top of page

College Testing

Why Test?

In addition to high school academic records, most colleges use either the ACT or SAT I (or both) standardized test results for acceptance and placement. It is, therefore, important that your student considers taking at least one of these tests. You may also find it beneficial to take one or more of the other available tests for a number of reasons:

  1. They give students the chance to practice taking this kind of test, thereby providing an opportunity for better scores on the more important exams.

  2. They may provide an opportunity for additional scholarships. Good scores on some tests may cause colleges to offer scholarships as an enticement to enroll in their institution. Independent programs, such as National Merit, also base their awards on some of the earlier tests.

  3. They can be used to provide direction for your student by showing both his strengths and weaknesses, and his career possibilities.

Preparing for College Tests

Students should prepare both long-term and short-term for college tests. Long-term preparation can include taking courses which provide the foundational skills tested on these exams. Courses like Algebra 1, geometry, and college vocabulary, though not all requirements for either high school graduation or college entrance, can be beneficial because they teach the kinds of information needed for the ACT and SAT.

Short-term preparation includes familiarizing yourself with the tests and taking practice exams. Most registration booklets have a sample test in the back. You can also purchase study guides from bookstores which include several practice tests and other helps. Video cassettes and computer software materials are available from both ACT and the College Board (SAT).

Last-minute cramming is not part of sensible preparation; it rarely boosts your scores.

Special Offer...

CLASS has arranged, in connection with The Princeton Review, to offer ACT and SAT online preparation courses—each at a $75 discount. This offer is for students enrolled in either the CLASS Plan or Family Plan. Enrollment and participation in these courses is handled entirely by The Princeton Review. To receive your test prep discount, enroll on The Princeton Review using the promo code CLASS75 at check out in the field labeled Promo Code.

Not sure where to start? Take a FREE full-length practice test without affecting your record and see how you score. Sign up HERE.

College Test Retakes

You can retake the ACT, SAT I, and SAT II. Scores, however, generally improve only if one or more of the following is true:

  1. You were physically ill while you took the test.

  2. You were affected by some strong emotional reaction, such as extreme nervousness or “test anxiety.”

  3. You misunderstood the test directions.

  4. You incorrectly recorded your answers.

  5. You had never taken this type of test before and you believe that the test format and/or administration procedures hindered your performance.

  6. You do not believe the scores truly represented your abilities.

  7. One or more areas of the test covered coursework that you had not yet studied.

  8. One of the major areas tested was one that you had not pursued in over a year, but have now recently studied.

Most colleges will use the student’s highest test scores, whether from the first or last test. Some will use the highest score from each section of each test, regardless of when the tests were taken.

School Code

The school code for the Christian Liberty Academy School System, which applies to all current college testing, is: 140–094

Be sure to request that an official copy of your completed test results be mailed to CLASS for your permanent records if you are enrolled in the CLASS Plan.

Summary of College Testing Exams

Following are brief descriptions of each major test currently used for college preparation and placement, as well as for career planning. All tests offered by the American College of Testing are listed first, followed by those offered by the College Board. For more detailed information, check the materials printed by the respective testing companies.

The ACT Assessment is designed to assess a student’s readiness for college level work. It is offered five times (six in some states) throughout the year. This test measures a student’s English, mathematics, reading, and science skills through a multiple-choice format. It also includes an optional writing test. Test length is 3–3½ hours in length (the optional writing test is a half hour long). It should be taken during the eleventh or early twelfth grade.

The NCAA Clearinghouse also uses this test for initial eligibility consideration.


The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a two hour and ten minute test, preparatory to the SAT, that is offered once a year (in October) by the College Board. Its purpose is to give an early indication of a student’s readiness for college by measuring his general verbal, math, and writing abilities. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation also uses this test for scholarship consideration; however, you must take this test in your junior year to be considered by National Merit.

This test is only offered at local public or independent high schools. If you wish to take this test, contact your local school principal or counselor to make the appropriate arrangements. Contact should be made in June (prior to summer vacation) to ensure proper registration.

When filling out the basic information on the answer sheet, be sure to use CLASS’ school code, not your state’s code for independent home schoolers.


The SAT I is a 3¾ hour test designed to assess a student’s readiness for college level work. The College Board offers it six to seven times a year. It measures a student’s critical reading, math reasoning, and writing abilities through multiple choice, student answer, and short essay formats. This test is usually taken during the eleventh or early twelfth grade.

The NCAA Clearinghouse also uses this test for initial eligibility consideration.

The SAT II is a collection of subject tests that are designed to evaluate a student’s knowledge and how well that knowledge can be applied. Each test is one hour in length. A student may take up to three exams per test date. Many colleges use one or more of these tests for course placement and/or admission—check with your potential colleges to see if any are either required or recommended.

The SAT II is offered six times a year, though not all tests are offered on each date (some subjects are tested only once or twice each year). All tests are multiple choice. There are currently twenty subject tests which fall into five categories: English, mathematics, history and social sciences, science, and languages. These tests should be taken during the eleventh or early twelfth grades, or soon after a student has completed all courses involving a specific subject.

AP Exams

Advanced Placement Exams are tests designed to measure your knowledge in college-level coursework. They provide an opportunity to earn academic credit or advanced standing at most colleges and universities. There are thirty-four exams in nineteen subject areas. The exams are usually given in May.

Students are not required to take an AP course prior to the exam; independent study is acceptable. If you do not take an AP course, you must contact AP Services before March 1st for a listing of the local AP Coordinators at whose schools a test can be arranged.

The College-Level Examination Program allows students to test out of specific undergraduate college courses and earn academic credit for them.

Currently, there are 2,900 colleges that grant credit and/or award advanced standing for these exams. However, exam availability, test dates, and the amount of academic credit awarded varies by college. To obtain these details, you will need to contact the institution you wish to attend.

Obtaining College Test Information

You should be able to obtain test registration materials from a local high school (or junior high school in the case of the earlier tests), or possibly from your library. You can also register for some tests online at the respective testing organization. If you are unable to obtain the necessary information, contact the testing services directly.

All ACT test information can be obtained from their national office; the same registration packets are used nationwide. Tests offered by the College Board, however, must be ordered through a regional office because their registration packets vary by region. The national office should only be contacted if you have questions that your regional office cannot answer or if you need to take the test overseas. Contact information is listed below.

For materials, online registration, and a variety of helpful links, such as study guides and preparation help, please go to either of these websites:

American College of Testing—EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT

ACT Registration
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, Iowa 52243–0414
(319) 337–1270 Registration

ACT Test Administration and Accommodations
301 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
(319) 337–1000 General Information
(319) 337–1270 Testing Outside the U.S.
(319) 337–1332 ACT Preparation & ACT Store

Special Services

The American College of Testing and the College Board provide options for students with documented hearing, visual, physical, or learning disabilities. For information, contact them directly at:
ACT Test Administration and Accommodations
301 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168
(319) 337–1332 Phone     



College Board Services for Students with Disabilities
P.O. Box 8060
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-0060
Phone: 212-713-8333
Fax: 866-360-0114
TTY: 609-882-4118


Sunday testing is available for students who request it for religious reasons. For information, contact SAT or ACT directly.


National Office
The College Board
45 Columbus Avenue
New York, New York 10023–6992
(212) 713–8000

Middle States—DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA,
PR, VI   

The College BoardMiddle States Regional OfficeThree Bala Plaza EastSuite 501Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004Phone: 866-392-3019Fax: 610-227-2580Email:

Southern States—AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA
The College Board
Southern Regional Office
3700 Crestwood Pkwy NW
Suite 700
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: 866-392-4088
Fax: 770-225-4062

Midwestern States—IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, WV     

The College Board

Midwestern Regional Office

8700 West Bryn Mawr Ave

Suite 900N

Chicago, IL 60631

Phone: 866-392-4086

Fax: 847-653-4528


Southwestern States—AR, NM, OK, TX

The College Board
Southwestern Regional Office
4330 Gaines Ranch Loop
Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735
Phone: 866-392-3017
Fax: 512-721-1841

Northeastern States—CO, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT
The College Board
New England Regional Office
1601 Trapelo Road
Suite 12
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 866-392-4089
Fax: 781-663-2743


Western States—AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY

The College Board
Western Regional Office
2001 Gateway Place
Suite 220W
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 866-392-4078
Fax: 408-367-1459

The College Board International
45 Columbus Avenue
New York, New York 10023
Phone: (212) 373-8738x

bottom of page