Testing Central: Your Spot for Testing Success

The key details you need, whether you’re thinking about an AP test, the MCAs or college entry exams

The growth and achievement of each student at New Code Academy’s is far more than any test can measure. Testing gives you a unique way to understand and monitor your learning progress, earn college credits, strengthen your college application, compete for academic college scholarships and practice the lifelong skills of preparation and performance. 

  • Advanced Placement® (AP)
  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)
  • ACT and SAT exams

Not sure what tests are the most important to your figure goals? Contact a teacher or your counselor — our whole New Code Academy team is ready to help you plan, prepare and succeed. 

And remember, there’s much more to graduation than standardized tests and entrance exams. Check out the graduation requirements for New Code Academy to make sure you have a plan to graduate and your goals.

Advanced Placement® (AP)

New Code Academy students who enroll in AP courses have the opportunity to take a comprehensive exam at the end of the year to earn college credit. Taking the AP exam for a class is optional and does not affect the New Code Academy grade you get for the class. It is a standardized exam given by the College Board, an independent nonprofit organization, and is designed to measure how well you’ve mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. 

Visit the New Code Academy high school course catalog to explore the AP course options available to you during high school. If you’d like help deciding if AP classes and exams fit well with your academic goals, let your teacher or counselor know. 

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)

The MCAs are tests in reading, mathematics and science that are given to Minnesota students every year to meet federal and state legislative requirements. The tests are designed to compare student performance to the standards of what students in a particular grade should know and be able to do.

At New Code Academy, students will take the MCAs in the (grades, season, etc.). Your MCA participation, including preparation for the exams and reporting of results after the exams, will be coordinated by the New Code Academy team.

ACT and SAT college exams

The ACT and SAT are the two primary college readiness exams used by colleges and universities across the U.S. The New Code Academy team is here to help you decide on which test or tests to take, based on your goals for college and career. 

Here are answers to a few of the most common questions students ask (or wonder!) about the SAT and ACT:


Yes! But if you consider the fee for each test — not to mention getting up early or taking time out of your schedule for the testing appointment — it’s best to prepare for the first test as if you can only take it once.

These are practice standardized tests that will help you know what to expect when you take the SAT and/or ACT. They are also helpful tools to decide which of the two exams better highlights your strengths.

Planning ahead is the key to success! Most students take the PSAT and/or Pre-ACT the fall of sophomore year. This timeline will put you on track to take the SAT and/or ACT your junior year.

There are free SAT practice tools at satpractice.org, or you can search Google for free practice tests of either type.

Be sure to let your New Code Academy counselor know if you think you might qualify for a testing fee waiver available to lower-income households. We can help.

Set a timeline that reduces rushing and deadlines and leaves plenty of flexibility if your plans change or you decide to take the test again. Junior year is the target for the SAT and ACT, registering in the fall for winter test dates. This timeline allows you to register for test dates in the winter — and provides additional time before applying for college, if you decide to retake the exam.

Great question. Retaking a test to get a better score does carry the risk that your score could go down. Your most recent ACT or SAT exam score is what will be sent to colleges and universities, whether it is the same, higher or lower than your first score.

Not necessarily. While the vast majority of institutions do require at least one of the exams, some do not. Make your life as easy as possible by looking up the admission requirements for the colleges and universities that interest you most.