Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test that serves as practice for the SAT and also offers feedback on a student's strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college. The test measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills and writing skills. Typically, high school juniors take the test, which is offered annually in October, and students usually apply to the PSAT test through his or her school, though there are exceptions for home-schooled students, students with disabilities and students outside of the U.S. The test is also the qualifying test for the scholarship competitions conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or Scholastic Assessment Test, is the most widely used college admission test. The test measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills and writing skills, and the top score in each section is 800, with a perfect score being 2400. The test is offered several times a year, and most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year. Sign up for the test online and take it at the nearest SAT testing center, or speak with a high school counselor to find out more information.
The American College Testing is a standardized test often taken in place of the SAT as part of the college admissions process. The exam covers English, math, science and reading, and there is also an essay writing test, which some schools do not require. The main four tests are scored individually on a scale of 1-36, and the highest possible composite score - the whole number average of the four scores - is a 36. The test is offered about four to six times per year, on Saturdays. Like the SAT, most students take the ACT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year, though it is recommended that students take the ACT at least two months prior to the application deadlines for any colleges or scholarship opportunities the student plans to pursue, as score reports are usually mailed within 3 to 8 weeks after each test date. Sign up for the test online or use a Register by Mail packet.
The Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test required as part of the application process for graduate school and business school. The exam consists of three sections: Analytical Writing (scored on a 0 - 6 score scale), Quantitative Reasoning (scored on a 200 - 800 score scale) and Verbal Reasoning (scored on a 200 - 800 score scale). If taking a computer-based version of the test, scores for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning are available immediately after the exam, and the test fee entitles the test taker to request that scores be sent to up to four graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors. The exam is offered year-round at testing centers almost every day. It is offered as a computer-based exam administered by select qualified testing centers, though paper-based exams are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. Sign up online or call a local center for details. Most undergraduate students applying to graduate school take the test toward the end of their junior year or early in their senior year; other graduate school applicants should take the test based on application deadlines of the institutions to which they are applying.
The Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized test usually taken by people pursuing advanced degrees in business and management. About 2,000 graduate business schools worldwide use GMAT scores as a part of their admissions process. The test consists of three sections: the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section and the Verbal section. Total GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, and the Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60. The score is determined by the number of questions answered; whether the questions were answered correctly or incorrectly; and the level of difficulty and other statistical characteristics of each question. Each of the essays in the AWA section are given two independent ratings. The GMAT score is valid for five years, and the GMAT test fee allows a test taker to select up to five programs to receive his or her score report. Scores are usually available within 20 calendar days of testing. The GMAT can be taken in 94 countries, and appointments can be made and test centers found through mba.com.
The Law School Admission Test is a standardized test required by all American Bar Association-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many other law schools as part of their admission process. The three multiple-choice question sections in the LSAT are: Reading Comprehension Questions, Analytical Reasoning Questions and Logical Reasoning Questions. The overall test consists of five sections of multiple-choice questions, with four of the five sections contributing to the test taker's score. The unscored section is typically used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. A writing sample is administered at the end of the test, which is not scored. However, copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which the test taker applies. The LSAT score is based on the number of questions answered correctly (the raw score). Raw scores are converted to an LSAT scale that ranges from 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 being the highest. The test is administered four times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. In the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and some other countries, the LSAT is administered on a Saturday, except in June, when it is generally administered on a Monday. Register for the test online or by mail. Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission the following fall, though it is often recommended that the test be taken earlier - in June or September. Scores can be received by e-mail about three weeks after the test is taken, or after about four weeks by mail.
The Medical College Admission Test is a standardized, multiple-choice test required by almost all U.S. medical schools as part of the admissions process. The MCAT consists of four sections: three multiple choice sections (Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences) and one Writing section (2 essay questions). Each of the multiple choice sections is scored on a scale of 1-15, with a 3 being the lowest possible MCAT score, and a 45 being the highest. The two essays are scored on a J-T scale by one human and one computer grader. Many schools do not accept MCAT exam scores that are more than three years old. The test is offered 22 times a year, and students register for the MCAT online through AAMC's website. The test taker should determine when to take the test based on the application deadlines for the medical schools to which he or she is applying. The computer-based MCAT is given at Thomson Prometric testing sites around the world and throughout North America.
The Dental Admission Test is a standardized test required by most U.S. dental schools as part of the admissions process. The test consists of four sections: Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Reasoning. Once the test is completed, eight standard scores on a scale of 1-30 are calculated. The first six scores correspond to biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, perceptual ability, reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. The fifth score is the average of the previous five, rounded to the nearest whole number, and the last score is a standard score based on the 100 questions of the natural sciences section. The test can be administered almost any day of the year, and it is offered at Prometric testing centers throughout the U.S. after the preliminary application through the American Dental Association is completed.
The Pharmacy College Admission Test is a standardized test constructed specifically for use by colleges of pharmacy for admission purposes. The test is divided into seven sections: Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension and two Writing sections. Of the 48 items in each of the five multiple-choice sections, 40 are core items that count toward a test taker's score and eight are experimental items. One of the two writing subtests is also experimental. Scores on the personal Score Report are reported as scaled scores and percentiles for each of the multiple-choice sections and as a composite score for the combined multiple-choice sections. Writing scores are reported separately. Within six weeks of taking the test, a test taker's personal Score Report will be sent to him or her via mail, and Official Transcripts will be sent via regular mail to the requested institutions. Scores are valid for five years. Pearson notes that it does not set a passing or failing score for the PCAT, and that individual schools have their own specific standards. Registration for the test can be completed either via mail or online, and the test is typically offered three times per year at various sites.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language is a four-part exam typically required of non-native English speakers who are planning to attend college or graduate school in the U.S. The test evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. The four sections of the exam are: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 0-30. ETS notes that there is no passing or failing TOEFL score, and that individual higher education institutions set their own score requirements. Scores will be posted online within two weeks after the test date and are valid for two years after the test date. Scores are also mailed to the test taker and the universities or institutions he or she selected within two weeks of the test date. The TOEFL has about 30-40 test dates, and it is offered at approximately 4,500 test centers in 165 countries. More than 7,500 colleges, agencies and other institutions in more than 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.