College Entrance Exams and Homeschoolers

The College Board encourages homeschooled students to take college entrance exams such as the PSAT and SAT during their high school years.

Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test (PSAT)

The Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test/National Merit Semi-Finalist Qualification Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is generally taken by students in 9th, 10th, and/or 11th grade. This is an optional test which helps prepare students for the college admissions exams. General information on registration, fees, and test content is available through the College Board.

To take the PSAT, students must register through a public or private school. In Virginia, school divisions are required by ยง22.1-254.1 F of the Code of Virginia to make PSAT testing available to homeschooled students, and to notify homeschooling families that these tests are available. This law was crafted and requested by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.

The PSAT is only administered once a year, in mid-October. Early registration over the summer is strongly recommended to ensure that enough seats and test booklets are available for all interested students. Contact your local high school guidance counselor for information on testing dates and locations, fees, etc.

When taking the PSAT exam, homeschooled students should fill in Virginia homeschool code 994799 in the “school code” section. This ensures that the homeschooled student’s data and test scores are kept separate from the data of the host school. Student score reports will be mailed to the student’s home address.

Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) Reasoning Test and Subject Tests

The Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) Reasoning Test (also sometimes known as the SAT I or “the SAT”) is generally taken by students in 11th or 12th grade, and is often required for college admissions. Some colleges and universities also require applicants to take one or more SAT Subject Tests, which cover a variety of different academic subjects. Information on registration, fees, and test content for both exams is available through the College Board. Your local public library may have additional books and resources on test preparation.

The SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests are offered numerous times throughout the school year. To take any SAT exam, students register online through the College Board website. Homeschooled students may choose any available testing center in their community. The SAT registration code for homeschooled students across the country is 970000.

All students taking the SAT Reasoning or Subject tests must bring some sort of photo identification to the testing center. Acceptable forms of identification for this purpose include a state issued driver’s license or non-driver identification card, a valid passport, or a school identification card or form which includes a photo.

If your homeschooled student does not already have one of these forms of photo identification, the College Board says that you may obtain one “from [your] authorized Homeschool Association or local school district“. The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers does not provide students or parents with photo identification. However, your local school division or homeschool support group may be able to assist you with this documentation if necessary.

ACT Exam

The ACT exam is another national college admissions exam used in a growing number of states (primarily in the Midwest). This exam is offered throughout the year in a variety of different locations. Homeschoolers register for the ACT online; the homeschool code is 969-999. For additional information about ACT testing, registration, fees, etc. visit the ACT website. Your local public library may have additional books and resources on test preparation.

Additional Resources

A to Z Home’s Cool: SAT and other College Entrance Tests

More information on PSAT, SAT, and ACT college tests, and what homeschoolers need to study and practice to achieve high scores on these college entrance exams. Also has links to results of homeschoolers on past ACT tests.

Books Especially Helpful for Preparing for College Entrance Exams

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