Standardized Testing

Most colleges require that students submit official results from either the SAT or ACT. These are important tests on which students should perform as well as possible; however, it is important to remember that test scores are only part of one's applications and almost never the most important part.


In October of their junior year students at Waynflete take the PSAT. This test serves as a practice test for the SAT. The PSAT is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the NMSQT. We administer the PSAT at Waynflete, and students do not have to register to take it. They receive information about the PSAT in September, shortly after school begins. Sophomores also take the PSAT10 in late February/early March to introduce them to the format and content of the test.


The SAT is designed to assess the skills necessary for success in a college or university. The College Board administers the test, and you can register online. We recommend that all juniors take the SAT in the spring and plan on taking it a second time in the fall of their senior year.

Testing time
3 hours plus optional 50-minute essay

3 tests plus optional essay

Score range
Composite 400–1600 (SAT Essay; reported in 3 dimensions, each 2–8)

Test length and timing

Reading Test
65 minutes
52 questions

Writing and Language Test
35 minutes
44 questions

Math Test
80 minutes
58 questions

(Source: College Board)

SAT Subject Test

The SAT Subject Test, formerly known as either SATIIs or Achievement Tests, are one-hour tests designed to measure a student's knowledge in specific subject areas. Although the vast majority of schools do not require these tests, some competitive schools do require them. We recommend that all students take them in the spring of their junior year and again first semester senior year. These tests are also administered by the College Board, and you can register online.

Which Subject Tests Should a student take?

Students should select subject tests based on their academic strengths and interests. We strongly recommend that students take practice tests as a means to determining which subject tests to take. College counselors will be working with students as they make this decision.


The ACT is a standardized test designed to measure what a student has learned in school. The ACT Plus Writing includes four subject area test: English, Math, Reading, and Science, plus a 30-minute Writing test.

ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

The ACT takes 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or over 4 hours if a student takes the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if a student takes the ACT Plus Writing).