Resources for Students
Standardized Testing Description
The PSAT/NMSQT is given to all sophomores and juniors in mid-October during the school day. The PSAT test is a shortened, practice version of the SAT and it provides a good opportunity for students to get comfortable with the format, pacing and questions of the SAT. In addition, many of the AP courses at SJCS require a minimum score on one of the PSAT sections as a prerequisite, which will affect both sophomores and juniors when they register for classes for the following year. The eleventh grade results serve as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), which is owned and operated by the National Merit Foundation and co-owned by The College Board. National Merit scholarships are determined using this score alone. Scoring very well could bring national recognition and qualify a student for one of 9,600 college scholarships. It is well worth taking this test seriously by spending time in preparation.
September 14, 2019
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|(Late Fee Required)
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|(Late Fee Required)
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This 3 hour and 45 minute exam focuses on writing, critical reading, and mathematical reasoning ability. The writing section, with a 25 minute essay, is designed to provide colleges with a measure of writing reasoning and critical thinking skills. Critical reading emphasizes reading skills. Math contains enhanced college-preparatory math (Algebra II). It is recommended that students take the SAT Reasoning Exam for the first time in the spring of the junior year and again in October or November of the senior year. All testing should be finalized by the end of December senior year.*Subject Tests not offered on this date[_/su_spoiler]
There are nearly 20 offered in major academic disciplines. In addition to the SAT Reasoning Tests, many competitive colleges (about 50 in number) require two or sometimes three SAT Subject Tests. An hour in length, students may take up to three on any designated date. Please note that all tests are not administered on all dates. Subject exams should be taken as soon as possible after the student completes study of a single subject, for instance Physics, but as late as possible for subjects that are cumulative in nature like math. If a student is considering "most selective colleges," it is recommended that he/she take two or three Subject Exams by June of his/her junior year. They may be taken again in November or December of the senior year. Teachers are in the best position to advise students on which tests they are best prepared to take. All testing should be finalized by the end of December in the senior year. SAT Online Registration: http://sat.collegeboard.com/register[_/su_spoiler][_/su_accordion]
The ACT is another standardized college entrance test given several times a year. The test consists of four 35 to 50 minute sections and measures achievement in four areas: English usage, mathematics usage, reading comprehension, and science reasoning, and is curriculum based. In February of 2005, ACT added a 30-minute “optional” writing assessment. Post-secondary schools will soon be making the decision whether the writing assessment will be required. Students at St. Joseph’s are advised to sit for this optional section and are asked to check the requirements of the colleges/universities they are considering before registering. All colleges accept the ACT. For a test comparison of the SAT and ACT see the concordance table below. ACT Online Registration: https://services.actstudent.org/OA_HTML/actibeCAcdLogin.jsp
These three-hour examinations are based on a full-year college-level course in high school. If enrolling in an AP course, students are expected to sit for the exam in May. Academically qualified sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to include AP courses in their schedules.
Before students with disabilities can take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or Advanced Placement Exams with accommodations — such as extended time or the use of a computer — their request for accommodations must be approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). To start this process, please contact Aquinas Program director Carolyn Johnsen. Please note that it can take up to six months for accommodations to be approved.
- College Board online test prep for PSAT and SAT at https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice.
- ACT online tests prep at http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/.
- Khan Academy is another free online resource for SAT Prep as well as practice in any school subject area. Visit https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat.
- SC Test Prep is a local Spartanburg company offering SAT and ACT preparation through six-week courses or individual tutoring. For more information, visit http://www.sctestprep.com/ or call 864-384-1021.
- Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com/
offer/free-practice-tests) and Kaplan Test Prep (https://www.kaptest.com/sat/ free/sat-practice) both have free resources, as well as other online prep courses for a fee.
There are many types of educational references to assist you in your search. While these guides vary in format, most include information on enrollment, curriculum, faculty, majors/programs offered, campus life, financial aid, cost, selectivity, and a profile of the most recent entering class.
These guides specialize in factual/statistical information:
- Barron’s, Profiles of American Colleges, 2010: This book lists general information on college facts and finances, college majors, and college profiles. Includes a CD-Rom.
- College Board, College Handbook: This book includes separate sections for 4-year and 2-year colleges, an early decision/early action table, a list of colleges by type, special characteristics, size, admission selectivity, and colleges with NCAA sports by division.
- Antonoff, The College Finder: This text offers information on more than 2,000 colleges arranged in more than 500 quick reference lists.
- Peterson’s, Four Year Colleges 2010: This guide not only includes information on every US accredited four-year college but has nearly 1,000 in-depth descriptions and a majors index.
These guides offer a more subjective view. The narrative descriptions when used in combination with statistical information provide an excellent “check and balance” system to your college research.
- Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010: This resource lists each college’s strongest departments and majors and is packed with student tips on academic and social life ratings for each school.
- Fiske, Guide to Getting into the Right College
- Pope, Looking Beyond the Ivy League
- Pope, Colleges that Change Lives
- Princeton Review, The Best 371 Colleges: 2010 Edition
- Templeton Foundation, Colleges That Encourage Character Development
- Thacker, Lloyd, Colleges Unranked: Ending the College Admission Frenzy
- Yale, The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges
Guides for Particular Audience
- Coburn & Treeger, Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years
- Kravets & Wax, The Princeton Review, The K&W Guide for Students with Learning Disabilities: This resource lists colleges with special accommodations for learning disabilities by state and what those accommodations are.
- LaVeist, DayStar Guide to Colleges for African American Students
Peterson’s, Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders: In addition to detailed information on colleges with comprehensive programs for learning disabled students, there is a reference chart for you to quickly see what each college has to offer.
- Peterson’s, Top Colleges for Science
- The National Catholic College Admission Assistance, Official Catholic Colleges Guidebook
Guides for Majors, Careers, Finances/Scholarships, Sports
- Cassidy, The Scholarship Book: This provides a complete guide to private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans for the undergraduates.
- College Board, Book of Majors
- College Board, Getting Financial Aid: One of the most practical guides to the financial aid process, this book also targets many common myths about financial aid.
- College Board, Scholarship Handbook 2010: This book lists over 2,000 undergraduate scholarships, internships, and loan programs. Eligibility indexes allow you to search by many areas such as gender, minority status, and disabilities.
- Leider, Don’t Miss Out: The Ambitious Student’s Guide to Financial Aid
Peterson’s, Sports Scholarships & College Athletic Programs
If you want to play NCAA sports at a Division I or II school, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Learn more about playing college sports, by going to https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/.
College-bound student-athletes (intending to play Division I or II) need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center if they plan on participating in college athletics. Early registration promotes positive planning and involvement, bypasses the last-minute rush and helps college-bound student-athletes avoid issues that may delay their academic and amateur certifications. The registration process is easy and can be done by:
- Logging on to the Eligibility Center’s web site atwww.eligibilitycenter.org;
- Scrolling down and selecting the “Create an Account” tab; and
- Beginning the registration process.
Please remember to complete a Transcript Request Form at the end of your junior year so that we know to mail your transcripts to the NCAA. You will also need to have your official SAT and/or ACT test scores sent to the NCAA (either through College Board for the SAT or through ACT).
Division III or students who are undecided about which level they will play at, can now create a Profile Page rather than starting the Eligibility process. Students should go to the same link above and click on the Create a Profile Page tab (located next to the Create an Account tab).
Each college/university processes student athletes a little differently. It is very important that you work with the coaches/athletic departments at each college so that they can assist you with the admission process at their university. But, please remember that you will still need to apply to the college or university you are interested in attending. Some student-athletes think that because they are being recruited or because they have registered with the Eligibility Center, they do not need to apply for admission. Athletics eligibility and admission to a college or university are two separate processes and both need to be completed.
Students also should check to see which SJCS classes are approved by the NCAA by visiting: https://web3.ncaa.org/hsportal/exec/hsAction?hsActionSubmit=searchHighSchool and entering SJCS school code 410902.
If you have any questions, please discuss them with your college counselor.