Your guide to standardized admission tests: SAT, GRE, and more

If you're applying to college or grad school, you'll probably take a standardized test. Learn more about the exams that will shape your college prospects.
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor
students taking a test
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Millions of test-takers sign up for the ACT, SAT, or another standardized test every year. Admissions officers rely on test scores when making acceptance decisions. So it's important to understand admission tests before you start applying to colleges or universities.

Our guides walk through everything you need to know before taking a standardized test — and we also offer study tools and tips that can increase your score.

Learn everything you need to know about standardized tests for college

Are you applying to college for the first time? Or perhaps you have your eye on business or law school? You'll likely need to take a standardized test as part of the admission process. 

Prepared students do better on admission tests. But what's the best way to prepare for the ACT or SAT? And should you take the GMAT or GRE if your program accepts both? Use the resources below to learn more about standardized tests for college.


More than half of all high school seniors took the ACT in 2019. As one of the most popular undergraduate admission tests, the ACT is a must for many college-bound students. 

Check out our resources on the ACT to learn about the exam format, scoring, and how to boost your ACT score.


Business school is one of the most popular options for graduate school. And many business programs, including top MBA programs, require GMAT scores. 

By reading our GMAT guide, you'll learn more about the exam and what skills you'll need to increase your score. 


Graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, education, and engineering require GRE scores. Many business schools also accept GRE scores as well. 

But what is the GRE, and what format does the exam use? 

Visit our GRE guide to learn more about the test. 


Interested in law school? Then you'll need to take the LSAT. 

The exam includes reading, reasoning, and writing sections. And its focus on logical reasoning and persuasive writing make the LSAT different from many other standardized tests. 

Our LSAT guide walks through the exam sections, LSAT scoring, and when to take the LSAT. 


Before applying to med school, you'll need to master the MCAT. 

Among the longest standardized tests, the MCAT clocks in at eight hours. It tests your knowledge of biological systems and your critical analysis skills. 

Check out our MCAT guide for information on the test format, scoring system, and cost of the MCAT.


One of the oldest admission tests, the SAT remains one of the most popular today. 

But the next few years will bring major changes to the SAT, including a move toward digital testing. 

Before studying for the SAT, check out our SAT guide to learn more about the test and upcoming changes.


The TOEFL measures your English language skills and your preparation for college-level study at American colleges and universities. It's the most common English-language assessment for international students.

Before you sign up for the TOEFL, visit our TOEFL guide to learn more about the assessment and alternatives.

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