Registration Reminder

Remember, today is the late registration deadline for the October 7th  SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

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A Standardized Testing Primer

There is no denying standardized testing is an important part of the college application process. However important, though, your scores are evaluated along with your grades, rigor of curriculum, essays, interviews and letters of recommendation. We hope the following will help you cope with your testing options:

Juniors, with ACTs, SATs and SAT IIs to choose from, standardized testing can be overwhelming. If you use this information to get organized and formulate your own personal testing plan, you may feel a bit more at ease.

  • If you’ve taken the PSAT, you score offers valuable feedback. If you haven’t yet take the test, you still have time. This year it’s given on October 11th during the school day. Once you have your test results back, review and identify the sections you need to work on.
  • Take an online ACT and SAT practice test and compare your scores. Talk to your guidance counselor, as well as your parents, to determine which test is best for you to plan to take.
  • Understand each college’s specific test requirements. For example, some schools require the SAT and 2 Subject Tests, some require 3 Subject Tests, others will accept the ACT instead while others require no standardized tests at all.
  •  Hundreds of colleges do not require either exam as a part of their application process and call themselves ‘test optional’.  FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, provides a complete list of 4 year SAT/ACT test optional universities.
  • Look at the ACT and College Board test dates and registration deadlines for the entire school year. Plan ahead for the academic year and choose test dates that you have enough time to prepare for and don’t conflict with any  personal obligations. Register for tests as soon as possible in order to gain a spot at the location of your choice.
  • Find out if you qualify for test fee waivers. Test fee waivers allow you to register for the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and/or the ACT free of charge. Both College Board and ACT make fee waivers available to qualifying students who are unable to pay the test fee. Request an ACT fee waiver from your high school guidance counselor and an SAT fee waivers from your guidance counselor or an authorized community based organization in your area.
  • Keep a master calendar of the tests, test dates and locations that you register for and save your admission ticket in a safe place where you’ll remember it on the morning(s) of the test. Make sure your family is also aware of your testing schedule.
  • FYI, a college may also use your scores to award scholarships, determine placement in college classes, and offer admission to special programs once you’re accepted.

Seniors, Register now for any tests you want to retake. If you’re thinking about applying early decision, check with the admissions office so you’re aware of the last possible test date that they will consider.


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CollegeBoard Supports Students Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

The College Board is offering a free October SAT registration and a CSS Profile fee waiver to students affected by Hurricane Harvey. Details are provided on The College Board website.

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Registration Reminder

Today is the deadline for registration with no penalty for the October 28th ACT.

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Top Tips for Attending College Fairs

College fairs bring together many colleges and universities in one place and are a great way to start your college search.  Attend fairs to learn more about schools you’re interested in, gain exposure to schools you may not be familiar with, connect with admissions reps and get answers to your questions, including questions regarding financial aid.

Here are some tips on how you can get the most out of college fairs:  

1.  DO YOUR RESEARCH.  Look online at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) fall schedule. NACAC also offers a schedule for students interested in the performing and visual arts. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation also maintains a college fair calendar and agencies in your state may do the same.  Check with your guidance counselor for a complete schedule of fairs in your school district.

2.  SIGN UP IN ADVANCE.  Avoid the lines when you arrive.  Complete the NACAC online registration form, then print your barcode and take it to the fair. By scanning your code, college reps will have your information and eliminate the need for you to fill out individual information cards at each booth. They’ll also have your information if they want to reach out to you.

3.  GET READY FOR THE FAIR.  Review the list of participating schools and decide which reps you’d like to visit with and which events you’d like to attend. Prepare by thinking about what type of school may be the best for you and have a few talking points ready.  Ask reps questions that are school specific and can’t easily be answered by looking at their website. Don’t forget to ask for business cards after your conversations.

4.  PLAN YOUR DAY.  When you arrive, pick up a map and begin with the schools at the top of your list.  Keep an open mind as you walk through the aisles and stop in to look at a variety of schools and chat with their reps.  Collect brochures and course catalogs to review later when you have more time.

5.  FOLLOW UP WITH REPS.  Reach our with an email if you have any additional questions.  You may also consider sending a thank you note or email if you felt you had a meaningful conversation with any particular rep.

6.  GET ORGANIZED.  Sort through all the glossy materials  you collected and save the ones you’re interested in. Go online, research the schools you liked and create a preliminary list of schools you’re interested in.



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What To Do Next?

You’re back in school. In addition to getting to know your teachers and finding your way through your assignments and after school commitments, you may be (or should consider) thinking about what you can do to move your college bound process forward. Here are a few things to do now:

Schedule a meeting with your guidance counselor or college counselor.  Seniors, plan to talk about any additional standardized testing you want to schedule, go through the schools you’re considering and finalize your list with your counselor.  Juniors, this fall is the perfect time meet with your guidance counselor to get better acquainted.

Set up a new email account. Use this email exclusively for your college search and application process. Choose an email address that is straight forward, appropriate and easy to read, as this is the account you’ll be using to communicate with admissions and financial aid officers.

Save your work. Get into the habit of saving your application work as well as important school assignments and papers by using a back-up device, such as a USB  or online storage.

Get organized. Using charts or lists, keep track of all the user names and passwords you set up throughout the college process. Jot down your social security number too. Once you begin registering for standardized tests, keep a list of dates, registration deadlines and locations you scheduled. You will need to create another list to keep track of your scores. Have all these lists in one place for safe keeping and easy access.



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Get Ready

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • Admission/Standby ticket
  • Acceptable form of photo ID
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • Calculator

SUGGESTED: These are things you may want to bring along.

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

alarm clockSet your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!


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