College Admisssions Testing

There are nearly 30,000 high schools in the United States with a wide range of courses and grading standards. College entrance exams like the SAT I, SAT II and the ACT help colleges determine who is ready for the academic rigors of college. These standardized tests are designed to compare the millions of students applying for acceptance into colleges and are very important in the college selection process. Please keep in mind that these scores are only one of the determining factors toward acceptance. It is important to find out the college entrance exams required by the colleges you intend to apply for. This information can be found on the college’s website.

Below is a brief description of each test and an explanation as to who should take the test and when. Also, you will find a number of links that will help you prepare for the test. When registering for the SAT or ACT tests students must use our school code to ensure we receive their scores. R-FH’s school code is 311335.

PSAT is offered on a specific Wednesday and Saturday in October by College Board. As a convenience for our students, RFH offers the PSAT on Wednesday (this year it is October 13) rather than the Saturday. All sophomores are automatically registered, with the fee paid by RFH; Juniors must register individually in late September. Information is available in Guidance in mid September. The test provides sophomores and juniors with the opportunity to practice for the SAT.(Students should not use the actual SAT to practice, as any SAT/SAT II’s taken from grades 9-12 become part of their testing record which they will eventually release to colleges.) When students receive their score report in December, they also receive their original test booklet. These serve as an excellent study guide for the SAT. During the junior year, the PSAT also serves as the qualifier for National Merit Scholarships.

SAT I Reasoning Test is designed to measure a student’s ability to succeed in college level work in freshman year of college.The three sections of the test include the critical reading, math, and writing. They measure the student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills along with the student’s writing abilities. In most cases students are prepared to take their first SAT test in the spring of their junior year.(SAT’s should not be taken before winter of junior year.) Students should register on-line at www.collegeboard.com

Score Choice- The College Board gives students the opportunity to choose which SAT scores (taken all on the same day) are sent to colleges. For example, if a student takes the SAT in May,June and October and the June scores (for Critical Reading, Math and Writing) are highest, the student may use Score Choice to send only the June scores. (Using the same example) Score Choice does not permit students to select the highest Critical Reading score from May, the highest math score from June, and the highest writing score from October.

Because most students do not earn their highest scores all in one day, most students will not be able to use Score Choice. As a result, students are not encouraged to take their SAT’s as often as they wish, for practice, because without Score Choice they must report all scores from all test dates.

SAT II Subject Tests: There are 22 different subject tests designed to measure a student’s knowledge in a specific academic area. Not all colleges require students to take SAT II tests, so it is very important to check Naviance or the websites of the colleges websites to which you are applying. Students who must take SAT II’s are encouraged to wait to test until they have completed the most advance course in that subject. Registering for the SAT II is done on-line at www.collegeboard.com.

ACT test covers four subject tests in Math, English, Reading, and Science.The test still requires students to utilize both their critical thinking and problem solving skills.Registering for the ACT test can be done on-line at www.actstudent.org

Fair Test – The Center for Fair and Open Testing provides a list of all colleges and universities that have de-emphasized standardized testing by making admissions decisions about substantial numbers of applicants without using SAT or ACT scores. Read all the details on their website by clicking on the title link.

Click Admissions testing links to be directed to other standardized testing and test prep sites.