skip to main content

ACT and SAT

For either test, if you want to take the exam when it is held at PHS, you need to register early !

Other high schools do not offer their site as a testing location, so our spaces fill up quickly with Davis, Esparto and Winters High students.  For the fall exams registers as soon as the two testing companies allow it.  No later than two weeks before the registration deadline ! If you wait, you may be assigned a testing site in Sacramento.   PHS students do not receive priority registration because the exams are held on campus. 

 
 
Here is how to be really sad on test day.
1. Don't bring your photo ID  -  you won't be allowed in.
2. Don't bring your admission ticket - you won't be allowed in. 
3. Arrive late - you won't be allowed in. 
 
 
What do you need on test day:
1. Your photo ID
2. Your admission ticket
3. Number 2 pencils - don't bring mechanical pencils
4.  A calculator
 
 
What to expect
1. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything in the testing room, including water. You can bring snacks and water for the breaks. 
2. You will not be allowed to touch any electronic devices during testing, generally the instructions will request your cell phone be powered down for the exam.  For the SAT, the proctor will be collecting cell phones prior to the exam. 
3. You will not be allowed to leave the testing session early. These types of tests have standardized times, you don't get to have an exception. 
4. If you have an IEP or 504 that allows for extra time, you must apply to ETS for an exception waiver several weeks prior to the exam.  Exceptions cannot be made during testing without one. See your counselor for details. 
 
 
 
 

The ACT

The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. Beginning in the spring of 2005, the ACT began to  offer an optional 30-minute Writing Test as an addition to the English portion of the ACT assessment which will meet the University of California's new examination requirements for the class of 2006 and beyond. You take the Writing Test only if required by the college you're applying to. The ACT lets the student decide what set of scores they want sent. The College Board's policy is to send all scores. 

 

The ACT has an interest inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.  Often , students whose worst subject is Math will do better on this test because only 1/4 of the composite score is based on Mathematics. It was designed to be taken by High School students towards the end of their Junior year.

 

The SAT

The SAT is a globally recognized college admissions test for 11th and 12th grade students that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing, and math. Most students take the SAT during their junior and senior years of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admissions decisions. 

 

To find out if you are eligible for an SAT fee-waiver, bring a copy of your free/reduced lunch application to the Counseling Office, located in the Student Services building.  

SAT Subject-Specific Tests:

Students take SAT Subject Tests in 11th or 12th grades to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects such as English, history, mathematics, science, and foreign languages. The content of each test is not based on any one approach or curriculum, but rather evolves to reflect current trends in high school coursework. Many higher education institutions are now requiring students to take one or more SAT Subject-Specific Tests. Check out the College Board Web site to determine whether the school(s) in which you are interested require(s) the test. 

 

To find out if you are eligible for an SAT Subject-Specific Test fee-waiver, bring a copy of your free/reduced lunch application to the Counseling Office, located in the Student Services building.