PSAT & SAT Tests & Fee Waivers
SAT vs. ACT:
The following document highlights some of the differences between SAT and ACT tests. Our recommendation is that juniors take both SAT and ACT in late winter/spring, and then repeat at least one test in the fall of senior year.
Handout: SAT/ACT 101
The PSAT Test:
The Preliminary SAT test will be administered each October, usually to all students in grade 9-11. This is a great opportunity for students to get some understanding of what it is like to take this sort of reasoning test. The score reports that students receive contain valuable information and tips for how to improve their scores. The PSAT is often used to predict success in AP courses and is also used as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Juniors who score exceptionally high on the PSAT may qualify for various awards and scholarships. For more information, please visit the PSAT/NMSQT website at the College Board.
The PSAT test date for the 2019-2020 school year is October 16, 2019. Below is a link from College Board about understanding and interpreting your PSAT Score Report:
Reading a PSAT Score Report
Understanding PSAT Scores
The SAT Tests:
New SAT: Substantial changes were made to the SAT in March of 2016. For more information visit the College Board website and/or view this handout.
SAT: This is the standard SAT test that is required by most colleges for admission. The test is administered several times each year. Students are tested on critical reading, mathematical, and writing abilities. Anybody who is planning to go to college should plan to take the SAT. Typically, students will take the SAT in spring of their junior year. We recommend that students take the test again at the beginning of their senior year. A free publication from the College Board, "SAT Preparation Booklet", is available online with limited quantities available in the counseling office.
SAT Subject Tests: These tests (formerly known as Achievement Tests or SAT II Tests) are offered in several different subject areas. Students may take up to three tests on any testing date. About thirty percent of colleges require that applicants take SAT Subject Tests. These schools are usually the most competitive and selective schools. Another group of schools (about 1/3) recommend, but do not require, that students take SAT Subject Tests. Finally, a large group of schools neither require nor recommend that applicants take SAT Subject Tests. Typically, a school that requires SAT Subject Tests will require three. Please note that even though the Writing test is no longer offered, many schools are still expected to require three tests. Most specify which tests to take (a Math test is often required), but some let students choose. All scores become part of the student's College Board record and will be sent along to colleges with all other SAT and SAT Subject Test scores.
Students who decide to take SAT Subject Tests may want to obtain a copy of one of the test prep books. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the SAT Subject Tests may test some material that is not a part of the curriculum. The prep book will expose students to some of the material that will be on the test that they may not have covered in class. Secondly, the prep book will offer a chance to take at least one full-length practice test, which is a very valuable experience. A free booklet, "Subject Test Preparation Booklet", published by the College Board, is available in the guidance office.
SAT 2019-2020 Test Dates
Fee waivers are available for both the SAT and ACT exams. In order to be eligible, students must receive some sort of government assistance like free/reduced lunch, Peach Care, public housing, etc. For more information or to obtain fee waivers, students should see Ms. Hodges. Students who are eligible for fee waivers can take each test twice for free. Students who use a waiver to take an SAT exam will have access to four college application fee waivers through the College Board.