College Admission Testing
When to take what tests and additional information for students with disabilities
Most four-year colleges require either the SAT or ACT for use in admissions decisions. Students planning on attending a four-year college should plan on taking one or both of these exams. Two-year colleges typically do not require the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT for admission purposes. However, you should check with the two-year colleges you are considering. Some may use the testing information for scholarship purposes, placement, or admission to certain pre-professional programs. If you are planning on attending college, it is important to be aware of the different kinds of testing that colleges require. The following descriptions and timetable will help you plan for these tests.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TESTS?
The PSAT is a practice SAT Reasoning Test that is designed for juniors. However, many schools, including New Hartford, offer this test to sophomores as extra practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. The test is given each year in October. Registration takes place in the Senior High School Counseling Office beginning in mid September. When taken in one's junior year, high-scoring students may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The format of this test is similar to the SAT Reasoning Test (see below). A sample test is available at the time of registration so students may familiarize themselves with the format prior to the test day.
The SAT Reasoning Test is offered by the College Board. It is a three-hour and 50-minute exam that is designed to assess skills in math, reading, and writing (including an optional essay). A full-length sample test with answers and scoring guide is available in the Counseling Office or by visiting https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice. Students can register for the test by completing the registration form that is in the Counseling Office or registering online at http://www.collegeboard.org/register.
The SAT Subject Tests are one-hour subject tests designed by the College Board. The most common subject tests are Literature , U.S. History, World History, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Spanish, and Latin and are usually taken at the completion of a related course. Some highly competitive colleges require SAT Subject Tests. If they require SAT Subject Tests, they will usually require 2-3 different subjects. Students can register for the tests by completing the registration form that is in the Counseling Office or registering online at http://www.collegeboard.org/register. Full-length sample tests are available in the Counseling Office or at https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice.
ACT - The American College Test is a three-hour and 25 minute exam that colleges use as an entrance exam, the same purpose as the SAT Reasoning Test. The ACT is designed to measure proficiency in English, math, reading, and science reasoning skills. The ACT has an optional 30-minute writing test. Students can register for the test by completing the registration form that is in the Counseling Office or registering online at http://www.act.org/register.
*College admission testing will require New Hartford's CEEB number - it is 333345.
WHEN DOES A STUDENT TAKE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TESTS?
During their sophomore year students should take the PSAT in October when it is given on a Saturday. In June of grade 10, students who are enrolled in AP European History, AP Chem, or AP Bio Prep Honors should consider taking the SAT Subject Tests in these subjects.
In October of their junior year students should take the PSAT again. Many students feel that because they took it as sophomores, it is unnecessary to take again. However, it is important to take it as a junior because this is the year you will take the SAT Reasoning Test. The PSAT is a good means to practice for the SAT Reasoning Test in true testing conditions. Also, each time you take the SAT Reasoning Test, the score is included on your transcript. The PSAT is not put on your transcript. So, you can only benefit by taking the PSAT again. The PSAT also is used for the NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Competition). By taking the test as a junior, you may be eligible for this scholarship competition.
In late fall or January of their junior year students should think about registering for the March SAT Reasoning Test. Depending upon the student's schedule and if he/she wants to start looking at colleges early in the second semester, taking the SAT Reasoning Test in March can give you valuable information to start the college search.
In May or June of their junior year students should take the SAT Reasoning Test if they have not taken it in March.
In April and June of their Junior year students should take the ACT and SAT Subject Tests, if appropriate. These tests fall on different dates in June so students can take both if so desired.
In the fall of their Senior year students should consider retaking the SAT Reasoning Test, the ACT and take any required SAT Subject Tests. There are two SAT test dates in the fall at New Hartford (in October and November). There are also two test dates for the ACT (in September and October). Although there is a December SAT scheduled at other schools in our area, generally the December test date is too late for early decision applications.
WHAT STEPS ARE NECESSARY FOR A STUDENT TO RECEIVE TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS ON ADMISSIONS TESTS?
Students with disabilities who receive testing modifications as part of their educational program at New Hartford may be entitled to receive the same modifications on college admissions test. Additional registration forms are necessary to receive any testing modifications. Because the testing program must first review your request for testing modifications, students are advised to complete the required paperwork EARLY, in case an appeal is necessary.
REGISTERING FOR ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PSAT / SAT REASONING TEST / SAT SUBJECT TEST/ AP EXAMS:
If you have testing modifications and would like to have them on any of these tests, you need to apply to the Collegeboard's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). We suggest you apply early in your high school career. If you have not already done so see your counselor as soon as possible.
Once the College Board reviews your application and makes a decision, you will receive a letter from them indicating what modifications have been approved for each exam. Keep that information in a safe place! You will need your approval code each time you register for the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Test. If you have misplaced your SSD Approved Modification letter, see your counselor before you register to take the test. If you register without using your SSD number you will NOT receive your testing modifications!!
REGISTERING FOR ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE ACT
The ACT also grants students who qualify testing modifications. If you have testing modifications and would like to have them on the test, you need to apply to the ACT by completing a form that is available from your counselor.
TAKING THE PSAT/AP EXAMS WITH ACCOMMODATIONS:
Testing modifications on these exams must be approved in advance, as described above. Once modifications are approved, students must see their counselor regarding specific arrangements.
TAKING THE SAT REASONING TEST / SAT SUBJECT TEST / ACT WITH ACCOMMODATIONS:
When you receive your admission ticket for the test for which you registered, look at it immediately. Depending on your modification(s) you may be instructed to take the test on the national test date or on an alternate date determined by school officials. If your admissions ticket says "alternative test date" or something similar, you need to see your counselor as soon as possible.
Additional information regarding the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities as they prepare for postsecondary education is available at www.ed.gov/ocr.