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College Testing

Clairemont High School Code: 052837

There are a variety of tests and assessments that are part of the college and career path; from personality and aptitude tests, to college entrance and placement exams. This page will contain information on what these tests are, how to register, and different options for preparation. While tests are often interchangeable the content is different. Some schools will prefer the ACT or SAT, and students may prefer or perform better on one test over the other; be sure to register for the correct test. College entrance tests are offered by outside providers, students must register their own accounts to sign up and choose a location and date. Fee waivers are available from the registrar for students who qualify.

What tests do I need to take?

Visit the website of the University/College that you will be applying to in order to make sure you meet each specific requirement and deadline.

Community Colleges do not require any entrance exams. However, you will be required to take math and English placement tests when you apply to determine your Math and English levels for course enrollment. For more information about examples of local placement tests, click here.

California State Universities (CSU's) require the SAT Reasoning OR ACT with writing.

University of California schools (UC's) require the SAT Reasoning OR ACT with writing. Also, two SAT Subject Tests are recommended or, in some programs, required. See the individual university websites for more detailed information. Some campuses prefer certain subject tests depending on campus and major.

Private Colleges and Universities require the SAT Reasoning OR ACT with writing. Some private schools do not require the writing test. See the individual website for each individual school for admission requirements. It is best to take the writing portion in case it is required. If it is not, it will not be considered and/or may count against you.

Highly selective private Colleges and Universitiesalso require at least one SAT Subject Tests.  See individual school website for admission requirements. Some campuses prefer certain subject tests depending on major, etc.

If you are enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course you it is strongly recommended that you take the AP test for that course in the spring. Advanced Placement tests are given here at Clairemont and you will need to sign up during the registration period. For more information see your AP teacher or the AP Testing website.


Fee Waivers

High school students in the U.S. or U.S. territories who can't afford to pay test or application fees may be eligible for a fee waiver. Fee waivers can be used for the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests. Students may receive up to 2 fee waivers per test, but may take as many AP exams as they want at the reduced rate. Students must be in 11th or 12th grade to use a college entrance test fee waiver, or in 9th to 12th grade to use a Subject Test or AP exam fee waiver. To be eligible, you must meet at least one of the requirements below:

  • Enrollment in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Enrollment in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g. Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Family receives public assistance.
  • Lives in federally subsidized public housing, or a foster home, or are homeless.
  • A ward of the state or an orphan.


Naviance is an exceptional resource for college and career planning. Among its many tools is a personality inventory and a career aptitude test that link directly to colleges and their majors as well as career information. Here is a brief presentation. For students who are unsure of where they want to go or what they want to do, or even if they just want to see what else is available, we recommend Naviance as the first step. All students have an account already, their login information is the same as they use to log into the computers.


The redesigned ASVAB is a career exploration program that is typically offered junior or senior year and is one of the most extensive career tools available.


CollegeBoard is the organization that runs the AP courses and exams, PSAT, SAT and SAT 2 subject tests. They also incorporate college planning into their services as well as free online test prep that directly targets a student’s areas of strength and weakness based on previous performance. There is currently a redesign of their testing battery starting in March, for more information please follow the link below:

PSAT/SAT Redesign

SAT Suite of Assessments


The first exposure for many students is the PSAT which all district students take in 10th grade in October. Here is the information on this year’s test.

As well as providing information on expected performance on upcoming SAT tests for college entrance, the PSAT is also used as an indicator for Advanced Placement Potential. High performance on the PSAT can also mean qualification for the National Merits Scholarship in 11th grade.


The Advance Placement program provides courses and tests for college credit. At Clairemont every student has access and may take any of our AP classes, we strongly recommend meeting the prerequisite recommendations though. AP Courses give honors credit starting in 10th grade, and if students elect to take the exam they may qualify for college credit.

Every college has a different policy regarding awarding credit for high school courses. It is important to communicate directly with the institute of your choice about which courses they will give credit or waive requirements for.


The SAT is an aptitude test by College Board and is often one of the tests required for college entrance. It is offered multiple times throughout the year at various test sites. SAT scores may also be used to validate English or Math entrance requirements for college as well, please check with the college for more information on their policy.

The SAT Subject tests are requested by some schools and majors, but not all. These tests focus on specific content areas to test for achievement in that specific area. Students may take up to three tests in one day. Not all tests are available at all times, so please register appropriately.



The ACT organization provides college planning tools and the ACT Test. This test is a content specific achievement test with optional writing and is often one of the tests required for college entrance. There are multiple tests dates throughout the year.  ACT scores may also be used to validate English or Math entrance requirements for college as well, please check with the college for more information on their policy.

Testing Accommodations

Students with an IEP, 504, or condition that affects their ability to take a test may request accommodations from the test provider. Students requesting accommodations must begin to do so 3-4 months before the test date to ensure that there is enough time to gather documentation and allow for the agency to process the information.

For information on accommodations for the ACT please visit their page for students with disabilities as accommodation requests are part of the registration process. The school may assist by providing documentation.

For CollegeBoard please visit their page for students with disabilities. Accommodations will cover the PSAT, SAT, SAT 2 and AP tests. The school may assist by providing documentation, and if it is preferred, can act as the primary requestor.

College Readiness


The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a collaborative effort among the State Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State University (CSU). The program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.

For more information please visit the link above for requesting and interpreting scores as well as any other information.

Once you’re accepted…



The California State University (CSU) requires you to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam prior to enrollment in the CSU unless you are exempt by means of scores earned on other appropriate tests such as the CSU’s Early Assessment Program (EAP) tests in English and Mathematics, the SAT®, ACT®, or Advanced Placement (AP®) tests.

The EPT and the ELM are not admission tests; instead, they determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses. If you are required to take the EPT and the ELM but fail to do so, you will not be allowed to register for General Education courses at the CSU. You may take the EPT, ELM or both at a campus near you or where you plan to enroll.

Entry Level Writing Requirement

ALL STUDENTS who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly known as Subject A requirement). Please visit the link for information on alternate means to meeting this requirement or to register.


The community colleges frequently use the ACCUPLACER test, also created by College Board, as a readiness assessment prior to enrolling into classes. Testing is generally done on a walk-in basis in the Assessment / Testing Center on campus. Some colleges may require appointments for testing. Contact the Assessment/Testing Office on campus for details.

Download the Testing Tips for Taking ACCUPLACER Math and English Placement Tests to find out what you need to know before taking the tests.


Test Prep


Clairemont will be offering afterschool and weekend test prep through ARC, please check their calendar and schedule of events.