STANDARDIZED TESTS

There is a great anxiety surrounding the idea of standardized tests.  In addition, many colleges are taking a fresh look at the way they use standardized tests; a few schools have even stopped requiring them. Standardized test alone can not calculate your academic success.  Admissions will review test scores in combination with your academic achievement and extracurricular activities in the admissions process.

 

SAT PREPARATION

Most students will take the SAT Reasoning twice, once in the spring of their Junior year and once the following fall (Senior year). It is strongly recommended that you take the test at least twice.

You can prepare for the SAT in a number of ways. The simplest and least expensive method (and one that most College Board Examiners recommend) is to read through "Taking The SAT I: Reasoning Test," a free booklet available in the College Center. The booklet contains test taking tips, sample questions with explanations, and a practice test.

For further help, you can purchase SAT review books at your local bookstore and take more practice tests. Have a friend or family member time each section just like in the actual SAT. Speak with your teachers about specific test questions or concepts you don't understand. Continue taking TIMED practice tests so that time pressure won't fluster you when you take the real thing. Additionally, you might want to seriously consider taking a test prep course.

If you have access to the Internet, check out the following links: www.testprep.com, www.collegeboard.com, www.tamingthesat.org

SAT REGISTRATION

In order to take the SAT, you must fill out and send in the SAT registration form, available in the College Center. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

If registering via paper form use a #2 pencil to fill in every part of the form. You can also register online at www.collegeboard.com (online method is convient

Obtain your schools code from your college counselor or on College Board website.

Please pay attention to the deadlines for submitting the registration forms and follow all directions. Late fees are expensive and the College Board does not accept excuses.

If you have any questions, contact your ATLAAS or school counselor.

SAT REASONING:

If you are worried about your SAT scores, here are a few pointers:

1. The SAT Reasoning Test measures developed verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities that are involved in successful academic work in school.

2. Scores on the SAT improve as educational experiences (both in and out of school) cause verbal and mathematical abilities to develop.

3. Repeated practice on sample test questions will help familiarize you with different question types and should reduce your anxiety over what to expect.

4. Generally, the best preparation for the SAT is to work hard in your courses and to do lots of outside reading. SAT Reasoning score increases of 20-30 points correspond to about three additional questions answered correctly. These results can become cumulative with repeated testing, solid day to day schoolwork, extra test preparation and awareness of test procedures.

5. Reading comprehension is the most important part of the SATs. Good books increase your       comprehension and your vocabulary, even for the Math portion!!

 

 

 

SAT SUBJECT TESTS:

While the SAT Reasoning Tests measures verbal and mathematical reasoning skills, the SAT Subject Tests are designed to measure knowledge, and the ability to apply that knowledge, in specific subject areas.

The following is a listing of the SAT Subject Test options:

English, Literature, History and Social Studies, United States History (formerly American History and Social Studies), World History, Mathematics, Mathematics Level 1 (formerly Mathematics IC), Mathematics Level 2 (formerly Mathematics IIC), Science, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, Languages (French, French with Listening, German, German with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese with Listening, Korean with Listening, Latin, Spanish and Spanish with Listening)

Most Subject Tests are offered several times a year, on the same dates as the SAT Reasoning Test. You cannot take both the SAT Reasoning and the Subject on the same date. However, you may take up to three SAT Subject Tests on the same date, as each individual Subject Test is approximately one-hour in length

Students should take the Subject Tests in the spring of their Junior year and again in the following fall, but students at any grade level are encouraged to take an SAT Subject Test immediately after completing an Honors or AP level course, while the material is still fresh in mind. If you are in the third year of a foreign language and have done well but do not plan to continue into a fourth year, you should take the SAT Subject Test in that language.

Most colleges requiring or recommending SAT Subject Tests ask you to take at least three tests, the most you can take on any one test date

If you are applying to a UC, you must take two SAT Subject Tests of your choice.

It is recommended that you take the subjects in which you are strongest. Please note that some universities require specific Subject Tests depending on your major. Please check for individual college requirements.

Several weeks prior to the tests, budget study time and prepare by reading "Taking the SAT II: Subject Tests," available in the College Center. Work the examples given. Bookstores also carry review books for each subject area. Ask your teachers for help as you prepare for these tests. Preparing in advance can make a real difference.

ACT:

ACT (no writing): $33.00

ACT plus Writing: $48.00

Late Registration Fee: ACT(No Writing/Plus Writing)Fee + $21.00

Make sure you know if the school(s) you apply to require the writing section of the ACT. More schools are requiring the Writing portion.

The simplest and most efficient way to register is to go to www.act.org (but the only way to pay online is by credit card). However, the counselors do have a limited number of paper copies of the registration form if a student is applying for disability accommodations for the first time or you wish to pay by check or money order.

If you are worried about your ACT scores, here are a few pointers:

ACT is administered by a different testing service than the SAT’s.

Some colleges will accept either the SAT Reasoning or ACT scores check with the college you are e applying to.

The SAT Reasoning Test measures reasoning ability, the ACT measures skill in specific subject areas. Also, if your Math skills are weak the math section will count only 1/4 of the total ACT score compared with 1/2 of the SAT Reasoning. The same holds true for English skills. If you are discouraged about your SAT Reasoning scores, you do have another option. Numerous ACT dates are available throughout the year which does not conflict with SAT test dates. If you want more information, check with the college counselor.

 

IMPORTANT TESTING INFORMATION

Sign my name

You must use exactly the same name for all tests, college applications, school reports, high school diplomas and whenever talking to The College Board and/or ACT program. If you do not use the exact same name your scores will get lost; the testing programs will think you are several different people. (For example, if your name is David Smith but you sometimes go by Dave Smith or D. Smith use your legal name (name on driver license/social security card all must match) on all college tests, applications, etc...

Social security number

If you are an American citizen you will need a social security number when communicating with The College Board or ACT program and later with colleges. If you do not have one, it is important for you to obtain one before filing college applications. Schools keep computer records on each student by social security number and student identification numbers.

Student descriptive questionnaire

The student descriptive questionnaire section is optional but it provides useful information to the colleges, especially when they are looking for students with certain interests, credentials, etc. If you fill it out once, you will not have to fill it out again for subsequent tests.

Which colleges should I designate in the prepared report section?

If you are a Junior you may want to send the report to schools in which you have an interest most will then send you an application and view book. If you are a Senior, you should decide which will be the last time you will take the tests and at that time indicate all colleges which should receive a report. Be sure to keep your own list of colleges you designate on the form. Each report to colleges will include every SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Test you have taken before, as well as the scores for the latest test.

Registration deadline

Each deadline is a postmark deadline. If you put your registration form in the mail on the day of the deadline, make sure it will get postmarked that same day (get a certificate of mailing .80). If the posted date is not correct your registration will be returned to you. Don’t wait until the last day to register for your exam, there are only so many testing sites and they may fill up very fast. You will be given first and second choices for preferred testing site. Sign up early to insure a smooth testing experience.  You decide to register on the internet; the submission date is your postmark (make sure to print out your admission ticket).

- See www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org for more specifics.

Standby registration

If you have missed both the regular and late registration dates, standby registration for the SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT, is available on a first come, first served basis the morning of the test, provided: 

·         the test center has enough booklets and space

·         The student arrives early, bringing a completed registration form, photo I.D. and a check made payable to the appropriate testing agency for the test fee, plus the standby fee.

 

 

TAKING THE TEST

• You will receive a test date, location and verification ticket in the mail shortly after you mail your registration. If you register online, you will be able to print your ticket immediately.

• Check your ticket to verify that all the information is correct, particularly the test center location.

• Keep the student bulletins given to you with the registration forms, as they contain information concerning registration, lost tickets, change of test date, and score reports.

• REMEMBER: you must bring your photo I.D., #2 pencils, and your admission ticket. A calculator is not required in order to take any test, but you should bring your favorite calculator with you.

EXTENDED TIME TESTING

To be granted extended time by the various testing agencies requires forms signed by the Registrar verifying that the school has recent documentation on file. Signed by an L.D. specialist. If the student has not needed regular accommodations in his/her classes, the school must send the documentation to ETS (Educational Testing Services) in Princeton, NJ for a committee to decide whether or not the student is eligible for extended time (Plan B) at a test center. (The extended time SAT Reasoning is given at test Centers on the same dates as the regular SAT Reasoning tests, but special forms must be filled out by the student and sent in by the school. Forms must be submitted to your school of attendance.

Standardized Testing Dates and Deadlines: See Appendix

SAT PREPARATION CLASSES

First, check your local high school for SAT Prep workshops.

There are books and CD-ROM's available at your local book stores that can assist you with the SAT and ACT prep.  Practice make perfect, there is no better test prep than simply taking practice tests. The College Board publishes books of tests for this purpose.

There are outside companies, organizations and schools that offer SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject preparation classes (some free and for a fee).

Test Preparation Resources:

·         Kaplan 1-800-KAP-TEST or www.kaptest.com

·         Princeton Review           1-800-2-REVIEW or www.review.com

·         Ivy West (offers one-on-one tutoring)     1-800-IVY-WEST or www.ivywest.com

·         Revolution Prep            877-REV-PREP www.revolutionprep.com