Testing & Assessment
Created by ACT Inc., the ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. The weight placed on ACT scores varies from school to school. Other important factors that schools consider in their admissions decisions are your high school GPA, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, interviews and personal essays. For more specific information on the importance of ACT scores at the schools you're interested in, contact the admissions offices directly. (Taken from The Princeton Review.)
HSA test dates:
High School Courses / Government and Science - Jan. 6-Jan. 31
MCAP English and Math - Dec. 2-Jan. 24
MISA Grades 5th and 8th March 9-27
MCAP English and Math Grades 3-8 & High school Semester 2 April 6-June 5
High School / Government & Science - May 4-June 5
MCAP Social Studies Grade 8 - May 4-June 5
The Maryland State Department of Education has developed a website designed to help parents and staff prepare for PARCC. http://marylandpublicschools.org/programs/Pages/Testing/PARCC/index.aspx
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) website also has resources available to parents and students to help prepare for these tests.
PARCC TEST DATES:
High School Semester 1 Courses / Algebra & English -
Grades 3-8 / ELA & Math -
8th Grade Algebra 1 / Algebra -
High School Semester 2 Courses / Algebra & English -
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures:
- Critical reading skills
- Math problem-solving skills
- Writing skills
You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test doesn't require you to recall specific facts from your classes.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are to:
- Receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
- See how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
- Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
- Help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
- Receive information from colleges when you check "yes" to Student Search Service.
PSAT Test Date:
Grade 10 & 11 (self-selected) -
The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you — the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.