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Standardized Tests

High school standardized tests are vital for all students considering a higher education. Check out a test prep book from your local library, or practice sample questions on the College Board and ACT websites -- higher scores give you better scholarship offers and increase your chances of being admitted to your dream school. With tests like AP and CLEP, you can even earn college credit. 
In a nutshell, these tests will save you money.
For all standardized tests, register as early as possible in order to get a spot at your local high school/testing center and avoid late fees. For most tests, I recommend registering at least 2 months in advance.


PSAT/NMSQT

Who? Students in grades 10 and 11
What? A standardized test that evaluates skills in math, reading, and writing.
Where? Local high school
When? One of two October dates
Why? Prepare for the SAT; have college information mailed to you (select "yes" when asked about Student Search Service); gain confidence for future standardized tests; qualify for the National Merit Scholarship (must be taken in grade 11 in order to qualify). Students with high PSAT scores have a significant chance of receiving hefty scholarships from their schools of choice, and those who advance as semifinalists and finalists have an even greater chance. Roughly 8,500 of the 1.5 million who take the PSAT will be awarded National Merit Scholarships of $2500 and may be awarded full-ride scholarships.
How do I sign up? Contact your local high school.
How much does it cost? $13 (additional fees may apply). Fee waivers are available.

Visit the College Board website and the National Merit website for more information.


SAT and Subject Tests  

Who? Typically students in grades 11 and 12
What? A standardized test that evaluates skills in math, reading, and writing.
Where? Local test center
When? One of several test dates throughout the school year
Why SAT? The SAT and/or ACT is necessary when applying for colleges, and the higher your scores, the greater your chances of being accepted and earning big scholarships. Contact your school(s) of choice to see which test is preferred.
Why SAT Subject Tests? Show colleges what specific academic area(s) you excel in. Click here to see if your dream school encourages or mandates SAT subject tests. There are a total of 20 SAT subject tests. 
How do I sign up? Register online. (For homeschoolers, use 970000 as the high school code.)
How much does it cost? Click here for cost information. Fee waivers are available.

Visit the College Board SAT website to learn more.


ACT

Who? Typically students in grades 11 and 12
What? A standardized test that evaluates skills in English, math, reading, and science. Click here to see if your dream school requires or recommends the optional writing test.
Where? Local test center
When? One of several test dates throughout the school year
Why ACT? The SAT and/or ACT is necessary when applying for colleges, and the higher your scores, the greater your chances of being accepted and earning big scholarships. Contact your school(s) of choice to see which test is preferred. 
How do I sign up? Register Online or by mail.
How much does it cost? Click here. Fee waivers are available.

Visit the ACT website to read more.


AP (Advanced Placement)

Who? High school students
What? A test that evaluates proficiency in one of 30 courses. Many high schools offer a course to prepare students for each test, but you can study on your own or take an online AP class as well.
Where? Local high school 
When? May. Click here for exact dates.
Why? Earn college credit, which will save loads of money and can help you graduate quicker. Follow this link to see if your dream school accepts AP credit. Some schools limit the number of credits accepted. 
How do I sign up? Homeschooled students should contact AP services (by March 1st) with the names of the test(s) you plan on taking. You will then be given the names and phone numbers for AP Coordinators who can help you register for the test(s) at a local high school. You must contact these AP Coordinators by March 15th. 
How much does it cost? $87 per exam. Click here for more information.

Visit the College Board AP website to learn more.


CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)

Who? High school/college students
What? A test that evaluates proficiency in one of 33 subject areas. When people talk about homeschooling college, CLEP is usually what they are referring to. According to the College Board, CLEP allows you to "earn credit for knowledge you've acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships."
Where? Test center at local college campus. Click here to find the test center nearest you.
When? Contact your local test center
Why? Earn college credit, which will save you piles of money and can help you graduate college sooner. Contact your dream school to ask if they accept CLEP credits. Some schools limit the number of credits accepted. 
How do I sign up? For easy sign-up instructions, follow this link.
How much does it cost? $77 per exam

Visit the College Board CLEP website for further information.


Contact your local high school to ask about any additional standardized tests encouraged or mandated by your state.