College Entrance Exam

Last Updated: 8/6/2020 7:19 PM


The ACT is a national college admissions test that assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.  It is a curriculum- and standards-based test, not an aptitude or an IQ test.  Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what students have learned in high school courses in English, mathematics, reading and science.

All four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. accept the ACT but different institutions place different emphasis on standardized tests such as the ACT, compared to other factors of evaluation, such as class rank, G.P.A., and extracurricular activities.

The ACT consists of:

  • Multiple-choice tests covering four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science.
  • The optional 40-minute Writing Test consists of a writing prompt that describes an issue and presents three different perspectives on that issue. Students analyze these perspectives, develop their own perspective and explain the relationship between them.

The ACT Plus Writing is available on all national test dates.  The 40 minute ACT Writing Test complements the English Test. The combined information from both tests tells postsecondary institutions about students' understanding of the conventions of standard written English and their ability to produce a direct sample of writing.

Because postsecondary institutions have varying needs, ACT offers the writing test as an option so that students are not required to take a test they do not need to take, thus avoiding unnecessary expense, and institutions have the freedom to require the tests that best meet their information needs.

Colleges make their own decisions about whether to require the results from the ACT Writing Test for admissions and/or course placement purposes.  Therefore, students should decide whether to take the writing test based on the requirements of the institutions they are considering. Most colleges will accept scores from the Writing Test even if they do not require it.

Check directly with the institutions you are considering to find out their requirements, or ask your high school counselor which test option you should take.

Find more information online at

Check to see if your college of choice prefers the ACT or SAT and plan accordingly.

ACT Registration Codes

  High School Code

  • Midland High School: 232585
  • H. H. Dow High School: 232582

SAT Reasoning Test

The SAT Reasoning Test is a college entrance exam which measures the critical thinking skills needed for academic success in college. All Michigan colleges accept and use the SAT for admission decisions.

SAT Question Types

The SAT includes reading, writing and language, math and SAT essay sections, with a specific number of questions related to each content. Refer to the SAT website for more inforation.

The SAT has two sections and an essay:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (100 minutes, 200-800 score scale; 96 questions or tasks)
  • Math (80 minutes; 200-800 score scale; 58 questions or tasks)
  • SAT Essay (separate score; 50 minutes; 2-8 score scale on each of three categories)

Registration and Cost

Learn more about the SAT and SAT Subject Tests and register online. Online registration requires a credit card or PayPal account.  SAT requires students to upload a digital photo during online registration.

The fee for the SAT Reasoning Test is $68.00, or $52.00 if you do not sign up for the essay. There is no cost to students taking the SAT as part of the MME on April 13, 2021, nor is there a cost for seniors take the SAT on September 23, 2020 in lieu of the missed MME opportunity in April 2020 due to the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

Prepare for the Test

You can download free practice tests from the College Board.

All students can access Khan Academy’s personalized SAT practice resources for free. If you have not already done so, you can set up free College Board account and Khan Academy accounts. You will have the ability to link these accounts.

Check to see if your college of choice prefers the ACT or SAT and plan accordingly.

Test dates and related deadlines for SAT 2019-20

  Test Deadlines
August 29, 2020 SAT & Subject Tests July 31
September 26, 2020 SAT only August 26
October 3, 2020 SAT & Subject Tests September 4
November 7, 2020 SAT & Subject Tests October 7
December 5, 2020 SAT & Subject Tests November 5
March 13, 2021 SAT only February 12
May 8, 2021 SAT & Subject Tests April 8
June 5, 2021 SAT & Subject Tests May 6

SAT Registration Codes

High School Code

  • Midland High School: 232585
  • H. H. Dow High School: 232582

Test Center Code

  • H. H. Dow High School: 23415
  • Delta College: 23527
  • Central Michigan University: 23431
  • Valley Lutheran High School: 23120