Testing Information

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College Entrance Exams

There are two college entrance exams, the ACT (American College Test) and the SAT I, II (Scholastic Assessment Test), which are used for admission, placement, and scholarships. See SAT or ACT: Which Test is Better for Me?

Check with colleges which you are interested in attending to see if they require the ACT or SAT I and/or SAT II.  Registration forms are available in the College & Career Center and online.  Students who must test on a Sunday for religious reasons should check websites or Registration Bulletins for required documentation, locations, and dates of offered exams.

SVHS is an official test center for the SAT I and SAT II and ACT.  The SAT is given in the county seven times each year with SV testing three out of the seven dates. Registration booklets with dates and other test sites are available in the College & Career Center.


ACT (American College Testing Program)

The ACT is approximately three hours long and consists of four tests: English (45 minutes), Math (60 minutes), Reading (35 minutes), and Science Reasoning (35 minutes). The score is based on the number of correct answers; there is no penalty for guessing. Student should mail the registration form and fee in the pre-addressed envelope available in the College & Career Center and/or Guidance Office. There is a late registration fee and a stand-by fee. Registration is also available online at www.act.org.

The ACT has a 30 minute Writing Test as an optional component. There an additonal registration fee for the ACT Assessment Plus Writing. To find out if the Writing Test is required, visit the website or call the admissions office of each college or university to which you plan to apply.

See the list of Test Centers.  Free ACT practice questions and study tips: http://www.actexampracticetests.com

College Board (College Entrance Examination Board) 

The College Board (CEEB) offers the following five tests: SAT I: Reasoning Test, SAT II: Subject Tests, AP (Advanced Placement Tests), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program). Contact Mrs. Maloney or your counselor for fee waiver information.

SAT I: Reasoning Test

The SAT I: Reasoning Test takes approximately four hours and measures writing, verbal and mathematical abilities.  Students may register for the test by mail or online.  It is highly recommended that students register online from the College Board website.   Students are responsible for the registration fee, which should be paid by credit card or check directly to ETS.  An additional late fee or stand-by free, must be added to the regular registration fee when a deadline is missed.  Registration forms and information are available in the College & Career Center.

The SAT I (Reasoning Test) has a mandatory writing section added.  Each section is scored separately:  math, critical reading (verbal), and writing, using the 200-800 scale. The testing time will extend to 3 hours and 20 minutes.

SAT II: Subject Tests

The SAT II: Subject Tests are given in a number of academic areas and are used by SOME colleges for admission and placement purposes. Students may take up to three tests in one session, but they may not take the SAT I and the SAT II on the same day. Students should check the testing calendar for the dates each test is offered. It is recommended that SAT II tests be taken following the completion of the highest level courses. There is a basic registration fee and an additional cost for the writing test, an additional cost for the Language Test with Listening; and an additonal cost for each for all other Subject Tests.  Please note that most colleges do not require SAT II: Subject Tests.

AP (Advanced Placement) Tests 

Students may be tested in 32 courses across 19 subject areas.  If successful in the test, the student may be given college credit in that subject.  Tests are graded on the following five-point scale: 5 extremely well-qualified; 4 well-qualified; 3 qualified; 2 possibly qualified; 1 no recommendation.

All colleges who subscribe to the AP Program recognize grade 5 for credit in that subject; nearly all colleges recognize grade 4; most colleges recognize grade 3; and some colleges recognize grade 2.Check with individual colleges to see what grades are acceptable.There is a fee for the exams and students register at their school.  For more information, call 1-888-225-5427 or visit www.collegeboard.com/apstudents.

IB Examinations

Students may also receive academic credit for high scores earned on IB examinations, depending upon individual colleges' policies. George Mason University in Virginia is one of the institutions which awards credit.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The TOEFL is designed to determine the English proficiency of students whose native language is not English. These students may take the TOEFL in addition to the SAT I or ACT. To schedule a convenient testing time, students call (301) 718-9893 (in Bethesda) or (301) 314-0319 (in College Park) at least six weeks in advance of desired testing date.  TOEFL is a computer-based test and the cost is $140.00.  Information bulletins are available in the College & Career Center, the Guidance Office, by calling 1-800-GO TOEFL, or by visiting the web site, www.toefl.org.  There is also a free practice test on the website.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program)

The CLEP is designed to waive courses and grant college-level credit by examination. For fees and registration information, go to the Clep Registration page.  Locate a CLEP Testing Center on the College Board website.  Call for the required fees and payment policy for that center.


The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a two hour and ten minute exam that measures academic abilities important in college work. It is administered only once during the school year and consists of two 25 minute math sections, two 25 minute verbal sections, and one writing skills section. The test provides an excellent practice for students preparing for the SAT I, and scores on the PSAT can be used in predicting what a student will do on the SAT I.

In order to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program, the National Achievement Scholarship Program, and the National Hispanic Scholar Awards Program, the PSAT must be taken in the JUNIOR year.

The PSAT is administered at all Montgomery County High Schools in October.  While 9th and 10th grade students take the PSAT at NO COST through a partnership between MCPS and Montgomery College, juniors must pay a fee to register through their individual high schools. Contact the College & Career Center or Guidance Office for additional registration information.

Score Report and My College QuickStart

Financial Aid for Testing Fees

No student should miss taking a test because the fees might cause a financial hardship for their family. There is a fund at SVHS which contains money to pay the testing fees for the following tests:  PSAT, SAT I & II, ACT, TOEFL and AP. If your family income is below $30,000 or you are eligible for free/reduced lunch or there are other circumstances which have created a hardship, see your counselor immediately to learn about this fund.

Fee Waiver Information

Testing for Special Needs Students 

Students with a documented disability may be eligible for accommodations on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP, PSAT and the ACT.  To receive accommodations for testing, students must submit a written request eligibilty form SSD and be approved before testing.

When testing at a center on a national date, students normally receive up to 50 percent extended time and can use a regular or large type test book.  Students receiving accommodations of more than 50 percent extended time and who CANNOT test at a national center will be assigned to the appropriate Testing Center.  Check with the Guidance office or College & Career Center for a listing of the dates and schools.  Both types of accommodations will be offered for every SATI/II.

REMINDER:  It is the student's responsibility to meet with his/her counselor in early September to discuss testing arrangments.

ETS Special Needs Hotline: 1(609)771-7137.

SAT website: http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd.

ACT website: http://www.act.org/aap/disab/.

ASVAB Information


Test Taking Tip 

Get a good night's sleep; eat a good breakfast; bring #2 pencils (no pens), picture ID, calculator, registration ticket, and snack for breaks.