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Admission Testing Information

Admissions testing is needed for:

Junior/Community Colleges 

 * No Tests are required to register for and take community college classes. 


California State University System - Requires either the SAT or ACT as part of the eligibility index calculation. This requirement is suspended for the Fall 2020 applications. 

  • It will state in some of the CSU information that: "If you have at least a  3.0 Weighted GPA in your A-G classes, you do not need to take the ACT or SAT tests. This is correct but not taking either the SAT or ACT test will put you at a strong disadvantage for going beyond being eligible and becoming competitive.
  • Either the SAT and the  ACT are counted equally by the CSU campuses. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo prefers the ACT.
  • The writing portion is optional on the ACT and SAT. Still, you might consider taking the writing portion because it is required by some private and out of state colleges. Nevertheless, the writing score is NOT calculated in the index formula.
  • Feewaivers are available for low-moderate income students. To obtain a waiver visit the Counseling Office.You must sign-up for the regular registration date in order to use the fee waiver, you may not use them if you sign-up for late registration.
  • The CSU system will take the best portion from various sittings to calculate your index.
  • CSU's institutional code for all campuses is 3594.
  • Cal Poly SLO, SJSU & SDSU requires you to finish your testing by the end of Oct/early Nov.

University of California System - Requires either the SAT or ACT as part of the eligibility index calculation. This requirement is suspended for the Fall 2020 applications. 

 Some majors, at some UC's, such as Engineering and other sciences recommend two SAT II's in different subject areas, usually math and science. 

  • UC will take the best single sitting score for purposes of determining eligibility.
  • It is advisable to complete your testing by Oct if possible.
  • You are not able to take the SAT test and the Subject Tests on the same day. You may take 3-one hour Subject Tests on the same day.
  • You may want to take some Subject Tests at the end of your junior year in subjects that you did well in, especially if it is an honor or AP class.
  • You are not penalized for taking multiple tests, UC will take the best single sitting of your SAT or ACT, and your best two subject test scores.
  • Fee waivers are available from the Counseling Dept for the test-taking fees. You must register during the regular registration period to use the waivers, you may not use them if registering during the late registration.


Private/Independent Colleges -  in most cases require either the SAT or the ACT test. A handful may require the SAT II Subject Tests. It is college-specific as to whether they take the best score from one sitting or the best portions from multiple sittings or whether they require any Subject Tests. Check with each individual school's policy.

  • There will also be school-specific deadlines for completing your testing so it will be important to check with each school's policy and plan your testing schedule accordingly.


Proctored Practice Tests SAT, PSAT, ACT, Subject Tests in Marin at Compass, 700 Larkspur Landing Cir, Ste, 235.

RSVP by calling 1-800-620-6250

PSAT:  The PSAT is offered for free at SRHS mid-October, and all sophomores and juniors are required to take it. The score from the junior testing will be used to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholars and Hispanic Scholarship.  Note: The PSAT will reflect the changes to the SAT I except that it will not include an essay. Students register for the PSAT in the Counseling Office beginning October 1st.  The last day to register is two days prior to the exam and generally costs approx. $25.  Alternative test dates, other than SRHS's, may be available, first come first serve basis, at other locations such as Marin Catholic HS, Branson's, San Dominico, Marin Academy. Check with individual schools for correct information. FEE WAIVERS ARE AVAILABLE from Counseling.




SAT I Reasoning TestStarting with the class of 2010, students will have the option of choosing which of their various scores they want to have sent. You may not split your results and only send the math portion but you can opt to hold back one or more sittings if you wish. 

The SAT I is a 3 1/2 hour test composed of a number of sections. The sections are Math, Critical Reading, and Writing (a 1/2 essay). The Calif. State University System does not count the writing portion of the SAT Reasoning Test for admission eligibility purposes.  The SAT I is scored on a scale of 200-800 for each section, with higher scores reflecting better performance.  The test may be repeated as many times as you like to obtain a higher score.  Students should ask colleges, they are considering, whether the college accepts the highest scores from one sitting or the highest score attained from multiple sittings. We recommend juniors take the May or June SAT I and repeat it in Oct. of their senior year. Some more competitive colleges do not accept SAT test scores from later than the Oct test.  Fee waivers are available from counseling for those students who qualify. More detailed information on the SAT I can be obtained at  In general, the test is given in January, March, May, June, October, November, and December. For a schedule of testing dates and to register, go to 


SAT II Subject TestsThe SAT II Subject tests are one hour tests offered in a variety of subjects.  For the University of California and some private colleges, two SAT II Subject tests are required in two different subject areas. We recommend taking subject test as early as the end of your freshman year if you have done well in an honors or AP class related to a SAT II Subject area. UC will use the best two scores from two different subject areas even if you take more than two tests. If you plan to major in computer science, engineering or math, it is recommended that you take, as one of your subject tests, the math level II test. Math level 1 is not counted by UC campuses. For information about the University of California  requirements, refer to:    Other colleges and universities require SAT II tests and others simply recommend that students take them. To determine if you should take the SAT II subject tests, consult the individual colleges to which you are planning to apply.  In general, the tests are given in January, May, June, October, November and December. For a schedule of testing dates and to register, go to


ACTThe ACT is the American College Test and, for most colleges and universities, is an alternative to the SAT I.   The test is three hours  and sections cover math, reading and science reasoning. It test information that  you have learned as apposed to the SAT REasoning which requires applying knowledge. There is an optional 1/2 hour essay required by UC and some other colleges. For information concerning registration and testing dates, visit


TOEFLThe TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)  is usually required by colleges for students who have been to high school in the USA for less than four years. In general, the test is given in August, Oct., Nov., Jan., March, and May. If a student's SAT Critical Reading score is not as high as the student might like, it may be advisable to take the TOEFL, even thougth it is not required,  to show the student's skills in the use of English as the test is different than the SAT or ACT. More information can be obtained at  The test has three sections: listening comprehension, structure and written expression, and reading comprehension.



It is generally agreed that students do better on standardized tests when they have prepared for them.  At minimum, it is recommended that students take a practice test a week or two before the test date in order to become familiar with the test instructions, the types of questions and how to pace oneself.

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to prepare for college tests.  There are books available in the College and Career Center as well as software programs that prep a student for the tests. One of the books most often recommended is 10 Real SATs, which is available at bookstores and the College Career Center.  Free online services are available at and .


Day Before the Tests

Gather together: photo ID, test admission ticket, 2 sharpened #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils) and a soft eraser, calculator w/ fresh batteries. Get a good nights sleep.

Day of the Test

Eat breakfast and bring a health snack and water. If you have to bring a cell phone, make sure it is turned completely off. All electronic devices brought to the test could be grounds for dismissal. Arrive at the test no later than 7:45. Allow extra time if you are uncertain of the test's location.

During the Test

Eat and drink during the breaks. Do easier questions first. Fill in entire circle with your pencil, use all the time available, go over questions you skipped or had trouble with if you have time at the end.


Free/very low cost practice tests throughout the county by major SAT/ACT prep companies: ,