Standardized Tests to Take in High School
Test-taking sometimes looms large when you are making the commitment to homeschool through high school. I’ve been through the whole process more than once, and I want to reassure you— standardized tests are not as intimidating as they might seem. I’ve created the chart below to help you see what high school exams are available, and when and where you can register for them.
Open the standardized tests chart as a PDF (if the one below doesn’t display correctly).
Students are not required to take all of these exams; only those that are required by the college, trade school, military academy, music conservatory, or other institution your student is planning to apply to. Students with documented special needs may request accommodations (there is more information on that at the individual test websites, and in my book, Transcripts Made Easy).
Standardized Tests for High School
|PSAT: Practice for the SAT; opportunity to qualify for National Merit Scholarships.||Local high school — call the guidance office to register.||October of 11th grade (You can also do a practice run in 10th grade – this doesn’t qualify for NMS.)|
|CLT: Classic Learning Test: A new alternative to the ACT or SAT that measures academic formation, accomplishment, and potential. https://www.cltexam.com||The test takes two and a half hours to administer online at test sites. https://www.cltexam.com||Can take more than once, usually beginning in spring of 11th grade. Offered at test sites about 5 times during the school year.|
|SAT: General exam for admission — tests verbal and math skills. A 3-hour test, mostly multiple choice. This test changes periodically, so be sure to get a current SAT study guide.||www.collegeboard.com|
The site is loaded with planning information for the entire college application process.
|Can take more than once, usually beginning in spring of 11th grade. Offered at local high schools about 7 times during the school year.|
|ACT: An alternate general exam for admission. Tests English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. About 3 hours, all multiple choice. ACT test prep tips||www.act.org|
This site also features many planning helps, including career planning information.
|Can take more than once, usually beginning in spring of 11th grade. Offered at local high schools about 6 times during the school year.|
|SAT II: Subject-area tests (22 subjects available) that are used either for admissions or placement, depending on college policy. One hour, mostly multiple choice.||www.collegeboard.com|
Registration fee for up to three tests on one day, plus a fee for each test taken.
|Offered at local high schools about six times during the school year. Usually taken 11th or 12th grade.|
|AP: Subject-area tests for advanced-level knowledge. Many colleges grant college credit for a score of 3 or over.||www.collegeboard.com||Offered at local high schools in May. Usually taken 11th or 12th grade.|
|CLEP: Subject-area exams. Many colleges grant 3-6 credits per exam. A 90-minute, computer-based exam. Mostly multiple choice.||Local college – list on www.collegeboard.com. Modest fee per exam, plus a small testing center fee.||Offered throughout the year at colleges. No age limit, can be taken any time.|
|DSST: Subject-area exams, formerly known as DANTES. Many colleges grant 3-6 credits per exam. Mostly multiple choice.||Local college – list on www.getcollegecredit.com. Modest fee per exam, plus a small testing center fee.||Offered throughout the year at colleges. No age limit, can be taken any time.|
|GED: This exam, administered to students over age 16, tests for 10th grade skills. Not recommended due to reputation as a “drop-out” test.||Call your county school superintendent’s office for information.||Usually no need to take unless an underage student must have it to qualify for federal financial aid.|
It’s important to keep good high school records and to make a transcript that is comparable to transcripts from traditional schools. Transcripts Made Easy can help you do that, while Get a Jump Start on College will help your student catch a vision for earning college credits while still in high school. Jump Start offers instructions for planning a degree and keeping good records, too. Order the set of two books today!