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Meet 5-Requirements and Deadlines

Meeting Requirements and Deadlines

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You’ve no doubt been beaten over the head by your teachers and counselors about what you need to do to complete high school, but anything worth knowing bears repeating. This section will also outline what you need in terms of SATs and ACTs and whatever other TLAs* you need.

High School Graduation Requirements

At the most basic, these are what you need to graduate High School:

  • Three years of English
  • Two years of Mathematics (including Algebra I)
  • Three years of Social Science
    • This includes US History and Geography; World History; Culture and Geography; a semester of American Government; and a semester of Economics
  • Two years of Sciences
    • Both Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Two years Physical Education
  • One year of a Foreign Language or Visual and Performing Arts


A-G Requirements

Very similar to whats above. These are the courses you need to take to actually get in to college. The above are the bare minimum to get your differ

  • Mathematics-Three years instead of two. (Four are recommended)
    • Includes Algebra I & II, and Geometry
  • Science-Recommended three years
    • Third year should be a laboratory course from something like Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
  • Foreign Language– Two years (Three is better)
    • More and more, colleges want students with foreign language skills. Proficiency in this area reflects very favorably on you during selection.
  • College Preparatory Electives– One year 
    • These include any class that is taken in addition to the required A-F requirements. For instance taking an advanced Math class, or an honors Science Lab.

Testing Requirments

You’ve probably known about the SATs for most of your life. The Scholastic Aptitude Test is a very long and laborious test used to standardize your expected capacity for academic achievement. To be real with you, the test is flawed, inexact, and biased, but everyone uses it so it’s a hurdle that you must overcome. It is by no means the determining factor of your application and it is in no way a measure of your intelligence. Anyone who tells you a low score means you’re stupid, or a high score means you’re a genius is far closer to the former than the latter.

The SATs and ACTs

The most common test, which I am sure most of you have heard of, is the SAT or the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SAT I is a standardized test that is used by colleges all over the country as a tool in evaluating a student’s during the admissions process. This test based on critical thinking and problem solving abilities in the areas of reading, mathematics and writing. There are also SAT II or the subject tests, which may be taken by students in various disciplines. If you’re currently considering majoring within the sciences it would be a good idea to look into the requirements and recommendations for that major because this could help to set you apart form other students within your discipline. The ACT is a subject-based test, more so than the SAT I, with 5 different subject focuses English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test.

In order to take the SAT, SAT II and/or the ACT you must pay a registration fee. Now I know what you’re thinking, I don’t want to pay, college is expensive enough but there is always the possibility of a fee waiver.

  • SAT I Registration Fee: Regular $49; Late $75
  • SAT II Registration Fee: Basic $20 + $22 for Language/Listening tests and $11 for all others; Totaling $42 for Language/Listening and $31 for all others
  • ACT Registration Fee: Without Writing $34; With Writing $49.50; Late + $21

Each school will have different expectations as far as the SAT and ACT scores are concerned but a good rule of thumb is that if you are close to the national average you are likely to be accepted. The national average for the SAT is around 1500 and for the ACT is between 20-21.

Testing Dates

Check sat.collegeboard.org for registration and test dates

2013 Upcoming Testing Dates, Registration deadlines and late registration deadlines (for added fee)
  • March 9
  • May 4
  • Jun 1
2012-2013 Testing Dates, Registrations deadlines and late registration deadlines (for added fee)

Check out Collegeboard.org’s SAT pagefor test dates