top of page
  • Writer's pictureAthlete +

SAT, ACT & TOEFL Exams - All You Need to Know

Updated: 6 days ago

SAT, ACT and TOEFL


are standardized tests that measure skills in many different academic aspects. They are required by many U.S. colleges and universities as well as different athletic organizations such as NCAA and NAIA, for admission of international undergraduate students who have not been educated in English-speaking countries.

It is important for student-athletes to take these exams prior to arriving at their university of choice as they can be waived if the scores meet minimum requirements set by the institution.

One of the most important parts of being an international student-athlete is making sure that you have taken the correct standardized test. The SAT, ACT and TOEFL are all important for college applicants, but each test has its own purpose and its own expectations.




What is SAT?


The SAT is a standardized test that assesses the reading, writing and mathematics skills of high school students. The SAT is used for college admissions in the United States. It is created and administered by the College Board, a non-profit organization, and was first introduced in 1926.


When can I take the SAT?


The SAT is currently administered multiple times per year: You can check out available dates, deadlines and locations at the official SAT website


What skills are being tested on SAT?


The exam consists of three sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.


How much does SAT cost?


The test charges a fee of $49.50. If you want to take the essay part of the test, to register, you’ll need to pay a total fee of $64.50. There are additional fees for registering late, getting on a waitlist, or changing your test location or date. International test-takers must pay an international registration fee in addition to the regular SAT fee. For example, if you’re from Europe, you need to pay $49.50 for the SAT and $47 as a regional fee.


How to prepare for SAT?


The SAT is an important test for college students. If you are planning to take the SAT, there are many ways to prepare for it. College Board, the creator of the SAT, recommends these five: starting early, studying for free on Khan Academy®, taking at least one full-length practice test, paying attention in your high school classes and knowing what to expect on test day.

A new test prep program from Khan Academy and the College Board will help you get ready for the SAT. It’s called Official SAT Practice, and it’s based on your PSAT/NMSQT® or past SAT scores, as well as your upcoming test date. The program creates a study plan and guide just for you—and we recommend spending at least 20 hours preparing. Make sure you reserve enough time to take at least one full-length practice test (about 4 hours if you practice the essay as well) and give yourself time to review any concepts that are giving you trouble.


How is SAT scored?


Your total score is a number between 400 and 1600. The total score is the sum of your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math section scores, so each of those is a number between 200 and 800.


How can you send your SAT scores?


When you register for the SAT, you can choose up to four colleges to receive your scores at no cost. After you have taken the test, you can send scores to more colleges for a fee. If you’re applying to college, it’s important to understand the score-use policies of each school. Some schools require all your scores from every test. Others will accept only your best combined score from a single test date. The easiest path is to send all of your scores to all of your colleges.


What scores do I need to be eligible for NCAA and NAIA?


The North American Intercollegiate Athletics Association recently announced that incoming freshmen can now become NAIA eligible without a test score or class rank – provided they meet the following minimum GPA, which has shifted from a previous set of rules: 2.3 GPA for recent graduates, 2.8 GPA for students who have completed their 7th semester and 3.3 GPA for students who have completed their junior year. Students who do not meet the 2.3 minimum GPA requirement upon graduation may still become eligible to compete at an NAIA school by achieving 970 SAT score.

The NCAA Division 1 and 2 scholarship minimum SAT score is 400. The Eligibility Center uses only the math and critical reading sections of the SATs when determining eligibility. If you have a combined score of 800, for example, your GPA must be 3.55 or higher. The Eligibility Center uses a sliding scale to determine academic eligibility for athletes: every .025 points your GPA decreases, you need to score 10 points higher on the exam. For instance, if you had a 2.55 GPA you would need a combined score of 800 points



ACT – All you need to know

The ACT, just like SAT, is also a standardized test but it measures students’ knowledge in four different areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. The ACT is a another widely used test for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1959 by the American College Testing Program (now called ACT).

The ACT consists of four multiple choice tests: English, math, reading and science. There are two optional writing tests: English and math. Two composite scores are produced based on student’s performance on these tests: an English-writing score and a mathematics-reading score. Students also receive an average composite score based on all four individual subject scores.


How to register for ACT?


You can register for the exam in two ways: online or by mail. If you’re over 13, then online is definitely the way to go—it’s much faster and more efficient. If you’re under 13 or don’t want to pay by credit card, then you’ll have to register via post. The general cost of taking the exam without the writing section is $36.50 per session; with the writing section, it costs $52.50 per session.


What’s ACT consisted of?


The ACT is composed of four different sections, as well as one optional writing section. Some schools recommend taking this optional writing section, while others do not. Whether you should or not depends on the school you are applying to and what kind of programs you are applying for. It is essential to research the schools you are interested in and understand the requirements before signing up for the ACT. When in doubt, however, it might be best just to take the writing portion of the exam, as it only adds 30 minutes to the clock. Unlike the SAT exam, the ACT has a science section, which requires additional preparation, of course. That being said, however, all the information provided in the questions is sufficient and drawing on outside knowledge is by no means necessary.


How to prepare for ACT exam?


If you’re planning to take the ACT exam, you’ll need to be prepared. The best way to prepare for the ACT is to pick a date at least three months prior to ensure that you get adequate time to study and revise the concepts. Before starting your preparation for the ACT exam, make sure that you know the test pattern and are acquainted with the complete syllabus. It is imperative for students to understand the topics covered under each of the subjects well before taking the final exam.

The ACT test is based on high-school knowledge you have gained along your schooling years. Therefore, make sure to refer to your old school notes. Your old school notes will help you revise the concepts quickly and speed up your ACT preparation journey. So, make sure to go back to the notes instead of relearning from other sources.


How is ACT scored?


Each section of the test has its own scaled score between 1 and 36, which is converted from your raw score. Your raw score is simply the total number of questions you answer correctly in each section. There is no point deduction for wrong answers on the ACT. The first thing to understand about ACT scores is that the score you get for each subject area, between 1 and 36, is a scaled score. That scaled score is converted from your raw score. The reason the ACT (as well as other standardized tests) uses scaled scores is to make sure their scores are consistent across multiple test dates. In other words, they have to make sure a 28 on an April ACT represents the same level of skill as a 28 on a June ACT.



TOEFL – All you need to know


TOEFL is an English-language proficiency test that has been developed by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and administered by universities to evaluate whether an international student has the necessary language skills to succeed academically at their institutions. The TOEFL exam is a standardized test that tests English language proficiency. The test is accepted by many universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning around the world. The TOEFL is also used as an admissions requirement for students who are not native speakers of English and want to enroll in a degree program in the United States, Canada, Australia or Great Britain.


What’s tested on TOEFL exam?


The exam consists of four sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each section contains different types of questions designed to measure your ability in each skill area. There are four sections on the TOEFL exam: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

The Reading section (60-100 minutes long) assesses your ability to understand and analyze written texts on topics like science and academic discussions.

The Listening section (60-90 minutes long) makes sure you can understand information given to you orally—for example, when you listen to a lecture or speak to a professor at university. This section has four to six lectures and questions that test your understanding of the content, as well as your understanding of the motivations and emotions of speakers.

The Speaking section (20 minutes) consists of six tasks that you complete by talking into a microphone during the test. It is meant to measure how well you can express your thoughts and ideas in English.

And finally, the Writing section (50 minutes) is all about demonstrating how you can use your English in writing. Here, you will apply your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and form clear sentences and paragraphs.


How is TOEFL scored?


Each section has a maximum score of 30, so the maximum TOEFL score overall is 120. This means that 120 is a perfect score.


How to prepare for TOEFL?


If you’re planning on taking the TOEFL test, you’ll need to know how to study. The TOEFL test is designed to measure the English skills of non-English speaking people by testing their writing, reading, listening, and speaking abilities. It’s a good idea to create a study plan that will help you get ready for the test. Decide what your goal result is and identify what you need to do to get there. Then divide the work according to the time you have between now and test day. Taking your preparation online is a good place to start. You don’t have to spend your time revising for the TOEFL by only doing TOEFL-specific activities. After all, this is a test that gauges your real-world English, not just your grammatical accuracy. By exposing yourself to everyday English, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of “passive learning.” Try reading novels or comic books, watching YouTube videos and movies, and even listening to songs. It’s not only entertaining, but you’ll accidentally learn a lot too.

In order to be a successful student athlete, it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to meet the academic requirements of your school. Coaches want to know that you won’t struggle through school and that your grades are high enough. Getting good test scores as well as maintaining a high GPA will be a great starting point.

However, the entire academic process can be difficult for international students as every country uses a different education and grading system. Athlete Plus team is available to you, every step of the way. If you run into any sort of struggle during your student-athlete journey make sure to contact us today!

3 views
bottom of page