Application Testing
  • Standardized Testing
  • PSAT
  • English
  • European Business School
  • Math
  • UK admissions test

General info

Many colleges and universities use testing data to varying degrees when making an admission decision. In the United States, most universities require standardized testing (SAT or ACT) as part of the admissions process. In other countries, IB predicted grades are the qualifications determining eligibility for entry. For those not enrolled in the IB Diploma, some universities (especially Canada, the UK or Australia) may also require the SAT. Additional tests may be required for certain courses in the UK.

Standardized test scores must be sent by the testing agency, not AIS. Therefore, students must request online through the agency that their scores are sent to select universities.

Special Note: ALL standardized tests require that students print their admission ticket before the test date AND bring a photo ID (passport, driver's license, etc.). Students will not be admitted without both registration ticket and photo ID.

Deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT is a personal choice. In the US in 2012, the ACT surpassed the SAT in popularity. However, internationally the SAT tends to dominate. The majority of US colleges and universities will accept both. It's important to note however that the SAT and ACT are designed for second semester 11th grade students. Taking the SAT or ACT numerous times statistically does not increase scores beyond the 2nd or 3rd sitting. Scores tend to decrease by the 3rd of 4th sitting. Please don't let admission testing dominate your preparedness for university if considering the United States.

Some US universities do not require the SAT or ACT. For a complete list of US colleges that are test optional (over 850), visit FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing. Want to know more about what "test optional" means? Read more here.

SAT assesses 3 areas: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. The SAT is required at many US, Japanese, and Korean universities and may be required in Canada, the UK, Australia, and Singapore for students not enrolled in the IB Diploma.


When to take your SAT/ACT? Find out here.

AIS Test center

AIS is not a closed testing center for the SAT. Non AIS students will also be taking the SAT at AIS. All students must register online prior to the posted deadline. Test Center 56414: The Antwerp Intl School CEEB CODE 716285 Antwerp International School


Read more here to understand scores needed for admission to a university.

Subject tests

Students will need some additional preparation for each subject as not all topics are part of the AIS curriculum. Click on the hotlinks and review the topics and practice questions and/or consult test prep books and the course specific teachers.

Register here.

One hour tests assessing knowledge in various subject areas. Subject tests are primarily multiple choice tests in a specific subject area. Generally, the more competitive the university, the more likely they are to require SAT Subject Tests.

Which subject should students take? CollegeBoard answers that here. SAT Test Dates/Registration Deadlines are available at:

Test Dates at AIS: October, November, December, January, May, and June of each year.
Registration Deadlines: Typically 4-5 weeks before the test date.

Subject test Course Ideal time to take test
English Literature IB English A Literature SL or above Should be taken as late as possible in year 2 of IB. Students who have a love of analyzing literature, are strong with speed reading and comprehension may find success in grade 11.
World history IB History SL or above End of grade 11 onward.
Math Level 1 Integrated Math 2 courses End of grade 10 onward.
Math Level 2 IB Math SL or above HL Jan of grade 11 onwards, SL May/June of grade 11 onwards.
Biology E IB Biology & IB ESS combined Should be taken as late as possible in year 2 of IB. Self study for topics will be required, moreso than for molecular.
Biology M IB Bio SL or above. The majority of students are best prepared for this molecular Biology test./td> Should be taken as late as possible in year 2 of IB. Some self study for topics will be required.
Chemistry IB Chemistry SL/HL Should be taken as late as possible in year 2 of IB. Some self study for topics will be required.
Physics IB Physics SL/HL Should be taken as late as possible in year 2 of IB. Some self study for topics will be required.
Language IB French, Spanish, B SL/HL After IB year 1.
Language w/ listening IB French, Spanish, B SL/HL November of IB year 2.


Register here.

Assesses 4-5 areas: English, Reading, Math, Science, and Writing. Some universities in the US may accept the ACT w/writing in place of SAT Subject Tests.

International School of Brussels, 865190
Test dates: 11/06/2016
Registration Deadlines: Typically 4-5 weeks before the test date.

Test preparation

AIS does not endorse any specific test prep agency. At this time, Cates is the only test prep company operating in Antwerp.


Which test do most people take?
In the US, the ACT has more test takers. However, outside of the US, the SAT seems more popular. In the last 5 years however, this has been slowly changing as more students take the ACT.

When should I take the SAT or ACT?
The ACT and SAT are both designed for students to take in the 2nd semester of 11th grade or later. Students should take this no earlier than January of 11th grade. Student testing data shows that students perform better the later they take the test. We also found that scores on the 3rd attempt and beyond tend to remain the same or decrease.

I heard the SAT is changing and want to learn more.
In May of 2016, the SAT will administer the first redesigned test. This is the first change to the SAT in more than 10 years. To understand more about why the test was redesigned, please read The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul and to learn more about what universities will require regarding the redesigned SAT, visit this CollegeBoard link. In general, the redesigned SAT will be more similar to the ACT.

Which test should I take?
If you are not taking the IB Diploma and are considering universities in Canada, the UK, and Australia, the SAT will provide the missing credential for admissions. If considering universities in the US, you can choose between the SAT and ACT. However, trying to prepare for both tests will not be the best use of your time. Consider the options, research the similarities/differences between the two, and then commit to focusing on just one exam.

What is the difference between the ACT and the old SAT?
Princeton Review's response here.

What does it mean when a university shares the middle 50% scores of accepted students?
Vanderbilt answers that question here.

What is SAT score choice?
CollegeBoard's score choice tutorial here.

Tell me about the new ACT writing prompt.
*The SAT writing prompt changed in September 2015 and will be 10 minutes longer for a total of 40 minutes. It will more closely resemble "real-world" argumentation. Read more from ACT here and here.

What is a superscore?
*Some colleges will look at all subsections of a test sitting and choose the best subscore from each sitting. Read more here. This is most common with the SAT, not ACT.

Which SAT Subject test should I take?
*Check with to verify requirements for each college. Generally, the more competitive admission is, the more subject tests required. Engineering and competitive Business/Economics courses will typically require Math 2 and Physics/Chemistry/Biology. Liberal Arts colleges typically encourage students to sit and exam in a subject area where they feel the most confident.

General info

AIS offers students in 11th grade the opportunity to take the PSAT in mid-October each year. We strongly recommend any student who may consider applying to a US university or any student not enrolled in the IB Diploma to take the PSAT. There is no cost for AIS students and registration is done through the counseling office in September.

English Language Tests

If a student applies to an English speaking university and their home country language is not English, they may be required to take an English language test.

Both the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Langage Testing System) measure a student's English language proficiency. Students register online for these tests and they are not administered at AIS.

Note: Those students who apply to the UK and will require a student visa (not EU or UK) must take the IELTS, not the TOEFL.

European Business Schools Admissions Testing

European Business Schools typically accept the SAT, ACT as well as Predicted Grades. All applications must be submitted with official school transcripts and the application. Most business schools do not have a minimum grade, but they do usually require Standard or Higher Level Math. The Business Schools also require proof of English proficiency, via an IELTS or TOEFL for students with less than four or five years in a fully English speaking school. Not all Business Schools in the EU offer the BBA. Be sure to read the list of programs carefully.


ESADE is typical of the European Business Schools, offering a mix of testing options. The ESADE exam is offered in a number of European locations, beginning in September. Alternatively, the SAT can be taken at AIS. It's possible to use only Predicted Grades, however the offer will remain conditional until after the IB results are published.


IE also offers multiple avenues for admission testing, including the Cambridge Assessment Test and the LNAT used for Law applications in the UK. The "IE University admission test" assesses the verbal, logical and mathematical abilities a student has acquired inside and outside the classroom. Above all it centers on a student's ability to reason, rather than knowledge or actual information.

More information here.

Math exams

Dutch Universities are fairly particular about Math qualifications, especially for courses in Business Management. Regardless of which Math course you are taking in the IBDP, you might be asked to sit an independent Math Entrance Exam. The exam can be administered at AIS or at University. Some courses allow for a student to submit an SAT or ACT score. In general Math Studies will not adequately prepare a student to successfully complete the University exam. Students should view carefully Math Requirements of the course to which they wish to apply.

UK admissions tests

Some courses in the UK will require additional admission/aptitude tests beyond IB predicted grades. Each course will specify the requirements. Below are the most common students take.

The Thinking Skills Test is a pen and paper test measuring the skills and aptitudes (problem-solving and critical thinking) tutors feel are necessary to pursue a particular course. The format varies depending on the university to which a students plans to apply: