PSAT – October of Sophomore & Junior Year
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). In October, all sophomores and juniors take the PSAT at Wilbraham & Monson Academy during the school day. This test is broken into sections measuring critical reading, math, and writing skills. The PSAT is a very useful way to become familiar with the SAT format. It also gives students a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs in their junior year and gain access to college and career planning tools. For more information regarding the PSAT, please visit www.collegeboard.com/psat.
SAT Reasoning Test – Winter/Spring of Junior Year and Fall of Senior Year
The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-part, three-hour-and-45-minute test that assesses critical reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning ability and is used in the college admission process. It is scored on a scale of 200-800 on each of the three sections. We recommend that students consider taking the SAT in May of their junior year and again in October or November of their senior year. For more detailed information regarding the SAT, please visit www.collegeboard.com.
SAT Subject Tests – Winter/Spring of Junior Year and Fall of Senior Year
The SAT Subject Tests are tests that measure a student’s knowledge in particular subject areas including English, science, math, history, and foreign languages. Each test is one hour long, and a student may take up to three tests in one administration. Many selective colleges require at least two and sometimes three Subject Tests as part of their admission requirements. It is important that students pay attention to the requirements of individual colleges to ensure that they meet the college's standardized testing requirements. We recommend that students consider taking Subject Tests at the end of the academic year while the information about a particular subject is still fresh in their minds. For juniors, the June SAT administration is usually the best time to do this. For a full list of all possible Subject Tests, please visit www.collegeboard.com.
ACT – Winter/Spring of Junior Year and Fall of Senior Year
The ACT is a standardized test scored on a 36-point scale and is divided into sections covering English, math, reading and science reasoning. There is also an optional 30-minute writing section. The ACT is an alternative to the SAT and is accepted at nearly every college in the country. Because some students perform better on the ACT than on the SAT, the College Counseling Office suggests that most students take the ACT, as well as the SAT, in order to have score options when deciding which test scores to submit to colleges. If a student is considering the ACT, we highly recommend that they choose to take it with the writing option, as most colleges require this form of the ACT. Students should considering taking this for the first time in April of their junior year. For information about the ACT, please visit www.actstudent.org.
TOEFL – Fall of Senior Year
Many colleges require that students whose first language is not English take the TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language. A student's TOEFL score is often a very useful supplement to their Critical Reading and Writing scores on the SAT. For information about TOEFL, please visit www.ets.org/toefl.
Non-Standard Administration of the PSAT, SAT Reasoning Test, Subject Tests and ACT
If students have a documented learning disability, they may be eligible through the College Board and the ACT to receive testing accommodations like extended time. Families should contact the College Counseling Office and the Academic Services Department at Wilbraham & Monson Academy to find out how a student can receive approval for these accommodations.