SAT & ACT Preparation

ACT The ACT assesses skills in English, math, reading, and science reasoning. You'll receive a score on each section and a composite score between 1 and 36. The ACT is offered during the school day for free to juniors at NC public high schools. Otherwise, it costs approximately $60-85 (with writing).

SAT The SAT assesses critical thinking skills using questions in two categories: Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, and Math. The total possible score range is 400-1600, and it costs approximately $55.

From a college admission standpoint, different schools have different requirements for the ACT/SAT. Some are test optional, while others require test scores. Some don't require them for admission, but do require them for scholarships. You should check the requirements of individual schools.

Students tend to do better on one test or the other. We recommend taking both. Even if you apply to test-optional schools, good scores can only help you!

At Vance Charter, all juniors will take the ACT in the spring (Feb 2024) and all sophomores take the pre-ACT in the fall (October 2023). These are free testing opportunities. Sophomores can use their pre-ACT scores as a guide to direct their test prep and prepare for testing their junior year.

Here are links to some of the free test-prep resources that are available:

College Board SAT practice tests
Princeton Review SAT practice tests and events

Kahn Academy SAT practice tests
Kahn Academy SAT math practice tools
ACT sample practice questions
Princeton Review ACT practice tests and events


Students that meet the criteria to be a CTE Concentrator must take the ACT WorkKeys assessment, as required by NC DPI. The WorkKeys measure foundational skills required for success in the workplace, and help measure the workplace skills that can affect job performance. The test covers Applied Math, Workplace Documents and Graphic Literacy. Students who score above a certain level are eligible to receive a credential known as the "National Career Readiness Certificate". This credential is portable across the US and shows employers that a student is work and career ready.

To prepare for the WorkKeys assessment, go to the ACT WorkKeys website to take a practice test and see sample questions.