The SAT: This is a 3-hour and 45-minute standardized test that measures critical reading, math, and writing. There is also an essay portion of the exam that is scored on a scale of 2-12 by two different readers. Each of the three sections of the SAT is scored on a basis of 200 (for signing one’s name) to 800 (for a perfect score). With few exceptions, most colleges will superscore the SAT. Read more about superscoring the SAT.
The Subject Tests: These are one-hour subject tests that measure a student’s knowledge in the following subject areas: Mathematics Level 1, Mathematics Level 2, U.S. History, World History, Biology (Ecological/Molecular), Chemistry, Physics, and Literature. There are also Subject Tests in the following languages: Chinese with Listening, French and French with Listening, Italian, Japanese with Listening, Latin, Modern Hebrew, as well as Spanish and Spanish with Listening. Most highly selective colleges require two Subject Tests.
The ACT: American College Testing is an alternative college admissions exam that measures English, math, reading, and science reasoning abilities. There’s also an optional writing test (which is mandatory at most colleges). The test is scored on a basis of 1 – 36; 1 is the lowest score possible and 36 is the highest score possible. The Composite Score is the average of the four subtests. The writing section is scored on a scale of 2 (the lowest) to 12 (the highest). All colleges in the U.S. will accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT and some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of Subject Tests. And some colleges will superscore the ACT.
TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required to be taken by students whose home school’s primary language is not English. Most highly selective colleges require students to have scored between 100 and 110 on the iBT (Internet Based TOEFL). For international students, we also offer TOEFL prep.
Grad School Admissions
The GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Test is a test taken by applicants to business schools in graduate programs such as: business management, MBA, Master of Finance, or Master of Accountancy. There are 4 sections on the GMAT: Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The GMAT measures performance only on the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The total score of the GMAT is on a scale of 200 to 800 (with intervals of 10). The Analytical Writing Assessment is graded on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) and in intervals of half points. Performance on the Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections do not factor into the total score.
The GRE: ETS, the same company that owns the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, and the Advanced Placement Tests own the GRE, also known as the Graduate Record Exam. Students applying to specific graduate and business programs take the GRE. The GRE measures Verbal Reasoning (scored on a basis of 130-170 in one point increments), Quantitative Reasoning – which includes arithmetic, algebra, and geometry – (scored on a basis of 130-170 in one point increments), and Analytical Writing Skills (scored on a basis of 1-6 in half point increments). The GRE can be taken as often as a student prefers because, through the Score Select Option, the student sends only the highest scores.
The LSAT: The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT, or The Law School Admission Test, four times a year to prospective law school candidates. The test consists of five multiple-choice sections and an ungraded writing sample that is seldom used by admissions officers. The LSAT measures reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (A.K.A. “logic games”), and verbal reasoning (A.K.A. “arguments”). Scores range from 120 (lowest score) to 180 (highest score). In a two year period, students can take the LSAT up to three times but each score is reported. Since one’s LSAT score and GPA are the two most important factors in gaining admission to law school, there is currently a movement underway by the American Bar Association to no longer require the LSAT in admission to law schools.
The MCAT: For over 80 years, the MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, has been the test for admission to medical school. Students applying to allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine schools also take the MCAT. The MCAT is a computer-based exam that consists of 3 sections: Physical Sciences (PS), Biological Sciences (BS), and Verbal Reasoning (VR). All answers are multiple-choice and there is no penalty for an incorrect answer. Scores for each of the three multiple-choice sections range from 1 to 15. A 15 is a perfect score on an individual section and a 45 is a perfect score on the MCAT.