College Readiness Assessments
In addition, many colleges/universities require the SAT and or ACT, although there are a growing number of institutions that no longer require the submission of test scores or make it optional. The most selective colleges will also require or recommend SAT Subject Tests as part of the admissions process. The PSAT taken in the sophomore and junior year is an excellent preparation for the SAT and there are highly prestigious scholarships that are based upon PSAT scores taken during the junior year.
Additionally, there are College Placement Tests, most notably the ACCUPLACER, that are taken prior to starting college. In the event that a student does not pass a college placement test, he or she will be scheduled for the appropriate remedial course at the college level. Seniors have the opportunity to take the ACCUPLACER at the high school. This allows for retesting if necessary and the avoidance of remedial placements. We strongly advise all students to schedule a fourth year of mathematics during their senior year to avoid placement in remedial college courses. It is important to consult with your school counselor regarding your plans for standardized testing as well as taking advantage of the College Pathways Dual Enrollment Program. In addition to ACCUPLACER, New Jersey Colleges recognize PARCC/NJSLA scores of 4 and 5 as a suitable placement exam.
PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test)
The PSAT will be administered during the school day for all sophomore and junior students. This exam is a practice test to familiarize students with the format and content of the SAT and to provide predictive information for SAT performance. It is also used by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to identify highly qualified juniors for merit scholarships and recognition.
SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
The SAT is a three-hour test, which includes two components; Evidence-based reading and writing, and Mathematics. The SAT contains an optional 50-minute essay. Though not required, colleges encourage students to take the essay portion. The scores for the Reading and Mathematics portions range from 200-800 in each component, for a combined score of 400-1600. The scores for the essay portion are reported separately and are scored on a scale of 2-8 on each of the three dimensions of the essay. It is recommended that students take the exam two or three times, two of which should be in their junior year.
ACT (American College Testing)
The ACT is an alternative to the SAT. It can be taken during a student’s junior and senior years of high school. The ACT is divided into four parts: Math, English, Science Reasoning, and Reading and has an optional Writing section. The student will receive a composite score from 1 to 36. Students with a solid course background are encouraged to take the ACT test as an alternative to or in addition to the SAT.
SAT Subject Tests
Students applying to selective colleges may be required to take SAT Subject tests (generally three exams). Each test is one hour long so students can take one, two or three at one administration. Each subject score ranges from 200-800. Students taking advanced coursework in math or science in their freshman or sophomore years may wish to take the related subject tests. Most students take the SAT Subject tests at the end of their junior year or the beginning of their senior year. You should consult your school counselor to determine the most appropriate time to sit for these exams.
AP (Advanced Placement) Exams
East Brunswick High School offers an extensive number of advanced placement courses for students who demonstrate exceptional ability in a variety of subject areas. There presently are 24 AP courses offered and, in recent years, many students have taken exams to earn college credit, place out of introductory college level courses or with a sufficient number of qualifying scores earn sophomore standing at college directly upon graduation. The exams are administered over a two-week period in early May and the Class of 2019 had 92% of test takers earn the minimum qualifying score of 3 or higher.
Placement Testing for College/ACCUPLACER and NJSLA
All entering freshmen attending New Jersey colleges/universities are required to take placement tests prior to enrolling. Typically, the placement test utilized by the majority of schools is the ACCUPLACER. The ACCUPLACER measures students’ abilities in the areas of language arts (including an essay section) and mathematics. It is an online computer-based assessment that is administered at East Brunswick High School or can be taken on location at the higher educational institution. It is of critical importance that students take this test seriously and perform at their highest level to prevent the eventuality of being placed in remedial courses at students’ expense. Typically, remedial courses at the college level do not count toward the fulfillment of college degree requirements. It is possible to be exempted from the ACCUPLACER with a high enough SAT score. Additional college placement tests may be required of certain degree programs, waive core distribution requirements or to access higher level courses such as in the area of world languages but students may place out of these exams with exceptional scores on SAT Subject tests and AP exams.