College Guidance

SAT/ACT: College Entrance Tests

Register for the ACT - http://www.actstudent.org/

Register for the SAT - www.sat.collegeboard.org

How do the SAT/ACT compare:  https://www.kaptest.com/college-prep/test-information/sat-vs-act

College Entrance Testing Guidelines

  1. When should I test?
    1. Test in December or early in the spring of junior year and once again early in the senior year.
  2. Why test during the junior year?
    1. You will need a qualifying college entrance score by May of junior year, to be considered for dual credit enrollment senior year.
    2. This gives you an opportunity and time to retest at a later date to potentially increase your scores.
  3. Which one should I take?
    1. Take both tests.  They are different in nature and some students tend to score  higher on one than the other.
  4. Will it hurt me if I score poorly on a set of tests?
    1. Colleges will look for and use your best scores and will not penalize you for lower scores.
  5. How many times should I test?
    1. The SAT and ACT organizations recommend testing twice.  Their research shows an average increase in scores the second time students test but generally a decrease in scores for a third time.

TEST FEE WAIVER Eligibility

Fee waivers are available for those who qualify (2 per high school career). For Fee Waiver Eligibility guidelines:


Understanding scores...

College Readiness Benchmarks

The benchmarks are scores that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first year college courses.  This information is based on years of research on College student achievement.

ACT                                         SAT

English  18                            Critical Reading  500

Math      22                              Math                      500

Reading 21                            Writing                  500

Science 24                             With a combined total of at least 1550

Students who meet the college readiness benchmark are more likely to:

• Earn a higher first year GPA, on average (3.12 vs. 2.57); and

• Be retained for their second and third year


Register for the SAT - www.sat.collegeboard.org

The College Board is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Colleges and Students.  They own the SAT and the PSAT offering free preparation activities and practice tests.  On this web site you may also conduct college, scholarship and career searches.  This also the site where you can register for the SAT online.  Note:  At TCS, your counselor will register all 9th, 10th & 11th graders for the PSAT, administered every Fall.

Fee waivers are available for those who qualify (2 per high school career).  See counselor for waiver.  See link for eligibility http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/waivers/guidelines

For SAT Subject Test info:  www.collegeoard.org/sujecttests


Register for the ACT - www.actstudent.org

This is the offical site for the ACT college entrance test.

Fee waivers are available for those who qualify, For ACT go to http://www.actstudent.org/faq/feewaiver.html; if you qualify please contact the counselor.


TSI (Texas Success Incentive) Test

These tests are commonly used for entrance to two year community colleges and for dual credit students. 

Test Location:  GCC Main Campus – Denison, (Test administered regularly)

Questions call GCC testing office (903) 463-8724. 

To register go to:  www.grayson.edu  click on the "Testing" link


Test Preps

NEW Test Prep Site:   http://testprep.collegeforalltexans.com/

Kranse Institute www.kranse.com

Kaplan:  www.kaptest.com

For FREE Practice Tests go to:

FREE Personalized SAT Study Plan:

All TCS students (9-11) take the PSAT in the fall of each year.  As a result; these students have access to a Free personalized SAT study plan based on their PSAT scores.  Here are the steps:

You can register for prep courses held here on campus; see counselor for details.