College Testing Information
CLASS OF 2021
From the National Association of College Admissions Counselors 8/14/20
The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty among students and families about nearly all aspects of the college admission process, including the role of standardized testing.
Due to the cancellation of SAT and ACT testing dates, more than 1,450 US colleges and universities announced they are moving to a test-optional policy, and more will surely follow. By going test-optional, institutions are making a definitive statement that they will not need test scores to make admission decisions this year.
In mid-October, 9th graders will be taking the PSAT 8/9 online using their school issued IPad. The PSAT 8/9 tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10—in a way that makes sense for eighth and ninth graders. It measures what they’re already learning, shows them whether they’re on track for college, and lets them know where they need the most improvement. That means students have time to tackle these areas long before they take the SAT. (College Board, Meet the PSAT 8/9, 2019,https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-8-9/k12-educators/overview)
The PSAT will be given to all sophomores at the High School in mid-October 2020. The PSAT is a preliminary test for the SAT and is something each college bound junior should take. It is the test which can qualify a student for the National Merit Scholarship Competition as a junior.
The ACT Test is a college entrance exam made up of four sections: English, Reading, Math, and Science. Writing is an optional part of the exam. Please check with your colleges to see if they recommend or require the writing section. The maximum score on each section is a 36. The four sections are averaged together to get a composite score. This composite score is what we generally talk about as an ACT score; national average is 21. Late Winter or Early Spring of your Junior year is the ideal time to take your first ACT. You must register online at www.actstudent.org. Cost: $68.00 with Writing, $52.00 No Writing.
The SAT college entrance exam consists of two sections: Evidence Based Reading and Math. The essay secton is optional. A perfect score for each is an 800. When we hear people talk of their SAT scores, they combine these for the score. A 500 Verbal and a 500 Math, would give you an 1000 SAT score. Winter or early spring is the ideal time to take your first SAT in your Junior year. You must register online at www.collegeboard.org. Be sure you follow deadlines! Cost: $64.50 (includes Writing) $49.50 without Writing.
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject scores are recommended or required by some more selective schools. These are specific subject area tests.
*Fee waivers for all tests are available in Counseling Center for students on free/reduced lunch.
Students will need to order official test scores directly from ACT or College Board. ACT and College Board will then send students' scores directly to the colleges that they request. Test scores are not reported on the transcript. Students may opt to send up to four score reports to colleges for free on any given test date at the time of registration. Additional score reports can be requested online through the ACT and College Board websites. Rush orders are available through ACT and College Board for an additional fee.
Cost: ACT- $12.00 per score report, SAT-$12.00 per score report.
* As a general rule, we suggest students take both the ACT and the SAT one time. Then students will choose to retake the test they feel most comfortable with. The first testing should DEFINITELY be completed by the end of Junior Year.