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College admissions testing 2012 2013
College admissions testing 2012 2013
College admissions testing 2012 2013
College admissions testing 2012 2013
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College admissions testing 2012 2013

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A document to help BHSECQ students plan for college admissions testing.

A document to help BHSECQ students plan for college admissions testing.

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  • 1.   College Admissions Testing 2012-2013: • Recommended Testing Schedule • SAT, ACT and SAT vs. ACT • Subject Tests & Should you take Subject Tests? • Test Prep Options • Frequently Asked Questions   1  
  • 2. BHSEC Queens Recommended Testing Schedule 2012-2013:   • Winter  Y1:   o  Prep  for  Tests  at  BHSEC  or  elsewhere   • Spring  Y1     o  Take  1st    test    (March  SAT/April  ACT)     o Take  2nd  Test  if  you  don’t  like  your  scores  (May  or  June  SAT/  June  ACT)   • Spring  Y1   o Take  Optional  SAT  Subject  Tests  in  May  or  June   • Fall  Y2   o Take  Final  Test–  Early  Fall  of  Y2  (Sept-­‐October),  only  if  you  are  not  yet  happy   with  your  scores.      Overview of Standardized Tests Options  The  SAT  Reasoning  Test  (also  known  as  the  SAT  I)   • The  SAT  1,  referred  to  simply  as  The  SAT,  includes  three  sections:  Critical  Reading,   Math  and  Writing.  Each  section  is  scored  from  200–800  points.  The  Writing   component  has  a  student-­‐written  essay  that  is  scored  from  2-­‐12  points  and  counts   for  one  third  of  the  total  writing  score.   • The  national  average  for  the  SAT  is  roughly  500  on  each  section  for  a  total  of  about   1500.  The  BHSEC  Queens  average  is  545  in  Critical  Reading  and  568  in  Math  and  550   in  Writing.   • The  SAT  is  offered  seven  times  per  academic  year.   • To  register  go  to  www.collegeboard.org.     • The  Fee  is  $50    (Fee  Waivers  are  available  upon  request  in  the  CTO  for  students  on   free  and  reduced  lunch  and  must  be  requested  before  each  registration  deadline).   • Find  more  information  about  the  SAT  here  http://sat.collegeboard.org/about-­‐ tests/sat  and  here  http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/when-­‐to-­‐take-­‐sat    The  ACT  with  Writing:   • The  ACT  has  four  sections:  English,  Reading,  Math  and  Science.  There  is  also  an   optional  Writing  section,  but  colleges  expect  to  see  this  section  completed.  Each   section  is  scored  from  1  to  36  and  students  receive  a  composite  score  that  is  an   average  of  the  four  sections.    The  national  average  is  about  21.   • The  ACT  is  offered  6  times  per  calendar  year   • Register  for  the  ACT  with  Writing  at  www.actstudent.org.    Fee:  $50.50    (Fee  Waivers   are  available  upon  request  in  the  CTO  for  students  on  free  and  reduced  lunch.)     2  
  • 3. • Find  more  information  about  the  ACT  here:   http://www.actstudent.org/faq/what.html  and  here   http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html    The  Subject  Tests  (also  known  as  SAT  II’s):   • A  relatively  small  number  of  highly  selective  colleges  require  two-­‐-­‐any  two-­‐-­‐of  these   hour-­‐long  subject-­‐specific  exams,  otherwise  known  as  SAT  2s  or  subject  tests.    Out  of   the  456  colleges  and  universities  that  are  part  of  the  Common  Application   (www.commonapp.org),  only  about  30  require  subject  tests.  (Scroll  down  to  the   bottom  of  this  email  for  details  on  schools  that  require  subject  tests.)       • Subject  tests  are  offered  in  Literature,  U.S.  History,  World  History,  Math,  Biology,   Chemistry,  Physics,  and  a  variety  of  languages.     • SAT  2s  are  administered  six  times  per  academic  year.   • Students  can  take  up  to  three  tests  in  one  day  but  cannot  take  them  on  the  same  day   as  the  SAT  Reasoning  test.   • Students  who  elect  to  take  the  SAT  Subject  tests,  usually  do  so  at  the  end  of  Y1  or   when  they  finish  a  course  in  a  subject.     • Register  at  www.collegeboard.org.    Fee:  $23    (Fee  Waivers  are  available  upon  request   in  the  CTO  for  students  who  receive  free  and  reduced  lunch.)   • Free  SAT  Subject  Tests  are  online  at    http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-­‐ subject-­‐test-­‐preparation   • Find  for  information  about  the  Subject  tests  here:  http://sat.collegeboard.org/about-­‐ tests/sat-­‐subject-­‐tests    Which Should You Take? ACT vs. SAT  SAT  or  ACT?  All  colleges  equally  accept  bot  the  SAT  and  the  ACT  with  Writing.    Tradition  stands  that  students  on  the  East  Coast  take  the  SAT  –  but  since  when  have  BHSEC  students  followed  trends?  A  growing  number  of  students  on  the  easy  coast  are  taking  the  ACT  instead.  So  how  do  students  decide  which  test  to  take?    Its  too  time  consuming  and  expensive  to  take  and  prep  for  both.  To  answer  this  question  then,  students  should  go  by  feel.    Which  test  feels  better?    To  find  out  the  answers  to  these  questions,  either  register  for  a  FREE  Princeton  Review  practice  ACT  and  SAT  or  complete  practice  questions  which  can  be  found  on  both  the  College  Board  and  the  ACT  websites.  Also,  factor  the  benefits  of  the  ACT  regarding  subject  test  requirements  (see  section  4)  into  your  decision.     • Register  for  a  FREE  practice  SAT  -­‐-­‐either  online  on  your  own  time,  or  find  a  proctored   exam  at  a  convenient  location  and  time:   http://www.princetonreview.com/ChooseProducts.aspx?testtype=TAA&producttype= FRE&productdetail=SATEventsNearYou&zipcode=10012     3  
  • 4. • Register  for  a  FREE  practice  ACT  -­‐-­‐either  online  on  your  own  time,  or  find  a  proctored   exam  at  a  convenient  location  and  time:   http://www.princetonreview.com/ChooseProducts.aspx?testtype=TBA&producttype= FRE&productdetail=ACTEventsNearYou&zipcode=10012   Still  not  sure  which  test  to  take?    Check  out  the  Q  &  A  on  the  NY  Times  Blog:   http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/guidance-­‐office-­‐ask-­‐sat-­‐act/  Should you take SAT Subject Tests?  Students  should  take  subject  tests  if  the  schools  they  are  interested  in  require  them  or  if  they  feel  there  is  a  subject  they  have  particularly  excelled  in  that  they  want  to  showcase.    In  general,  you’ll  want  to  take  SAT  Subject  Tests  right  after  you’ve  completed  the  recommended  classes  because  the  material  will  still  be  fresh  in  your  mind.  For  the  language  tests,  however,  you  should  consider  taking  these  tests  after  you’ve  studied  the  language  for  at  least  two  years.    However,  many  students  and  families  assume  that  ‘all  schools  require’  them,  which  is  not  true.       1. Colleges  Where  No  Subject  Tests  Are  Necessary:  There  are  420+  Colleges  on  the   Common  App  that  do  NOT  require  subject  tests:  For  a  complete  list,  go  to:   https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/docs/downloadforms/common2010_Gri d.pdf     2. 20  Colleges  Where  ACT  with  Writing  Can  Be  Substituted  For  The  Subject  Tests:   The  following  20+  colleges,  submitting  the  ACT  with  Writing  will  actually  excuse  you   from  the  SAT  Subject  test  requirement!  However  if  you  submit  the  SAT  to  them,  then   you  must  also  submit  2  Subject  tests  (in  these  cases,  taking  the  ACT  can  be  helpful):   Amherst,  Barnard,  Colby,  Bryn  Mawr,  Brown  University,  Boston  University,  Boston   College,  Duke  University,  Haverford  College,  Hamilton  College,  Franklin  Olin  College  of   Engineering,  Pomona  College,  Rice  University,  Tufts  University,  Swarthmore  College,   Wellesley  College,  Vassar  College,  University  of  Pennsylvania,  Wesleyan  University,  and   Yale  University     3. 10  Colleges  Where  Subject  Tests  Always  Required:  At  the  following  10  colleges  and   universities  student  are  required  to  submit  2  Subject  Tests  regardless  of  whether  you   submit  the  SAT  or  the  ACT  with  Writing:  Carnegie  Mellon,  Cal  Tech,  Columbia  U.,  Cornell,   Dartmouth,  Johns  Hopkins    (does  not  require  subject  tests  but  STRONGLY  urges   applicants  to  submit  two),  Harvey  Mudd  College,  Harvard,  Princeton  and  Williams     4  
  • 5. Options for Test Prep:  BHSEC  Winter  Princeton  On  Campus  Review  Courses:  We  will  be  offering  The  Princeton  Review  ACT  and  The  Princeton  Review  SAT  test  preparation  classes  at  BHSEC  this  winter.  The  SAT  prep  course  starts  in  December  to  prepare  students  for  the  March  exam  and  the  ACT  course  starts  in  February  for  the  April  exam.  To  apply,  email  our  Princeton  Review  representative,  Eutilia  Ruggiero  at  ERuggiero@Review.com  Here  is  the  link  the  course  flier  with  sign  up  information:  https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0GuVfIhnwrabm5qQmxjcmdsVHc  Courses  are  $399  with  an  early  enrollment  discount  if  you  sign  up  BEFORE  DECEMBER  1st.    The  Princeton  Review  does  offer  financial  aid  to  qualifying  students.  Please  remember  that  if  you  are  financially  eligible,  you  can  receive  up  to  almost  full  financial  aid  for  the  Princeton  Review  course  taught  at  BHSECQ      Outside  Courses  And  Prep:  If  you  enroll  for  an  SAT  or  ACT  class  outside  of  BHSEC  at  one  of  the  major  for-­‐profit  test  prep  companies  such  as  Kaplan,  (presumably  because  our  classes  do  not  fit  your  schedule)  even  if  it  is  offered  by  the  Princeton  Review,  the  same  company  that  is  teaching  the  course  at  BHSEC,  there  is  usually  no  financial  aid.  Classes  outside  of  BHSEC  through  Kaplan  and  Princeton  Review  are  typically  $599.    Both  companies  also  offer  some  online  course  options  for  $299.    We  also  keep  a  list  of  free/low  cost  SAT  prep  options  (ACT  prep  is  harder  to  come  by)  in  the  CTO.  Students  should  come  ask  for  it.      Prepping  on  Your  Own  (only  recommended  in  conjunction  with  a  course):  We  do  not  recommend  simply  prepping  from  a  book.  While  it  may  be  tempting  to  feel  that  simply  taking  many  practice  tests  at  a  table  using  a  timer  is  all  the  test  prep  needed,  we  have  found  this  not  to  be  true.  That  being  said,  at  most  bookstores  you  will  find  test  prep  books  that  offer  test-­‐taking  tips  and  sample  tests  with  answers.  We  also  recommend  these  sites.   • Number2.com  as  an  online  resource  for  free  SAT/ACT  Prep   • Khan  Academy  for  SAT  Math     • PWN  The  SAT  for  SAT  Math-­‐especially  for  intermediate  and  upper  level  test  takers.   • Ultimate  Verbal  Blog-­‐for  Critical  Reading  and  Writing   • College  Board  Site-­‐for  free  practice  tests,  sample  questions,  and  word  of  the  day   • Actstudent.org  for  free  practice  tests  and  sample  questions.   • Quizlet-­‐for  SAT  vocabulary   • Free  Rice-­‐for  improving  vocabulary  and  donating  to  charity     5  
  • 6. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  1)  Q:  How  many  BHSEC  students  take  the  ACT  vs  the  SAT?       • Last  year  about  a  1/3  of  the  class  took  the  ACT.    This  percentage  gets  higher  each   year.        Many  more  students  said,  “I  wish  I  would  have  taken  the  ACT  instead…”  2)  Q:  Does  every  college  really  accept  the  ACT  with  Writing?    Do  they  secretly  prefer  the  SAT?   • Yes,  ALL  colleges  accept  the  ACT,  and  NO,  they  have  ABSOLUTELY  NO  PREFERENCE  for   one  or  the  other!  3)  Q:  What  are  some  potential  advantages  of  taking  the  ACT,  rather  than  the  SAT?   1. Out  of  the  35  highly  selective  colleges  that  require  the  SAT  plus  2  subject  tests  on   the  Common  Application  (versus  just  the  ACT  or  SAT,  without  subject  tests),  more   than  20  schools  on  this  list  waive  the  subject  test  requirements  for  students  taking   the  ACT.    That  leaves  about  12-­‐15  schools  that  require  subject’s  tests  for  ACT  test   takers.    The  reason  schools  waive  the  subject  test  requirement  is  that  the  ACT  has  a   science  section,  while  the  SAT  does  not.  So,  depending  on  the  schools  you  want  to   apply  to,  there  is  a  good  chance  you  wont  need  to  take  subject  tests  if  you  take  the   ACT.     2. Some  students  find  the  ACT  a  little  more  straightforward  than  the  SAT.    In  order  to   find  out  if  this  is  true  for  you,  since  this  is  a  matter  of  personal  opinion,  you  should   take  a  practice  test.    Keep  reading  to  find  out  how  to  do  this  anytime  online,  for  a   free  scored  exam.  4)  Q:  What  are  some  of  the  potential  downsides  of  the  taking  the  ACT?   1. The  ACT  has  a  science  section,  which  may  be  off  putting  to  students  who  are  not   strong  in  science.    However,  the  science  section  is  mostly  about  being  able  to  read   charts  and  graphs  rather  than  being  an  expert  in  Biology,  Chemistry,  or  Physics.     2. There  are  fewer  ACT  prep  classes  than  there  are  SAT  prep  classes,  and  very  few   free  ACT  prep  classes  offered  by  community-­‐based  non-­‐profits  like  Henry  Street  or   SAYA,  for  example.    However,  if  you  can  take  the  BHSEC  ACT  class,  then  you  do  not   have  to  worry  about  having  fewer  options  for  ACT  classes.  Need  based  Financial  Aid   is  available  for  the  Princeton  Review  classes.    If,  however,  you  CANNOT  take  the   BHSEC  ACT  class,  and  you  still  want  to  prep  for  the  ACT,  look  at  the  schedules  of   classes  offered  by  Princeton  Review  and   Kaplan:    https://www.princetonreview.com/college/act-­‐test-­‐preparation.aspx    and   http://www.kaptest.com/College/ACT/act-­‐prep-­‐courses.html  respectively.      5)  Q:  Ive  heard  that  selective  colleges  often  want  to  see  subject  test  scores,  even  if  they  do  not  require  them.    Is  this  true?       6  
  • 7. • This  is  true  for  some  highly  selective  schools,  however  typically  only  very  high  scores   will  make  a  positive  difference  in  the  admissions  process.  Very  high  scores  are   considered  to  be  680  to  730  and  over.    Therefore,  if  a  student  takes  two  subject  tests   but  earns  a  good  score  of  640  in  both  subjects,  it  is  unlikely  at  worst  to  debatable  at   best  that  these  scores  are,  in  fact,  boosting  the  student’s  application  6)  Q:  Why  do  the  20  schools  in  List  above  waive  the  subject  test  requirements  for  ACT  takers?     • Because  the  ACT  includes  a  science  section    (The  SAT  does  not  have  a  science  section.)       7  

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