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Baker High School 
Standardized Tests/Preparation

www.number2.com is a free website that helps students prep for the SAT/ACT. There is no time limit and researchers have found that high school students felt this website was as helpful as Kaplan and Princeton Review.




Most high school students who are contemplating formal education beyond high school should participate in a program of standardized testing. Such testing is required by most colleges and universities as a factor for consideration in the admissions process. Also, students will find that the test results may give them some valuable information to use as they consider which institutions should warrant their consideration and perhaps their eventual application. If a student is unsure of his/her immediate plans following high school, he/she is still encouraged to participate in a standardized testing program. The results of such tests remain on file with the student’s records.
 
College entrance tests are designed to measure a student’s ability to do college level work. By having a standardized set of test scores for every student applying to a college or university, the admissions professionals are able to compare students from different states, schools, and academic backgrounds.
It is rare for any college to base its admission decisions solely on the results of the SAT or ACT scores. Decisions are made based on all the information available to a college including the high school transcript, teacher and counselor recommendations, personal statement, resume, interviews, and test scores. At each college, the weighing of these factors varies, but the high school record is almost always the most important single factor for consideration for admission.
 
SAT I: Reasoning Tests – The SAT I is a test used by many colleges for entrance purposes. It is a test designed to measure verbal and mathematics abilities. A score ranging from 200 to 800 is reported for both the verbal portion and the mathematics portion. There is also an optional essay section that is required by some colleges. The cost is $46; $60 with Essay. Registration deadlines are approximately five weeks prior to each test administration. Students must register online at the College Board web site.
 
SAT II: Subject Tests – About one-third of colleges and universities require two to three subject tests. Each test is one hour in length and is designed to measure a student’s knowledge of a specific subject.  Tests are given in a number of subjects including: Writing, Literature, Math, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French, Latin, German, History and more.  Scores are used by admissions professionals to help them evaluate a student’s accomplishment and promise in a particular academic subject area. Some colleges use the scores for placement purposes. The student, when in the college search process, should be aware of subject test requirements. The student is encouraged to sit for the SAT II tests at the end of a one-year course (examples: Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History) or when a student is finishing a continuous subject matter area (examples: French, Spanish, English Composition). Students are encouraged to consult their counselor with questions about the subject tests and the appropriateness of selecting "Score Choice" when registering for the exams. The student may take up to three tests at each test administration date. 
Students cannot take both the SAT I and SAT II on the same date.
 
PSAT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test -- The PSAT is taken in October of the Junior year. Registration is done through the Guidance office approximately one month prior to the test date. The PSAT offers students the opportunity to participate in a standardized testing situation that is less stressful for the student; PSAT scores are not reported to colleges and universities. PSAT scores are used as qualifiers for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Test results are given as a verbal score, a math score, and a National Merit Selection Index.
 
ACT: The American College Testing Program -- The ACT is accepted for entrance and/or placement purposes by many colleges and universities. It consists of a series of four tests in the following areas: English, Mathematics, Reading Context, and Science Reasoning. The tests are designed to provide an overall estimate of a student’s ability to succeed academically at the college level. Each test deals more with the use of skills than with specific subject matter. Adjustments are made in scoring so that Juniors do not penalize themselves by taking the tests early and Seniors do not benefit from taking them at a later time. Students should take the ACT only once. Approximate cost is $46.00 (no writing) and $62.50 with writing.  Students must register online at the ACT web site.  Click here for a site that allows you to test yourself with practice questions: http://www.actexampracticetests.com
 
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language -- For the student whose primary language is not English, the TOEFL offers a way to be competitive in the college application process without being penalized for a deficiency of English vocabulary. 
 
 
 
A suggested schedule for standardized testing is as follows:
 
PSAT
taken in October of the Junior year.
 
SAT I
taken in either May or June of the Junior year for the first time; students may sit for the exam again, in October, November or December of their Senior year.
 
SAT II
taken in June of the Junior year; the student may repeat or take additional subject tests in October, November or December of their Senior year
For more specific information about standardized testing, students are encouraged to talk with their counselor.
 
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