Most colleges accept the SAT or the ACT, so students do not need to take both exams. Keep in mind that many colleges and universities, require the optional Writing section on the ACT. Students who plan to take only the ACT should sign up for the optional Writing section. All CSU campuses only require the SAT exam or the ACT exam only (they do not require writing sections). All UC campuses NO longer require the SAT or ACT exam as part of admissions review.

Take a look at THIS ARTICLE to learn the differences between the tests.

The best way to determine which test students should focus on (SAT or ACT) is to take a full-length practice SAT and a full-length practice ACT then compare the two scores as well as their experiences.

Some colleges and universities are "test optional." This means that they either do not require standardized testing or they will accept alternate forms of measurement like a graded paper.

For Class of 2022 Seniors, most colleges are test optional or test blind. To learn more, visit the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) at www.fairtest.org.

For a comprehensive guide to college admissions testing, please click HERE and download, for free, The Compass Guide to College Admission Testing.

Preparing for the SAT or ACT

Free Test Prep Options:

  • There are a number of free test prep websites such as www.number2.com, www.INeedAPencil.com, and www.satexamprep.com. The Khan Academy provides free, personalized preparation online for the SAT. The ACT also provides ACT Academy, a free online test prep option, which can be free if you use a fee waiver when taking the ACT.

  • SAT, ACT, ant d PSAT* test prep books are available for students to borrow for free from Mrs. Fukuda. *For the PSAT exam, student must register with Mrs. Fukuda in order to obtain a free copy of the study guide.

Fee Waivers

Qualifying for free or reduced lunch, or be an active participant of Upward Bound or Educational Talent Search Program are one of the ways you could get a fee waiver to take the SAT, ACT, and PSAT tests for free. See or email Mrs. Fukuda

What is the PSAT?

The PSAT is the Practice SAT exam. It is a great test for 4-year college bound sophomores and juniors to prepare for the SAT exam. Any 4-year college bound student is encouraged to sign up in September of their sophomore and especially junior year to best prepare for the SAT exam in spring of their junior year. Sign ups for PSAT exam is in person with Mrs. Fukuda. No online registration is needed.

The PSAT is an abbreviated form of the SAT test and has the same 4 required sections as

the SAT (although fewer questions in some of the sections, and, as a result, less time total):

      • Reading 47 questions in 60 minutes (vs SAT: 52 questions in 65 minutes)

      • Writing & Language 44 questions in 35 minutes (same as SAT)

      • Math-No Calculator 17 questions in 25 minutes (vs SAT: 20 questions in 25 minutes)

      • Math-Calculator 31 questions in 45 minutes (vs SAT: 38 questions in 55 minutes)

TOTAL 2 hours 45 minutes (vs SAT: 3 hours)

Click here for a great article on frequently asked questions about the PSAT exam.

Do I have to take the SAT or ACT Exams?

The SAT and ACT exams are only used by 4-year colleges and universities for admission purposes. Some schools do not require and some do. However, this test is NOT NEEDED if your goal is to attend a community college, trade school, enter the military or work after high school.

Does RHS offer these exams?

RHS offers these exams on select dates during the 2021/2022 school year.

SAT Exam is offered on March 12 (recommended for juniors)

ACT Exam is offered on April 2 (recommended for juniors)

PSAT Exam is offered on October 26.

*Note: Early registration is advised as more test centers have closed during the pandemic and into the 2021/2022 year and students outside of our high school can register and attend to test. DON'T PROCRASTINATE ON REGISTRATION!

**RHS will NOT be offering the October 2 SAT exam or the October 23 ACT exam for this year only. However, seniors who want to take the October administration can register early for local test centers.

The following centers offer the October 2 SAT exam: Hanford High School East Campus (test center # 05303)

For other SAT locations, click here

The following centers offer the October 23 ACT exam: See link for test locations.

For other ACT locations, click here

How to register for the tests?

Students must register online by creating an account with the testing source. See links below.

PSAT exam registration is in person with Mrs. Fukuda in September of each year (testing takes place once a year in October).


What is the SAT Tests?

SAT Reasoning Test Dates

SAT Registration


ACT: What is the ACT?

ACT Test Dates

ACT Registration

What do all the test options mean?

Test Optional is when a college or university does not require students to submit ACT or SAT test scores to be admitted. If students do submit scores to a test optional institution, the scores will be considered.

Test Blind is when a college or university does not look at or consider students’ scores for the purpose of the admission decision. Some test blind schools still use the test data for scholarships, course placement, and advising.

Test Flexible is when a college or university has a longer list of assessments deemed acceptable for use. In addition to the ACT or SAT, test flexible institutions may accept AP, IB, or other standardized test scores.

Test Required is when a college or university requires students to submit ACT or SAT test scores to be considered for admission.

-Excerpt from American College Application Campaign