ACT, SAT, PSAT, and ASVAB Descriptions

When considering post-secondary education plans, students will want to take one (or more) of the examinations listed below. These examinations can be used in decisions concerning college admissions, career planning, placement in college courses, and/or eligibility for scholarships. 

• ACT—The ACT is an achievement-based test that measures the skills & knowledge developed while taking high school courses. Scores are reported by subject area (English, Reading, Math, and Science) and as a composite score. There is an optional writing section that some schools may require for admission—be sure to review admissions requirements of the schools you are interested in attending to see if you should take the optional writing section of the ACT. The Mississippi Legislature pays for every junior to take the ACT in the spring. However, many students choose to take the ACT multiple times to ensure they score as high as possible to increase scholarship opportunities.

 • SAT— The SAT is a predictive-aptitude college admission test that lets students show what they know and how well they can apply their knowledge. Although most schools in Mississippi primarily use the ACT, both the SAT and ACT are accepted at all colleges and universities throughout the United States. It may be worth your time to take a practice test and compare your scores to see which assessment works best with your preferences. 

• PSAT/NMSQT—The PSAT/NMSQT is a practice test for the SAT and is used to determine National Merit and National Achievement scholarship recipients. It is usually given in October to sophomores and juniors in honors classes. National Merit and National Achievement eligibility is available to juniors taking the assessment. Sophomores should use this opportunity to familiarize themselves with the testing format and prepare to take it for scholarship eligibility the following school year. 

• ASVAB— The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military.
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