When Do I Need to Take College Admissions Tests?
SAT/ACT Testing Information
--> Click here for information about changes to the UC Admission process and here for CSU Admission changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSU and UC have announced that they are not requiring the SAT/ACT exam for Fall 2021 applicants.
--> Click here for SAT information about Fall 2020 test dates and SAT test cancellation due to COVID-19.
--> Click here for ACT information about Fall 2020 test dates and cancellation due to COVID-19.What Are College Admissions Tests?
Admissions tests are a crucial part of the college application process. Nearly EVERY 4-year university requires students to take a college admissions test. There are two tests that colleges will accept; the SAT and the ACT. Students can take one OR both of the admissions tests. Colleges do NOT require that students take both. Colleges do not have a preference as to which test a student takes. Community Colleges do not require either exam for enrollment.PSAT: The PSAT is traditionally given once per year in October here at Vanden but due to COVID-19 it will be postponed and may need to cancelled. In late October the Counseling Office will ask students to sign up if they are interested in the exam. This will not be an official registration for the exam but to gauge interest of our students. The CSU and UC system has discussed the use of SAT in future admissions and we will advise students based on their decisions once they have made an announcement.Juniors should plan to take the PSAT if their goal is to attend a 4-year college. Sophomores are also welcome to register for the PSAT but space is limitied and Juniors have first priority. The test is $20. If you qualify for free or reduced lunch please contact your counselor for a fee waiver (no charge to take the test).More Info on Preparing:
SAT and ACT: Take the SAT and/or ACT at the end of your Junior Year and again at the start of Senior Year. For your senior year, you may want to focus on the admissions test on which you scored the highest.
SAT Subject TestsThe best time to take an SAT Subject Test is at the end or right after you finish the class of the subject you plan to test on. CSU's and UC's do not require that you take the subject tests although it may be recommended by a UC.Review UC major recommendations here:Why take Subject Tests:
- Class of 2021, check with the institutions you are applying to on the requirement or recommendation regarding the SAT/ACT exam. Traditionally all California State Universities (CSU) and University of California (UC) schools, out-of-state and private universities (Class or 2021, see announcement in red on top). The SAT or ACT is also required by the NCAA.
Don't forget to send your scores to Vanden. Our school code is 053533
Sending SAT Scores to CSU and UC
- Use CSU Mentor Code 3594 to send your SAT scores to ALL 23 CSU campuses at once (that way, you can still use the other three free reports for other schools!)
- For students interested in UC schools - you only need to send your scores to any one UC campus because they share them with all the other UC campuses automatically (so, use the other three free reports for other schools!)
Sending ACT Scores to CSU and UC
- If you send your ACT scores to only one CSU campus, you can go back into the ACT Scores Manager to have your scores sent to additional CSU campuses for free. UC schools share ACT scores among themselves just like they do with SAT scores! So send your ACT scores to ONE UC campus