Standardized Tests

Most colleges require students to submit standardized test scores as part of the application.   There are two college entrance exams, the SAT and ACT.  Colleges accept both. 

Students should think about which test is best for them.   At FRCS, students take the PLAN in the spring of 10th grade and FRCS pays the test fee.  The PLAN is the “practice” test for the ACT.  In 10th or 11th grade, students can take PSAT in October.  The PSAT is the “practice” test for the SAT.  FRCS pays the test fee for juniors.  By taking the practice tests (PLAN and PSAT), students can determine which college entrance exam (SAT or ACT) is best for them.   In addition to this, FRCS offers the following test preparation:

  • Review of college entrance exams in 9th and 10th grade Achievement Teams
  • Practice sessions with problem sets in Achievement Teams and Junior College Advising class
  • Review of ACT during 10th grade seminars in spring and PSAT results with juniors during Advising class in December or January
  • Review of College Board’s MyCollegeQuickStart website with test prep resources
  • SAT prep classes for juniors in Term 2 or Term 3 (full term courses, three classes per cycle)
  • Free SAT and/or ACT testing on two weekends in March (provided through Princeton Review)
  • Test location for SAT and ACT throughout the year

Other Test Prep resources and options:

Differences between ACT and SAT:


    • Reasoning test to gauge potential to do well in college
    • Stronger emphasis on English
    • Broken into smaller sections with more breaks
    • Required writing section
    • No science
    • Points deducted for incorrect answers
  • Register:


    • Skill based test to gauge knowledge
    • Stronger emphasis on math and science
    • Writing section is optional
    • Questions are more straight foreward
    • No points deducted for incorrect answers
  • Register:

The bottom line: SAT’s are for those who are more abstract thinkers, with skills grounded in languages and social sciences. The ACT’s are more well suited for the logical mind, with interested in math and sciences.

PSAT and PLAN Tests:


  • Practice SAT
  • Offered in Oct for sophomore and juniors at FRCS
  • Score report sent to families


  • Practice ACT
  • Offered to all sophomores in spring at FRCS
  • Score report sent to families

PSAT Scholarships:

Taking the PSAT gives students a chance to earn valuable scholarships. Students who earn qualifying scores will be entered for this merit scholarship. In all, 9,600 students of the 1,500,000 will qualify for scholarships, given directly through the PSAT, corporate sponsors, or college sponsors. Recipients will be notified in the beginning of their junior year.

How to study for the SAT:

  • Test-prep books with sample questions
  • “SAT Question of the Day” and online practice tests
  • Try to focus on weaknesses in order to be well-rounded

How to study for the ACT:

  • Test-prep books with sample questions
  • Online practice tests
  • Focus on strengths, as points are not deducted for incorrect answers

Accessing Scores & Sending Them to Colleges:

Both tests post their scores online. You will be notified through e-mail when your score is available. To send the scores to colleges, which is required, you can select several to send for free when you register.  For additional colleges, you must pay a fee for each college you wish to receive your score.   The scores must be submitted (and received by the college) by your application deadline,  or your application may be considered incomplete or late.

What Are Good Scores?:

ACT’s- The average score is 21 out of 36. Selective schools look above that, somewhere in the mid to high 20’s.

SAT- The average score is a 1500 out of 2400. Selective schools looks for around a 2100. Students who take the test multiple times can choose their best scores from each session and combine them for their final score, which can boost the grade substantially.

SAT Subject Tests:

  • Required by the most competitive colleges
  • Required for some majors, such as nursing
  • One hour long; test specific subjects (Lituerature, Biology, U.S. Histort, etc)
  • Must be registered for separately and taken separately from the SAT