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Admission to an American college: how to choose a specialty and pass exams

American higher education opens the doors of almost any prestigious firm in all countries of the world. And for people living in the United States, an American college diploma is a must-have if you want to get a promising job with a good salary.

Photo: Shutterstock

The prestige of this education is based on a rigid selection system - to get into college, you need not just want, you need to prove your level of knowledge and ability.

They are checked using two tests - ACT and SAT. We asked school representatives Advanced Academic Programs of Roslynpreparing for these tests, explain to us the difference between them and the nuances that should be paid attention to during preparation.

Due to the pandemic, these tests have become optional in some universities. However, they still play an important role in the selection process of applicants, as well as influence the decision of an educational institution to issue scholarships.


  • Items: reading and writing in English, mathematics (arithmetic, algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry and data analysis), essays (optional).
  • Duration: 3 hours (without essays), 3 hours 50 minutes (with essays).
  • Points: from 400 to 1600.

According to experts from Prepscholar, if you get 1400 points on this test, then you are open to almost any college, except for the top twenty, admission to which requires extraordinary abilities. For example, the average SAT score of Princeton students is 1510. But if you are aiming at popular, but less famous institutions, then the main thing is to score more than 1200.


  • Items: English, Mathematics (Arithmetic, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Probability and Statistics), Reading, Scientific Thinking, Essays (optional).
  • Duration: 2 hours 55 minutes (without essays), 3 hours 40 minutes (with essays).
  • Points: from 1 to 36.

The average ACT score is 20,6. If you scored 21 points, then you scored more than 50% of the test takers and have a very high chance of going to your chosen college.

There is no particular difference between the tests for universities, higher educational institutions accept any of them, so the choice is up to the student.

How to find out how many points you need to score to enter your chosen college

A banal Google search will help you with this. Search for "[College Name] average SAT (or ACT) score" and then click on the links that appear in the search. It is better to choose the official websites of universities or other education-related organizations.

Another (slightly less convenient) way is to browse the website of the college you are interested in and periodically use ctrl + F to look for any mentions of SAT or ACT results. The best pages for such a search are information about the statistics of admission of applicants, as well as facts and figures about the institution.

Photo: Shutterstock

How to prepare

Having seen the list of subjects for each of the tests, you, of course, thought that this is a difficult task - terminology and other nuances are scary. V Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn they say that there is no impossible - it all depends on the preparation. The school offers a variety of SAT and ACT preparation courses.

There are individual courses and group (small and large groups), where you will be provided with the full range of knowledge required to pass these tests.

For example, you can prepare for the SAT in 13 weeks (classes once a week for 3 hours or 2 times a week for an hour and a half).

In addition, you can prepare for specific test subjects for which you need help. Such classes are held mainly individually or in groups of 2-3 people, assembled from students with a similar level of training.

When to take the ACT and SAT tests

Several specific dates are set each year for each of these tests, from fall to early summer.

For SAT dates available this year, visit this page.

Dates, conditions and details for the ACT test can be found here.

An important nuance that many people miss

American teachers love thinking students who are able to express their thoughts beautifully and correctly on paper. Therefore, you will have to write an essay in almost every course.

Even if you decide not to take it during the ACT or SAT, the inability to write such texts will come back to haunt when submitting documents to the university and during training, where you will have to write an essay at every step.

therefore Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn offers a Creative Writing course where you will be taught how to express your thoughts correctly and scientifically.

It is not always easy to write a coherent and interesting text even in your native language, and there is nothing to say about a foreign one. V Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn will teach the basic rules and techniques of writing an essay, as well as tell you which formulations should be used in such texts, and which ones should be forgotten.

How to choose an educational institution

Sometimes all high school graduates and their parents want is a college degree. They do not always understand who they want to study with and how. But in the United States, this is important because each college has its own learning approach that can drastically differentiate it from others. The choice of an educational institution is not only a matter of its prestige and the specialty you are interested in, but also the choice of teaching methods.

With prestige, everything is simple - dozens of publications publish ratings at every step. And with the choice of the specialty to which you have aptitude, and the teaching methodology that suits you only experienced professionals can help. Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn certified to use well proven in over 15 countries HAB test (Highlands Ability Battery), which identifies the aptitudes and talents of the future student so that he can achieve brilliant success in college and in building a career.

Material prepared in partnership with

Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn

address: 55 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, NY, 11548
tel: (516) 484-1789

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Educational program Higher education in the USA college entrance Advanced Academic Programs of Roslyn
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