The ACT and SAT are tests to get into college. In fact, many schools will require one or both of these tests to be taken as part of the application process. It is important to prepare to take standardized tests so that you get the best score possible. Some advisors will suggest that students begin taking these tests during their junior year of high school so that they have enough time to retake the exam if they do not get the high score that they were looking for. Some students will even sign up for test preparation courses to help them know what to expect during the test, how to manage time, and how to be a good test taker.
Some people believe that these tests do not matter as much anymore. They may say that a lot of extracurricular activities are more important or that the essays are being weighed more by the admissions officers. However, the scores for the ACT or SAT are being used more often because there are so many more students applying to universities and colleges.
If the university has a set score that they require for consideration of admission they can easily cut out applications that do not meet that threshold. If the ACT or SAT score immediately cuts out your application then all of the extracurricular activities and great essays will not make a difference.
You can actually go to the university’s website or call the admissions office to find out what minimum score is generally accepted. They may not tell you what their threshold score is for consideration of an application, but they should be able to tell you the average score of the students that they accept into their school. Having this information ahead of time can help you know how much you need to study and if you need to retake an exam. It can also tell you which colleges prefer the SAT and which prefer students to take the ACT.