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College Exams

Statement from DVHS Counselors regarding in person SAT/ACT test:

SRVUSD will host the SAT in person in October. While our students have this option, others across the country and around the world will not. Because of this, admissions from more than three quarters of US colleges (including some of the most highly selective ones) have gone test optional for admissions for fall, 2021. See

“Does test optional really mean test optional?” The answer, simply put, is: YES.

The colleges care about equity and not all students have access to these exams. It is because of this that test-optional institutions are making the point that they will not need test scores to make admission decisions this year

In a statement from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) they say, “colleges with test-optional policies in place affirm that they will not penalize students for the absence of a standardized test score. Together, we strongly endorse a student-centered, holistic approach to admission that will not disadvantage any student without a test score.”

In addition, the University of California announced they will no longer be considering the SAT or ACT for admissions. Please speak with your counselor if you have questions about taking these tests.

Why are there so many exams?

College Entrance Exams Presentation- Click Here

PSAT/NMSQT(Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test):

The preliminary/practice SAT is administered nationally in October. Students become familiar with the type of questions found on the SAT. Junior year scores can qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Registration is done through DVHS. It is highly recommended that juniors take this test to see what areas they should focus on when studying for the SAT.  Visit for more details.


A preliminary/practice ACT administered to sophomores at many high schools. In addition to measuring academic achievement, a career component is included. Registration is at the high school. Currently, DVHS does not offer the PreACT. Visit for more details.

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test):

A college admissions test required by many colleges and universities as part of the college admissions process. This is a 3 hour, 45 minute test that measures critical reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Register online and visit to practice to access a free practice test and sample questions. 

SAT Subject Test (subject-based tests in history, literature, mathematics, science, and languages):

Some colleges and universities require these tests for admission; be sure to check each school's requirements. Each test is one hour long. Register online and visit College Board SAT Subject Test website to access test preparation advice.

ACT (American College Test):

A college admissions test required by many colleges and universities as part of the college admissions process. It is a three-hour test comprised of four parts: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. An optional writing test has been added for those students applying to the University of California and some other colleges and universities. Registration information and materials are available in the Counseling Department or College and Career Center. Visit for more details and to register online.

AP (Advanced Placement):

Advanced Placement exams are given in May. Scoring a 3, 4, or 5 (out of 5) will often enable a student to receive college units of credit upon matriculation to a college or university. Pick up the Advanced Placement Bulletin from the Counseling Department or in the College and Career Center for more information about the tests and college credit policies. Register for these tests on the DVHS Webstore.

Testing Timeline

SAT/ACT Test Dates