Resources Faculty Roepertunities

Jan 26
2015

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Testing and More…

Reminder!!  Junior-Parent College Night!!

February 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the Commons.

Our representatives Sally Lindsley from the University of Michigan, Terence Brown from Michigan State and Jessie Fowles from Kalamazoo College will join Patti in an informational evening where you will learn about the college planning process in general and for Roeper juniors in particular.

You will have your college questions answered (bring questions!)

This event is intended for BOTH Juniors AND their parents (or whoever is free that evening to attend)

See you there!!!

SAT or ACT?

After receiving PSAT scores, students often ask if they really need to take both the SAT and the ACT. The answer to this question is “it depends” (this is an answer that gets a lot of use in college counseling.) You may know that the State of Michigan has been using the ACT for the state assessment exam for several years and is now planning to switch to the SAT.  Additionally, many students who are thinking about out-of-state colleges (especially Ivy League colleges) think they have to take the SAT Reasoning Test. That is not true. Furthermore, the decision to go with the SAT has nothing to do with the quality of the assessment, but because SAT came in with a lower bid (even that is in contention with an appeal by ACT).

The fact is, every college in the US that requires test scores will take either the SAT or the ACT (big reminder here—be sure to take the ACT WITH WRITING at least once).  Our observation is that students tend to be more successful on the ACT but it can vary from student to student.

So, which test should you take? Generally speaking, Roeper recommends you take the SAT and the ACT once, then take one of them again—whichever one you are more comfortable taking—in April, May, June, September or October  (You still will have time to retake the test in the fall of your senior year if you still want to raise your score).  Either way, be sure to take one of these tests at least once before junior year is out; since Michigan and Michigan State both like to have applications turned in early in your senior year, you will be significantly behind in applying to either of these schools if you haven’t taken ACT or SAT by the end of your junior year.  Moreover, you want to have your scores sent directly from ACT or SAT (it’s “free” to send four of them when you register or up to one week after you’ve taken the tests) BEFORE the application deadlines!

What is an SAT Subject Test?

As you continue your college search, you may hear about tests called the SAT Subject tests. These tests also have another name—the SAT IIs. These one hour tests aren’t at all like the “SAT” that we’ve been talking about. While the regular SAT (also called the SAT Reasoning Test) focuses on general reading comprehension and mathematical reasoning, the SAT Subject Tests measure what you’ve learned in a particular subject—Math, Physics, Biology, French, and so on. Some colleges ask for these tests to see what you’ve learned in high school; Unless you are applying for something like engineering, which will require math and either physics or chemistry, for the most part you can choose any subject that you are confident about.

Many colleges will require you to take one, two, or three SAT Subject Tests in addition to taking the SAT Reasoning test (although some colleges will accept ACT scores rather than make you take the SAT Subject tests).  Some colleges will require them of everyone.  What does this mean to you?  First, you really have to find out if any college you’re applying to requires SAT Subject tests. The requirements change a great deal each year, so go to the college’s website, or the Common App website, and see if they require the SAT Subject tests. If they do require them, look and see if they require you to take any specific subject test (like Engineering). Remember to check if the college will take ACT scores instead of SAT Subject tests.

If you have any doubt, go ahead and take the subject tests.  You don’t need to send them unless 1) the college requires them—(it’s like insurance, in case you decide, even later on, that you want to apply to a college that does; or 2) Your scores are really strong, and they will help your application.

Although these can wait until Fall of Senior year if you’d like—some students like to take them at the end of their junior year (there is a June 6 test date) because they’ll be just completing the class where they learned the material. You can sign up online for SAT Subject tests the same way you signed up for SATs. Either way, remember that you can take up to three SAT Subject tests during the same test date—each test is only an hour long.

The College Counseling Office has sample SAT Subject tests if you’d like to see the kinds of questions you’re dealing

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