Benefits of the ACT, PSAT, and SAT and what to expect when taking them


Rebecca, Ford

Although standardized testing is difficult and thought unnecessary by most, it is a vital portion of students’ high school career.


The ACT is not only required for most colleges, but it can also be the determining factor of which college and the quality of college high schoolers will attend.

The ACT is scored much differently than the PSAT and the SAT.

The ACT is scored by averaging four major subject tests (English, math, reading, and science). This composite score is what colleges look at when determining admissions.

Every scaled score falls between 1 and 36. The majority of test-takers score between 17 and 23. If a test taker scores a 23 or higher, he or she could receive huge scholarships to put toward his or her tuition each year.


The PSAT is not required for college, but there are still benefits to taking it.

The PSAT is used to test high school students on their level of skill in each class and to see in what areas students need to improve.

Scores of at least a 201 or a 222 could get students the National Merit Scholarship which covers four years of college tuition.

The highest score possible is a 240. The PSATs primarily prepare test-takers for the next level, the SAT.


The SAT tests skills learned in school (reading, writing, and math).

Students earn one point for each correct answer but lose 1/4 of a point for each wrong answer.

The scores earned on each section determine the final score.

The test is straight forward. Unlike the ACT, there are no tricks designed to confuse students. People who do well in the classroom will most likely do well on this test. It is made for preparations for the future, and it is also required for most prestigious colleges.

Similar to the ACT, a high enough score on the SAT can also lead to huge scholarships for college.