ACT / SAT Exam Information

Last Updated: 6/3/2020 6:24 PM


There are two college admissions tests that students may take - ACT or SAT. Often times we are asked which test is better for a student to take. In the past the majority of LHS students choose to take the ACT test because the test is given at LHS on the October and April (this year all seniors will take the exam here at LHS on October 6th and Juniors will take the ACT in the Spring) test dates which is more convenient. Since the tests are given on Saturday mornings (with the exception of the junior test date of March 24, 2020), it is important that students active in extracurricular activities plan ahead so the test does not interfere with other events.

Since 2005, both the ACT and SAT added Writing Exams. Student will have the option of taking the basic ACT Assessment or the ACT Assessment Plus Writing. The writing portion of the SAT will not be optional. Please check with the schools to which you will be applying to find out if they require the ACT or SAT writing exam.

The High School Code for both the ACT and SAT is: 270-545

Choosing your test: ACT or SAT?

The college admissions process can be intimidating and stressful. There are forms to fill out, deadlines to meet and so many decisions to make. On top of everything else, choosing which standardized test to take may seem like one headache too many.Most universities and colleges in the United States accept scores from either the SAT or ACT. Before you choose which test to write, check which test the schools you're applying to prefer. If they only accept SAT scores, for example, that will make your decision a lot easier! No matter how much you want to avoid adding one more decision to the whole process, being able to choose between the ACT and SAT can give you a distinct advantage. The two tests are significantly different from one another. They test different skills, which means that depending on your strengths and weaknesses, you may score higher on one test than you will on the other.Here are a few of the differences between the tests:

The best way to choose between the two tests is to do a bit of research. Take a practice test for both the ACT and the SAT, keep track of which types of questions you found easy to answer and which ones you struggled with, and compare your final scores. The key to a high score is playing to your strengths. If your vocabulary isn't great but you are an expert problem-solver, go with the ACT. If you'd rather play with words and avoid math, you're probably better off with the SAT.One final thing to remember: standardized tests are not intelligence tests. They are used as a common measurement to compare students from all over the country, all of whom have had a slightly different education. Since no test can accurately take into account all the differences in test-takers' personal circumstances, the results are often skewed in favor of one group over another. As stressful as they are, try to keep the tests in perspective. While a low score might mean you don't get into the Ivy League school you were hoping for, it is not an indication of lower-than-average intelligence. Test scores are only one aspect of many admissions criteria used by colleges, so don't give up your dreams too soon!



Take the ACT for Free!

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has exciting news for high school seniors! Thanks to a Montana GEAR UP grant, all juniors attending Montana public high schools will be able to take the ACT Plus Writing (ACT) on October 6, 2020 free of charge.    


Most colleges and universities in the United States accept ACT scores as part of the admissions process. Students can select up to four colleges or scholarship organizations such as the NCAA to receive their test scores. 

ACT English, Reading and Essay Tips

                                                                                                     ACT Science Tips

                                             Free ACT Practice Test and Tips Manual


2020 - 2021 Test Dates (National)

Test Date              Registration Deadline               (Late Fee Required)
September 12, 2020                         August 14              August 15 -August 28
October 24, 2020                         September 18              September 19 - October 2
December 12, 2020                         November 6              November 7 - November 20
February 6, 2021                         January 8              January 9 - January 15
April 17, 2021                         March 12              March 13 - March 26
June 12, 2021                         May 7               May 8 - May 21
July 17, 2021*                        June 18               June 19 - June 25

All fees are nonrefundable unless otherwise noted.

Current ACT Fees and Services

ACT Test Options and Prices - 2020-2021

  Fee Details
The ACT (no writing) $55.00 Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to four colleges (if codes are provided when you register).
The ACT with writing $70.00 Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to four colleges (if codes are provided when you register). More about the ACT with writing
1 Section Retest $44  
2 Section Retests $48  
3 Section Retests $52  

Fee Waivers Available

Additional Fees

Add to your test fee (except for Test Center Change).

  Fee Details
Late registration $30.00 Registration or test date change made during the late period for a national test date.
Standby testing $55.00 Refunded if you are denied admission to the test center on test day or registration was cancelled due to no photo provided. More about standby testing
Test date change $32.00 For different date only if absent or unable to test on the original date or if registration is cancelled for failure to meet ACT test security requirements. You must pay the basic registration fee for the new test date plus the test date change fee. If you request a date change after the regular deadline for the new date, you must also pay the late registration fee. Your basic registration fee for the original test date will be refunded. How can I make changes to my registration?
Test center change $32.00 For the same test date.
Score reports to 5th and 6th college choices $13.00 Request online before the test date. Refundable on written request if you do not test.


Additional Services

  Fee Details
Additional Score Reports $13.00 You can request additional score reports online or by providing an additional score report form.
Test Information Release $22.00 You can request a copy of your test questions and answers.
Telephone re-registration $15.00
  • To register by phone, you must have previously registered for a national test date or have already received a score report from State and District, Arranged, or DANTES testing.
  • Plan ahead when re-registering by phone. You can expect longer than average wait times during registration deadline weeks. The earlier you register, the more likely you are to secure your preferred test date and test center.
  • If you re-register by phone, you can print your admission ticket from the Web if you have a student Web account.
  • If you owe any fees on your account, you will need to pay your balance due before submitting your new registration.


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SAT registration deadlines

2020-21 SAT Administration Dates and Deadlines
SAT Date SAT Subject Tests Available Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Deadline for Changes
August 29, 2020

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date July 31, 2020

August 11, 2020 (for mailed registrations)

August 18, 2020 (for registrations made online or by phone)

August 18, 2020
September 26, 2020

SAT Subject Tests not offered on this date August 26, 2020

September 15, 2020 (for registrations made online or by phone)

September 15, 2020
October 3, 2020

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date September 4, 2020

September 15, 2020 (for mailed registrations)

September 22, 2020 (for registrations made online or by phone)

September 22, 2020
November 7, 2020

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date October 7, 2020

October 20, 2020 (for mailed registrations)

October 27, 2020 (for registrations made online or by phone)

October 27, 2020
December 5, 2020

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date November 5, 2020

November 17, 2020 (for mailed registrations)

November 24, 2020 (for registrations made online or by phone)

November 24, 2020
March 13, 2021

SAT Subject Tests not offered on this date February 12, 2021

February 23, 2021 (for mailed registrations)

March 2, 2021 (for registrations made online or by phone)

March 2, 2021
May 8, 2021

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date April 8, 2021

April 20, 2021 (for mailed registrations)

April 27, 2021 (for registrations made online or by phone)

April 27, 2021
June 5, 2021

See SAT Subject Tests available on this date May 6, 2021

May 18, 2021 (for mailed registrations)

May 26, 2021 (for registrations made online or by phone)

May 26, 2021

Important Information

U.S. deadlines apply to students testing in the United States and U.S. territories.

  • U.S. registration materials that are mailed must be postmarked by the U.S. deadlines. The deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S.
  • Additional fees apply if you register late, change your test center, change your test date, or switch from taking the SAT to taking a Subject Test after registering. Find out how to make registration changes and get deadlines.
  • Sunday administrations usually occur the day after each Saturday test date for students who can't test on Saturday due to religious observance. Please note this exception: Sunday testing for the October 3, 2020, SAT will be held October 18, 2020.
  • If you miss the late registration deadline, you may be able to get on the waitlist.
  • Your registration options will be limited if you aren't taking the SAT for one of its main purposes.








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