College Entrance Exams


The college entrance exam the majority of HHS students take is the ACT (American College Test). This test is required by most colleges and universities in the Midwest. The ACT is offered at HHS. HHS students are not guaranteed a spot at the HHS test site. All registration is done through ACT and placement is based on space available at the time you register.

REGISTER EARLY! The test is also offered at several other locations at  surrounding school district like Cottage Grove, Red Wing and Cannon Falls High Schools. We do encourage students to register for the ACT Plus Writing option (as opposed to Multiple Choice Only). Some colleges will ask for the writing portion, while others will not. 

Registration is done online at The registration process is lengthy and will take some time to complete (including uploading a photograph). In the section that requests information regarding your grades, it is acceptable to "guesstimate." Your high school code is 241050, and the Hastings High School test center code is 210500.

After you submit your registration, ACT will send you confirmation of your registration. Bring your admission ticket, an ACT approved calculator and #2 pencils with you on the day of the test. The test starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m.



The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is the test most people mistakenly believe is required for college. The acronym SAT has become synonymous with college admission. However, most of our students do not need to take the SAT. It is the “test of choice” for certain private schools in the Midwest, but most will also accept the ACT. It is specifically required by some schools on the east and west coasts. The SAT and ACT have different structures, content, and scoring mechanisms. The SAT is not administered at Hastings High School; however, there are many SAT testing sites in the metro area. Students can register for the SAT online at


If you are going to apply to a college or university that is fairly competitive in its admissions, chances are they require applicants to submit scores from three SAT II Subject Test examinations. There are subject tests in Chemistry, Writing, Math, German, Biology, Physics, and Music. Most competitive schools want to see Writing, Math (Level I or II), and a third from another area (usually a science). Subject Tests are only 60 minutes in length. They are given on the same days as the SAT and you can take up to three Subject Tests on the same day. You cannot, however, take both the Subject Tests and the SAT I on the same day.


The ACCUPLACER is primarily used as a placement test for 2 year colleges and universities. ACCUPLACER is a series of tests that evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing, and math to help college administrators place them in courses that match their skills. ACCUPLACER supports students ready to start earning credits toward their degree as well as those who need to develop their skills before taking college-level courses. ACCUPLACER scores let students know where they stand academically, which makes it easier for them to plan a successful path toward a college degree. Students contact their colleges directly to register for the ACCUPLACER.


If you're serious about joining the military, then get serious about the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The ASVAB is a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense.

Start now by taking our practice ASVAB tests (click on the test links in the header above). These tests will give you an idea of how you'll score, and identify areas that need improvement. Then use our suggested resources and ASVAB study guides to learn how to prepare for the ASVAB test.

How Important is the ASVAB Test?

Your scores in four critical areas -- Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) -- count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you're qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.

Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB will determine how qualified you are for certain military occupational specialties and Enlistment Bonuses. A high score will improve your chances of getting the specialty/job and signing bonus you want.

Scoring high on the ASVAB will require study and concentration. Don't skimp on preparing for this test. It's your future. Get the most out of it.


Most 4 year colleges and universities require a college entrance exam (ACT or SAT). However, we are seeing a trend of "test optional" colleges.

Colleges that do not require the SAT or ACT have found that these tests are not necessary to predict which applicants are going to thrive academically on campus. Admissions professionals at test optional colleges generally view academic rigor and grades as the best indicators of success at the college level. In other words, they look at what classes applicants took in high school and how they did in them. Admissions professionals at test optional colleges are able to select students using these alternative indicators of success.

In lieu of requiring the SAT or ACT, colleges have three choices. They can be test optional, flexible or blind.

Test optional colleges allow the applicant to apply with or without test scores.

Test flexible colleges require some form of testing but it doesn’t have to be the SAT or ACT. Some colleges allow applicants to submit AP test scores, IB exam scores or SAT Subject test scores instead.

Test blind colleges are not interested in evaluating standardized test scores. If students submit them, they will not be considered as part of their application.


Students with a disability may qualify for accommodations for college entrance or placement exams, such as the Accuplacer/ACT/SAT. For more information talk to your school counselor or visit the following websites:


ACCUPLACER accommodations are available but are not approved by the College Board. Contact the test center at your college or other institution for more information.