How Homeschoolers Take the SAT or ACT exam
Homeschoolers take the ACT or SAT exam the same way that any other high school student takes them. You show up to the testing center on the date you reserved, with your pencils and your approved calculator, and you take the exam.
To sign up for the exams, you simply visit the administering organization's website and register. You will be asked for your zipcode and the online prompt will provide you with a list of testing centers and dates to choose from. Register for the one that appeals to you, print out your receipt and KEEP IT, and show up with your receipt on test day.
The administering organizations are:
ACT – http://www.act.org/
Here are a few more helpful tips:
- Always put in as many colleges as you think you might apply to. The colleges won't do anything with the score until you actually apply. And they will only consider your highest score, not the last test you took. They never discredit you for having previous lower scores, and they never discredit you for how many times you took the test. Take it as often as you like. The reason you want to include as many as you can at the time of registration is because if you want to add another college later (perhaps at the time you are actually applying for college), then the organization will charge you a fee to add them. Doing it at the time of registration is free (up to a limited number of colleges).
- When you arrive at the testing center (usually it's a high school, but sometimes it's a college campus or other educational facility), arrive early and only bring approved tools (pencils and approved calculators). When you register, you will be provided with a list of approved items you can bring. If you have a cell phone, turn it off and expect to have to place it in a collection basket.
- Take some practice exams! We recommend either taking a practice exam straight from the administering organization's website, or visit your library to find a sample exam (don't write in the books).
- Your score will go higher if you have higher math and a broader vocabulary, as well as good knowledge of grammar and conventions. Science and history are not "knowledge-based". These areas are tested based on your ability to disseminate information (i.e. – you read a passage or read a data table, and you answer based on the information given).
When you actually apply online to the college of your choice, they will ask if you took the ACT or SAT exam. Follow the online instructions for submitting your score (they should already have it, and will connect it to your social security number).
Should you worry if the testing center is a public high school? No. They are proctoring an official exam, they are not going to mess with your test. No need to panic. Thousands of homeschoolers take these exams every year at the high school testing center.
Are these exams the only way a homeschooler can get into college? No. But if you don't have enough credits to apply as a transfer student (as opposed to applying as a freshman), then you will need them. There are other options, you could take the GED. But really colleges are looking for either an ACT or SAT exam score or enough transfer credits.
There are more strategies for these two exams which we explain in our 16 hour (self-paced) course: "Homeschooling High School and Beyond".
The course covers everything you need to know about homeschooling through high school and getting into college (or not going to college, we cover it all!)
Beyond the SAT and ACT exams, homeschoolers need to have a few more things. While 2 years ago, all a homeschooler needed to get into college was either an SAT or ACT exam score (one that meets admissions requirements, of course), the entire field is changing very rapidly. Now we are finding that some universities are requiring additional items (we do NOT advise taking the AP or CLEP exams). To find out what can really jump your child ahead of the admissions game, sign up as a Plus member today at HECOA and get the entire 16 hour course for FREE!!
Plus membership is only $79 per year, and well worth it. Other sites charge upwards of $200 or more for similar courses which are not updated with the latest admissions policy changes. It's important to work with someone who speaks with admissions offices on a regular basis.
We also provide Plus members with a FREE transcript review – which is a live, personal meeting (valued at over $300). JOIN HERE TODAY!
Not sure you are ready to homeschool through high school? Watch this eye-opening video: http://hecoa.com/3-things-to-hs-high-school