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PSAT - SAT - ACT

General Info

There are two options for college admission testing, the SAT and the ACT.  While most people tend to be more familiar with the SAT, both tests are viewed equally by colleges and universities.  To determine which test may be best for you, we recommend taking a practice test or two that can help you make a decision.  Wilson offers the PSAT every October for 9th, 10th and 11th graders.

 

Should you take one of these admissions tests?  This will depends on your college plans.  The CSU and UC system NO LONGER CONSIDER TESTING for admission purposes.  Private colleges and unviersities will have various policies.  It’s important to remember that a test-optional college will consider your test scores if you submit them, along with the other parts of your application. This is different than test-blind colleges, which will not consider ACT or SAT scores at all. At test-optional colleges, your test scores could be considered the same as any other “optional” part of an application, such as an optional essay, letter or recommendation, interview, or portfolio. You may submit any of these items to showcase your strengths and help admissions officers understand who you are.  If your SAT or ACT scores are strong (above the average of the college’s previously admitted freshmen), submitting them to a test-optional school can only help you -- and may balance out parts of your application that are less stellar.

 

When should you take your admissions tests?  Generally, we recommend taking the official test during the spring of junior year.  This gives you more time in classes that will expose you to content that will be on the test.  While you can always test earlier, especially if you are taking prep classes, the deadline will be November of your senior year  - while many schools will also take December scores, you are safer getting it done by November.

Access your PSAT scores!

Students should review their PSAT scores online once they receive the notification from CollegeBoard.  Generall, scores are available online in mid-December.  Paper reports will be available in January.  Click on the "Your PSAT/NMSQT Scores Are Ready" icon below to sign in.  

  • Students click SIGN IN or SIGN UP depending on whether or not they already have a College Board account.  This is the same account used to access AP and SAT scores or register online for the SAT.
  • Important Note:  If a student does not see his/her PSAT score report after logging in, they should click the “Add Scores” button.  At this point the student MAY be prompted to enter their PSAT access code.  The student access codes are available in the Guidance Office and will be printed on the front of the hard copy score report.
  • Want to print out a sample PSAT report to understand it better?  Click Here for the Sample Report!psat.jpg
UC sat/act policy

UC will no longer consider SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes. 

If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used to determine your eligibility for the California statewide admissions guarantee, as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll.

Details regarding UC’s testing policy are provided on the UC admission website for future application terms beyond 2022.

CSU sat/act policy

In March 2022, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the removal of the SAT and ACT standardized tests from undergraduate admissions processes.

If accepted to a CSU campus, ACT or SAT test scores can be used as one of the measures to place students in the proper mathematics and written communication courses.  Visit the CSU Student Success site for further information on course placement. 

Private school policies

Private schools, as well as public schools outsdie of California, will have various policies.  At this point, Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Dartmouth, and Stanford have all recently announced that they will remain test optional through the high school class of 2023, with Cornell going a step further remaining test optional through the high school class of 2024, and Harvard through 2026! We expect most every other highly selective institutions to follow suit (with the exception of MIT which recently announced it will require tests).  Bottom line?  DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Fee WAIVERS

Fee waivers are available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.  If you have used a wavier in the past, your codes will already be in your Collegeboard Account.  Email your counselor to request a fee waiver code.  Limit: 2 waivers per test per student.

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