SAT vs. ACT and Guides to Sending Official Scores (Step by Step)


ACT: ACT-How-to-send-scores


UPDATE: Check the below Guide to Check if you sent the scores, also for SJSU, SDSU and Cal Poly make sure you send Nov (or prior test scores).

Check to see how to do it: SAT Guide VERSION 2

SAT Schedule

NOTE: Some CSU will not accept the December scores. UC will accept Dec scores, make sure to send the scores to the colleges.

Test Dates
Regular Deadline
Oct. 11, 2014 SAT &
Subject Tests
Sept. 12
Nov. 8, 2014 SAT &
Subject Tests
Oct. 9
Dec. 6, 2014 SAT &
Subject Tests
Nov. 6

ACT 2014 Schedule

Test Date Registration Deadline  
Oct 25, 2014 Sept. 19
Dec. 13, 2014 Nov. 7


What is the difference between the SAT and ACT? They’re both standardized tests and they both factor into the college admissions process. To learn about the differences between the two tests and how they compare, take a look at the chart below.

When is it administered? Seven times per year Six times per year
What is the test structure? Ten-section exam: Three Critical Reading, three Math, three Writing, and one Experimental. The Experimental section is masked to look like a regular section. Four-section exam: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. An Experimental section is added to tests on certain dates only, and is clearly experimental.
What is the test content? Tests critical reasoning skills.Math: up to 9th grade basic geometry and Algebra II.Science: none.
Reading: sentence completions, short and long critical reading passages, reading comprehension.
Writing: an essay, and questions testing grammar, usage, and word choice.
Tests knowledge of subjects, based on high school curriculum.Math: up to trigonometry.Science: charts, experiments.

Reading: four passages, one each of Prose Fiction, Social Science, Humanities, and Natural Science.
English: stresses grammar.

Is there a penalty for wrong answers? Yes No
How is the test scored? 200-800 per section, added together for a combined score. A 2400 is the highest possible combined score. 1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite score. A 36 is the highest possible composite score.
Are all scores sent to schools? It’s up to you. If a student requests a score report be sent to specific colleges, the report will include the scores the student received on every SAT taken.But, there is a “Score Choice” option. Students can choose which schools will receive their scores AND which scores the schools will see. No. There is a “Score Choice” option. Students can choose which schools will receive their scores AND which scores the schools will see.
Are there other uses for the exams? Scholarship purposes. Scholarship purposes. Certain statewide testing programs.
Best time to register? At least six weeks before the test date At least four weeks before the test date
How much does it cost? $50. Fee waivers are available for qualified students. ACT No Writing: $35ACT With Writing: $50.50Fee waivers are available for qualified students.



It is highly recommended that students take these exams no later than May or June of the junior year (11th grade).  Most colleges will accept scores for admission purposes up until the December test date of student’s senior year (12th grade) It is the student’s job to verify this information with each college campus they are applying to.  Students interested in applying early admissions need to have completed all of their entrance exams by October of Senior year.

Students need to register ONLINE and before the deadline.  Our school code is 052945.  Students will need to chose a test center where they will take the exam.  The earlier your register the more likely you’ll be able to take the exam at a school of your choice.  You have the option to send your scores to four colleges, so be prepared to enter these schools during the registration process.

You can register here:

Test Cost
PSAT/NMSQT FREE for Gal 10th graders & limited amount for 11th graders
SAT Reasoning $52.50
SAT Subject Test $26 Basic registration fee, $16 per subject, $26 for language with listening
ACT $54.50 with writing – recommended  or $38 without writing
**Fee waivers with your Counselor or our AACE Advisor in counseling office

PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)gives students an opportunity to become aware of types of questions they will find when taking the SAT I.  PSAT scores from the junior year will be used to determine National Merit Scholarship candidates.  The PSAT/NMSQT is given in October each year.  Check with your School Counselor to find out when it will be offered at your school.  Announcements should appear in the bulletin indicating date, time and cost of the test.

SAT Reasoning Test: is used by the California State Universities, Universities of California, and many Private Universities, as a requirement for admissions.  The test is 3 hours and 45 minutes long and students are tested in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing (25 minutes long).

SAT Subject Tests: It is recommended by the UC system NOT required and many private universities require it.  Students should take two Subject Tests in any of the following subjects: Literature, Math Level II, History, Science, or Language.

ACT: is accepted in place of the SAT Reasoning by colleges and universities.  Students are allowed a total of five hours to complete this test that contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.  Writing section adds an additional 45 minutes and is required by Universities of California and some Private Universities.


(critical reading and math only)
36 2400 1600
35 2340 1560-1590
34 2260 1510-1550
33 2190 1460-1500
32 2130 1410-1450
31 2040 1360-1400
30 1980 1320-1350
29 1920 1280-1310
28 1860 1240-1270
27 1820 1210-1230
26 1760 1170-1200
25 1700 1130-1160
24 1650 1090-1120
23 1590 1060-1080
22 1530 1020-1050
21 1500 980-1010
20 1410 940-970
19 1350 900-930
18 1290 860-890
17 1210 810-850
16 1140 760-800
15 1060 710-750
14 1000 660-700
13 900 590-650
12 780 520-580
11 750 500-510


Note: The above format and information is adapted from Lowell HS’s college website.