College Admission Testing

College Admission Testing

PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test:
All 9th– 11th grade students will take the PSAT in October during school. For students grades 9-10, this is a practice test. Juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT are automatically considered for a National Merit Scholarship. For more information about this program, go to The PSAT is divided into three sections: critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing. After it has been scored, students receive their actual test back so they learn from the experience. The PSAT/NMSQT score reports provide three different scores on a 20-to-80 scale, one each for critical reading skills, math skills, and writing skills.

SAT Reasoning Test 
The SAT Reasoning test is a widely accepted college entrance exam. The SAT, like the PSAT, tests critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing. The SAT is usually taken for the first time in the winter or spring of eleventh grade, and is sometimes taken for a second time in June of 11th grade or in the fall of 12th grade. Students can register for the exam online at

SAT Subject Tests
Subject Tests are required by some colleges. Some colleges require scores from two subject tests and some may even require three. Students should research the subject test requirement at each of the schools they are considering. Students applying for particular majors may have more specific subject test requirements. Since planning for subject tests can be complicated and is very individual in nature, students may consult with the College Counselor to design a personal testing calendar. Students can register for the SAT Subject Tests at Students are not permitted to take SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Tests on the same date and can take up to three Subject Tests in one day/sitting.

ACT (American College Test)
The ACT is another accepted college entrance exam. It has become increasingly common for students to take both the SAT Reasoning and the ACT, and then submit their best scores to colleges. According to its web site, the ACT assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice test covers English, Mathematics, Reading and Science, with an optional writing test, writing a short essay. Students should research test requirements for each school they are considering as most schools are now requiring the writing portion of the ACT for admissions. The composite score ranges from 1 to 36. The ACT is offered 6 times per year on Saturday mornings. Students can register online at

Suggested College Admissions Testing Timeline
There will be some variation, in general, students should follow this timeline of college admissions testing.

October:Students will take the PSAT (NMSQT) on campus at Maryvale Preparatory Academy

October:Students will take the PSAT (NMSQT) on campus at Maryvale Preparatory Academy

October:Students will take the PSAT (NMSQT) on campus at Maryvale Preparatory Academy
Winter or Early Spring:Students need to sign up for the SAT and/or ACT tests and the TOEFL if applicable. Once students receive their scores, they need to set up an appointment with the College Counselor on which test to take again and what preparation courses are best. Often times students will perform better on either the SAT or the ACT

Late Spring:Re-take either the SAT or ACT or TOEFL if applicable. If necessary, students can test again in October, November or December. Many colleges will not accept test scores after the December test dates. Take SAT Subject tests for those schools who require 2 subject tests for admission

Early Fall:Re-take either SAT or ACT