicator of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.
If a student is eligible, he or she may use a maximum of two fee waivers total. The waiver is used once the student registers, even if he or she does not test on the requested test date.
Fee waivers cover only the basic registration fee for the student’s test option, including up to four college choices (if the student provides valid codes when he or she registers). Waivers do not cover the late registration fee, test date or test center changes, stand by fee or any other services.
A student cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; he or she must contact the College and Career Center. If a student receives an ACT Fee Waiver Form, he or she should follow the "Student Directions" on it for the registration method (or if requesting Special Testing).
Note: If a student registers online, and registers during the late period or request any additional services, he or she must enter a credit card to pay those fees before submitting the registration. www.act.org
High school students in the United States or U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, who cannot afford to pay the test fees are eligible. If testing internationally, only U.S. citizens are eligible for fee waivers.
What the waivers cover
Each SAT waiver covers the registration fees for a single test date, either for the SAT or for up to three SAT Subject Tests.
A total of four additional flexible score reports can be ordered any time after you register, even after you've seen your scores.
Waivers cover either the Question-and-Answer Service or the Student Answer Service Question (for the SAT only) when ordered during registration.
A discount on The Official SAT Online Course is available when ordered during online registration.
Where to obtain a waiver
The student should see advisors for help to request a fee waiver since they are not available through the College Board. He or she can download the Student’s Guide to SAT Program Fee Waivers from the College Board website for more information.
Four total waivers are available — two for the SAT and two for the SAT Subject Tests. SAT Subject Test fee waivers can be used any time from 9th grade through graduation. SAT fee waivers can be used from 11th grade through graduation.
How to register with the waiver
For online registration, the student should enter the entire 12-digit code when prompted. If the student is registering by mail, he or she should submit the completed fee-waiver card in the same envelope with the completed registration form.
Fee waivers cannot be used for late registration except for the October test date. Fee waivers cannot be used for standby registrations. http://www.collegeboard.org