• ACT/SAT Frequently Asked Questions

    South Carolina Department of Education is now providing an opportunity for all third-year high school
    students to take one college-entrance exam free-of-charge, many more students and parents are asking
    questions about this opportunity.
    This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) has been created to help provide some answers.

    Why should my child take the ACT/SAT?

    Most four-year colleges and university require ACT/SAT test scores as a part of their admissions
    process. Test scores can also qualify a student for college scholarship monies.

    Does my child ​have​ to take ACT/SAT?

    No. Parents may choose for their child not to take either test for one of a couple reasons. 1) Some
    students only want to take one of the technical college entrance exams, ACCUPLACER or ASSET,
    which are also free-of-charge and given on SFHS campus once a year and on-site at technical college
    campuses daily. 2) The ACT/SAT may not be appropriate for the academic level of some special needs
    students on high school certificate-completion status. Parents may choose for them not to test.

    Which test gives special education accommodations?

    Both ACT and SAT offer accommodations for special education students. Students must have a current
    IEP or 504 plan. Accomodations do need to be arranged far in advance of testing, so please talk with
    your guidance counselor or your child’s case manager regarding the specific process. If
    accommodations are given without the proper prior approval, the test scores will not usable for
    submission to colleges.

    Can these tests be used for college applications?

    Yes. These are the same tests that students pay to take nationwide.

    What is the format of each test?

    The ACT​ consists of four sections: English, Reading, Math, Science, and Writing.
    The SAT​ consists of five sections: Reading, Writing, Math (with calculator), Math (no calculator), and

    What is the timing of these tests?

    For the 2019-19 school year, SFHS will give the ACT on February 20th, 2019 from 8:30am-2:30pm.
    SFHS will give the SAT on March 6, 2019 from 8:30am to 1pm.

    Will there be a make-up opportunity if my child misses his/her scheduled test date?

    Yes. ACT make-up will be March 12, 2019. SAT make-up will be March 27, 2019.

    What is normally the cost for these tests?

    Normally the cost of these exams is $43 for ACT and $60 for SAT.

    What if I want to take both?

    SFHS can only offer one opportunity for a student to take one test of his/her choice, not both. A student
    wanting to take both tests will have to register and pay to take one of them on a Saturday at a nationally
    recognized testing site. West Florence High School is a testing site.

    What score do I need for a scholarship?

    Scholarships can vary greatly. Most SC students will attend instate colleges and may be eligible for
    Hope, Life or Palmetto Fellows Scholarships.
    Hope Scholarships (up to $3,000) require a 3.0 GPA but no test scores
    Life Scholarships (up to $5,000) require a 3.0 GPA minimum, and a test score of 1100 on the SAT or 24
    on the ACT or a class rank in the top 30%.
    Palmetto Fellows Scholarships (up to $6,700)

    1. Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) 1 by the November national test
      administration, earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA2 on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (SC
      UGP) at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent3 of the class at the end of
      either the sophomore or the junior year; OR
    2. Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT)1 by the November national test administration
      and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA2 on the SC UGP at the end of the junior year.

    Which test is simpler to take?

    Both tests are designed to be challenging. Both tests can be prepared for both through students doing
    well in upper level high school courses and through participating in test preparation practice sessons.
    How will I know which test my college will accept?
    Most colleges accept either test. Students should check with the College Admission Requirements to be

    Do I get penalized if I guessed wrong on a test?

    Neither ACT nor SAT penalize students for wrong answers. Tests are scored based off of how many
    questions a students gets correct, so guessing is encouraged, particularly when a student can eliminate
    one or more of the multiple choice answers that are clearly wrong.

    What study material is available?

    SFHS is offering free ACT/SAT study help after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. See
    Mrs. Young in Room 140 for details. SFHS also hosts ACT/SAT preparation workshops, usually for a
    cost of $30-$50. In addition, study materials can be found on the following websites:
    ACT https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation.html
    SAT https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/inside-the-test/study-guide-students

    What grade/year do I need to be to be able to take it?

    The state pays for each SC public high school student to take one test their third year in high school.

    For additional answers, please contact SFHS Guidance: 843.758.6480