Standardized Testing Info


The SAT test is administered to all Michigan high school juniors. Approximately 160 institutions require or recommend SAT Subject Test scores for admission and placement of incoming students. The tests are a trusted and reliable assessment of students' knowledge and college readiness.  Subject tests are hour-long tests based on high school course work and are offered in five subject areas: literature, history, languages, mathematics and science.  It's best to choose tests that reflect your strengths. However, schools may require you to take the subject tests that relate to your intended college major, such as math and physics if you're going into engineering.

Most colleges have historically accepted both ACT and SAT scores and this will continue to be true. The College Board reformatted the SAT for 2016. These are the changes:

Strategy: On the old SAT students used to lose a percentage of a point if they guessed incorrectly. With the new format for the SAT students will no longer be penalized for guessing. Students should answer all the questions, just like they do with the ACT.

Critical Reading52 questions65 minutes
Writing44 questions 35 minutes
Mathematics58 questions80 minutes

Total questions 154 questions, 230 minutes (including the essay)

Scoring:  The point scale will return to 1600, as it was before the writing test was added in 2005, when the scale changed to 2400. Students taking the new writing test will receive a separate score for that.

  • Scale ranging from 200 - 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.  
  • Scale ranging from 200 - 800 for math
  • 2 - 8 on each of three traits for Essay, and essay score is reported separately.
  • Subscores will be reported for every test
  • Total score ranging from 400 - 1600.

More Specifics: 

  1. Vocabulary: Students often correlate the SAT with tricky vocabulary and studying words off of note cards. This will change next year. The vocabulary will focus on relevant words in context. 
  2. There will not be a separate science section. Students will apply their reading, writing, language, and math skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies. Students will be asked to interpretsynthesize, and use evidence to answer the questions.
  3. Math will focus on three key areas: problem solving and data analysis (quantitative literacy), the heart of algebra (mastery of linear equations), and passport to advanced math (familiarity with more complex questions). There will not be a separate Geometry section. There will be real world problems that directly relate to the work in college.
  4. Reading sections: students must cite evidence from passages to support their answers. Passages of writing used for various parts of the exam will be texts from significant moments in American history or science. Each exam will feature works such as the Declaration of Independence or a selection from the Federalist Papers, or Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
  5. The essay will closely mirror college writing. The writing prompt will be made public, and the only part that will vary is the excerpt the student is asked to analyze. Students will read a passage and explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience. The essay is now an optional piece of the SAT and is given at the end of the test, however the essay will be mandatory for all 11th graders to take during the MME. When students sign up to take the test outside of the MME they will be allowed to choose if they will take the essay portion or not. DHS Counselors strongly recommend that students re-taking the SAT take the essay portion, as many colleges/universities will only compare scores from those test dates that included the essay. Students will be given 50 minutes for the essay portion.

In collaboration with the College Board, Khan Academy will produce 200 videos that cover topics related to the new SAT. These resources are available free to students. Here is the link to the Khan Academy SAT study resources

For more information about The Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE)  transition to using the SAT as part of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) go to the MDE College Readiness website. 


If a student would like to take the ACT he/she may register on their own. To register online go to You'll need our high school code:  231255.  Please contact the Counseling Dept. for more information on registration.


Although the SAT is now mandatory for all high school students in Michigan, Dexter HS counselors encourage juniors to also take the ACT—after all, it cannot hurt them, only help them.  The ACT with Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 40-minute writing test. ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US. The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT with writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes if you are taking the ACT with writing).

The ACT has an Interest Inventory, called WorkKeys, that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.

The ACT is administered on six test dates within the US, US territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.

The ACT consists of four multiple-choice tests: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT with writing includes the four multiple-choice tests and a writing test. DHS counselors recommend always adding the writing test.

English75 questions45 minutesMeasures standard written English and rhetorical skills.
Mathematics 60 questions60 minutes  Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of 12th grade.
Reading40 questions35 minutesMeasures reading comprehension.
Science40 questions 35 minutes Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.
Optional Writing1 prompt 40 minutesMeasures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.

Your Composite score and each test score (English, mathematics, reading, science) range from 1 (low) to 36 (high). The Composite Score is the average of your four test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number.  Fractions less than one-half are rounded down; fractions one-half or more are rounded up.

To register for the ACT, go to:


The Michigan Merit Exam assesses 11th grade students based on Michigan high school standards. The test is administered in March and is made up of three components:
  • SAT Plus Writing® college entrance examination
  • WorkKeys® job skills assessments in reading, mathematics, and "locating information"
  • M-STEP, Michigan-developed assessments in science, and social studies



Each year Dexter High School administers the PSAT on a date in the fall to be determined by the College Board. All juniors will be notified by the DHS Counseling Office when they can register for the test via PaySchools, sometime in late August.  Although sophomores and freshman can take the test for practice, Juniors will receive priority registration. Only PSAT test results from the junior year will be considered eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT).

PSAT 10 

In an effort to check on progress toward college and career readiness, and to preview and practice for the PSAT and the SAT, PSAT 10 will be administered to all DHS 10th-grade students in the spring, and at no cost to the students. The PSAT/NMSQT is the official route of entry to the National Merit® Scholarship Program. The PSAT 10 will not be considered for entry.

PSAT 8/9 

In an effort to check on progress toward college and career readiness, and to preview and practice for the PSAT10, the PSAT and the SAT, PSAT8/9  will be administered to all DHS 9th-grade students in the spring, at no cost to the students. The PSAT/NMSQT is the official route of entry to the National Merit® Scholarship Program. The PSAT8/9 will not be considered for entry.


The PSAT/NMSQT, the PSAT 10, and the PSAT 8/9 cover the same content areas.  All three tests provide students and educators a chance to check in on progress toward college and career readiness and success and practice the skills needed to take the SAT, 

The PSAT/NMSQT, the PSAT 10 and the PSAT 8/9 will give students access to free personalized SAT study. With students’ explicit permission, Khan Academy will use their results to create a study plan especially for them.

Taking the PSAT/NMSQT, the PSAT 10 and the PSAT 8/9 can also connect our students to:

Contact Us

  • DHS Counseling Office
    2200 N. Parker Rd.
    Dexter, MI 48130
  • School Hours
    M-F 8:00am - 2:51pm
    Half Days
    8:00am - 11:25am
    Office Hours
    M-F 7:30am - 4:30pm
  • (734) 424-4240 option 2
    (734) 424-4252 fax

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” - Dr. Seuss

  • Dexter Community Schools  734-424-4100
  • Bates School, 2704 Baker Rd.
    Dexter, MI 48130 
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  • Dexter Community Schools is committed to making our website accessible to visitors with disabilities. If you encounter difficulty navigating this website due to a disability, please email our accessibility team or call 734-424-4102 for assistance. 


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