I usually say to students that contacting college coaches, finding a sports scholarship and committing to a university is only the beginning of the recruitment process.
Even after you have signed your offer, there is a lot more work that needs to be done, and it is the work that will determine the success of your recruitment process. Most importantly, it will be up to you.
The entrance exams are an extremely crucial part of your recruiting process. The scores you achieve in the tests will be used for both your playing eligibility and your admission process requirements.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the ACT and the SATs.
Entrance Exams for Admission, Eligibility and Scholarships
Your test scores, as mentioned above, will tell the leagues and the universities if you meet the minimum academic requirements to become a student-athlete. Additionally, depending on your scores, you may be eligible to be awarded academic scholarships.
For the admission process, universities will look at your GPA (Grade Point Average) and your test scores to determine the success of your application. What’s important to know here is that even if you’re offered a sports scholarship from the coach, it doesn’t mean you’re accepted in the university already.
You will need to show the university that you meet their evaluation criteria by providing your transcripts with your final GPA and sending them your test scores.
Eligibility is a topic that will have itself a blog post to talk about it for its complexity. For now, let’s just give you an overview of how the test scores apply to it.
NAIA has three criteria points to determine your eligibility: GPA, test scores, and rank in the top half of your graduating class. You need to meet two out of three to be eligible.
NCAA uses your GPA on the core courses and your test scores to determine eligibility. They will be combined and compared accordingly with the NCAA sliding scale. The higher your GPA, the lower you need to score on the tests. The lower your GPA, the higher you need to score on your tests.
You can be awarded academic scholarships on top of your sports scholarships. Academic scholarships also will be determined by your GPA and test scores.
To be eligible for academic scholarships, you’ll need more than only the minimum standard GPA and scores that you need for admission and eligibility. The better your GPA and test scores, the bigger your chances to qualify for an academic scholarship.
The best thing about academic scholarships is that most of them will be given to you automatically if you meet the criteria. Each university will have its own rules and scholarship amount, so check with the university you’re applying for to learn what opportunities they offer.
ACT or SAT? Which exam should you take?
When it comes to deciding which of the exams you should take between the ACT and the SAT, your decision would be purely based on which one you feel more comfortable taking.
The universities and the leagues don’t have a preference in any of the tests, and they weight both tests scores equally. The decision-making process here then is which exam best fits your abilities.
There are a few things you can look at from the tests to help you make a decision in which one you want to take.
The SAT has one of the math sections restricting the use of calculators; the ACT allows calculators at all times during their math section. On the other hand, the ACT math section is slightly more complexed, more advanced math.
The SAT gives you more time per question than the ACT – If you usually need some time to answer a question, the SAT may be the option here. Another point to consider is the ACT has a Science Reasoning section, which the SAT doesn’t.
These are only a few points you can look at that can help you make a decision in which test you should take. Another great way to decide is to take the practice tests. Both the ACT and the SAT have practice tests available, and you can take both to see which one you feel more comfortable and fits you better.
The ACT is composed of four academic skills areas: Mathematics, Reading, English and Science Reasoning. The duration time of the test is of 2h55min. If you choose to take the essay, you’ll have an extra 30 minutes.
The English section is 45 minutes long, with 75 multiple-choice questions. It consists of five passages which have underlined parts and then give you the options to correct the underlined sections.
The Mathematics section is 60 minutes long, with 60 questions. You can expect questions from algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The questions get harder as you go through the section. On the ACT math section, you are allowed to use a calculator.
The Reading section is 35 minutes long, with 40 multiple-choice questions. It consists of four parts: three containing one long prose passage and one containing two short prose passages.
The Science Reasoning section is 35 minutes long, with 40 multiple-choice questions, and it consists of seven passages with five to seven questions each. This section will test your skills in Data Representation, Research Summary, and Conflicting Viewpoints.
The ACT grades each section individually on a scale of 1–36. To make up your composite score, it sums all sections and then divides them to find the mean.
NCAA uses the sliding scale to determine what test score you need. The sliding scale matches your GPA with your test score. For the ACT, NCAA uses the sum of the four sections to determine your score. As an example, if your GPA is the minimum of 2.3 required to play D1, you need an ACT sum score of 75. NAIA uses the ACT composite score to determine your eligibility, accepting a minimum score of 18.
To find out all available dates and to register for the ACT, visit the ACT website.
You have probably seen one of those American movies where high school students are stressing about taking the SAT. But don’t you worry! We will break down the test for you so you can prepare yourself to succeed and get the required scores.
The SAT takes three hours to finish. If you are taking the SAT with essay, an extra 50 minutes will be added on the test time. The test is composed of four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (calculator allowed).
The SAT scores range from 400 to 1600, and your score is calculated from two sections: Mathematics (200 to 800) and Critical Reading and Writing (200 to 800).
The Reading section of the SAT has 52 questions and a time limit of 65 minutes. The Writing section of the SAT has 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minutes. Both the Reading and the Writing sections have questions based on reading passages which may be accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts.
The Mathematics of the SAT has two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator. You will have 80 minutes to complete the math section, which includes 58 questions: 45 multiple-choice questions and 13 grid-in questions. For the multiple-choice questions, you will have to choose between four possible answers; the grid-in questions won’t provide any answer options at all, and you need to figure it out what the answer is.
The math section with no calculator goes for 25 minutes and has 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 grid-in). The math section with calculator goes for 55 minutes and has 38 questions (30 multiple choice and 8 grid-in).
The NCAA doesn’t use the writing section to calculate your total score to give you eligibility. NCAA only considers the Math and Critical Reading sections.
NCAA uses the sliding scale to determine what test score you need. The sliding scale matches your GPA with your test score. As an example, if your GPA is the minimum of 2.3 (out of 4.0) required to play D1, you need an SAT score of 980. NAIA minimum score on the SAT is 970.
The SAT is only offered for a limited number of times over the year. Tests outside the U.S. are available in August, October, December, March, and May. To find out all the dates available and register to the take the test, check the College Board website.
Like any other exam you would take, preparation is key. Make sure you’re studying and preparing yourself early for the tests. Learn as much as you can on how each test will challenge you and which one will best fit your abilities.
Lastly, take this part of your recruiting process very seriously. Many students fail to achieve the test scores required and miss out on their scholarship offer. Once again, the success of your recruiting process will depend on you.
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