What Exams Are Taken To Enter College?


There are a few different college entrance exams that can be taken to enter a college. Each is slightly different and there are different reasons that each one would be taken. Where a person is at in their education will determine which test is needed.

SAT exams cover math, vocabulary and reading. This exam is needed to enter college.
  • Registration for the SAT exams can be done online, through the mail or by phone.
  • A practice test can be downloaded.
  • You will receive your score and a report of which areas need improvement and which areas you did well in.
  • There will be an explanation included of the questions on the practice exam.
  • Included are other student essays and an explanation as well.
  • The reading section has 19 sentence completion questions and 48 passage reading questions.
  • You will receive 25 minutes for two of the sections and 20 minutes for the other section.
  • The writing section has 18 sentence error questions, 25 improving sentences questions, 6 improving paragraphs questions and 1 essay question.
  • You will receive 25 minutes in two of the sections and 10 minutes in one of the other sections.
  • The math section has 44 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions.
  • You will receive 25 minutes in two of the sections and 20 minutes in the other section.
ACT exams cover English, math, reading and science. There is also an optional writing section too. This exam is needed to enter college
  • There are 12 separate scores. There is a composite, four scores based on subject and 7 sub scores too.
  • The composite score is a scaled score and it ranges between 1 and 36.
  • The writing score can be between 2 and 12.
  • The English and other writing scores can be between 1 and 36.
  • There will be comments included about the writing.
  • Registration for the test can be completed by phone or the school’s counseling office.
  • A sample test is available.
  • Answers are given at the end, along with an explanation to prepare for the actual test.
  • The English section has 75 multiple choice questions.
  • The mechanics and usage section has 40 questions.
  • The rhetorical section has 35 questions.
  • The math section has 60 multiple choice questions.
  • The pre-algerbra section has 14 questions.
  • Elementary algebra section has 10 questions.
  • Intermediate algebra consists of 9 questions.
  • Geometry has 9 questions.
  • Plane geometry has 14 questions.
  • There is a trigonometry section that has 4 questions.
  • The reading section has 40 multiple choice questions.
  • Prose fiction has 10 questions.
  • Humanities has 10 questions.
  • Natural Science has 10 questions.
  • Social Studies has 10 questions.
  • Science has 40 multiple choice questions. These questions do include biology, earth, chemistry and physics.
  • Data representation has 15 questions.
  • Research Summary has 18 questions.
  • Conflicting Viewpoints has 7 questions.
TOEFL exams are for people that are not native speakers of the English language to comprehension of the language to enter college.
  • This exam is needed for students looking to study in the US.
  • The test dates vary from location to location.
  • Registration can be done by phone, online or through the mail.
  • There are different fees associated with test. You will want to check into these to make sure you pay for the correct exams to be taken.
  • A practice exam is available to take to prepare.
  • There is a reading section with 36-70 multiple choice questions and 60-100 minutes is allowed for completion.
  • The listening section of 34-51 multiple choice questions and 60-100 minutes is allowed for completion.
  • The speaking section has 6 tasks and 20 minutes is allowed for completion.
  • The writing section has 6 tasks and 20 minutes for completion.
GMAT exams are for graduates entering into a business Masters. The GMAT covers verbal skills, math and writing skills.
  • Registration for the exam is available online, by phone, through the mail or by fax.
  • There are two analytical writing sections, 30 minutes are given for each.
  • There is a 75 minute verbal exam.
  • There is a 75 minute quantitative math exam.
GRE exams are for graduates entering into a Masters. The exam covers verbal, math and analytical skills.
  • Registration can be completed by phone or online.
  • There is a 30 minute verbal section.
  • There is a 45 minute math section.
  • There is a 60 minute analytical section.
  • There are two writing sections. One is 45 minutes long and the other is 30 minutes long.
LSAT exams are for graduates entering into a law Masters. This exam only happens 4 times a year. It will include critical reading, verbal reasoning and analytical thinking.
  • Registration can be done online or by phone.
  • There are fees associated with this exam. Check to ensure you pay the correct amounts.
  • Test locations are usually done at colleges and universities.
  • There are 24-26 argument based multiple choice questions and 35 minutes is given for completion.
  • There is a second argument based multiple choice section with 24-26 questions and 35 minutes allowed for completion.
  • There are 26-28 logic games passages that are multiple choice and 35 minutes is given for completion.
  • There will be another section that will be either reading comprehension, logic reasoning or logic games. There are 24-28 questions in this section and 35 minutes is given for completion.
  • One essay is required and there is 35 minutes given for completion.


9 Responses to What Exams Are Taken To Enter College?

  1. Ken

    Taking some of these later on this year :\

    Thanks for the confidece boost – Love your site as it gave me some confidence and good tips on college as a whole.

  2. Alex

    The SAT and the ACT sound very similar. Do all schools except either one, or is there a difference?

  3. Andre

    Fantastic information I know a few people that would really appreciate this information. I will send them over. Well done!

  4. Sky

    Really useful. At least I know now what to expect!

  5. Mike

    I had no idea that there were so many exams to be taken
    depending on the college. This has definitely opened my eyes as to
    what is required. Well written and informative. Great
    read.

  6. Chris

    Thanks for the great post highlighting the various different college exams that you may take during your college career.

    I’ve taken the SAT and the ACT and have heard of the GRE and know that eventually I will need to take it but was truly unaware of what it was and what it would entail for me so this information was most helpful.

    I also have a friend who is going for a law related degree and he has mentioned taking the LSAT but I was unaware of what he was speaking of until today so thank you for the great knowledge.

  7. keyi

    To be honest, I didn’t know that there is so many different
    exams. Since I’m form Europe and I’m not native speaker of the
    English so I will probably go with TOEFL exams..i guess. will see,
    no rush. Nice to have them explain a bit, thanks man!

  8. whi896

    hmmm. Interesting post.
    Nice info has been embedded in it.

  9. Lester King

    Hi Erik,

    I also posted on your other College Essay Thread. It was wonderfully written.
    Regarding the tests, most of my students take the SAT and SAT II subject tests. What I tell my students is to “study, practice, and do problems”. In my opinion, the more questions you do, the higher your scores will be; it is proportionally.

    As for the SAT II Subject tests, I recommend my students to take 2-4 (or 5 if they can). Though it is not required, I believe that it is recommended. What are your opinions on this one?