Counseling Department » College and Career Assessments

College and Career Assessments


ASVAB is offered to all Seniors this year in November.

Seniors are given the opportunity to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery).  This assessment gives a good picture to students of their strengths in regards to identifying career clusters.  Students do not have to be military bound to take the assessment. If students are military bound, the results are used by recruiters and students to help identify the best path for students to serve.

Students in Career and Technical Educations courses both at CHS and EVIT will take industry specific assessments that qualify them for employment.


The following information is a guideline on when you should take specific tests:

Grade 10 Testing

The PSAT is being offered to all Sophomores in October.

In grade ten, students will take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) as a practice test for the  SAT in their Junior year. PSAT scores will not be used by any college for admission purposes. Students can use PSAT information to log into My College QuickStart; See correct answers and explanations, see which AP courses you may be ready for now and search for colleges and career tracks.

Students also take the placement test for Central Arizona College.  These scores give students an idea of strengths and growth areas as they begin to prepare for post-secondary education.

Grade 11 Testing

Students in eleventh grade who scored in the 90 percentile should take the PSAT in October of their junior year. Scores on this test enter students into the National Merit Scholarship program.  These scores have validity in predicting the scores on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), and taking the test is good practice for taking college entrance examinations. In the Spring of the eleventh grade, students should also take the SAT and/or ACT. Generally, colleges use the highest total score on any one test. Therefore, students can take it as many times as they wish, provided they have the time and resources to do so.

Grade 12 Testing

All college bound students should take the ACT and/or SAT if they have not taken them their junior year. They take them as many times as they feel they need to in order to achieve the highest possible scores. Students should make sure to schedule their test dates in time to meet the application deadlines of the colleges where they are applying.

AP Exams

All students who take an AP course at CHS are eligible to take the AP Exam for that course.  AP Exams are scheduled during the month of May.

Testing Practice

Check out   My College QuickStart allows you to practice for the SAT and explore colleges and majors.  Students will need the My College QuickStart access code printed on their PSAT paper score reports.

Testing Waivers

Both SAT and ACT offer waivers for students that are on the Free/Reduced Lunch Program.  If you are signing up for a SAT or ACT exam and you qualify, please come to your counselor’s office to get a waiver.  Please remember that we do need to verify your participation in the program, so make sure your parents have filed the proper forms with the district prior to visiting your counselor.


Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take?

It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. In lieu of a crystal ball, we created The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.

To help you zero in on the right exam, here are seven key differences:

The SAT has a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.

If you're an ardent wordsmith, you'll love the SAT. If words aren't your thing, you may do better on the ACT.

The SAT is broken up into more sections.

On the ACT, you tackle each content area (English, Math, Reading and Science) in one big chunk, with the optional writing test at the end. On the SAT, the content areas (Critical Reading, Math and Writing) are broken up into 10 sections, with the required essay at the beginning. You do a little math, a little writing, a little critical reading, a little more math, etc. When choosing between the SAT and ACT, ask yourself if moving back and forth between content areas confuse you or keep you energized?

ACT questions tend to be more straightforward.

ACT questions are often easier to understand on a first read. On the SAT, you may need to spend time figuring out what you're being asked before you can start solving the problem. For example, here are sample questions from the SAT essay and the ACT writing test (their name for the essay):

SAT: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value?

ACT: In your view, should high schools become more tolerant of cheating?

The ACT has a Science section, while the SAT does not.

You don't need to know anything about amoebas or chemical reactions for the ACT Science section. It is meant to test your reading and reasoning skills based upon a given set of facts. But if you're a true science-phobe, the SAT might be a better fit.

The ACT tests more advanced math concepts.

In addition to basic arithmetic, algebra I and II, and geometry, the ACT tests your knowledge of trigonometry, too. That said, the ACT Math section is not necessarily harder, since many students find the questions to be more straightforward than those on the SAT.

The ACT Writing Test is optional on test day, but required by many schools.

The 25-minute SAT essay is required and is factored into your writing score. The 30-minute ACT writing test is optional. If you choose to take it, it is not included in your composite score — schools will see it listed separately. Many colleges require the writing section of the ACT, so be sure to check with the schools where you are applying before opting out.

The ACT is more of a "big picture" exam.


SAT Scores

SAT scores are reported on a scale from 200-800, with additional sub-scores reported for the essay (ranging from 2-12) and for multiple-choice writing questions (on a 20-80 scale). Your scores tell college admissions staff how you did compared with other students who took the test. For example, if you scored close to the mean or average — about 500 on SAT critical reading and 500 on SAT mathematics — admissions staff would know that you scored as well as about half of the students who took the test nationally.

ACT Scores

(Based on ACT-tested high school graduates from 2012, 2013, and 2014 and reported on score reports during 2014–2015)

Find one of your subject area scores or Composite score in the far left column. Read across to the column for that subject area to locate the national rank for that score.

For example, the national rank for a Composite score of 22 is 62. This means 62 percent of recent high school graduates who took the ACT achieved a Composite score of 22 or below. ​

Non-college Bound Students:
It is suggested that all students take the SAT and ACT even if they do not plan to attend college immediately after graduation.  They may be going into the military, on a mission or into the workforce.  If they want to go to college in the future, they will need the scores.  Generally, students will score better while in school than several months or years after graduation.