Curriculum and grading policies vary from school to school, so most colleges rely on standardized testing to evaluate student applicants. Exams like the SAT and the ACT are used in both the admittance and financial aid process.
Preliminary SAT (PSAT) or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) is a standardized test that simulates the actual SAT Reasoning Test. This is a great way to measure how you will perform on the actual SAT in critical reading, math problem-solving and writing.
The SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests (SAT II) are the most widely accepted standardized tests among colleges. While the SAT Reasoning Test measures critical reading, math problem-solving and writing, the Subject Tests (SAT II) focus on more specific subjects like English, History, Mathematics, Science and Language. Some colleges use the Subject Tests for admissions, course placement and advice to students on course selection.
The American College Testing Program (ACT Assessments) is a curriculumbased test. Instead of an aptitude or IQ test, this exam is directly related to what students have learned in their high school courses in English, Mathematics and Science. To prepare for the ACT you can take the PLAN Test, which is administered in the fall of the sophomore year.