Making Sense of Standardized Testing

imagesJuniors, all this talk about ACTs and SATs may be stressing you out.  While standardized testing is an important part of the college application process, don’t let it overwhelm you. Map out a plan instead.

  • Although a “practice” round, the PSAT still offers valuable feedback.  Look at your score and identify your strong points and areas you need to work on.
  •  Take an online ACT and SAT practice test and compare your scores to determine which test is best for you.
  • Talk to your guidance counselor, as well as your parents for input on which test to take.
  • Look at school websites to understand their specific testing requirements. For example, some schools require the SAT and 2 Subject Tests, some require 3 Subject Tests, while others require none.
  • Test optional schools offer a different route. Hundreds of colleges do not require either exam as a part of their application process. FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, provides a complete list of 4 year SAT/ACT test optional universities.
  • Juniors, plan ahead by looking at the ACT and College Board test dates and registration deadlines for the school year. Think about your commitments, choose test dates that do not conflict with any of your own personal obligations and talk to your parents to clear the test dates you are considering with the family calendar as well. Sign-up for tests as soon as possible to ensure your spot at the location of your choice.
  • Seniors, if you’re considering retaking a test, register now. If applying early decision, check with the admissions office to determine the last possible test date that will be considered.
  • It’s a good idea to keep a master calendar of the tests, test dates and locations that you register for. Make sure your family is aware of your testing schedule.
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