Most colleges require that you take an entrance exam. Check with the colleges you are interested in attending to find out which exams are necessary. A number of colleges do not require the SAT or ACT as a component of admission. Please refer to to find these colleges.

Should you take the new SAT, the ACT, or both? Take this quiz




August 24

October 15

November 2

December 7

March 14

May 2

June 6

September 14

October 26

December 14

February 8

April 4

June 13

July 18






Why Take It Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships
Test Structure


Writing & Language


Essay (Optional)




Science Reasoning

Essay (Optional)


3 hours (without essay)

3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)

2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)

3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)

Reading 5 reading passages 4 reading passages
Science None 1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)



Algebra I & II

Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis



Algebra I & II

Geometry and Trigonometry

Calculator Policy Some math questions don't allow you to use a calculator You can use a calculator on all math questions
Essays Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text. Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.
How It's Scored Scored on a scale of 400-1600 Scored on a scale of 1-36



The best preparation for college entrance exams is exactly what you are already doingbeing an attentive student. Enriching your vocabulary, reading widely, writing frequently, and practicing math concepts is your best approach. Although professional test preparation is available, research shows that taking a prep class does not guarantee that your score will increase significantly. We suggest you study on your own the first time you take the test, then reevaluate your studying options after receiving your first scores. Do not wait until a week before you take the exam.

Suggested NO or LOW COST ways to practice:

  • Read the editorial page of your newspaper and talk about what you read.
  • Practice in a stress-free environment on your own time frame.
  • ACT Practice Questions
  • Best Colleges ACT Prep
  • SAT Question of the Day
  • SAT Question of the Day App
  • SAT Practice Questions
  • SAT Practice Test
  • Subject Test Practice Questions
  • Khan Academy (for SAT)
  • IPSF Summer Enrichment Academy SAT/ACT Prep Classes

Suggested Books:

  • The Real ACT Prep Guide: The Only Guide to Include 3 Real ACT Tests, Author:

  • The Official SAT Study Guide, Author: The College Board

  • The Official SAT Subject Tests (a separate book for each subject), Author: The College Board




Each SAT Subject Test covers a subject you may study in high school or are skilled in based on personal background (for example, if you are fluent in a language other than English). Only a limited number of colleges or majors require Subject Tests. While SAT Subject Tests are not required for UC admission, some campuses recommend that students vying for slots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency.

SAT Subject Test List

Core Subject Areas Language Other Than English


US History

World History

Math Level 1

Math Level 2

Biology - Ecological

Biology - Molecular







French with Listening


German with Listening


Spanish with Listening

Modern Hebrew



Chinese with Listening

Japanese with Listening

Korean with Listening



As one component of our Advanced Placement Program, IUSD administers AP Examinations at each of our High Schools. A table of the specific AP Exams offered at each of our schools is available as a resource for the community below. Annual registration and sales for exams begin at the end of February and run through mid-March. IUSD provides priority registration to students currently attending IUSD High Schools. AP Examinations will be available to residents of Irvine City as well as students outside of our city boundaries based on space and availability. Students that qualify for a Free and Reduced rate should complete the document below and submit it to their school site. While we strive to keep this posting current, please note that changes made be made to the AP Exam Process throughout the year. Please contact each school site directly to register for exams.

Advanced Placement Exams 2018

Financial Assistance Information

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My IUSD 9th grade student is interested in taking an AP Exam this year. How do I proceed?

    Email the Gifted and Advanced Learner Department at with the following information: Student’s legal name, ID number, grade level, school site of attendance, and AP exams requested. She will then schedule a phone appointment to discuss your request with the department coordinator. Please note: students currently enrolled in 9th grade AP Human Geography at Woodbridge High School do not need to contact our department. They may register for the AP exam per Woodbridge’s registration process. 

  2. My IUSD 10th, 11th, or 12th grade student is interested in taking an AP Exam this year. How do I proceed?

    Review the Advanced Placement Exams 2018 list above for exam availability within IUSD. Then, contact your student’s High School directly to obtain registration details.

  3. My 9th grade student does not attend an IUSD school. Can they register for an AP Exam through IUSD?

    IUSD does not offer AP exam registration to non-IUSD student in 9th grade or below. Please see FAQ question number 4 (below) for further resources.

  4. What if I’m Home-Schooled or at a school that doesn’t offer AP?

    You MAY be able to take the AP Exam by arranging to test at a participating school.

    Contact AP Services (888) 225-5427 no later than March 1 to get the names and telephone numbers of local, participating AP coordinators willing to test outside students.  
    Call the AP coordinators identified by AP Services no later than March 15. When calling coordinators to arrange testing, make sure to tell them you are trying to locate a school willing to administer exams to homeschooled students or students from schools that do not offer AP Exams. If you attend a school that doesn’t offer AP, you should not use the school code for the school where you are testing. Instead, make sure to use your own school’s code so your exam score(s) will be reported to your school. Obtain your school’s six-digit code from your principal or school counselor before exam day. If you are home-schooled, use the state or international home-school/self-study code that will be given to you on the day of the exam.

Possible Testing Sites:
St. John Bosco HS (Bellflower) (562) 920-1734
Canyon HS (Anaheim) (714) 532-8000
El Modena HS (Orange) (714) 997-6242
Ontario Christian HS (Ontario) (909) 984-1756
Magnolia Science Academy (Santa Ana) (714) 497-0115