The ACT (American College Test) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) are–as you may guess from the names–standardized tests which colleges and universities use as an assessment of knowledge for applicants.
Common SAT/ACT questions
Q: What exactly is a standardized test?
A: Public, private, and homeschool methods of education can vary widely. In order to measure knowledge of students coming from this wide range of educational backgrounds, colleges need a common assessment by which to compare applicants. The ACT is a nonprofit company which creates and administers the same assessment to all students who take the current year’s test. The SAT is a not-for-profit company which does the same thing but with a little different focus on subjects tested. (Insert link here comparing the two tests.)
Q: Are all ACT and SAT tests identical to each other?
A: Each calendar year new versions of the ACT and SAT are published and administered. Therefore, each year new study materials are also published. Big River’s SAT/ACT Preparation course teaches up-to-date material for the current year’s tests. The individual tests each year have the questions mixed up for each subject making it harder for students to cheat off other tests in the same year.
Q: Why should my homeschooler take the ACT or SAT?
A: Taking the SAT or ACT is especially desired for homeschooled students who are applying to post-secondary education. It is a way for homeschoolers to display their mastery of knowledge acquired in the non-traditional education journey of homeschool. Over the past 20 years, colleges have looked much more favorably on homeschooled students in part to the emphasis they place on these standardized tests. We know that a homeschool education is superior to other methods, and homeschoolers get to strut their stuff by often outscoring students from traditional education entities.
Q: When do I know my homeschooler is ready for the ACT or SAT?
A: If a student is reading on or above grade level and has proficiently completed high school geometry, he or she is ready for the test. Of course, we recommend studying the current year’s study materials before taking one of the tests. A guided course is recommended for this. For many students, parking the big ol’ study booklet in front of them is daunting. Having our SAT/ACT Prep instructor break it down and give deadlines for practice tests holds them accountable and makes it less intimidating.
Q: Do colleges and universities in Canada accept ACT or SAT scores?
A: Yes! Many Canadian colleges and universities use the ACT and SAT results for admissions. Review the admissions requirements for the post-secondary schools in which your child is interested to confirm what the school is looking for in prospective students.
Q: Do colleges and universities outside of the United States accept ACT and SAT scores?
A: Actually, over 200 colleges and universities outside of the US and Canada use the ACT and SAT to vet incoming students. Again, check the admissions requirements for the school to confirm what they need from applicants.