Tests | American Student Assistance

Students & Alumni

Choosing & Applying To College

Students & Alumni

Choosing & Applying To College

Standardized Tests

Research the admission process for each school to which you are applying to determine which tests you need to take. The sites will give you information on where and when the tests are available.

Many high school students start taking standardized tests for college applications in their junior year. Most tests charge a fee, but it can be waived or reduced if you can’t afford it.

Below are brief descriptions and links to the websites for the most common college admissions tests. For graduate school application information, click here.

The four most common tests are:

ACT American College Testing Assessment
The ACT assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. Generally, students take either the ACT or the SAT I. See the ACT Fee Waiver Program page for information about payment.

SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test
The SAT® I Reasoning Test is designed to measure the critical thinking skills you’ll need for academic success in college. The SAT II: Subject Tests (formerly SAT II Achievement Tests) are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge.

For both tests, a Fee Waiver Service is available.

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
TOEFL® measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand North American English. To register by phone, call 800.GO.TOEFL. Test dates are scheduled according to your request. Make your appointment at least 2 days in advance. Fees can be reduced for some students.

TSE – Test of Spoken English
TSE measures the ability of non-native speakers to speak in an academic or professional environment. It provides accurate, valid, and reliable assessments for candidates for graduate assistantships, employment, or licensure and certification.

Next: Applying