Wissahickon High School PSAT/SAT/ACT Information Night


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College Counselor Chris Plentus hosted a presentation about the PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and ACT. The presentation was held on Dec. 14, 2011 in the HS Audion.

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  • High schools across the country are different in their gradingStandardized tests allow for a common factor to compare students across many different high schoolsSome would say standardized tests are indicators of college preparedness At the same time it’s only one criterion that is used in determining college admissions
  • PSAT is a preparatory SAT; scores do not go anywhere, but top scores from junior year are considered for National Merit ScholarshipsAll sophomores take the test while juniors who would like to pay for it also take it. Recommended that all juniors take it. Taken in October each yearTest is administered during the day at WissahickonScores range from 20-80 for each section (Reading, Math, Writing) for a possible total of 240.
  • Once you receive the paper score report for the PSAT, go to www.collegeboard.com/quickstart and enter the access code found on the paper score reportAfter logging in, you will see a personalized menu of options based off the PSAT results. Most valuable are the practice questions based on areas for improvement. Sophomores will receive the score reports when we present this information to them on Dec 20th or in homeroom boxesJuniors will receive their score reports in homeroom boxes
  • Usually the SATs and ACTs are taken in spring of junior year. It can be earlier if student has already completed Algebra II. Most 4 year colleges/universities require the SAT or ACT. Most 2 year schools (e.g. Montgomery County Community College), technical schools, and art schools do not require these tests, although there are always exceptions.
  • SAT used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test, then Scholastic Assessment Test, now it is an empty acronymOver 1.5 million students take the SAT each yearIt has 3 sections: Critical Reading, Math, and WritingIt costs $49 (extra for late registrations)The total test takes just under 4 hours (3 hours and 45 minutes)Scores for each section range from 200-800 for a possible 2400
  • The SAT and SAT Subject tests are offered 7 times a year. An exception is the March administration which only offers the SAT.
  • Each of the three sections is scored 200-800. This data is for the Class of 2011 and their average SAT results from junior and senior year. 300 students took the test.
  • Super Score: Most schools will combine different sections of SAT to create a Super Score (some exceptions include Penn State, U. of Michigan)
  • Sections: English, math, reading, science, optional writing$34 for ACT, $49.50 for ACT + WritingJust over 4 hours for ACT + WritingScores for each section range from 1-36; composite score is the average of the subsections (except for writing)
  • *Denotes NY schools do not administer this test in February
  • Possible scores on the ACT range from 1-36. The composite score is the average of the four subsectionsThis data is for the class of 2011, where 41 students took the ACT. It compares their average scores to national averagesSome colleges will superscore the ACT and even superscore the ACT with the SAT, however, both of these practices are less common than taking just the best composite score of the ACT
  • 57% of students who took the ACT more than once scored higher vs. 22% who scored the same and 21% who scored lower
  • 3 sections for SAT: reading, math, writing (all required)4 sections of ACT: English, math, reading, science, and optional 5th writing section (should just take the writing)Average SAT score: 500 for each sectionAverage ACT score: 17-23
  • http://www.act.org/aap/concordance/
  • Subject Tests are 1 hour long; up to 3 can be taken in one test date$33-$44 per testTake them at the end of the year when you took the class (e.g. take the Biology SAT Subject test at the end of 10th grade) because the material will be fresh in your mind
  • Schools have very different policies that can change from year to year, so it is best to check each school’s individual policy West Chester University – SAT or ACTUniversity of Pennsylvania - wants all scores; needs SAT + SAT subject tests OR ACTNYU - The SAT Reasoning Test; orThe ACT (with Writing Test); orThree SAT Subject Test scores; orThree AP exam scores; orThe International Baccalaureate Diploma or Three IB higher-level exam scores (WHS does not offer IB classes)
  • About 850 schools do not require the SAT or ACTUsually they would like to see a graded analytical paper from high school Look at fairtest.org or each school’s website for their individual policies
  • Students can receive accommodations such as extended time, but there is an application process for both the SAT and ACTSee your counselor in 9th or 10th grade to start the application processExtended time is mandatory if granted; meaning the student has to sit there even if they are finished with a section. (total of 6 hours to take a test) This can be frustrating for some
  • Students on free or reduced lunch can receive fee waivers for the SAT and ACT which covers the registration fee (not late fee)Waivers include 4 free score reports to send to colleges, even after the testThey also include waivers for up to four college applicationsSee your counselor for a waiver
  • Tutors can be expensive, but there are a lot of free resources availableonlineOptions include private tutoring, small group tutoring, and larger group tutoring. PTC has plans to provide more information related to tutoring and reviews of services
  • Wissahickon High School PSAT/SAT/ACT Information Night

    1. 1. www.collegeboard.or www.act.orgg
    2. 2. My College QuickStart DEMO
    3. 3. SATs/ACT s overview
    4. 4. SATs
    5. 5. SAT Test Dates
    6. 6. Average SAT Scores: Class of 2011 n=300 National Wissahick on Readin 547 497 g Math 576 514 Writing 559 489
    7. 7. APPLICATION Test Scores READIN MATH WRITIN G GMARCH 550 600 530 JUNE 590 590 540 SUPER SCORE
    8. 8. ACTs
    9. 9. ACT Test Dates
    10. 10. ACT Average Scores: Class of 2011 n=41 Wissahicko National nComposit 24.2 21.1 e English 23.1 20.6 Math 24.4 21.1Reading 24.0 21.3
    11. 11. Should I take ACT more than once? Retest results Improved score Same score Decreased score
    12. 12. SAT ACT Most schools accept both 3 sections 4-5 sectionsScored 200-800 each Composite scored 1- 36 problem solving content based based More vocabulary includes trigonometry Penalty if wrong No penaltywww.collegeboard.co www.act.org
    13. 13. ACT/SAT Concordance Table
    14. 14. SAT Subject Tests US World Mathematics Literature History History IMathematics Biology Chemistry Physics 2 French Chinese French w/Listenin Germanw/Listening g German Modern Japanese Italianw/Listening Hebrew w/Listening Korean Spanish Latin Spanish
    15. 15. SAT Subject Tests
    16. 16. College Policies
    17. 17. Accomodations (IEP/504)
    18. 18. Fee waiversCollegeboard.org
    19. 19. Tutoring“Frederick L. Smyth, who has studied andwritten extensively on issues of standardizedtesting notes that…students who prepare ontheir own, often using free or inexpensivematerials offered by the test companiesthemselves, tend to make greater gains intheir scores than students coached byprivate tutors or test prep companies.(Smyth, 1995)” – NACAC Fundamentals ofCollege Admission Counseling
    20. 20. QUESTIONS?