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Standardized Testing (PSAT, SAT, ACT)
PSAT/NMSQT
Our Lady of Mercy Academy will administer the PSAT to all enrolled Sophomores and Juniors in October. Students do not need to register for this exam. Please note there will be a 12 noon dismissal on that day. More information on the PSAT Exam can be found at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html

SAT
Students planning to attend college after graduation should take the College Board Entrance Examinations (aka SAT) or the ACT. The practice SAT, the PSAT, is offered once a year in October. Students should plan to take the SAT I Reasoning Tests and, if appropriate, the SAT II Subject Tests in the spring of their junior year and probably again in the fall of their senior year. Colleges may accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT I and the SAT II together.
 
The SAT I Reasoning Test is a three hour and forty-five minute exam that measures ability to critically reason and apply mathematical concepts and write. The SAT I is required by most four-year colleges and some two-year colleges. Students are encouraged to register online at www.collegeboard.com Late fees do apply if registration deadlines are not met.
 
The SAT II Subject Reasoning Tests are required by some private colleges, usually the more competitive institutions. Those colleges that do require the SAT II often require two-three. It is the student’s responsibility to check with each college and learn the requirements. It is not advisable to rely on books published by outside sources for this information.
 
Tests are offered in Biology (molecular and/or ecology), Chemistry, Chinese with Listening, English Literature, European History, French and French with Listening, German and German with Listening, Italian, Japanese with Listening, Korean with Listening, Latin, Math Level I, Math Level II, Modern Hebrew, Spanish and Spanish with Listening, U.S. History, World History.
 
All Sat II Subject Tests last for one hour, and a student can take a maximum of three on a given test date. Students should confer with their teachers to determine if and when to take a specific test. For example, students should plan to take the Math Level I test after the Algebra II/Trigonometry sequence, usually June of the Junior year.
 
Because last minute cramming is not likely to be of much use, a student who decides to take an SAT II Subject Test in a subject he or she has not studied recently should review the course material over several weeks. Sample questions are contained in “Taking the SAT II Subject Tests,” a booklet that students can obtain in the Office of School Counseling. In addition, preparation books for specific SAT II Subject Tests are commercially available in many bookstores.
 
Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) high school number is 335440. Test centers are listed in the back of the registration bulletin and online. Students are reminded to bring a picture I.D. with them to the test.

Websites:
www.collegeboard.com - Register for the SAT’s 
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/calenfees.html - SAT testing

Test Prep:

ACT
The ACT is a national college admission examination that consists of four parts: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science.
  • You may also opt to take the ACT Plus Writing, which includes a 30-minute Writing Test.
  • ACT results are accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and universities.
  • The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete with breaks (or just over four hours if you are taking the Writing Test). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the Writing Test.)
  • In the U.S., the ACT is administered five national test dates – in October, December, February, April, and June.
  • You may register either online at www.actstudent.org or pick up an ACT registration packet in the Office of School Counseling.
  • ACT test preparation booklets are also available in the Office of School Counseling.
  • The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices for which a valid code is listed at time of registration; the ACT Plus Writing has a higher fee.
There are at least four good reasons to take the ACT:
  1. The ACT Assessment tests are universally accepted for college admission. The ACT Assessment is now accepted by virtually all colleges and universities in the U.S., including all the Ivy League schools.
  2. The ACT Assessment multiple-choice tests are curriculum based. The ACT Assessment is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, and science. Because the ACT tests are based on what is taught in the high school curriculum, students are generally more comfortable with the ACT than they are with the traditional aptitude tests or tests with narrower content.
  3. The ACT Assessment is more than a test. In addition to the tests, the ACT also provides test takers with a unique interest inventory that provides valuable information for career and educational planning and a student profile section that provides a comprehensive profile of your work in high school and your future plans.
  4. The ACT Assessment is a good value. As a private, not-for-profit organization governed by educators, ACT is committed to providing services at the lowest possible cost. Accordingly, the ACT Assessment provides a comprehensive package of educational assessment and career planning services for college-bound students at a modest fee that is lower than the fee for the competing admission test.
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