The Career Center
provides registration information and practice materials for many of the
following standardized tests:
PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test. This nationally administered test is given once a year in October. Mission San
Jose High School will be testing our students on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2015. This
is the redesigned Preliminary SAT and is excellent practice for the redesigned
SAT. The PSAT/NMSQT assesses reading, math, and writing skills. Junior year
scores may qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Students
register online for the PSAT approximately two weeks prior to test day.
Tip: Colleges gain access
to students’ names & addresses if student gives permission to College Board
at the time of sitting for the PSAT or SAT exams. To receive lots of college
brochures, bubble in “Y.” Or bubble “N” to opt out of college mailings.
SAT: The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is required by many colleges
and universities as part of the college admissions process. This three-hour test
measures verbal and mathematics skills. Students may register for this test
online at www.collegeboard.com . The re-designed SAT will start with the
March 2016 test date.
Tip: Try to avoid taking
the SAT in March 2016 because your results will not be available until May
2016, too late to plan to re-test, if needed. Also, this is the first administration
of the re-designed test.
Freshmen & Sophomores: do not take the
old SAT because it will not be accepted by colleges.
SAT Subject: The SAT Subject Tests are subject based tests in writing,
mathematics, literature, history, science and languages other than English.
Some colleges and universities require these tests for admission. Each test is
one hour long. You may take up to 3 subject tests on a single test day, with
the exception of the March testing time, when only the SAT is administered. The
registration procedure for these tests is the same as for the SAT. Colleges
accept the SAT or the ACT.
ACT: The American College Test (ACT) is a college admissions test
required by many colleges and universities as part of the college admissions process.
The test is comprised of four parts: English, mathematics, reading and science
reasoning. The four-part test is three hours long. You may register for this
test online at www.act.org. Colleges accept the ACT or
Tip: Most colleges and universities will accept
either SAT or ACT scores. Always check the college admissions website for their
specific requirements. One free test score is offered at time of exam. If the
student sends his scores to one UC, all of the UC’s will have access to it.
AP: The Advanced Placement (AP) exams are given in May at MSJHS. AP
courses and exams represent the beginning of college-level academic challenges.
Scoring a 3, 4, or 5 (out of 5) may enable a student to receive college units
of credit (upon matriculation at a college or university). This is at the
discretion of the college or university and is typically elective credits
Always check with the college to see what they will credit. In early spring,
MSJHS AP exam online registration procedures will be announced.
TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language is a college
admissions examination required of students whose first language is not
English, or who have had fewer than three years of high school in an English
speaking country. Registration information is available online. For more information, go to www.toefl.org
English Language Proficiency Test: A two-hour long exam on English Language
Proficiency. This test is one of the SAT subject test offerings. It is mainly
for students whose primary language is
When should I take my
Some issues to bear in
1) Students may take
tests up to, and including, December of their senior year and be fine for most college
admissions. The only consistent exception is for students who plan to apply Early Decision or Early Action and need
to be done by October. It has also been the trend for some CSU’s (Sonoma State,
Fullerton, SLO and Chico) to want the SAT completed by October. Always check
each campus website and CSU Mentor for admissions requirements and test deadlines.
2) The ACT is similar to
the SAT. Both tests are virtually interchangeable in the world of admissions.
3) SAT Subject tests are
subject based tests and are best taken in June, after you have completed the
year of study in that subject.
- Relax; get the lay of the land. The only test that you might
take at the end of your freshman year is the SAT Subject Test in Biology,
if you have completed Honors Biology and plan to major in a closely
related subject. Check specific
colleges’ requirements for SAT subject tests.
- October: The PLAN (the practice ACT) or the PSAT if you
are on the Honors track as practice for the ACT or SAT. Practice only
test, not required by colleges. Only for practice by student.
- May: Any
appropriate AP exams
- June: Any appropriate SAT subject tests, if you plan to
major in a closely related subject or the college you are targeting
The Summer between the
10th and 11th grades
- For students who decide to prepare for the SAT, this is
the best time slot for that effort. Since grades are considerably more important than test scores,
students should move SAT preparation out of the school year and into the
summer slot, thus reducing the pressure during junior year.
- October: Take the SAT exam, but only if you prepared
during the recently concluded summer
- October: Take the PSAT. The Junior year PSAT is the
exam used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. This test is practice for the SAT. Not required
- March or May: Take the SAT. For many students this will
be their first time taking the exam
- May: Take the appropriate AP exams
- June: Take appropriate SAT Subject tests or the ACT
Try to complete all college entrance exams by June of Junior year. First
semester of Senior year will be busy with college applications.
- October: Take either the SAT or any needed SAT Subject
Test(s). Focus on the weakest test results.
- November: Take the tests that you didn't take in
October (please note that this assumes you will be applying to colleges
that require both the SAT and the SAT subject tests.)
- December: Save this test date to improve any test
results that are still unsatisfactory
SAT Subject Tests at UC Campuses
While SAT Subject Tests are not required; some
campuses recommend that freshman applicants interested in competitive majors
take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency.
Recommendations for fall 2015
applicants (from the UC website)
Remember, these are recommendations, not mandates.
You will not be penalized for failing to take the SAT Subject Tests. On the
other hand, submission of these test scores (just like submission of AP and/or
IB scores) may add positively to the review of your application.
Berkeley - College of Chemistry and College of
Engineering: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry,
or Physics) closely related to the applicant's intended major.
Davis - Not recommended for any area.
Irvine - Henry Samueli School of Engineering:
Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) closely
related to the applicant's intended major.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Biology M, Chemistry, and/or Math Level 2 .
School of Physical Sciences: Chemistry and Math Level 2 for chemistry, earth
system science, mathematics, and physics majors.
Program in Public Health: Biology E, Biology M, and/or Chemistry for public
health science majors; Biology E, Biology M, and/or World History for public
health policy majors.
Los Angeles - Henry Samueli School of Engineering
and Applied Science: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M,
Chemistry, or Physics) closely related to the applicant's intended major.
Merced - No recommendation at this time.
Riverside - College of Natural and Agricultural
Sciences and Bourns College of Engineering: Math
2 and Chemistry or Physics, for all majors
San Diego - Jacobs School of Engineering and
biological or physical sciences majors: Math Level 2 and a science test
(Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) closely related to the applicant’s
Santa Barbara - College of Engineering: Math
College of Creative Studies:
Level 2 for math majors
Level 2 and Physics for physics majors
for biology majors
for biochemistry and chemistry majors
Level 2 for computer science majors
Santa Cruz - Not recommended for any area.