Testing Information

There are two college entrance exams, the ACT (American College Test) and the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), which are used for admissions, placements, and scholarships.  Every Thurgood Marshall Academy student will take the ACT and SAT twice, with fee waivers each time. Students will register online during class or make an appointment with the College Counselor. The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test) provides practice for students preparing for their first SAT; it also qualifies students for national scholarship and awards programs.


Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200–800, and the writing section will contain two sub scores. The SAT is taken by high school juniors and seniors. Thurgood Marshall Academy students will register for the SAT in May of their junior year and October of their senior year.

Click here to register for the SAT.

For online sample questions and preparation materials, visit the College Board website and select “For Students.”

SAT Question Types

Each edition of the SAT includes Critical Reading, Math, and Writing sections.

Section Time Content Item Types Score
Critical Reading 70 minutes (two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section) Critical reading and sentence-level reading
  • Reading comprehension
  • Sentence completions
  • Paragraph-length critical reading
Math 70 minutes (two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section) Number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; statistics, probability, and data analysis
  • Five-choice multiple-choice questions
  • Student-produced responses
Writing 60 minutes Grammar, usage, and word choice
  • Multiple choice questions (35 minutes)
  • Student-written essay (25 minutes)

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are given in a number of academic areas and are used by some colleges for admission and placement purposes. Students may take up to three tests in one session, but may not take the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests on the same day. Students must check dates for each test offered. It is recommended that SAT Subject Tests be taken following the completion of the highest level of these courses. Please note that most colleges do not require SAT Subject Tests.

Click here to register for SAT Subject Tests.


The ACT is a set of four multiple-choice tests that cover English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT Plus adds an optional writing test. Colleges require the Writing Test.

The score is based on the number of correct answers; there is no penalty for guessing. Most scores are available online within 2-1/2 weeks after each national test date. Score reports are usually mailed to your home within 4 to 7 weeks after each test date. Score reports will be mailed only after writing scores are available.

Section Questions Time Content
English 75 questions 45 minutes Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills
Mathematics 60 questions 60 minutes Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12
Reading 40 questions 35 minutes Measures reading comprehension
Science 40 questions 35 minutes Measures the intepretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences
Optional Writing Test 1 prompt 30 minutes Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses


The PSAT is a two-hour-and-ten-minute exam that is administered only once during the school year. It consists of two 25-minute math sections, two 25-minute verbal sections, and one writing skills section. This test predicts how well you will do on the SAT.

Only students who take the PSAT in their junior year will be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program, the National Achievement Scholarship Program, or the National Hispanic Scholar Awards Program.