College Prep

Standardized Tests

St. Catherine of Siena Academy provides students with various standardized tests to help prepare each student for college admissions tests. All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors take the PSAT. By taking the PSAT as a freshman and a sophomore, it helps the student prepare for her junior year when the PSAT counts toward qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

2023 Standardized Test Dates

SCA will no longer offer the SAT Suite of Assessment to juniors. We will continue to offer the PSAT 9 to freshmen and the PSAT/NMSQT to sophomores and juniors. SCA’s scheduled PSAT testing day is October 12, 2022. In addition to offering the PSAT, SCA will offer the Pre-ACT to sophomores.  

Comparing the ACT and SAT

Things to keep in mind about the SAT and ACT

The  SAT and ACT  generally cover the same topics. Both the ACT and SAT are nationally recognized standardized tests. Most colleges do not prefer one test over the other. Neither the SAT or ACT is harder than the other. Some students do better on one test over the other. This may not be the case for other students.

The best way to decide if taking the SAT, ACT, or both tests is right for you is to take a timed full-length practice test  of each type. SCA will offer juniors the opportunity to take both the PSAT on October 13 and Pre-ACT on October 20. Since the content and style of the SAT and ACT are similar, factors like how students handle time pressure and what types of questions students find most challenging can help juniors determine which test is a better fit.

Here is a brief comparison between the ACT and SAT standardized tests (from The Princeton Review):

Compare the ACT and SAT

Test Day Helpful Tips

  • It is important for your daughter to get a good night’s sleep and to eat breakfast on test day.
  • Read all the answer choices before marking the answer sheet.
  • Use the test book for scratch work.
  • Work steadily — don’t waste time on hard questions. Come back to them after answering all the easier questions.
  • Check the answer sheet regularly to make sure you’re in the right place.

Students will need to bring the following on test day:

  • At least 2 sharpened number two pencils (mechanical pencils or pens are not permitted)
  • A water bottle
  • A calculator IS allowed for Section 4: Math with Calculator only

Items students should leave at home or in their locker:
If brought, STARS will be required to turn them in before entering the testing room.

  • Cell Phones
  • Smart Watches, fitness bands
  • All electronic device-iPod, iPad, etc.

Other Standardized Testing Information

STARS are given a PSAT practice. Tenth and eleventh-grade Mathematics and English teachers will be reviewing some of the PSAT questions during your daughter’s class within the next few weeks.

The PSAT has two purposes, to prepare students to take the SAT and to qualify juniors for the National Merit and other scholarships. Students can prepare by going to the College Board website ( Practice tests and sample questions are available. CollegeBoard and Khan Academy also have many tips and helpful suggestions for preparing for the PSAT and SAT.

  • Sophomores and Juniors will need to be in the classroom by 7:45 am and testing will end at approximately 11:00 am.
  • Students that can drive will be able to go home after dismissal.
  • Sophomores and juniors that will need to wait for parent pick up will be dismissed to the dining hall.

Inside the PSAT 9

SCA’s School Code is 233789

College Entrance Exams

Your guide to college entrance exams.


SAT Official Practice for Free (Khan Academy)

SAT Tests – including practice SAT questions

SAT Test Dates and Centers


ACT Tests

ACT Test Dates and Centers

ACT Test Preparation

ACT College Planning Checklist