Many colleges and universities require college entrance examinations (SAT and ACT) in the admissions process. Students should take practice tests, including the PSAT, and sign up to take the tests early in their junior year in order to allow ample time to retest.
PRELIMINARY SCHOLASTIC ASSESSMENT TEST/ NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP QUALIFYING TEST (PSAT)
The Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) (more often simply called the PSAT) is nationally administered by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), and assesses students in three areas: Verbal, Mathematics, and Writing.
The PSAT is used to help students practice for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and to qualify for scholarships and recognition from such programs as: National Merit Scholarships, National Achievement Scholarships for Outstanding African American Students, National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program, Student Search Service, and some statewide and national industry scholarship competitions. Registration information will be available in the school counselor’s office at each high school.
The SAT is a test nationally administered by the College Board. It assesses students in the following areas: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math and an optional Essay.
The redesigned SAT focuses on knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success. There is a greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact. The SAT is one of the admissions tests used by post-secondary institutions to assist in selecting students and is being offered during the school day in many IPS high schools.
The SAT is also administered on Saturdays at selected sites nationally. Students must pay (or use a fee-waiver if they are eligible) and register online or by mail several weeks prior to the test date. Registration and fee waiver information is available in the school counselors’ office and Future Center at each high school and at www.collegeboard.org.
The ACT assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The ACT has five sub scores: four multiple-choice tests covering skill areas of English, Mathematics, reading, and science; the Writing Test measuring skill in planning and writing a short essay.
The ACT is also administered at selected sites nationally. For these administrations, students must pay (or use a fee-waiver if they are eligible) and register online or by mail several weeks prior to the test date. Registration information is available in the school counselor’s office and Future Center at each high school. More information is available at www.actstudent.org.