In the last several years Eastside Catholic has included ninth- and tenth-graders (in addition to 11th-graders) in the required PSAT testing each October due to the undisputed research showing the value of becoming familiar and comfortable with this smaller version of the SAT. Results of the PSAT will be shared with students and parents, but are not submitted by the College Board or by Eastside Catholic to any colleges or universities, substantiating the conviction that this exam is a safe way to prepare for the actual SAT.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The PSAT is a standardized test that provides first-hand practice for the SAT. Current juniors taking the PSAT have the opportunity to enter NMSC scholarship programs and to gain access to college and careering planning tools. The PSAT/NMSQT is normed for juniors and measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills and writing skills. The three scored sections of the PSAT are reported on a scale of 20 to 80, versus a scale of 200 to 800 on the SAT.ACT and SAT Tests
It is highly recommended that students take both the SAT and ACT at least once, and then take the exam in which they are most comfortable at least one additional time. Student who have scored well on the PSAT, and are enrolled in Honors or AP classes, particularly in math and science, may consider taking the SAT or ACT by December of their junior year. Most juniors will take their first SAT in March followed by the May SAT and June ACT.
The redesigned SAT returns to a 1600-point score scale with the math and reading sections scored between 200 and 800 points. The essay is optional and evaluated separately. There is no penalty for guessing. The new scoring model provides enriched score reports to help you understand your individual strengths and areas for improvement. The redesigned test focuses on the knowledge and skills that current research shows is most essential for college and career readiness and success. Due to the changes in the redesigned suite of assessments for the SAT, it will take some time for colleges and universities to become familiar with the scores.
The ACT is scored in four required sections including Math, Science, English and Reading as well as an optional Writing section. It is strongly recommended that students register for the Writing portion in case it is required by any prospective colleges. The maximum score assigned to each section is 36. The maximum composite score for the ACT is 36. The total score is calculated by adding the sum total of each required section and dividing by 4.
What are the differences between the SAT and ACT? For a thorough explanation, see the Princeton Review
When applying to colleges, students will be required to submit their test scores directly from the College Board or ACT.org. Students should consult the College Board and ACT websites to review the policies for each testing agency regarding the submission of their test scores.
To register for the SAT and ACT go to:
SAT Subject Tests are content-based exams that some colleges use to help identify student readiness for the rigors of specific majors or academic programs. The colleges may use the scores along with other application credentials to get a clearer picture of the student’s academic background. Some colleges will also use the results of the tests to appropriately place students in certain subjects or receive credit for introductory-level courses. Some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT Subject Tests.