Testing doesn’t have to be scary or confusing.
If you plan to further your education, or even if you plan to enter the workforce
immediately, chances are, you’re going to have to take some tests. This page will
help you figure out what tests to take and how to prepare.
College Entrance Exams
*College entrance exams for the 16 UNC system universities are waived through Fall of 2024*
College entrance exams are the tests that admissions teams look at to determine if you are a good candidate for the school you are applying to. The minimum ACT needed to get into public colleges in North Carolina is a 19. However, getting the minimum requirement does not guarantee you admission. You should look up the colleges you are interested in applying to find out the average tests scores of their admitted students and set your testing goals from there.
Which test(s) do you need to take?
The ACT is free to all North Carolina juniors in the spring of their junior year, so there is no reason not to take it! Study and do your best the first time because it is not guaranteed to be free if you have to take it again.
The SAT is a different test than the ACT, but colleges do not view one as greater than the other. If you don't do well on the ACT or you do perform particularly well on the PSAT then we recommend taking the SAT. At the bottom of this page you can view differences between the two tests to help determine which one may suit you best.
AP tests are available to students enrolled in AP classes. AP classes are supposed to be equivalent to college level work. This means a few things. First of all the classes should be challenging. Secondly, the class should help you prepare for the test, but studying and reading on your own is also crucial, as it would be in college. Lastly, by scoring high enough on the AP exam you can earn college credit that will be accepted by most universities across the nation, both public and private.
What test you take depends on what your future goals are. To answer the question presented you NEED to take either the SAT or ACT in order to go to a 4-year college or university. Click the icons below for free study resources.
PACT ACT PSAT SAT
Scoring & Retesting
Minimum requirements for admission to a public 4-year college/university or college credit from your AP exam.
Please note that achieving minimum scores does not guarantee you admission to the school of your choice. More competitive test scores always increase your competitiveness as a college or scholarship applicant wherever you apply. Though, if you are applying to private schools there is some leeway in these scoring minimums.
When it comes to AP exams try your best to get the best score possible. If you don't get a three or higher, don't stress too much. You do not have to send your scores to colleges and if you performed well in the class most admissions officers will still take that as a good sign, even though you won't receive college credit for the work.
Test scores will be sent directly to the student's home address and will also be available to view online through the testing website. When it comes to the ACT and SAT most students that take time to study will increase their scores 2-3 points by taking the test again. We recommend taking either of these tests up to three times to improve your scores. The 4th time a student takes the test their scores tend to plateau. If you are unsure whether or not you should re-test look at the schools you are interested in and see if they offer scholarships for certain test scores. Sometimes it is only a couple of points that stand between you and a full ride. When retaking a test you must register on your own, bring your own calculator, and have your own transportation to your testing site. Use the buttons below to find a test date and location that works for you!
If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, you qualify for a fee waiver for the SAT and ACT.
Talk to your high school counselor to pick one up today!
If you receive testing accommodations through The School for Creative Studies via an IEP, 504 or other accommodation and you wish to receive those accommodations on the SAT, AP exams, or ACT you need to request those accommodations in advance via the respective testing website. The school cannot request these for you, even for tests administered at SCS. Please note that it can take up to 2 months to complete the accommodations request process so make sure to begin well in advance of the test date.