JUNIORS AND SOPHOMORES On Saturday, October 15, the PSAT will be offered to 10th and 11th grade students at PCHS. This test requires about 3 hours (testing and data fill-out). PSAT/NMSQT These letters stand for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is the first step to enter scholarship competitions conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. More than one million high school students who take the PSAT/NMSQT will enter the Merit Program. Approximately 8,000 will win Merit Scholarship awards. To be eligible, students must be enrolled full time as a high school student, be a citizen of the United States or a permanent U.S. resident, and take the PSAT as a junior. If you take the PSAT as a sophomore, your score does not count toward scholarship competitions but it is a good pretest for taking the PSAT and the ACT/SAT as a junior. The students who will benefit from taking the PSAT are:
- Those with a GPA of 3.5 or better – to be considered for scholarships.
- Those who are considering going to college outside of Michigan.
- All juniors will be taking the SAT in the Spring of 2016 which is given for free through the State of Michigan. The PSAT is a good preparation for the SAT.
- Taking the PSAT prior to taking the ACT provides a good pretest to a college admissions test.
When you sign up for the PSAT you will receive a booklet that has more information and a sample test. The cost for the PSAT is $17.00 – sign up and pay in the office by Thursday, September 22. The test will be administered at PCHS on Saturday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m.
COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS
Juniors considering college after high school should take either the ACT or SAT. Both tests are accepted as college admissions tests, however, the SAT will be given for free to 11th graders in April as a one-time service paid for by the State of Michigan.
All Juniors who are intending to enroll in a college or university must take a college entrance exam. The ACT tests students in English, Math, Reading and Science. The ACT also offers an optional writing test. The writing test is scored separately and the results do not affect the student’s ACT composite score. Visit the ACT website at www.actstudent.org to find out which colleges and universities require or recommend taking the writing test. Many students take the ACT more than once to achieve a higher score for college entrance or for scholarship guidelines. If you plan to take the ACT on a national test date, the fee is $42.50 without Writing and $58.50 with Writing. The following ACT National Test dates for this school year (2016-2017) are:
September 10 Registration deadline August 7, 2016
October 22 Registration deadline September 16, 2016
December 10 Registration deadline November 4, 2016
February 11 Registration deadline January 13, 2017
April 8 Registration deadline March 3, 2017
June 10 Registration deadline May 5, 2017
Each year students ask how to prepare for the ACT Assessment. Without a doubt, the best preparation is to take as many courses as possible in the Math, Science, and English areas. In addition, there are the following options for students:
- Work through the ACT preparation booklet that can be downloaded from the ACT website. This booklet has a complete test included that you can time yourself and work through the test to see which areas you need to pace yourself to complete the section on time. It also has the answers and explanations. One of the preparations for the ACT is to know what to expect and how to answer the questions. This booklet is free, often not used, but one of the best preparations.
- Sample test questions are also available on the ACT website. Sign up to receive “Question of the Day” practice questions.
- ACT Online Prep and The Real ACT Prep Guide are available for purchase on the ACT website. These can be ordered at ACT’s website www.actstudent.org.
The SAT tests students in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. Visit the SAT website at collegereadiness.collegeboard.org to find out more information and to sign up. If you plan to take the SAT on a national test date, the fee is $45.00 without the Essay and $57.00 with the Essay. To be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, be sure to put the code 0085 on your registration form so that your SAT scores are sent to the NMSP.
October 1 Registration deadline September 1, 2016
November 5 Registration deadline October 7, 2016
December 3 Registration deadline November 3, 2016
January 21 Registration deadline December 21, 2016
March 11 Registration deadline February 10, 2017
May 6 Registration deadline April 7, 2017
June 3 Registration deadline May 9, 2017
The best way to prepare for the SAT is through the Khan Academy which offers free access for online test practice. Through the College Board, Michigan students will have access to this free service. Visit the College Board website at www.collegeboard.org/michigan or go directly to the Khan Academy website at www.khanacademy.org. There are 4 official full-length practice tests, plus study and test-taking tips. Practice questions, short quizzes and instant feedback are also part of this free service.