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Planning Toolkit – Testing

Standardized Testing

Many institutions require standardized tests as one means of comparison between applicants. Colleges understand that students and groups of students have different testing profiles.

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of test registration deadlines and the testing requirements of the colleges to which he/she will apply. Students will need to provide Christian Heritage School’s College Board code (110982) when registering for the SAT and/or ACT and when applying to colleges. For a list of the 400 or so institutions that de-emphasize test results, visit www.fairtest.org.

PSAT/NMSQT Information

*All Christian Heritage School 9th – 11th graders will sit for the PSAT exam.

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a three hour practice SAT assesses the verbal, math, and writing skills that students have developed. It also allows them to participate in the Student Search Service, thereby receiving mail from participating colleges and universities. Results from this test do NOT directly impact a student’s chances of gaining admission to a particular institution.

In December/January students will receive a Score Report which includes personalized feedback on test questions and an “Improve Your Skills” section. The test is “normed” for the academic preparation of sophomores and juniors, therefore freshmen should not be alarmed if their scores are lower than anticipated. The Score Report can serve as a useful diagnostic tool, indicating specific academic skills to which a student might want to devote particular attention in his/her coursework and in his/her course selection.

The PSAT/NMSQT is the first step in the National Merit Scholarship process. The National Merit Selection Index is determined based on the scores of the PSAT taken during the junior year. The minimum score necessary to receive national recognition varies from year to year and from state to state. Christian Heritage has consistently had students recognized in the National Merit Scholarship process.

SAT Information

The SAT Reasoning Test (SAT I) is a measure of the critical thinking skills you will need for academic success in college.  The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems – skills you learned in school that you will need in college.

SAT I

The SAT I is a three section test that focuses on critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills.  The score range for each section is 200-800 with a perfect score being 2400.  The test lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Students generally should take the SAT I in the spring of their junior year and, if necessary, in the fall of the senior year. Regardless of how many times a student takes the SAT I, the colleges will receive all of the scores; the student will not be allowed to choose which scores to send. Most colleges, however, will use the student’s best critical reading score, best math score, and best writing score even if they are from different testing days.  The writing score is not consistently being used at colleges for admission.  Check with individual colleges you are considering to learn how they use the writing score.

SAT II Subject Tests

As a general rule students need to be aware of the requirements or recommendations regarding SAT II Subject Tests for the colleges in which they are most interested. Students should check with individual colleges they are considering to learn if Subject Tests are required.  If Subject Tests are required, it is recommended students have these completed by early in their senior year.  Each curriculum-based test is one hour long so a student may sit for as many as three tests on the same day. Your counselor can provide guidance as to appropriate subject tests.

  • To see deadlines and register for either the SAT I or Subject Tests, go to www.collegeboard.org.
  • The Christian Heritage School CEEB code is 110982.
  • Christian Heritage School is not an SAT test center.  It is the student’s responsibility to find the most convenient test center.

ACT Information

In addition to the SAT I, the ACT is another college admission test. The ACT is an achievement test that more closely aligns itself with a high school curriculum. All colleges and universities will accept this test in place of the SAT I. Students receive a score for each subject-related test (English, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing) as well as a composite score that ranges from 1 to 36. ACT scores are generally comparable to SAT scores. Although the writing section of the test is offered as “optional,” students are strongly encouraged to take the writing section.

  • To register for the ACT, go to www.actstudent.org.
  • The Christian Heritage School CEEB code is 110982.
  • Christian Heritage School administers the ACT onsite for CHS seniors only.  This private test administration is conducted on a regular school day and counts for all Early Action deadlines.

Advanced Placement (AP) Information and Test Schedule

This College Board program provides students with an opportunity to challenge themselves with college level work, demonstrate their proficiency to college admission officers, and earn college credit or placement in higher-level college classes. Scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 5. Colleges generally require a minimum score of 3 in order to receive college credit. Students should check with individual colleges for credit and placement policies. For additional information, visit www.collegeboard.com or see your counselor.

Christian Heritage School students enrolled in an AP course are required to sit for the AP exam in that subject. Students are automatically registered and billed for the exam.

 

Standardized Test Preparation

Christian Heritage’s academic program develops the verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities measured by the SAT I exam and provides the curricular knowledge assessed by the ACT and SAT II – Subject Tests. For those students wanting additional preparation, please continue reading to learn about what other options are available.

The College Board provides very good practice materials, including sample questions, in its free booklets, Taking the SAT I Reasoning Test and Taking the SAT II Subject Tests. The ACT offers a similar resource, Preparing for the ACT Assessment. All three booklets can be picked up in the College Counseling Center.  The College Board and ACT websites also have useful test prep information.

Bookstores and libraries generally carry more extensive books and software for independent preparation. Generally, the best preparation is to work hard in academic courses and to do extensive outside reading, including summer reading. Some students find test preparation courses helpful. Studies suggest, however, that the average score increase after a course generally does not exceed fifty to seventy points, and scores may at times even show a decline. Studies also indicate that math scores are more likely to improve after specific tutoring than the critical reading score.  The critical reading score is more a measure of acquired language background and reading completed over a long period of time.

It is important to note that standardized tests do not assess motivation, creativity, artistic skills, athletic abilities, kindness, decency, integrity, sense of humor and other human qualities that colleges take into account when admitting students. In life, these qualities should be more important than another 50 points on the SAT.

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers are available to juniors and seniors for the SAT I, SAT II Subject Tests, and the ACT. Students who believe they may qualify because of demonstrated economic need should meet with Mrs. Poag as soon as possible. An ACT or SAT fee waiver may qualify a student for an application fee reduction or waiver at various colleges and also makes a student-athlete eligible for a waiver for the NCAA Eligibility Center fee.