Entering US Colleges and Universities


Looking to the US for your undergraduate education? Apart from exceptional GPA and extracurricular achievements, most colleges in the US may also consider standardised tests in their evaluation. In this section, we will cover the major admissions tests for entry to US colleges.
There are TWO main tests that US colleges use to evaluate applicants:
The SAT consists of 2 score components: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematics. The optional Essay section will be phased out from June 2021.
The ACT test covers four academic skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. It also offers an optional Writing test.
Besides the tests above, we also offer coaching in the following:
Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
The SSAT is a private school admissions test for students entering Grades 4–12. It includes a brief unscored writing sample and multiple-choice sections that cover Quantitative (Mathematics), Verbal, and Reading skills. 
Advanced Placement (AP)
The AP program allows high school students to take college-level courses that can earn them college credit and/or qualify them for more advanced classes when they begin college.

Unlimited access to preparation for US university and college entrance tests, interview and writing skills, admission processes and more.


So which test(s) should I take? To help you make the most informed decision, we have drawn up a table comparing the tests. If you wish to know about specific test formats and contents, please click on the desired test pages to learn more.
Universities that accept test

Most universities or colleges in the US and Canada accept both the SAT and the ACT for admissions, including but not limited to the following institutions:

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • Yale University



Test Fees

Without Essay: USD 52
With Essay: USD 68

International Testing( Outside of the US, Canada, or US territories):

ACT (No Writing): USD 150
ACT (With Writing): USD 166.50

Miscellaneous Fees

1. International Testing (Singapore): USD 53

1. International Testing (Outside of the US,
Canada, or US territories)
USD 57.50 


3 hours (+ 50 Minutes for Essay)

2 hours 55 minutes (+ 40 Minutes for Writing)

Attempts Allowed

Recommended: At most 4


Test Frequency

International test dates (Singapore): March, May, August, October, December

International test dates: Apr, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct

Test Format

Paper-based test

International: Computer-based test only

Results Release Date

2 Weeks (online)

MCQ: 2-8 weeks (online)
Writing: 2 weeks after MCQ (online)


5 years

5 years

SAT Writing Introduction

Gateway+ gives you unlimited access to prepare for university entrance tests, application processes, interviews and more. Free 7-Day Trial including SAT Diagnostic Test.

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Articles on US Colleges and Univesities

Most universities or colleges in the US and Canada accept both the ACT and SAT. Gateway+ currently offers an online preparation for SAT. This includes a Diagnostic Test and Mock Tests to prepare you.

In January 2021, College Board announced that they are no longer offering SAT Subject Tests and the optional SAT Essay.

So, what does this mean for US-bound international students? College Board has reached out to member colleges and they will decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores. Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

ICON+ remains committed to supporting students who intend to take these tests up till the final administration dates in June 2021. We encourage these students to sign up for classes as soon as possible.

You may learn more about the new changes here.