College Counseling

Test Selection

SAT Reasoning and Subject Exams
Students are encouraged to take the SAT Reasoning (formally: SAT I) exam at least twice: first in the winter/spring of the junior year and second in the fall of the senior year. Some students opt to take the SAT Reasoning exam a third time either in late spring of junior year or later in the fall of the senior year. It is not advisable to take the SAT Reasoning exam beyond the third time. Students are reminded that the most important piece of the college application is the transcript. Take your best shot at raising your scores as high as possible. After taking the SAT Reasoning exam a few times, however, one's time and energy are best spent on class work.

Students are strongly advised to take SAT Subject (formally: SAT II Subject Exams) exams in the spring of the junior year and retake exams of interest in the fall of the senior year if required by colleges to which students plan to apply. With the changes to the SAT Reasoning exam, students are encouraged to research testing requirements of your colleges of interest. 

The American College Test (ACT) is a curriculum-based examination and is considered by many colleges to be a respectable alternative to the SAT Reasoning exam. The ACT may substitute for the SAT Reasoning exam for most colleges and universities, although a conversion equivalence may apply. Students must contact each college and university to which they plan to apply for specific application requirements. The ACT has four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. Because the sub-tests are based more specifically upon your curriculum at school, some students who have experienced less success with the SAT have found greater success with the ACT. Students should take the ACT + Writing Exam. The 30-minute Writing Test will offer a sub-score as part of the English Test.

On each section, scores range from 1-36 points. The composite score is the average of the test scores. A concordance table exists to show the relationship between composite ACT and SAT Reasoning scores. For more information about the ACT Tests, sample questions, and preparation, please refer to the ACT Web site at

Students must determine initially whether the colleges to which they are applying will accept the ACT. At that point, students should see their counselor to obtain registration materials or register online at Individual students are responsible for contacting ACT to send official test scores to all the colleges to which you plan to apply. Call ACT Customer Service at 319-337-1270. The ACT score report lists only results from individual test dates. Unlike the SAT, it is not a cumulative report of every ACT test you have taken. Therefore, it is a “win-win” situation if students want to try the ACT. If students are pleased with the results, they can submit the scores to colleges; otherwise, colleges do not need to see the scores.
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Holy Innocents’ is the largest Episcopal parish day school in the United States, a fully accredited, college-preparatory day school for 3-year-olds through 12th-grade boys and girls.