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Written By: Scott Webster - ACT/SAT Director

ACT/SAT Registration and Score Submission Strategy

So you are planning to take the SAT; maybe you are planning to take the ACT. Are you unsure how to register? Are you worried that you won’t do as well as hoped? Are you confused about how schools will see your scores? Rest assured, here’s a foolproof plan to ACT/SAT registration and score submission!

Phase 1: Registration

  1. Register – First things first: you have to sign up! To register for the ACT, go to the ACT registration portal; similarly, to register for the SAT, go to the CollegeBoard SAT registration portal.
  2. Account Creation – Next, you have to make sure you have an account. It is likely you already have a CollegeBoard account, as you need one in order to view your PSAT scores online, but it is unlikely that you have an ACT account. The landing pages above will prompt you to either login or create your account.
  3. Survey questions – Once logged in, you will then be bombarded by a seemingly endless wave of survey questions. You can skip the majority of these! Only answer what is required and save yourself a lot of time.
  4. Test Date and Type – You will eventually be prompted to determine your Test Date and Test Type (with or without Writing). Select your target test date, test type, and proceed. You may wish to, if available, choose to receive ACT Test Information Release or SAT Question and Answer Service for an additional fee. We do not recommend any of the other services offered.
  5. College Choices – You will then be prompted to, if desired, to send scores to schools of your choice. DO NOT do this! You will have no opportunity to see your scores before they are sent to those schools. Better to keep your cards close to your chest. We advise holding your scores and submitting later.
  6. Test Location – You will be provided a list of test center options for your test date. Remember there are limited seats, so register early!
  7. Confirm Details and Pay!


Phase 2: Prep, Test, and Wait

Fairly self explanatory here. You should be preparing for your target test date weeks in advance. Finally, the official test will come and pass. Whew! Then it’s time to wait. Scores are projected to be released 10 days later, so take a deep breath of relief, enjoy a respite, and check your email a week or so later for notification of score release.


Phase 3: Review scores, assess your game plan, and send scores

The reckoning is here! You now have a score report and details in hand, so be sure you understand what all the metrics mean. Speak with your guidance counselor, talk to your tutors, or revisit your college list to see how you stack up. If you are at or above the 50th percentile for most of your schools, great! If not, it’s time to evaluate your next steps. Look ahead at the testing calendar to determine if and when you’ll take the test again. Determine if you need some help to bring your scores up by speaking with your counselor or with a test prep outfit. Circle back to Phase 1 and 2 and repeat as necessary.

Finally, once the dust has settled and application deadlines loom, you can send those scores! By this time you hopefully have at least two official test scores. You can decide if you want to send one, both, or none of the above (if you are looking at test optional schools). Keep in mind superscoring mechanisms for the SAT and ACT, which means admissions will take your highest section scores from across all tests (ACT does not officially do this, so only a handful of schools participate in it). Go back to your student portal for Collegeboard or ACT, login, and send those scores.  There will be a fee for each score submission, so carefully consider to which schools these scores will go.

And that wraps it up. You can now forever close the book on test prep and the SAT/ACT.

If you have more questions about the college admissions process or test preparation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Clayborne!  We are here to help.

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