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Testing and Senior Schedules

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  1. Testing and Senior Schedules

  2. PSAT: • Students received results in December • Good diagnostic of strengths and weaknesses • Good guide for SAT preparation • National Merit Qualifying Exam as a junior

  3. SAT or ACT • Required by most colleges • Colleges will use best scores • UC takes best score from ONE sitting • Others may use best individual math, writing, and critical reading scores from different sittings for a total highest score

  4. SAT SUBJECT TESTS • UC no longer requires them, but certain majors may recommend for admission • CSU does not require subject tests • Several colleges may require or strongly recommend – check policy • Offered in Math, Foreign Language, History, Literature and Science

  5. SAT vs. ACT What are the major differences?

  6. What is the test structure? • SAT: 10 section exam 3 Critical Reading, 3 Math, 3 Writing, and one Experimental. The Experimental section is masked to look like a regular section & is unscored • ACT: 4 section exam: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. Writing optional Experimental section added only to certain dates and is clearly noted.

  7. What is the test content? SAT • Math: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II. • Reading: Sentence completion, short and long critical reading passages, reading comprehension. • Writing: Essay, questions testing grammar, usage, and word choice. ACT • Math: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, Trig • Science: Charts, experiments. • Reading: Reading comprehension, grammar usage. • Writing option - essay

  8. How is the test scored? • SAT: 200-800 per section, added together for a combined score. 2400 is the highest possible combined score. *Penalty for wrong answers • ACT: 1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite score. A 36 is the highest possible composite score. *No wrong answer penalty

  9. Are all scores sent to schools? • SAT: YES and NO. Score Choice is option. However, many schools still want all scores sent. Students need to check individual college policy. • ACT: NO. There has always been a “Score Choice” option. Students can choose which schools will receive their scores AND which scores the schools will see.

  10. When is each test administered? SAT • Seven times per year • Offered 4 times per year at each district school. ACT • Six times per year • Not offered in our district.

  11. Planning for the exams: • Sign up for exams at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org • Plan to take SAT or ACT in spring of junior year. • Plan to take SAT Subject tests in spring of junior year, if needed. • Additional SAT test dates in October, November and December of senior year. • ACT in June or September.

  12. Test Preparation • Many different ways to prepare • Best method depends on how student learns • “Independent” learners can prepare very effectively on their own • Some students may need structure of a specific program and schedule • Can help with “test anxiety”.

  13. Test Preparation Programs • Individual, small group, and regular classroom sized courses. • Compare costs; compare programs - many to choose from! • Extra workload with homework

  14. How do colleges use these test scores for Eligibility? • UC uses the SAT or the ACT scores and GPA in college prep classes • CSU uses just the Math and Reading scores from SAT or just the composite score from the ACT, and GPA in college prep classes

  15. CSU Eligibility Formulas • Using SAT scores: GPA x 800 + SAT CR + Math total • Using ACT scores: GPA x 200 + 10 x ACT Composite Score must be 2900 or above for eligibility Automatic eligibility if GPA is 3.0 and above.

  16. UC Eligibility • Earn a minimum 3.0 GPA (with grades of C or better) in 15 courses, with 11 completed before senior year: a. History/Social science 2 years b. English 4 years c. Math 3 years d. Lab science 2 years e. Foreign Language 2 years f. Visual/performing arts 1 year g. College prep elective 1 year • SAT or ACT test scores

  17. Does eligibility mean admission? • Distinction between “eligibility” for the system and “admission” to a specific campus. • Eligibility also assumes students have all a-g course requirements completed. • The more competitive campuses set different, higher scores for admission. • Impacted campuses vs. Impacted majors

  18. UC Comprehensive Review • If student meets eligibility requirements, application will be reviewed comprehensively, emphasizing academic achievement as well as a wide range of personal accomplishments • Student’s chances of admission varies by selectivity of different campuses – choose carefully and broadly

  19. Admission Websites: • UC: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions • CSU: www.csumentor.edu • All California colleges: www.californiacolleges.edu • Many private and other public colleges may use: www.commonapp.org

  20. Planning Senior Schedules

  21. An Important Process • Individual student conference (s) with counselors will begin in February • Opportunity to make sure students have all graduation and college admission requirements in place • Strengthen record in elective areas • Make plans to makeup “D” grades

  22. Course requirements for Admission • UC and CSU course requirements are “aligned”. Both systems use the same a-g list. • Other college course requirements may vary! • Research other college requirements in the next few months • College/Career Center and college websites are useful in this process • Make changes in Senior courses if necessary!

  23. Tips for Planning Senior Schedules • Rigor of senior year curriculum is important! • Senior year does count! • Many colleges require transcripts from first semester senior year. • Colleges expect the same level of achievement as presented in applications

  24. Final Word on Senior Schedules • Choose courses in academic areas that will challenge you. • Don’t over schedule! • Take courses that make sense given your interests and previous experiences. • Do well in those classes!

  25. What should Juniors be doing for the rest of this year?

  26. January and February • Prepare for Spring SAT or ACT • Sign up for SAT I or ACT at: www.collegeboard.com www.actstudent.org

  27. March • Students should have seen their counselors at least once to discuss senior schedules and their college planning process. • Plan Spring Break college visit?

  28. April-May • Attend East Bay College Connection/ College Fair at St. Mary’s College, April 14 • Take SAT or ACT • For students applying to private colleges – Think about teacher recommendations!Who to ask? How to ask? When to ask

  29. June • Take SAT Subject Tests, if needed • Do well on final exams! These are the last grades UC will see.

  30. Summer • Visit colleges • Take enrichment classes • Do community service • Pursue a special interest • Attend summer school to make up “D” grades if necessary.

  31. August Get organized! Use Naviance to: • Update resume • Complete “Student Statement” • Ask parents to complete “Parent Brag Sheet” • Come up with preliminary college list • Begin work on college essays and add to “journal section” in Naviance file

  32. September • Check list of college visits in Naviance or the College & Career Center. Sign up to attend via Naviance! • Talk with your counselor soon if you think you might be doing Early Action or Early Decision • Counselors make Senior English Class Visits and begin to check in with ALL their seniors.

  33. Thank you all for coming this evening! Please do not hesitate to contact your student’s counselor with individual questions.