College Counseling » Standardized Testing

Standardized Testing

SAT Tests
TMS Code for Registration and Codes - 070678

ACT Tests
TMS Code for Registration and Scores - 070678

1. It is the responsibility of the student and parent to register for the SAT. It is highly recommended that you register online. Online registration requires a free account with College Board (see #4 below). It is time-efficient and ensures consistent identification information throughout all testing. With online registration you receive immediate confirmation of test site and you print your own admission ticket. In addition, an online account gives you the fastest access to scores and facilitates sending scores to colleges, determining status, and so on. Be sure to include the TMS CEEB Code where requested, otherwise we will not receive the scores. The TMS Code is 070678.

2. Recommended SAT Schedule: Spring of junior year (generally March or May), fall of senior year (generally October or November), and one additional time if scores do not appear to reflect ability.

3. Bookmark this website: There is a great deal of helpful information. The home page gives you the option of "For Parents" or "For Students".

4. Create a free account at if you have not already done so. Choose "For Students" from the home page. Choose "Create a Free Account" and follow the instructions. (One option will be to list a parent to be copied on important email correspondence.) Create only one account and use it throughout the high school years. If you create more than one account, you will not be able to access test scores and other information through the new account. Use The Master's School CEEB Code when requested: 070678.


The PSAT is given during school in mid-October of the sophomore and junior years. The Master's School handles registration and fees. The junior year PSAT is also the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship program.

SAT Reasoning Test
Our recommendation is to take this test in the spring of the junior year, the fall of the senior year, and perhaps one additional time. It consists of three sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing. Parents and students are responsible for registration and fees.

SAT Subject Tests
These are required by some colleges and are generally taken the year you study the subject of the test. Parents and students are responsible for registration and fees.

AP Exams
As part of our AP Courses, these exams are given at the school in May of each year. The school handles the ordering of exams and student accounts are billed for the exam cost.


American College Test (ACT): A three-hour assessment exam consisting of four multiple-choice examinations in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Natural Science. There is an optional half hour writing section which is scored separately. The total score range is from 1 (low) to 36 (high). Originally popular primarily in the Midwest, the use has spread and many colleges will allow you to submit ACT scores rather than SAT scores.

AP Exams: Approximately 4-hour exams, given at the school in early to mid-May in conjunction with AP classes. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 may result in either college credit and/or placement in advanced courses. Many colleges post their credit policy on the College Board website:

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP): Five general examinations and forty-seven subject examinations used to evaluate non-traditional education approximating formal college study. Where CLEP examinations are accepted, students can use them to gain advanced standing or to waive basic courses. CLEP is administrated periodically throughout the year at various universities.

SAT I (Scholastic Aptitude Test): A three-hour and 45-minute aptitude test consisting of multiple-choice exams in Critical Reading (verbal) and Mathematics, plus a writing section which was added in 2005. The score range is from 200 (low) to 800 (high) for each of the three sections, making 2400 a perfect score. Most colleges still look primarily at the critical reading and math sections and quote statistics based on the old 1600 scale. They do track the writing results while deciding how to use them - e.g., admission, placement, etc.

SAT II (Subject Tests): One-hour examinations in 20 specific subject areas designed to measure the student's knowledge of particular subjects and the ability to apply that knowledge. They are usually taken at the end of the school year in which you took the subject. Approximately 200 colleges require subject tests as part of the admissions process. They often require a math exam, a writing test, and one of your choice. Other colleges may not require them, but would look at them to get an indication of your academic ability. These tests are given on many of the same dates and in the same locations as the SAT I. You can take one, two or three subject tests on a given test date, but you cannot take the SAT I and an SAT II on the same day.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): A three-hour test consisting of three sections (listening; comprehension, structure, and written expression; and vocabulary and reading composition) to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English.
SAT versus ACT
Which one to take if the college gives you a choice:
The SAT is still more common in our area and with the schools to which our students apply. The general consensus is that approximately 80% of students do roughly the same (percentile) on both tests. About 10% do significantly better on the SAT and about 10% do significantly better on the ACT.

One strategy is to take both, but don't have them send your scores to colleges. See if you do significantly better on one and then take that one a second time. (This may end up costing a bit more since you have a certain number of free reports that you can use on test day. Later reports require an additional fee.)