NCSSM CEEB Code: 341077

SAT Site Code: 34294

ACT Site Code: 228150

NCSSM is registered as a SAT test site for August 29 and November 7. If you would like to test at NCSSM, you will need to register according to your Cohort Group, as your test date must correspond with the date you will be on campus. Specifically, you may decide to take the SAT on August 29 if you are assigned to Cohort A or you can take the SAT on November 7 if you are assigned to Cohort B. NCSSM will release group information later this month, which will give you time to register. Students interested in taking the SAT can register through the College Board website. Make sure that you have listed NCSSM as the high school you attend in your College Board account due to the fact that only NCSSM residential students are able to test at our site.

Currently, NCSSM is not registered as an ACT test site for the upcoming academic year. If you would like to take the ACT, please visit the ACT website so that you can register to take a test while you are living at home.

Many colleges and universities have made the decision to be test optional for the upcoming school year. Please visit the admissions websites of the schools to which you are considering for the most up-to-date information.

Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take?

It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. In lieu of a crystal ball, we created The Princeton Review StartUp designed to help you explore both tests.


To help you zero in on the right test, here are seven key features of the ACT and the New SAT:

1. ACT questions tend to be more straightforward.

On the SAT, you may need to spend time figuring out what you're being asked before you can start solving the problem.

2. The SAT has a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.

If you're an ardent wordsmith, you'll love the SAT. If words aren't your thing, you may do better on the ACT

3. The ACT has a Science section, while the SAT does not.

The ACT science section is meant to test your reading and reasoning skills based upon a set of data or conflicting viewpoints. But if you're a true science-phobe, the SAT might be a better fit.

4. Both tests now have the same advanced math concepts.

You can expect questions in arithmetic, algebra I & II, geometry and trigonometry.

5. Both essays are optional.

You have 50 minutes to complete the essay on the SAT and 40 minutes to complete it on the ACT.

6. Although both essays are optional...

The SAT essay is more comprehension focused while the ACT wants to see how well you can evaluate and take a position on complex issues.

7. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36 and the SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600.

Three points on the SAT isn’t a big deal, but three points on the ACT could be the difference between your target school and your dream school.


When to Take SAT/ACT

  • Check the SAT/ACT requirements and/or suggestions made by the schools to which you may apply.

  • Check the average SAT/ACT scores of admitted students for the schools to which you may apply.

  • Prepare for the SAT/ACT by using Test Prep in Naviance and Khan Academy.

  • As a junior, you may ​need to take the SAT and ACT once during your junior year, to see on which test you perform better.

  • Typically the spring of their junior year is a good time to take the SAT or ACT. (If you are satisfied with a score on the SAT or ACT, you may not need to take the other test.​)

  • The great thing about NCSSM letting out in the last weekend in May is that students can take either or both tests in June. Then they will have all final exams and any AP exams completed and can turn their focus to those tests.

  • As a junior, you may need to take Subject Tests to be ready for early applications during your senior year. If so, take the tests as near to the completion of the class of the Subject Test's content as possible. May or June are usually the best times. If they do, most colleges prefer that you take the Math Level 2 in addition to whatever subject you are most knowledgeable about.

  • As a senior, if you have taken the Subject Tests and are pleased with your Subject Tests scores, then you are fine.

  • As a senior, if you need to take the Subject Tests, then be sure to do so to meet your application deadlines.

  • As a senior, if you want better scores than those from your junior year tests, then register for the tests that you need, making sure to have a plan that meets your applications deadlines.

  • If you think that you would like to test again, both the SAT/ACT will be offered again in August, another good time to take the tests after a summer full of preparation ;-) The SAT October test date is typically the last date colleges will accept if you are applying for Early Action or Early Decision.

  • Check the median scores of the colleges to which you plan to apply to see if your scores fall within the range. You can find this information on Naviance or the colleges’ admissions websites.

Prepare for SAT/ACT

Register to take SAT/ACT