This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
American colleges and universities consider a number of things about a
student who wants to be admitted. Experts on the subject say the most important
thing is the student's high school record. Admissions officers look not only at
the grades that the student has earned. They also look at the level of
difficulty of the classes.
A student's interests and activities may also play a part in getting
accepted. But in most cases another consideration is how well the student did on
college entrance exams. This week in our Foreign Student Series, we discuss two
of these tests: the SAT and the ACT. Most American schools accept either one.
The SAT measures reasoning skills in mathematics and language. Students have
almost four hours to complete the SAT. The newest part is an essay. Students
have 25 minutes to write an answer to a question.
The SAT costs 41 dollars and 50 cents. The international processing
charge is 22 dollars more. And test-takers in India and Pakistan must also pay a
21 dollar and 50 cent security charge.
Students may also need to take SAT subject tests in areas like history,
science and foreign language. Subject tests cost eighteen dollars each. The Web
site for the SAT is collegeboard.com.
The ACT is an achievement test. It is designed to measure what a student has
learned in school. Students are tested in mathematics, English, reading and
science. A writing test is offered but not required. Without it, the ACT takes
about three hours to complete. The essay part adds 30 minutes.
The ACT costs 49 dollars to take outside the United States. The writing
test costs an additional fourteen dollars. The ACT Web site is act.org.
Recent Chinese news reports suggested that ACT testing would be expanded in
China next year. But an ACT spokesman denies those reports. He tells us they
were based on a misunderstanding. He says there are no plans to increase the
number of testing centers in China. Ten centers there offer the ACT, but
students must first take training classes at those centers.
The only place in China where the SAT is offered for Chinese students is in
Hong Kong. International students living in China have more choices.
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy
Steinbach. I'm Doug Johnson.
Next week: TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language