Freshman Testing Requirements


UC Testing Requirements

The UCs accept both ACT with Writing and SAT with Essay scores. Keep in mind that the UCs require the optional writing for the ACT and the optional essay for the SAT.

You can get an idea of how well you will do on these exams by taking the PreACT and PSAT in 10th grade. The UC campuses will only consider your top combined score from one test date (no “superscore”) and they don’t really care how many times you take the exams (although most private colleges frown on excessive test taking, so plan accordingly). If you took both the ACT and SAT, the UCs compare the scores and take the highest one.

The UCs do not require the SAT Subject Tests. However, each UC campus has its own SAT Subject Test Recommendations that you should follow. You may also use SAT Subject Tests to clear a-g subjects; see the a-g subject requirements for details.

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Test Score Submission Requirement and Deadline

For both ACT and SAT, you only need to send ONE official score report to ANY of the UC campuses to which you have applied. The scores are shared between the campuses and you do not need to send a separate score report to each UC campus. The score report must reach the UC campus before the end of December.

If you are taking the December test, you should list a UC campus as a score recipient when you register for the test (your registration fee includes four reports) so the score will be sent with the December batch of scores. Do not wait until your December score becomes available, since Priority Reporting (ACT) and Rush Reporting (SAT) cannot be shared between UC campuses or entered into the application system (such score reports are delivered in paper format instead of electronic format).

For the ACT, you can update the score recipient by logging into your ACT Web Account. You have until noon, Central Time, on the Thursday immediately following your regularly scheduled Saturday test date to make the change. Source: ACT Test Help – Registration Questions.

For the SAT, you can update the score recipient by logging into your College Board account. You have until nine days after test day to make the change. Source: Changing Your Registration Information.

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Preparing for the ACT with Writing or SAT with Essay

You need to prepare before you attempt the ACT with Writing or SAT with Essay. It’s rare for students to do well without some form of preparation. To get started, I would recommend browsing through test prep books and choose a couple of books that you feel are a good fit with your learning style. If you didn’t get a chance to take the PreACT and PSAT, definitely try the practice tests for ACT and SAT to get an idea of how well you can expect to perform on the two tests. I don’t recommend paying money for a test prep course until you have at least tried a practice test for both the ACT and SAT. Students tend to do well on one test or the other, but rarely both. So before you empty your wallet to prepare for one test, make sure you try the other one first. Maybe you won’t need to break the bank after all.

Test Prep Resources:

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How are the Tests Different?

Just need a quick overview of the differences between the two tests? Look at this ACT/SAT comparison chart from Applerouth for help on which test will best fit your test-taking style. Note that the chart excludes the optional essay section of both tests; the ACT writing adds another 40 minutes to the test time and the SAT essay adds another 50 minutes to the test time.

Princeton Review has a concise, text-based comparison of the ACT and SAT containing all of the information you need, including the optional writing/essay section of the tests.

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Free and Low Cost Test Prep Resources

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Test Prep Course Specials/Discounts

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