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Which test(s) should I take?

ALL U.S. COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES ACCEPT BOTH ACT and SAT! Submit whichever scores reflect your best performance! Check with the college(s) of your choice regarding their testing policy: do they require you to submit all scores? Just your best scores? Do they superscore (take the highest subsection from every test date to make a new, potentially higher composite score, sometimes even rounding up to the nearest whole number? (e.g., UNM does this.) Will they let you submit improved test scores that qualify you for a higher scholarship, after you've already been awarded a scholarship based on your lower test scores? (Some colleges do). Do they require the ACT or SAT optional writing section?  When in doubt, ask the college admissions or scholarship/financial department!


Also see the Test Preparation page for practice tests, online test prep sites and a lit of tutors!

Updates as of August 2022

Many colleges have gone "test-optional", at least for admissions purposes, and many for scholarship awards, too. See the website of the college(s) of your choice for testing policy updates!

New Mexico Tech IS requiring test scores for the Class of 2023.

College Board is no longer offering SAT Subject tests, and discontinued the (formerly optional) SAT Essay after June 2021. 

ACT 2022-23 (for sat, scroll down)

ACT Test Date Registration
Late Deadline*
(+ $36 fee)
Sept. 10, 2022 Aug. 5 Aug. 19
Oct. 22, 2022 Sept. 16 Sept. 30
Dec. 10, 2022 Nov. 4 Nov. 11
Feb. 11, 2023 Jan. 6 Jan. 20
Apr. 15, 2023 Mar. 10 Mar. 24
June 10, 2023 May 5 May 19
July 15, 2023 June 16 June 23

Register here

  • Eldorado CEEB High School Code 320009: you need this to register.
  • ACT is always given on a Saturday morning. EXCEPTION: ACT offers some Sunday morning test times, traditionally only available for students who cannot test on Saturdays due to religious beliefs. 
  • Eldorado is NOT an ACT testing center; when you register, you'll be prompted to select from several schools in ABQ that offer the test.
  • What to bring: ACT test admission ticket (print out from website once you register), photo ID, calculator, #2 pencils with erasers, pencil sharpener, silent watch.
  • No cell phones or smart watches!
  • Cost: $63/$88 with optional writing section (see section below)
  • Late fee: $36
  • Standby testing (absolute last-minute), if available: $63
  • Test date change or test center change fee: $42
  • Fee to send score reports to 5th and 6th college choices (1st 4 are included): $16 (must request online before test)
  • Fee to send additional score reports to colleges (after test): $18
  • Test Information Release (get copy of your test questions & answers: great for studying!): $32 (before you test)/$40 (after test)

ACT Writing Section: What you need to know

The 40-minute ACT writing test is optional, and is required by some U.S. colleges & universities. (At this time (Fall 2022), the ACT writing section is NOT required by any of our in-state colleges.)  Signing up for the ACT writing test adds an extra $25 to the cost of the ACT.

SAT 2022-23


Test Date

Registration Deadline Late Registration  (+$30)
Aug. 27, 2022 July 29 Aug. 16
Oct. 1, 2022 Sept. 2 Sept. 20
Nov. 5, 2022 Oct. 7 Oct. 25

Dec. 3, 2022

Nov. 3 Nov. 22
Mar. 11, 2023 Feb. 10 Feb. 28
May 6, 2023 Apr. 7 Apr. 25
June 3, 2023 May 4 May 23


Register here:

  • Eldorado CEEB High School Code: 320009. You need this to register.
  • SAT is always given on a Saturday morning (exception: students whose religious beliefs do not allow Sat. testing; these students contact College Board for Sunday testing.)
  • NOTE: Eldorado is NOT a testing center for the SAT; when you register, you'll be prompted to select from several schools in ABQ that offer the test. EXCEPTION: all EHS Juniors will take the SAT in April 2023 for free at EHS during the school day.
  • What to bring: SAT admission ticket (print out from website once you register), photo ID, calculator, #2 pencils with erasers, pencil sharpener (if you like), silent watch.
  • DON'T BRING: phone, smart watch
  • Cost: $60
  • Late fee: $30
  • Additional score reports (the first 4 are included) sent to colleges: $12
  • Question & Answer Service (purchase your test questions & answers: great for studying!): $16
  • Waitlist: not available for the 2022-23 school year

SAT Subject Tests: no more!

As of January 2021, College Board is no longer offering SAT Subject Tests. News release here.

ACT/SAT Score Concordance

Click here for how the scoring of the two tests relate.

Fee Waivers/Discounts on ACT/SAT registration

Both ACT and College Board (makers of SAT) offer fee waivers for their exams, bringing the cost to $0. If you qualify for free or reduced lunch at school or believe you would qualify for a discount based on your family's income, contact Ms. Velhagen or your counselor to ask about fee waivers! You may be eligible for up to 2 waivers for ACT and 2 waivers for SAT. These can also lead to discounts on college application fees. Pay attention to test registration deadlines and ask early: the waivers may count toward late registration fees.

Good article re: ACT & SAT tests

brief video: what you need to know about act & sat

Fee Waivers

Students who qualify for APS Free or Reduced Lunch Program, or who meet specific income guidelines, qualify for up to two fee waivers for the ACT and two for the SAT (as well as waivers for college application fees). Students simply ask Ms. Velhagen for a fee waiver!

Other benefits: students who qualify for ACT and SAT fee waivers are also entitled to FREE college application fee waivers and free ACT & SAT test prep resources. Ask Ms. Velhagen for details!

Sign up for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program every year!