Are acronyms your forte? Whether it's the SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT, TOEFL or beyond, we've put together this handy guide to the acronyms littering the testing landscape:
SAT: Although many universities are now "test optional", almost all US universities and most UK and European universities will accept SAT scores as part of the admissions process. The SAT, consisting of an English section, a Math section, and an optional Essay section, is usually taken in 11th and/or 12th grade. The top score on the English and Math sections is 800, for a maximum total score of 1600; the essay is graded on a separate scale.
ACT: All U.S. colleges requiring standardized test scores also accept the ACT which, in contrast to the SAT, includes a Science Reasoning section. Each of the four sections on the ACT - English, Math, Reading and Science - have a maximum score of 36. The total ACT score is a straight average of the four sections. The optional writing section is graded on a separate scale.
SAT Subject Tests: 20 multiple-choice, one-hour tests in individual subjects; students submit test results of their choosing to enhance application credentials (not required by all schools)
PSAT: Preliminary SAT — given once a year in October to grade 11 students. PSAT 10 offered to grade 10 students. Scores of 11th graders in US high schools are used to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. International students are not eligible for National Merit Scholarships.
SSAT / ISEE: Secondary School Admission Test / Independent School Entrance Exam is often required for students in grades 5-7 (Lower Level) and 8-11 (Upper Level) applying to private high schools.
GRE: Graduate Record Examination is an admissions test for graduate school entrance.
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language evaluates proficiency in American-English in an academic setting.
IELTS: This is the acronym for the International English Language Testing System. Offered in connection with the British Council, a strong score on the IELTS Academic version of the test is commonly accepted by UK universities as proof of British-English literacy and fluency.
Cambridge ESOL Examinations: English for Speakers of Other Languages exams serve as evidence of British-English proficiency.