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Dates, Documents, Deadlines, and Decisions Part 1

Part one of two: Dates and Documents

by Audrey Johnson


It is my son’s junior year in high school, and the calender is filling up with important dates for him to remember. The first set of dates deals with college admissions testing.  Each college has requirements for admission, which could include submitting scores for the SAT (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/about.html) or ACT (http://www.act.org/). . The PSAT (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html  is a practice test for the SAT.  

The PLAN (http://www.actstudent.org/plan/  is a practice test for the ACT.   The PLAN is only given to tenth grade students.   The PSAT is taken by eleventh grade students, and often by tenth grade students as well.   The 2009 dates for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) were Wednesday, October 14 and Saturday, October 17 .  My son also took the PSAT as a sophomore. In the spring he will take the SAT. There are seven testing dates between October and June during the 2009-2010 school year.  Some of the schools on my son’s list of potential colleges require not only the SAT, but SAT Subject Tests as well.

 (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/calenfees/calensubj.html). The calendar on College Board’s web site provides information about the dates that each Subject Test is offered.   Some colleges will accept the SAT and/or the ACT.   A student has the opportunity to take the ACT on six different dates during the 2009-2010 academic year.

The second set of dates for our calendar involves college fairs.  The National Association for College Admission Counseling sponsors two fairs this year: National College Fairs and Performing and Visual Arts Fairs: (http://www.nacacnet.org/EventsTraining/CollegeFairs/Pages/default.aspx ) . My son and I attended a Christian College Fair in 2008 (http://fairs.naccap.org/).   A local high school held a college fair that we attended during his eighth grade year.  One of the colleges on my son’s list brought their staff to a local school for a presentation last fall.

Check the college web sites to see when schools on your college list are coming to the area.

The third set of dates for our calendar revolves around college visiting. We are continuing to work on selecting possible dates and making arrangements for the schools we would like to visit.

Test preparation books, brochures, and applications

In preparation for the college tests, the first set of “documents” were test preparation books.  They can be purchased at local bookstores or borrowed from the library.

The ACT (http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/index.html ) and the College Board (SAT) (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/prep_one/prep_one.html ) web sites offer free on line test preparation, as well as material to purchase.

As a result of taking the PSAT in his sophomore year, my son has been receiving a lot of college brochures.  What is most important now is that he contacts the colleges on his list to request their brochures.  Many colleges have wonderful web sites, loaded with all the information you need to know to apply.  We will want to know what each college requires: tests, essays, fees, interviews, transcript, financial aid application, etc.

While each school may have their own application, they may also allow use of the Common Application (https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/default.aspx). You must determine all the necessary documents needed to submit a complete application.

Deadlines and decisions will be addressed in our next article!

























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