Standardized Testing 101

Standardized tests are an important part of the college admissions process. Not only are they important for general admission, but many colleges and universities use them for scholarship consideration. As you prepare to take these exams, here is some helpful information and tips to set you up for success.



What standardized tests does Grove City College accept?

We accept the SAT, ACT or CLT. We do not prefer one over another. One feature to note with Grove City College’s admissions process: we super-score standardized tests. This means that if you take one test multiple times, we will take the best score for each section (i.e. critical reading, math, etc.) and combine them into your super-score – the best possible score you received. This is not a guaranteed practice with every college or university, so be sure to clarify with the admissions office from other colleges.


How are standardized test scores weighed into the admissions decision?

At Grove City College, we review applications holistically. For more information on our application review process, read this post. That being said, a strong test score on its own, while a benefit to your application, is not sufficient for admission: we also want to see strength in other areas (i.e., curriculum) of your application as well.

Other colleges or universities may place more primacy on the raw test score number and raw GPA. Be sure to check with other colleges!


What is your best advice for improving standardized test scores?

Practice, practice, practice. Like anything, improvement will come from honing in on the areas you can grow in and correcting common errors. Many sites, like Princeton Review, offer free SAT or ACT mock-tests, which give you an opportunity to simulate a test day with the space, timing, and test formats. In addition to online or in-person classes you can take to focus on test preparation, you can also consider borrowing a test prep book from your local library to do practice tests.

We have found that sometimes a student will connect with one test format more than another. So if you have been taking one format continually and have not been getting the results you want, try another! See here for an SAT-ACT-CLT comparison chart, so you can evaluate apples and oranges.

Yes, standardized test scores are an important part of the college admissions process. But they’re not everything! Work hard to prepare for them and do your best, but know that they are by no means a complete picture of your intellectual capacity or the value you will bring to a college campus. Don’t let your scores define you. God has great plans to use the gifts and passions he’s blessed you with – this you can be certain of!

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