We are again going back to a testing day in October to coincide with the national test date of the PSAT. This will be the second Wednesday in October.
All Sophomores will take the ASPIRE Early High School. This test is highly recommended because it gives students an idea of how well they will do on the ACT college entrance exam. Students who qualify for extended time testing or other accommodations will be notified by the School Counseling office.
All Juniors will take the PSAT. The PSAT is a good predictor of how students might do on the SAT college entrance exam. Additionally, the PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test. It is also just one more opportunity to practice with standardized testing, and some students find that they do better on the PSAT than the ASPIRE, and may choose SAT over ACT for their college entrance exam.
Last year we offered this as an optional opportunity on the Saturday national test date. The College Board eliminated the Saturday test date this year, so we are going back to having all Juniors take this on the Wednesday test date.
Sophomores can choose to take this as a practice exercise for when they take it as a Junior. Each year we have had 10-16 Sophomores choose to take it a year early to better prepare for it in their Junior year. This would typically be those who are very strong test takers and have potential as a National Merit Scholarship finalist (would be in the top 1% of test takers).
Sophomores wishing to take the PSAT need to register for this in the School Counseling Office by the beginning of the last full week in September – for 2015 this would be by 9/21. The fee for the 2015 PSAT will be $15.00. This should be a check written out to St. Francis Xavier High School, with PSAT on the notation line. The test will be given after school from 3:30-6:30.
Information about the PSAT and the National Merit Scholarship competition will be sent home with Juniors approximately a week or so before the test. Generally speaking, the only accommodation we will apply for in regards to the PSAT is large print materials. An exception to this is if a junior knows he/she will be taking AP exams or the SAT exams, and he/she qualifies for extended time or a reader, then the request for accommodations for the PSAT will be made. Requests for accommodations should be made in the previous spring for the fall administration of the PSAT. (Please see testing accommodations section for more details.)
College Entrance Testing
St Francis Xavier High School CEEB code: 500-063
ACT - This is the college entrance exam most commonly taken by Xavier students, and is accepted by most colleges in the United States. Students register online for both regular and Extended Time on a National Test Date administrations. Special Testing requests must be done through the mail. (Please see section on testing accommodations for full details)
SAT - The general exam is the SAT subject test, which includes Math, Reading and Writing. There are also SAT II specific subject exams students can take in various subject areas. Unless considering colleges on the East or West coast, taking the SAT probably is not necessary. For an article that discusses the differences between the two exams click here.
The registration deadline for all tests is generally one month before the test date. Specific dates can be found on the websites. For the ACT, February, April and June tend to be the busiest months, so registration early is wise if you would like to test at a close location.
Many of the Xavier High School students have prepared for the ACT test by participating in an ACT test prep class. This class is available one week prior to the September, October, April, December, February and June test dates. Registration forms are available on the website and also in the School Counseling Office. Again, it is wise to register early to make sure spots are available.
TOEFL – this exam is for International Students planning on attending college in the US. Most colleges will have this as an additional requirement for entrance. For more information on the TOEFL, click here.
Testing Accommodations – Requests for accommodations on college entrance exams (ACT and SAT), ASPIRE, PSAT, AP and then continuing accommodations at the college level depend heavily on having documentation of the student’s disability that is no older than three years prior to the school year in which the request is made. Most diagnoses have been made prior to high school, so generally a reconfirmation is needed. Having this done in the sophomore year allows the documentation to be current for both the junior and senior year testing requests, as well as the first year of post-secondary education. Disabilities that may qualify for accommodations would include (please see website for all possible accommodations and circumstances):
How to Request
- ADHD, Learning Disability – Reading, Writing, Math, Dysgraphia. (Extended Time on a National Test Date or Special Testing, depending on severity)
- Disabilities where a reader may be requested would be specifically for the Learning Disability – Reading. (Special Testing)
- Large print materials can be requested for those with a visual acuity disability, or students with motor control issues who are not able to fill out a standard size scantron. (National Standard Time with Accommodations)
- Students with Irlen Syndrome can request to be allowed to use colored overlays during testing. (National Standard Time with Accommodations)
- Students with Diabetes may request stop the clock breaks to check blood sugar if this is necessary, and/or bring snacks (National Standard Time with Accommodations)
- Discuss the need for testing accommodations with your school counselor during your Student Parent conference in your Sophomore year.
- If needed, make sure you have current documentation, possibly necessitating a visit to a licensed psychologist for learning disabilities, your physician for physical disabilities.
- Notify Mr. Neiswender of when you intend to take the ACT, preferably at the beginning of your junior year so we know when the requests will be going out.
- Applications for Extended Time on a National Test Date instructions can be found here. Please bring the signed form to Mr. Neiswender to complete and mail in for you. All forms must be in by the registration deadline.
- Applications for Special Testing instructions can be found here. This must be done all on paper, no registering online. You need to sign your part of the form, then bring it in to Mr. Neiswender. Again, forms must be mailed by the deadline for test registration.
- Applications for National Standard Time with Accommodations instructions can be found here. Please bring the signed form to Mr. Neiswender to complete and mail in for you. All forms must be in by the registration deadline.