The California College Guide : A primer on making choices--and making arrangements--for a college education. : Passing the Test Deadlines

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Three of the most commonly taken standardized tests for entrance into college are described below. See your high school counselor for registration forms, sample test booklets and further details on test locations. PSAT/NMSQT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/

National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

Generally taken in the fall of the junior year of high school, this test serves as a trial run for the SAT. It is considered an optional test but high scorers are eligible for National Merit Scholarships of up to $2,000. The test has both verbal and mathematical sections. The PSAT cost $6 to take in 1990; the fee for this year will be announced this month. See your high school counselor in September to sign up for the PSAT.

* TEST DATES: Oct. 19 and Oct. 22, 1991


Scholastic Aptitude Test

The SAT is most commonly taken in the 10th or 11th grades and some students retake it in their senior year in hopes of raising their scores. It measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities. The test is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 and is a standard requirement of many colleges for acceptance. Achievement tests, up to three tests in selected subject areas, i.e. Spanish, physics or American history, also are given along with the SAT, when needed. Some schools, such as the UC system schools, require the achievement tests. The SAT cost $16 to take in 1990 and the fee for up to three achievement tests was $21; the 1991 fees will be announced this month. The fee increases for late registration.

REGISTRATION LATE REGISTRATION 1991 TEST DEADLINE DEADLINE TEST DATES SAT only Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Oct. 12 SAT and Achievement Sept. 27 Oct. 9 Nov. 2 SAT and Achievement Nov. 1 Nov. 13 Dec. 7



American College Testing Assessment Test Some colleges, especially in the Midwest and South, require this test. It is accepted as an alternative to the SAT by many colleges and universities, including Cal State and UC schools. The ACT measures educational development in English, mathematics, social studies and the natural sciences. Scores are reported on a scale of 1 to 36. The ACT costs $12.50; an additional $14 applies for late registration.

REGISTRATION LATE REGISTRATION 1991 TEST DEADLINE DEADLINE TEST DATES ACT May 10 May 24 June 8 ACT Sept. 27 Oct. 11 Oct. 26 ACT Nov. 15 Dec. 2 Dec. 14

SOURCE: The College Board, San Jose; American College Testing Program, Sacramento.