College Testing Information

ACT or SAT?  Which one should your student take?  Click here to read about the differences, 


Reasoning test  Criterion Referenced Test (curriculum based) 
No science section
Science reasoning section
No trigonometry section  Math sections include trigonometry
Guessing penalty
No guessing penalty
Writing test required but not judged by some
colleges and universities
Writing test is optional but strongly recommended
Math accounts for 1/3 of your score
Math accounts for ¼ of your score
Questions go from easy to hard in most sections
Easy and hard questions mixed within sections 
All you SAT scores reported to colleges and top
scores from each section are judged
Some colleges will “super score” which means they
will take the top scores from each section of multiple
All of one sitting can be submitted for judging
Report scores only from the test dates you choose
$50 per test
$50.50 per test
Subject tests available
No subject tests available


PORTFOLIOS….Some colleges and universities will allow students to submit a portfolio of “graded” student work in lieu of test scores on in addition to them.  Check with the college of your choice to find out if they will accept this alternative method.  Graded student work most often includes essays, projects, written assignments from core subjects, including language arts, science, social studies, and/or math in the student’s junior and/or senior year.  Work must have been graded.

FAIRTEST.ORG…. Some colleges and universities do not require either the SAT or ACT test.  Some will take the test scores to add into the “mix” of their holistic approach to admissions.  However, others don’t want them at all.  The website FAIRTEST.ORG will tell you which colleges and universities across the country do not use these exams.


Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school. At least half of all students take the SAT twice — in the spring as a junior and in the fall as a senior. Most students improve their score the second time they take the SAT.

SAT test dates:

  • October 5, 2013
  • November 2, 2013
Test Fee - $50

Go to College Board SAT website to register


ACT test dates:
  • October 26, 2014
  • December 14, 2013
Test Fees - $36.50 for test with NO writing part or $52.50 for test WITH writing

Go to ACT registration website

WSHS Counselors

Students are placed with counselors by the first letter of their Last Names:

A-G   Tia Filipelli - - (206) 252-8814
H-N   Mallory Neuman - - (206) 252-8775
O-Z   Colette Swanson - - (206) 252-8819

FREE Test Prep online courses:

  • ACT College Board
Local Test Prep classes:
  • Kaplan
  • Princeton Review
  • Student Edge
  • SouthSeattle Community College
  • UW SAT Prep
  • Mazor Test Prep

Recomended Test Prep Books:

  • Up Your Score
  • The Underground Guide to the SAT
  • How to Outsmart the Test by Six Kids who Aced the SAT
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