2016 PSAT Results

psat

Last month, sophomores and juniors received hard copies of their PSAT scores along with original test booklets.  They have been able to access scores online since December, but the score report gives the counselors the opportunity to explain the scores to them.  The scores are pretty easy to understand, but below you will find a couple of helpful resources.

how-to-make-sense-of-the-psat-report

We strongly encourage students to log on to their College Board accounts because along with seeing scores, thee is an abundance of free resources they can access.  One of the resources we are always talking about is Khan Academy.  When a student links his or her College Board account with Khan Academy, a personalized practice test is created!  The video below provides a quick explanation on how to do it!

Juniors should be preparing to to take the SAT this spring in either May or June.  Click here to view the calendar.  Also, using the PSAT results and free online resources is a great way work on areas of weakness.  They can take a practice test or download an app to answer a question a day.  Sophomores, it is never too early start preparing!

One final note – The Guidance Department is hosting it’s College Planning Night for juniors and their parents on Thursday, March 2nd.  It will be at 6:30 in the auditorium.  This is a great opportunity for juniors to hear about what they should be doing now and into the summer to prepare for the college application process.  We hope to see you all there!

 

 

It’s Your Turn, Juniors!

On Thursday, 2/25, the guidance department held it’s annual Junior College Information Night.  Recognizing that the whole college application process can be overwhelming, we try to simplify it the best we can while at the same time provide thorough, necessary information.

A timeline of what juniors should be doing or thinking about was provided, which included the following:

  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT exam
  • Schedule a meeting with guidance to discuss college plans and courses for next year
  • College Visits
  • Think about who to ask for recommendation letters
  • Work on a resume

Another important piece that was covered is beginning the college search.  Naviance is a great tool to narrow down your search by location, major, activities, etc.  Students can access this on their Family Connection page.

In addition to this information, we went into detail about the many changes occurring for the junior class.  Of course, the big one would be the new SAT program.  We did a brief overview of the content of the exam, but for more information, you can go here.

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is a free new tool rolling out this year for high school students.  This information was presented during the college information night to make families aware of it should they come across it while researching colleges.  The coalition allows students, beginning in grade 9, to create a profile and fill their “lockers.”  The locker is where a student can save essays, art work, projects, awards, etc., that could be helpful to them when it is time to apply to college.  Finally, there is an application piece to it.  Students can apply to member colleges through this application.  The read more about the coalition and it’s values and beliefs, click here.

What’s new with the Common Application this year?  Students can now create an account before August and it will roll over into senior year.  This puts students at an advantage because they are able to ease any anxiety or worry about the application.  Students can look through it to get an understanding of what is involved.  They are also able to see next year’s essay prompts, which will enable them to start thinking of what they want to write about.

Finally, we touched on financial aid a little bit.  Financial aid can always be overwhelming, so we spoke about the new changes coming to the FAFSA.  These changes include an new filing date of October 1st and the ability to use prior-prior year’s taxes.  Click here for more details about these changes and more.

This sums up the information provided during the Junior College Information Night.  As the senior class receives college decisions and think about where to register for the fall, the guidance department is excited to begin the college discussion with the junior class!!!

SAT and ACT Score Reporting

Last week during our College 101 meeting we talked about the differences between the SAT and the ACT.  We had a great discussion with the juniors who attended, and many great questions were asked.  We weren’t anticipating that students would have questions about score reporting, but that topic kept coming up, and it seemed like there was a lot of confusion surrounding the process.  Hopefully this post clears some of that up!

For the SAT:

Students may choose 4 colleges to send score reports to free of charge – BUT – that request needs to be made within a certain window of time.   Test takers have from the time they register until 9 days after the test to take advantage of the four free reports.  Any additional score report costs $10 per college.  IF students miss that deadline, then EVERY score report requested is $10.  You miss out on the freebies!  We highly recommend that you take advantage of the four free reports.  If you know that you’re going to apply to a certain college (or have already applied), why wait to see your scores?

The College Board sends out a cumulative score report (colleges will see all scores from all administrations that you sat for) unless you use Score Choice, which we do not recommend (schools tend to want to see all your SAT scores).  Click here for more information:  http://sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores

For the ACT:

Like the SAT, 4 score reports are included in the ACT registration fee.  The window of time to take advantage of the 4 free reports is a bit different, though.  ACT-takers have from the time of registration until the Thursday following the Saturday administration.  Each additional report costs $12.  Once that window of time closes, every score report will cost you $12.

Should you wait to see your ACT scores before sending them to colleges?  It might be a good idea.  The reason we say that is the ACT score report is NOT cumulative – each test administration is a separate record.  You choose which one you want the ACT to send to colleges.  Knowing that, you may want to wait until the scores come out (this obviously assumes that you have taken the ACT more than once).  Click here for more information:  http://www.actstudent.org/scores/send/

 

Keep in mind that this information is really meant for the fall – we realize that junior test takers probably aren’t going to be sending scores out to colleges just yet!

Does this clear up some of the confusion surrounding score reporting?  Let us know what questions you have!