- Progressive Education
- Inside Putney
- Putney People
- 2013 Graduation Schedule
- Current Students
- Current Families
- School Calendar
- College Counseling
- College Guide
- College Planning Courses
- Suggested Readings
- Map & Directions
- Area Lodgings
- Travel Information
- KDU Menu
- Employee Resources
- Support Putney
- Summer Programs
Standardized Testing is required by most colleges, but there are several hundred colleges that are now test-optional. If you wish to apply to a college which requires them, you must submit the scores to the college if you want the admissions team to read your application. If the college to which you are applying doesn't require them, you may choose to submit them if the scores are good.
In junior year you should have taken both major tests (ACT and SAT), and should know which test best reflects your talents; in senior year you can repeat the testing if you would like to improve your scores. SAT Subject Tests need to be planned carefully and are usually taken at the end of a course of study and/or at the end of junior year or during the fall of senior year.
The SAT and ACT are significantly different tests, and in many ways, they measure different skills so depending on your particular strengths and weaknesses, you may perform much better on one test than the other. As a result, many students embarking on the admissions process are now considering both the SAT and ACT to figure out which test provides a better showcase for their abilities. Here are some of the factors that make SAT and ACT very different breeds:
- The ACT has a science reasoning test; the SAT does not.
- The SAT is not entirely multiple-choice.
- The SAT has a guessing penalty; the ACT does not.
- The Writing component is an intrinsic part of the SAT, but optional on the ACT. However, many colleges will require it if you choose to submit an ACT, so it is wise to choose the option.
To figure out which test is best for you, you've got to understand the nature of the beasts. Admissions officers and educators often describe the difference between SAT and ACT in these terms: the ACT is a content-based test, whereas the SAT assesses critical thinking and problem-solving. This perception is one reason why many educators (off the record) express a preference for the ACT because they believe that the ACT is closer to testing the "curriculum" taught in most school classrooms. In fact, this contrast isn't exactly watertight: many questions on the ACT test critical thinking, and there is a predictable range of material that is tested in the SAT. The current version of the SAT is intended to minimize this difference, and bring the SAT closer to skills taught in the classroom. Nevertheless, the SAT and ACT reward different attributes, so performing well on each test can all boil down to what kind of test-taker you are.
As you find colleges of interest, note immediately what type of tests they require.
To look for a list of colleges requiring NO test scores, visit http://www.fairtest.org
SAT Registration Information
www.collegeboard.com - The Putney School code: 460-340
Test Center Information -- please check with College office about site choice before registering
|Mount Hermon (NMH)||22624|
* Day Students should select most convenient location.
ACT Registration Information
www.actstudent.org - The Putney School code: 460-340
Test Center Information – please check with College office about site choice before registering
|Mount Hermon (NMH)||153220|
Standardized Testing: sending the scores
Sending scores to the colleges. If the scores are mind-bogglingly good, send them to everyone, whether they require them or not! Most of us mere mortals are careful to send only the required scores insofar as possible. Make a list of the tests required by all the colleges you are applying to, and plan to send the SAT or the ACT to those who require test scores.
Colleges require that they be sent directly from the testing service – you can send official scores in the following ways:
- When you register for a test, you are usually permitted to send your scores, free of additional charge, to a certain number of schools (four for the SAT, three for the ACT, two for the TOEFL - and in all cases you may opt to pay for sending them to even more colleges).
- Most students find it easiest to submit scores online, through www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. You must use a credit or a debit card.
Most colleges take the best scores from all of the sittings you have done, so don't stress about the lower scores you have.
Only the most recent ACT test scores are sent out when you request them unless you specify otherwise.
You must specify exactly from which TOEFL date you would like the scores sent to colleges; only scores from that date will be sent.
TEST PREP It's possible to study for the SAT and the ACT and the Subject Tests on your own, with no special courses or tutoring. Basically, you buy or borrow a book of old tests, and take them until you're good at it. You read books which show you how the test questions are designed so that you approach them with more savvy. A lot of internet sites offer test prep usually fee-based but cheaper than a course. You can practice for free with the "question of the day" on a number of fee-based sites, like collegeboard.com, princetonreview.com, kaplan.com, petersons.com or testu.com. Putney students have access to Method Test Prep through their Naviance account. There are a number of CD-ROM prep programs available in bookstores and software outlets. The May and November SAT Reasoning Test offers the option of a question- and-answer service: when you register for the test, you pay an additional fee to be provided with the test questions, the correct answers and your answers - much as is provided as part of the PSAT. Those who study their own work can improve their scores.