University Guidance

SAT / ACT Testing

Balmoral Hall School is an ACT and SAT Testing Centre.

The SAT and the ACT are two standardized tests that are used as indicators of readiness for attending universities or colleges in the United States. The “SAT” (Scholastic Assessment Test) refers to two tests: the standardized comprehensive test and the SAT Subject Test. The College Board of Princeton, New Jersey administers both tests.

Both SAT and ACT are widely accepted across the country. Always check the specific requirements of the university you wish to apply.

Generally speaking, the SAT tests critical thinking and problem solving and the ACT is a content-based test. Success on one test over the other depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the student as a test-taker. Balmoral Hall prepares our students by pre-testing both tests. We recommend students begin by taking both tests, then we help students to prepare for the test most suitable for them.

SAT Testing

The SAT tests students’ knowledge of subjects that are necessary for college success: reading, writing, and mathematics. The SAT assesses the critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college.

The Redesigned SAT (implemented January, 2016) includes math, evidence-based reading and writing and an optional essay. Reading passages will include historical and/or scientific references and include graphs and/or charts. It tells students how well they use the skills and knowledge they have attained in and outside of the classroom—including how they think, solve problems, and communicate.

Many selective schools also require two subject tests. SAT Subject Tests are an hour long and consist entirely of multiple-choice questions focused on a particular subject.

You may take the SAT as many times as you want but students cannot write the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same day. However, as many as three SAT Subject tests may be written on the same day.

Scores from individual sections (reading, writing, and mathematics) can be submitted from the test date at which the student scored the highest in that section.

ACT Testing

The ACT has 4 tests: English, Reading, Math and Science, as well as an optional 30 minute written essay. Some schools may require the essay, so be sure to ask before you take the test. The ACT plus writing is often allowable in place of the two SAT Subject tests.

As a curriculum-based test, the ACT test is considered more straight-forward than the SAT. The ACT has a science section as well as a section of more advanced math concepts.

You may take the ACT several times. Although the individual section scores provide detail about your performance in that area, the composite score is the most valuable for university/college decisions.

SAT / ACT Test Preparation

Students usually write their first standardized test in their grade 11 year, either in the fall or January. Prior to, grade 11 students may attend scheduled small group workshops covering all aspects of the SAT and ACT. The workshops are held outside of school hours. For students who have an initial SAT/ACT score, individual resource attention is provided to determine ongoing practice and scheduled tutorial needs.

Depending on the score range, students may decide to retake the either test 2 or 3 times in an attempt to improve their scores. Students should research their universities of choice to determine the score range that is expected.

Small Group Instruction

  • Overview of standardized testing - used with those students who may be trying to decide between taking the SAT or the ACT.
  • Recommended for students in grade 10 & the start of grade 11, just beginning to work on standardized testing skills and strategies
  • Overview of the three sections of standardized testing -Writing, Critical Reading, Mathematics-general strategies
  • Focus is also on standardized testing vocabulary development
  • Usually held outside of school hours

Individual Preparation

  • Pre-ACT scores are reviewed (grade10)
  • PSAT (SAT pre-test) scores are reviewed (grade 11)
  • SAT and ACT scores are analyzed and emphasis for ongoing preparation is determined
  • Students meet individually with the Learning Coordinator on a regular basis to practice strategies.
  • Priority is for students in grade 11 and 12.

Balmoral Hall School

Our mission at Balmoral Hall School is to inspire girls' imagination and the courage to excel, to reach, to lead, to care.

We are an independent day and boarding school, offering an exceptional all-girls education from child care, starting at age 2, to Grade 12.