College entrance tests are used by most colleges for admissions purposes. (You can read an overview in the previous post.) Want
to understand each test in detail? Read the profiles below.
The SAT® is a three-hour knowledge and reasoning test. It has three required portions: reading, writing and language, and math. The optional timed essay section adds another 50 minutes. The math portion is in two sections: authorized calculator
and no calculator. Each section includes algebra, geometry, trigonometry, problem solving, and data analysis.
A perfect score is 1600 (not including the optional essay portion, which has a maximum score of 24). Only correct answers are scored; there is no penalty for guessing.
The SAT is offered seven times a year in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June and can be taken an unlimited number of times. Results are available in three weeks by logging into an SAT online account.
You can register here. Please note strict registration deadlines, usually a month in advance. When registering
for the test, you can designate up to four colleges to receive the score report for free. Consider designating colleges even if your teen has not fully decided to which he or she will apply, as you will have to pay a fee to have any score
reports sent later. Colleges only accept scores directly from the test provider.
The nationwide homeschool code is 970000. This ensures that test scores are sent to your home address rather than the testing location.
Links to more resources
The ACT is a subject knowledge test administered in four sections: English, math, reading, and science. Students have 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete it. The optional timed essay section adds another 40 minutes. The math portion requires an
authorized calculator and includes algebra, geometry, trigonometry, problem solving, modeling, and statistics and probability.
A perfect score is 36 (not including the optional essay portion, which has a maximum score of 12).
The ACT is offered seven times a year in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July and can be taken a maximum of 12 times. Results are available in two to eight weeks by logging into an ACT online account.
You can register here. Please note strict registration deadlines, usually a month in advance. When registering for the test, you can designate
up to four colleges to receive the score report for free. Consider designating colleges even if your teen has not fully decided to which he or she will apply, as you will have to pay a fee to have any score reports sent later. Colleges only
accept scores directly from the test provider.
The nationwide homeschool code is 969999. This ensures that test scores are sent to your home address rather than the testing location.
Links to more resources
Choosing between the SAT and ACT
Despite many similarities, the ACT and SAT have some differences. This could mean that your student will perform better on one than on the other.
The SAT emphasizes logic and reasoning; questions are complex, but students have an average of 1 minute and 10 seconds to spend on each one. Although the questions on the ACT are more straightforward and may be easier to understand, students have less
average time to complete them: 49 seconds each. Some other differences—in subjects covered, testing times, and scoring—are described above. Perhaps most notably, the ACT includes a science section, which the SAT doesn’t offer.
One way to choose is to have your student take the full official SAT and ACT practice tests (offered by the publishers) in order to see which one results in their best performance. (This webpage compares SAT, ACT, and CLT scores.)
Much depends on which tests are accepted by the colleges your teen wants to attend—many colleges accept both and some even accept all three. We encourage teens to try different entrance exams to see which they perform best on!
The Classic Learning Test Is a two hour exam that measures Language Arts and Mathematics skills with an emphasis on logic and critical thinking throughout the exam.
To clarify the test name and avoid a misconception, a classical education is not necessary to do well on this test:
The classic of the Classic Learning Test does not refer specifically to classical education, but to classic, referring to texts which have stood the test of time. Many of the texts include an element of moral reasoning. Any student raised with a perspective on ethics would be familiar with the concepts presented on the exam.
Some have described the CLT as “refreshing” when compared to the ACT and SAT. The inclusion of great works of literature, an absence of political or cultural bias, and no apparent effort to “trip up” the test taker result in a test that “cultivates truth, beauty, and goodness” (as one reviewer describes it). Pretty high praise for a test—it just might be worth looking into.
CLT’s more than 200 partner colleges do not require any additional tests, and many offer scholarships tied to CLT scores. Check directly with your student’s colleges of interest. (More questions? Check out their FAQs.)
A perfect score is 120.
The CLT is offered throughout the year, and there is no limit to how many times it can be taken. Results are available electronically within two weeks and CLT includes student analytics, which provide comprehensive insights into students’
areas of strength and weakness and sample problems that can help prepare for future tests.
You can register here before the registration deadline (5-10 days before the test date). There is no charge to send scores to your student’s college choices. CLT suggests
that you also send your results to colleges that do not accept the test. (These colleges may find the scores useful and decide to accept the test in the future.) Colleges only accept scores directly from the test provider.
All CLT tests are currently offered remotely so your student can test at home.
The CLT is taken online, at home, and remotely proctored. Students take the exam on a computer with a camera and microphone
The CLT10 is an online, college prep exam for 9th and 10th graders that can be taken at home and proctored by a parent. There are award and scholarship opportunities for
this exam. The CLT10 is offered 3–4 times per year.
Links to more resources
SAT® is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse this product.