Karen Berlin Ishii, One-to-One Test Prep and Homework Help
Some four-year colleges will be interested only in your transcript from your community college, not your SATs, so contact the admission offices of the schools you are interested in to find out their policies.
The decision to take the current SAT – which will be offered through 2015 and in January 2016 – or the redesigned SAT, which will start in March 2016, depends partly on when you need to present your test scores. You could take a practice SAT in the current iteration and one in the new format, both of which are downloadable from the College Board website. There is, however, no concordance chart or data yet, so you won't be able to compare your results. You might get a feeling, though, of which test suits you better.
While you are contacting admissions offices, you should ask if they have a preference for the current test or the new one, and also whether they require or recommend that you write the essay if you are taking the redesigned exam. That makes a big difference in your time spent in preparation and on the exam, as the new exam's essay is 50 minutes long – twice as long as the current exam's version.
You might also consider the ACT and ask if that is acceptable in lieu of the SAT. The new SAT is somewhat like the ACT in content, as it introduces harder math and science facility, with charts and graphs to analyze in every section of the test (yes, even in the reading and grammar sections). Check out the act.org website for a practice ACT to download and do. If you do practice tests to see which is the best fit, be sure to do each test in one (long!) sitting, using the bubble sheets, and timing yourself accurately. Don't just look the test over to get a feel for it; timing on the ACT and new SAT is particularly critical and will affect your scores more than on the current SAT.