Skip to main content

Standardized Testing

We hope the information and links below will help you as you navigate your way through college admissions testing.

Recently, standardized testing has become a major topic of conversation. Some colleges and universities are currently “test optional” while many others require testing. If a college or university has a test-optional admissions policy, that means they allow all or some applicants to decide whether to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. If a student does not submit their scores, it will not be counted against them in the application review. However, many of our students apply to Florida state schools and others that require testing to be a part of the application. We want our students to be prepared for these tests and believe that developing a plan is a necessary component of each student’s college process.

Many students are anxious about taking standardized tests. We believe following this testing schedule will help students become more familiar with the content and format of the SAT/ACT and build their test-taking endurance and strategies.

Early testing will also reveal areas of academic strength and weakness, enabling our college office to make more specific recommendations around test preparation and the college process.

Student using tablet in the library



Tampa Prep students first encounter standardized testing with the PSAT 9 (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) in October of their freshman year. The test administration is purely designed as practice for students for future tests. Freshmen will automatically be registered for the PSAT 9 by Tampa Prep. Again, please know these are just practice tests and that no one sees the scores except the student, family members and the school. These PSAT tests are done so students get used to sitting for the tests, and they are helpful early indicators to see how students do and what can be done to improve their score if needed.


In October of their sophomore and junior year, students will take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), which is used to qualify for National Merit Scholarships (juniors qualify), as well as to practice for the SAT or ACT. Juniors and sophomores will automatically be registered for the PSAT/NMSQT by Tampa Prep.

PSAT – For more information and free test prep please click here.


All colleges and universities that require standardized testing accept both the SAT and ACT. College admissions counselors have stated that they do not prefer one test over the other. Each test has its own pros and cons, and some students perform significantly better on one test over the other. The popularity of either test, nationally or in a specific region, should not be the determining factor when choosing which test to take. Rather, thoughtful planning and diagnosis should be given to set students on the most successful test-prep path.

SAT/ACT Comparison

Test Prep Classes

To support Tampa Prep students, standardized test preparation is offered during the junior year beginning in November and ending in early March, with the goal of taking their first standardized test in March or April. Please Note: this is an individual process, and students/families should speak with a college counselor to best determine the right test and right time to take this test. These prep classes will take place every Tuesday during the class seminar block for the junior class and they will be taught by Disciplined Minds, a local test prep company.

Check Out Disciplined Minds


Students must register themselves to take the SAT and/or ACT test through the links below.

Register for SATRegister for ACT

Free Online Test Prep

SAT Test PrepACT Test Prep

Standardized Testing Accomodations

If you have concerns about accommodations for the PSAT, SAT  and ACT testing, please contact Jennifer Greseth

SAT and ACT Waivers

Fee waivers are distributed by the school to assist students/families for whom payment of fees for the tests might be a barrier to college entrance. If you think you may be eligible for a fee waiver, please contact the college counseling office.

Planning your Future?

Our college counseling program is designed to support and empower students to calmly, thoughtfully, and competently navigate their plans after graduating from Tampa Prep.

Learn About Our College Counseling Program