Standardized testing information


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Standardized testing information

  1. 1. Standardized Testing InformationWith some exceptions, all colleges require either an SAT 1 or ACT, and many also require two SATsubject tests. The ACT was traditionally administered in the Midwest, but it is now common on theEast coast as well and equally accepted by all colleges. Colleges accept either test, without exception.Last year, approximately 25% of BHSECQ students took the ACT, and we anticipate that this willincrease. The mean SAT scores for the class of 2012 were 560 in critical reading and 570 in math. Thenational means were 502 in critical reading and 515 in math.The PSATBHSEC Queens administers the PSAT in October of 10th grader and Y1. It is not a required collegeentrance exam. However, the PSAT is used to provide students with an introduction to the SATReasoning Test. The Critical Reading (CR), and Math (M) and Writing Skills (WS) sections are eachscored on a scale of 20-80. Y1’s who score among the highest scores in the nation on the PSAT couldeligible for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and the other select scholarshipprograms. The NSMC uses a selection index that adds all three subscores (CR+M+WS)The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly known as the SAT of the SAT I). The SAT Reasoning Test hasthree components: Critical Reading (CR), Mathematics (M) and Writing (W). There are ten sections toeach SAT, nine of which are scored (3 CR, 3 M and 3W) and the tenth is an experimental section (butstudents are not informed which section is not scored). The test is scheduled to last for 3 hours and 45minutes.The CR section includes exercised in sentence completion, short and long critical reading passages andreading comprehension. The M section covers mathematical reasoning and study through geometryand algebra II. The W section includes exercises in grammar, word usage, word choice and an essayprompt.Students are not penalized for blank answers and lose ¼ point for each wrong multiple-choice answer.Each Section (CR,M,W) receives a score of 200-800 points, making the highest possible total score a2400.The SAT Reasoning Test is offered in October, November, December, January, May and June of eachyear.If a student does take the test more than once, a college will usually consider their best-combinedscores of the three sections.SAT Subject TestsSAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT II’s or SAT Achievement Tests) are one-hour, multiplechoice tests (usually 60-90 questions) to demonstrate mastery of specific subjects such as English,history, mathematics, science and foreign language.The Subject Tests are offered in the following areas:
  2. 2. Languages: Chinese w/Listening, French, French w/Listening, German, German w/Listening, ModernHebrew, Italian, Japanese w/Listening, Korean w/Listening, Latin, Spanish and Spanish w/ListeningEnglish: LiteratureHistory: United States History and World HistoryMathematics: Mathematics Level Mathematics Level II and IScience: Biology E/M, Chemistry and PhysicsSAT Subject Tests are offered in October, November, December, January, May and June. A studentmay take one, two or three tests on one test date, though two is usually the maximum recommended inone sitting. The language listening exams are only offered in November and not all examinations areoffered on every test date. A student may not take the SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests on thesame day.Success in a course does not guarantee success on the corresponding SAT Subject Tests. Preparationtherefore requires not only success in the course but specific test prep as well. Students should talkwith the CTO Director or their Guidance Counselor to come up with an appropriate subject-testingschedule.The ACTThe ACT is an alternative the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests. At all schools who requirestandardized testing, the ACT can replace the SAT Reasoning Test. At some schools, it will alsoreplace the requirement for SAT Subject Tests.The ACT has 5 sections: English (stressing grammar), Mathematics (up to trigonometry), Reading(four passages: prose fiction, social sciences, humanities, natural sciences), Science Reasoning (Charts,graphs, data interpretation) and Writing (essay). The Writing section is optional, but it is highrecommend that you sit for it and complete the Writing section.The ACT is scheduled to last for 3 hours and 45 minutes. The ACT is offered in September, October,December, April and June. Its dates do not conflict with the SAT of Subject Tests.There is no penalty for wrong or blank multiple-choice answers. Each section receives a score of 1-36and is averaged together for a composite score of 1-36. Students may take the ACT more than once.Traditionally, many schools did not combine scores of different sittings but an increasing number ofcolleges are doing so.Both the ACT and SAT (The College Board) offer selective reporting. However, it is still up toindividual colleges to set their own policies regarding which scores they want students to submit andwhich scores they review. Some of the most selective colleges will requires students to submit allscores from all tests. That is why our recommendation is that students take each standardizedtest only once of twice, and possibly three times if appropriate.
  3. 3. Test Prep Options for Year 1 StudentsThe CTO recommends that BHSEC students take the SAT/ACT for the first time in March or May ofYear 1 and two subject tests in June. Most students take the tests a second time in the fall of Year 2. Inorder to prepare for the SAT 1 or ACT, Year 1 students have the following two options.Princeton Review Class at BHSEC QueensA great opportunity for Y1 students to prepare for the March SAT and April ACT Financial aid isavailable to qualifying students. Students can register as late as the first day of the class.Eutilia Ruggiero | The Princeton Review |High School Territory Mgr317 Madison Avenue, Suite 415, New York, NY 100171.800.273.8439 ext 5666Free SAT Prep CoursesThe programs below are free, but do have an application and screening process. Space is limited.These programs are intended to serve students who do not have the means to pay for SAT preparationcourses, such as those that are offered by Kaplan or Princeton Review. Most of these free programsalso offer general college guidance services.Edgies Teen Center; Free SAT classes and college prepThe Edgies Teen Center is an official Educational Alliance Boys and Girls Club with many programsfor teens, including a very strong college preparatory program. Edgies is located in lower Manhattan at197 East Broadway. The Edgies college prep program is highly recommended by the BHSEC CTO.BHSEC students have greatly benefited from, and enjoyed, this program. In addition to SAT prep,Edgies offers college tours and help with college applications and financial aid forms.Sonia Bhuta, College Prep Director212.780.2300 ext. 374sonia_bhuta@edalliance.orgOPTIONS program at Goddard Riverside; Free SAT classes and college prepSAT Prep is usually offered in the winter or spring. All classes and practice tests take place atOPTIONS at 593 Columbus Avenue at 88th Street in Manhattan.Henry Street Settlement; Free SAT classes and college prepThe Henry Street Settlement offers free SAT prep and an extensive college counseling program,including college trips.Expanded Horizons College ProgramHenry Street Settlement, 301 Henry Street, New York, NY 10002Ritu Sen, Program Coordinator212-254-3100 ext