As part of the US undergraduate application requirement to most four year institutions, students are required to submit a standardised test score, either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT), both of which are administered privately and outside of school hours. Both tests are assessing competencies in comprehensive reading and writing and maths – the ACT also has a testing section on science which does require knowledge in the subject matter, however, many of the questions are analysis and interpretation based. Both tests have an optional writing component required for admission purposes by some institutions.
The College Board, who administers the SAT, announced in February 2017 that it will be reducing SAT testing dates outside of the US from six to four per year in an effort to enhance test security. This significant reduction in international testing dates makes it crucial for students to plan ahead if they anticipate sitting the SAT. The SAT test will now be offered in the months of: March, May, October and December. Additional testing dates for the Subject Tests only will be available in November and June (see below). A reminder, students are not permitted to sit the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests on the same testing date. For further information on Subject Tests, please refer to our previous article.
Testing Dates 2018 - 19
In September 2018 The ACT will be moving from paper based testing to Computer Based Testing (CBT). At time of posting this article, the ACT had not yet announced their testing partner locations nor testing dates for Sydney. Further information and updates can be found on the ACT registration page as they become available.
Sydney students are stuck between a standardised test crunch with ACT not having ANY future testing dates announced and SAT testing venues and seats already at a premium since the reduction to four testing dates per year. Students interested in studying in the US should plan ahead and book in to sit their SAT test well before the registration deadline. We encourage students in year 11 to sit a standardised test by the end of their school year so not to distract from local academic demands in year 12.
The US application process - a holistic approach