Standardized Testing Overview
Standardized testing for college admission is an issue that generates many questions and much anxiety. Most colleges require standardized tests as a means to determine how students compare to other college-bound seniors throughout the country. Most colleges that use test scores for admission purposes realize that different students and groups of students have different testing profiles and will take those into account when evaluating the results. It is rare that a test score will make or break a student’s chances. More often than not, the test score will be factored into the larger assessment of the student’s academic potential and ability.
College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Code and ACT Code
SABIS® International Charter School’s CEEB code is 222-056. This number is needed for all test registration forms and for all college applications. When you provide this number as requested on registration forms, your scores will be sent to SABIS® for dissemination to prospective colleges and universities.
It is the requirement of the student to keep track of the specific testing requirements at each college. The guidance office has a number of resources available and / or may help each student determine which tests are required for each specific school.
Most colleges require at least the SAT or the ACT, but some have decided that the test is not necessary. For the schools that require standardized test scores, most will take only the best scores, even if they were obtained on different testing dates. (SAT Critical Reading score from one test date, SAT math and Writing scores from another date.) Schools generally do not have a preference between the ACT and the SAT and will generally accept either one. A smaller number of schools (usually the most selective ones) require the SAT II Subject Tests.
For a list of colleges that do not require any standardized testing, consult the Fair Test web-site at www.fairtest.org.
SAT Reasoning Test
The SAT Reasoning Test assesses a student’s reading, math and writing skills. Each section of the test is scored on a scale of 200 – 800, with two writing sub-scores for a multiple-choice section and the essay.
The Critical Reading Section, once called the verbal section, includes long and short passages for reading comprehension as well as sentence completion. There are two twenty-five minute sections and one twenty-minute section.
The Mathematics Section covers number and operations including algebra, geometry, statistics, probability and data analysis. There are two twenty-five minute math sections and one twenty-minute section.
The Writing Section includes both multiple-choice questions and a direct writing measure in the form of an essay. The multiple-choice section is thirty-five minutes and the student-written essay is twenty-five minutes in duration. The multiple-choice section measures the student’s ability to improve sentences and paragraphs and to identify errors. The short essay measures the student’s ability to organize and clearly express an idea and to develop a point of view using reasoning and evidence.
For more detail about the SAT, visit the College Board web site at www.collegeboard.com.
SABIS® Thoughts on SAT Testing Schedules
We encourage juniors to take the SAT Reasoning Test at least once during the year. The most desirable testing dates are in either April or May. The June testing date should be reserved for the SAT II Subject Tests. We also encourage the student to take the SAT Reasoning Test at least one additional time during the fall of their senior year. SAT testing sites are widely available throughout the greater Springfield area. The SAT web site or your college counselor will help you to determine the best site for you to take your test.
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject Tests are one hour in length and cover a single academic subject only. Students are able to take up to three Subject Tests in one sitting. The SAT Subject Tests are offered during the same testing periods as are the SAT Reasoning Tests. Students are not able to take both the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests on the same day. Tests are currently offered in the following subject areas: English Literature, U.S. History, World History, Mathematics (Levels I and II), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Japanese and Korean.
It is recommended that the Subject Tests be taken as near to the completion of the relevant course as possible.
Only a small number of colleges require Subject Tests. A college may require a Subject Test in a specific area. Students should familiarize themselves with the testing requirements of any school before registering for a standardized test.
SAT Registration and Test Dates for the School Year
November 3, 2007 (10/2/07)
December 1, 2007 (10/30/07)
January 26, 2008 (12/26/07)
March 1, 2008 (1/29/08)
May 3, 2008 (4/1/08)
June 7, 2008 (5/6/08)
Late registration is permissible for an extra fee and walk-up registration is available as space permits. Application may be handled on line or hard copy application forms on available in the guidance office. The fees for all tests are outlined in the College Board materials. Fee waivers may be available.
ACT (American College Testing Program)
This is the testing program favored by many colleges and universities in the South and the Midwest, but accepted at most colleges in the country in place of the SAT. It is a battery of multiple-choice tests that cover four subject areas (English, math, reading and science.) There is also an optional writing section that will assess a student’s ability to write a short essay. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 – 36 and students receive individual subject scores as well as a composite score.
In some cases, the material on the ACT may be more suitable to a student’s knowledge and style of learning than the SAT. For students who have struggled with the SAT or for those who feel that their SAT scores do not reflect their true potential, the ACT may be a good alternative. For more detailed information in the test, visit their web-site at www.act.org.
ACT Registration and Test Dates for the School Year
October 27, 2007 (9/21/07)
December 8, 2007 (11/2/07)
April 12, 2008 (3/7/08)
June 14, 2008 (5/9/08)
Advanced Placement Testing
The Advanced Placement (AP) program enables students to challenge themselves with college-level work and perhaps, achieve advanced standing when they enroll in college. The school administers the AP examinations in early May. Scores range from one to five and each college has its own criteria for granting credit. Typically scores below three do not qualify for any advance standings and scores of three or four vary from college to college. For most colleges, AP scores do not factor into the college admission decision. However, colleges acknowledge that AP certified courses are typically very rigorous.
It is important to recognize that a variety of testing preparations programs and materials exist. Some students do take test preparation courses or work with test tutors and them very helpful. SAT scores generally increase, tutored or not, twenty to thirty points with each retest. However, studies also show that the av