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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!



ACT: As of this writing (5/28/20), ACT is still planning to hold its June 13 exam, but only at test centers that are cleared to administer the test. It's unlikely this will happen in NM school testing locations. If you registered for the June ACT, they should be emailing you the week of 5/26 to let you know whether you'll be testing or not, and what the next steps are. 

Next ACT: July 18. Register by June 19. Registration & information at ACT website. No one knows whether it will be possible to test on this date; all you can do is sign up, prepare, and try. If it's cancelled, you'll be contacted by ACT to reschedule.

SAT: Cancelled their June 6 test and are hoping to be able to hold tests on the following dates: Aug.29, Sept. 26, Nov. 7, Dec. 5. Registration & info on SAT website.

Colleges are well aware of students' difficulties in taking these tests and are prepared to be flexible with deadlines and requirements for testing. See the website of the college(s) of your choice for updates!

ACT 2020-21 (see below for sat)

ACT Test Date Registration
Late Registration*
(+ fee)
June 13 May 8 May 22
July 18 June 19 June 26

Register here

  • Eldorado CEEB High School Code 320009: you'll need this to register.
  • ACT is always given on a Saturday morning.
  • Eldorado is NOT an ACT testing center; when you register online, you will be prompted to select from several schools in ABQ that offer the test.
  • What to bring: ACT test admission ticket (print from website once you register), photo ID, calculator, #2 pencils with erasers, pencil sharpener, silent watch
  • No cell phones or smart watches!
  • Cost: $52 / $68 with optional writing section (see section below)
  • Late fee: $30
  • Standby testing (absolute last-minute): $55
  • Test date change or test center change fee: $32
  • Fee to send score reports to 5th and 6th college choices (1st 4 are included): $13 (must request online before test)
  • Fee to send additional score reports to colleges: $13
  • Test Information Release (get copy of your test questions & answers: great for studying!): $22

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 2019), the ACT writing section is NOT required by any of our in-state colleges.)  Signing up for the ACT writing test adds an extra $16.00 to the cost of the test, for a total of $68.00. 

SAT 2020-21

SAT 2019-20

   Test    Date

Registration Deadline Late Registration (+ fee)
June 6 May 8 May 27


Register here:

  • Eldorado CEEB High School Code: 320009 (you'll need this to register)
  • SAT is always given on a Saturday morning.
  • NOTE: Eldorado is NOT a testing center for the SAT; when you register online, you will be prompted to select from several schools in ABQ that offer the test.
  • What to bring: SAT admission ticket (you'll print from website once you register), photo ID, calculator, #2 pencils with erasers, pencil sharpener (if you like)
  • Cost: $49.50/$64.50 with optional essay (see section below)
  • 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!): $18
  • Change fee (to change test date or center): $30
  • Waitlist fee (for absolute last-minute registration): $53

SAT Writing Section: What you need to know

The SAT writing section/essay is optional. Check with the college(s) of your choice to see if it is required. When in doubt, err on the side of signing up for and taking the essay portion.  Adds $15 to the cost of the test, bringing it to $64.50.  Helpful essay information here.

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject tests are given on (almost all) the same dates as the regular SAT (see section above). These 1-hour exams are required/strongly suggested by certain selective colleges and universities. Information 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, see 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 do NOT count toward late registration fees.

Good article re: ACT & SAT tests

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 their counselor 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!