College Entrance Exams


Not all, but many schools require a college entrance exam. You are advised to check in with each school that you're interested in to see which test is preferred. Most schools do not have a preference, but it's best practice to check in with each school to double check.

In the light of COVID, be sure to learn about where colleges stand in their admissions process concerning SAT scores. Some schools have made them optional since test taking has been impacted by COVID. Schools may start expecting scores again this year...again, be sure to be asking admission offices what their expectations are for this year!

Suggested PSAT(PACT)/SAT (ACT) sequence:
PSAT or (PACT)– Fall of 11th grade (Few students elect to take 10th grade year). PSAT is administered at SHS.

SAT or ACT – 11th grade. Aim to have this done BEFORE the start of your senior year ESPECIALLY if you plan on applying to college early. You want to be sure you give yourself time to re-take it if you feel you need to AND get your scores back before college deadlines.

SAT & ACT Information


  • It's recommended that Juniors take the PSAT in the fall, and then use their test scores to test for the SAT in the Spring or Summer.

  • Students may take the PSAT prior to their junior year. It's best to wait until Algebra II is completed.

  • Students can sign up in the Counseling Dept and expect to take it at SHS in October. Pay close attention to announcements!


The ACT test is based on actual high school curriculum and is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.

Please visit the ACT website at for testing dates, testing costs, and registration information.


Please visit the SAT website at for testing dates, testing costs, and registration information.

​Click here for information about average SAT scores for Virginia Colleges and Universities.

SAT Registration
Register at

Most students take the SAT for the first time in the spring of their junior year. This allows them to build on their experience with the PSAT/NMSQT® while leaving time for them to take the SAT a second time to be eligible for "super scoring". Check with the colleges you're applying to and see if they "superscore"

Free SAT Practice Testing