All students considering college should take either the ACT or SAT. Colleges need at least one test score for admissions purposes; the scores are also used for some scholarships. Montana has a strong focus on the ACT, which all students take free of charge in their Junior year. It is recommended that students take the test again on their own in the fall of their senior year. Students may take the SAT on their own as well, but only one of the tests is needed for college admissions purposes. An explanation of the differences between the ACT and the SAT may be found at the bottom of this page.

Also, go to http://www.kaptest.com/college-prep/getting-into-college/free-practice-test to take both an SAT and an ACT practice test, plus receive feedback on your scores. For more in depth SAT preparation, visit. http://www.khanacademy.org/sat for the Official SAT practice site. For official ACT practice resources and tips, visit http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation.html. There are also some great tips and advice in this booklet here- Test Prep ebook.

We strongly suggest that students take the Writing portion of the tests as many colleges require those scores.

ACT Test Dates and Fees

2017-2018 Test Dates (National)
Test DateRegistration Deadline(Late Fee Required)
September 9, 2017August 4, 2017August 5-18, 2017
October 28, 2017September 22, 2017September 23-October 10, 2017
December 9, 2017November 3, 2017November 4-17, 2017
February 10, 2018*January 12, 2018January 13-19, 2018
April 14, 2018March 9, 2018
March 10-23, 2018
June 9, 2018May 4, 2018May 5-18, 2018
July 14, 2018*June 15, 2018June 16-22, 2018

ACT w/o writing- $46.00

ACT w/ writing- $62.50

Go to www.act.org to register and for free test prep resources. Ask Mrs. Bertelsen for fee waiver information and help paying for the test.

2017-18 SAT Dates

Deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S. To see international SAT test dates, visit International Registration.

2017-18 SAT Administration Dates and Deadlines
SAT DateSAT Subject Tests AvailableRegistration DeadlineLate Registration DeadlineDeadline for Changes
August 26, 2017See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateJuly 28, 2017August 8, 2017 (for mailed registrations)August 15, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)August 15, 2017
October 7, 2017See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateSeptember 8, 2017September 19, 2017 (for mailed registrations)September 27, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)September 27, 2017
November 4, 2017See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateOctober 5, 2017October 17, 2017 (for mailed registrations)October 25, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)October 25, 2017
December 2, 2017

See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateNovember 2, 2017November 14, 2017 (for mailed registrations)November 21, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)November 21, 2017
March 10, 2018

SAT Subject Tests not offered on this dateFebruary 9, 2018February 20, 2018 (for mailed registrations)February 28, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)February 28, 2018
May 5, 2018

See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateApril 6, 2018April 17, 2018 (for mailed registrations)April 25, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)April 25, 2018
June 2, 2018

See SAT Subject Tests available on this dateMay 3, 2018May 15, 2018 (for mailed registrations)May 23, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)May 23, 2018

SAT With Essay $60.00 SAT Without Essay $46.00

there are fee waivers available for low-income students. Please talk to Mrs. Bertelsen if cost is a barrier for you.

ACT® vs SAT®: Which Test Should You Take?

Source: http://www.kaptest.com/college-prep/test-information/sat-vs-act

Side-by-Side Comparison of Format, Scoring, and Content

Both the ACT and the SAT are nationally administered standardized tests that help colleges evaluate candidates. All schools accept either test interchangeably. So as you begin to think about college and creating the best application package possible, your admissions plan should begin with the question, "Which test should I take?" Here’s how to compare them.

Compare the tests so you can decide which you should take

Test Structure and FormatACTNew SAT
Length3 hours, 35 min (with optional Writing Test)3 hours, 50 minutes (with optional Essay)
Structure4 sections (English, Math, Reading, Science) plus an Optional Essay (or Writing Test)4 sections (Evidence-Based Reading, Writing, Math without a calculator, Math with a calculator) plus an Optional Essay
ScoringACTNew SAT
ScoreComposite of 1-36 based on average scores from the 4 test sections 4 scores of 1-36 for each test
Optional Writing Test score of 1-36 (not included in the overall)
Score is out of 1600: 800 for Math, 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Optional Essay receives a separate score
Subscores and insight scores available
Wrong Answer PenaltyNo penalty for wrong answersNo penalty for wrong answers
Sending Score HistoryYou decide which score is sentNot yet known
ContentACTNew SAT
ReadingReading ComprehensionReading Comprehension
Words in Context
Evidence Based
Algebra II
Data Analysis
Algebra II
Basic Content
Problem Solving
Science Insight Score

Writing and LanguageThe Essay: Writing Test

English Test: Writing & Language multiple-choice questions
Tests grammatical and rhetorical skills
EssayOptional final section
40 minutes
Not included in composite score
Topic presents conversations around contemporary issues
Optional final section
50 minutes
Separate score
Tests Reading, Analysis, and Writing Skills
Topic comes from a 750-word passage to be read on Test Day

SAT vs. ACT: Understanding the Differences

There is no significant content difference between the ACT and the SAT, though the ACT’s math section is slightly more rigorous in testing complex math comprehension. If you are a student who does well in math, you might want to consider the ACT.

If you are a student who needs more time when taking an exam, then you might consider the SAT, since it clocks in at 3 hours and 50 minutes, while the ACT is allotted 3 hours and 35 minutes for testing.

The best way to determine which test best fits your test-taking style, test the tests themselves! See which exam fits you, take a practice test.

Or, take the quick diagnostic test to the right and see which exam is right for you.

In addition to comparing test structure and content, it’s also important to think about your college admissions timeline when making your exam decision.

Last Modified on March 30, 2017