Guidance

by WCUSD Guidance

BASICS ON TESTING

Test Name:

 

 

PSAT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)

  • Optional test given in October to Williamsville High School juniors
  • Serves as the qualifying test for entry to the National Merit Program
  • Considered practice to the SAT
  • Is an aptitude based test
  • Measures Critical Reading, Math Problem-Solving and Writing Skills
  • Score range from 60-240 (Selection Index)
  • One point given for each correct answer regardless of difficulty
  • 1/4 point taken for each wrong multiple choice answer
  • Juniors who plan to take the SAT generally do so 6-7 months after taking the PSAT

 

 

SAT

  • Newly required in Illinois as the choice college placement test
  • Aptitude based test
  • Typically taken second semester of junior year
  • Score range 1170-1290 w/o writing and 1720-1920 w/ Writing
  • Tests Critical Reading, Mathematic Problem-Solving, and Writing Skills
  • One point given for each correct answer regardless of difficulty
  • 1/4 point taken for each wrong multiple choice answer

 

 

SAT Subject Tests

  • Typically taken end of junior year or senior year
  • Please check www.collegeboard.com for a listing of available subject tests

 

 

ACT

  • Previously taken by juniors during their second semester
  • Offered on Saturdays at multiple approved locations
  • Is an achievement based test
  • Score range 1-36
  • Not penalized for guessing
  • Tests English (Usage & Mechanics), Mathematics (Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra & Intermediate Algebra/Coor. Geometry & Plane Geometry/Trigonometry), Reading (Social Studies/Science & Arts/Literature), and Science
  • Used for college admissions and some scholarship competition
  • Assesses the progress of both high school and individual students in meeting the Illinois Learning Standards

 

 

AP Exams

  • With qualifying AP Exam scores, students can earn credit, advanced placement or both at the majority of colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • Colleges that you receive your AP score report will typically notify students during the summer of any advanced placement, credit, or exemption you have earned
  • AP Exam score is a weighted combination of scores received on the multiple choice and free-response sections.
  • Final score is reported on a 5-point scale
    • 5=extremely well qualified
    • 4=well qualified
    • 3=qualified
    • 2=possibly qualified
    • 1=no recommendation
  • The student controls which colleges (if any) receive your AP Exam scores
  • Please visit www.collegeboard.com/apstudents for detailed information on available AP Exams