Standardized Test Scores

For Undergraduate Admissions: Taking the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Most universities in the United States still require or at least strongly suggest that students applying for undergraduate admission take the SAT. The SAT is offered at different times throughout the year, but generally high school students will take the exam in either the spring of their junior year of high school or in October of their senior year. Sometimes, students will take the test twice, once in the junior year and once in the senior year in hopes of improving their exam scores after becoming more familiar with what it’s really like to take the test. If you want to register for the test, the SAT is administered by the College Board corporation (http://sat.collegeboard.org/home).

Good SAT Scores Alone Won’t Get You Admitted!

Universities consider many different factors when making decisions about student applications and SAT scores are only one factor, and not even the most important factor at that. Your academic record demonstrating your ability in AP or honors courses is really a stronger determining factor. This does not mean that SAT scores are unimportant, however. Poor performance on the SAT can damage your chances for acceptance, even though very good scores may not guarantee your admission. Even a perfect score on the test will not be much help if your grades throughout high school were extremely low! Remember that colleges are interested in finding out if students are prepared to come to their schools and take classes, not tests.

English Proficiency Testing for International Students

If you are an international student planning on studying at a college in the United States, then you will almost certainly be required to demonstrate English language proficiency by taking a recognized standardized test. These tests include the TOEFL or the IELTS. Each university is slightly different, however, and the one that you want to go to may require you to take a different exam. So, it is very important to carefully check the requirements for every college to which you want to apply.

For Graduate Admissions: Taking the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and Others

If you already have an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences and wish to further your education in a graduate degree program that awards a M.A. or Ph.D., then you must review the admissions requirements for the specific school in the university that you want to attend. Most will require that you take at least the GRE. This test, like the SAT is offered at different times during the year and many locations within the United States and around the world. If you want to register for the test, the GRE is administered by the College Board corporation (http://www.ets.org/gre).

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