College Entrance Exams
What Are College Entrance Exams?
If you are looking to enter a 4-year college or university following high school, you will probably need to take a college entrance exam. Scores on college entrance exams are used to determine a student's academic placement and even his or her course of study.
College Entrance Exams College entrance exams are used to assess a student's college-level abilities in general and specific academic areas. Acceptable scores on college entrance exams usually differ from one school to another. The most common college entrance exams are found in the following list:
- SAT II or Subject
The SAT is possibly the most widely-recognized of all college entrance exams, and SAT scores are accepted at nearly all U.S. colleges and universities. The SAT has three sections: math, writing and critical reading. The SAT was once called the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the Scholastic Assessment Test, but is now known as the SAT Reasoning Test. The SAT is administered seven times per year and is generally given to high school students in the spring of their junior years or fall of their senior years.
The SAT II, or SAT Subject Tests, differs from the SAT in that it offers testing in more specific areas. While the SAT measures mostly only math and verbal or reading comprehension skills, the SAT II contains sections in English, social sciences, history, physical sciences and foreign languages. Scores on this college entrance exam may be used to determine a student's course of study.
Using multiple-choice questions, the ACT measures a student's skills in English, reading, science and math. It also contains an optional writing test. The ACT is more common than the SAT in the Great Plains and Midwest regions.
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of students who do not use English as their primary language. This exam is used to measure international students' understanding and use of the English language. The TOEFL is accepted in colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world.