College Testing Info Night
Question:
1. Standardized tests are a lot of fun:
Gardner Humphreys
College & Career Center Specialist
George C. Marshall HS
What are the Tests
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SAT, ACT, (TOEFL, ASVAB, etc.)
Trying to measure content learned,
aptitude; about 4 hours
Provide a common yardstick
Both SAT and ACT widely accepted
Not an IQ test, not the final word!
Role in Admissions
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Most schools say grades and
strength of schedule are
what’s most important
Scores used as check on a
college's view of you; one more data point
"Competitive" scores often mean a range, not
a threshold
Value can depend on context: intended
major, geographic region, gender, etc.
What’s Inside
SAT
ACT
3 scores:
5 scores:
Reading
Math
Writing
Scored 200 - 800
Reading
Math
(Writing)
Science
English
Scored 1 - 36
Differences
SAT
No science
Algebra 2 and
functions,
formulas provided
Lose ¼ point
Demanding
Increases
vs.
CONTENT
MATH LEVEL
SCORING /
GUESSING
LANGUAGE
DIFFICULTY LEVEL
ACT
35-min Science
section
Some
trigonometry, no
formulas provided
No deduction
Plain
Random
ACT Sections - Science
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One 35-minute section
40 multiple-choice questions
Not like a school science test.
Read science-based passages and
answer questions about the passages.
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Data Representation
Research Summaries
Conflicting Viewpoints
SAT Sections - Essay
Essay measures your ability to:
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develop a point of view on an issue
presented in an excerpt
support your point of view using reasoning
and examples
follow standard written English
Essay about 30% of your Writing score
SAT Subject Tests
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Only some colleges require
SAT Subject Tests
Up to 3 subjects per date
Cannot be taken the same day
as the SAT Test
Consider taking Subject Tests at
the end of an advanced course
Not offered all dates
Sometimes ACT is enough
SAT – Subject Tests
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Languages
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Reading Only
Reading and Listening
Literature
U.S. History
World History
Mathematics Level 1
(Thru Geometry)
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Mathematics Level 2
(Thru precalc and/or trig)
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Biology E/M
(Ecological/Molecular)
Chemistry
Physics
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Languages: Reading Only
 French
 German
 Modern Hebrew
 Italian
 Latin
 Spanish
Languages: Reading and
Listening
 Chinese
 French
 German
 Japanese
 Korean
 Spanish
Practice Tests
At GCM:
 9th Grade - ACT Explore
 10 & 11th Grade - PSAT (11th - NSMQT)
 Reports back to class in December
 GCM should have extra copy
 SAVE THAT REPORT or
CODE!!
ACT Explore
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The COMPOSITE SCORE is the average of the four
core subject scores (rounded).
ACT Explore, cont.
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…SKILLS to work on to improve!
PSAT Report
What’s next?
Use the access code on your
report to log in to My College
QuickStart, a personalized
college and career planning kit.
There you can:
•Search for colleges
•Get a personalized SAT study
plan
•Take a personality test to find
majors and careers that fit you
www.collegeboard.com/quickstart
PSAT
See how you did on each skill.
The same skills are tested on
the SAT.
You can try hundreds of practice
questions, organized by skill,
online in My College QuickStart
(www.collegeboard.com/quickst
art).
Make a Plan
1.
What level of scores are my goal?
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2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
use Family Connection, other tools
Which tests are best?
Focus on low areas
Try ACT and SAT
Make a calendar
Try different methods, strategies
Family Connection &
PrepMe
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Create a Parent View account fcps.blackboard.com
Family Connection &
PrepMe
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Create a Parent View account fcps.blackboard.com
GCM Ranges
(Not this kind)
SAT
 Math 530-670
 Reading 520-650
 Combined 1070-1310
ACT
 Composite 22-29
The Middle 50%
SAT
ACT
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*VCU
980-1190
20-26
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*GMU
1050-1250
23-28
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UVA
1240-1460
28-32
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Tufts
1360-1500
30-33
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Beware Scattergram averages
Look at context: school, region, major, etc.
Registering
Students register at:
ACT
www.actstudent.org
SAT
www.collegeboard.com
Registration Steps
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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Pick date carefully
Get a fee waiver if you qualify
Select your 4 FREE colleges
Register online -- GCM not a site
Use official name and address
Decide if you want lots of mail!
(SSS won’t send SSN, phone # or scores)
Sign up for “Question of the Day”
Changes only until deadline, with fee
Test Day
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You slept, right?
Practice finding site, visit the room
= less unkowns, more knowns!
What to bring:
Ticket, ID, calculator, pencils, snack
 Checklist online
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2013 Dates
(no summer)
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SAT
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ACT
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February 9
April 13
June 8
ACT has
“standby” SAT
has “waitlist”,
require preregistration
Fees 2012-13
SAT Reasoning Test
 $50.00 for regular and
$77.00 for late registration
 Includes 4 score
reports selected within
9 days of test.
SAT Subject Test
 $23 basic registration,
 PLUS $12.00 per subject
tests, Except is PLUS $23
for Listening tests
Extra Reports = $11 each
ACT
 $35.00 for basic test
 Includes 4 score reports
selected at test time
 $50 for basic + writing
 Add $21 for late registration
 Extra Reports = $11.00 each
* See about Fee Waivers for FRL or special
circumstances
Sending Scores
Student responsibility
 Remember the 4 Free?
 Sent 3 weeks +/- after test date and
posted online; after that 1-2 weeks
after request, plus processing
 Most use Superscore for SAT
 Beware of Score Choice and Rush
Cost: 11$ per school
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Common Questions
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NCAA Division I Sliding Scale 400-1010,
3.550-2.000 GPA
AP and IB test scores
Scores and admission calendar (ED, rolling,
deferred, waitlist, etc.)
Transferring
Community College
Schools outside U.S.
FREE TEST PREP
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fcps.blackboard.com - (SAT) Family
Connection: PrepMe
 gcmhslibrary.com – (ACT & SAT Subject Tests)
GCM Library\Databases\Career, College,
Lifeskills\Testing
 collegeboard.org/practice -- PSAT code at My
College QuickStart and SAT “Question of the
Day” email or iTunes app
 actstudent.org/sampletest – practice questions
and sample writing prompts and essays
 FREE study guides (!) and practice tests in
Career Center – Learn, after school, Mondays
 Teacher Workdays – Jan. 28 & 29 PrepMe
Merit Aid &
Scholarships
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Examples:
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Longwood – 1200 SAT/3.5 gets $8,500/yr
 Ferrum
– 1200 SAT/3.5 gets $20,000/yr
Check Family Connection; finaid.org;
meritaid.com
 Check with admissions and financial aid
 Priority Dates: e.g. GMU is Dec. 1 !
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Test Optional Colleges
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Verify with each college.
Often have requirements in order to qualify
(e.g. GMU: 3.5, course strength, extracurriculars,
teacher letter, estimated top 20%)
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List of some colleges at www.fairtest.org
Questions?
(survey)
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facebook.com/mstatesmen
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George C. Marshall High School