Counseling Center

College Preparation

Preparing for college can be a daunting experience for both students and parents. In an effort to assist you in this process, we have selected several websites that may address some of your concerns. We strongly encourage parents to be active participants in the college preparation process. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Preparing For College
Preparing Your Child For College 
Some students may be unsure whether or not college is for them. This web page provides reasons why a college education in necessary in today's world and tips on the whole college process.
Advanced Placement (AP) Testing Information
Provides information concerning Advanced Placement courses and the benefits it provides high school students.
Now that you have an idea of what kind of college/university you would like to attend, you must take either the SATs or the ACTs. Descriptions of the tests and related resources can be found in the links below.

PSAT Information

SAT I/SAT II Information

American College Testing (ACT) Information

Testing for Special Populations


Admissions Terminology

Regular Decision is the way most students apply to colleges. Typically, students will apply for admission in January or February, and be notified in early April. If you apply to a college under its regular decision program, you are not required to notify it of your intention to enroll until May 1.

Rolling Admission is a particular kind of regular decision program. You submit your application by the recommended deadline, and the college immediately begins its consideration of your candidacy. Generally, you will be notified of the college's decision within two to four weeks of its receiving your complete application. Again, you do not have to notify the school of your intent to enroll until May 1. Rolling admission programs, once very common, are becoming rare.

Early Decision plans are "binding" programs. If you apply under an early decision program, you promise that, if accepted, you will attend that college. You may apply early decision to only one college or university. The deadlines for applying early decision generally range from October 15 to January 1; notification usually happens on or around December 15. Increasingly, colleges are also offering an Early Decision II option as well. The deadlines for these programs are normally January 1 or 15, with notification in February.

Early Action , like its cousin early decision, permits you to apply to a college or university of your choice and receive a response early in the senior year. The primary difference is that early action programs are "nonbinding"; you are not required to decide which college you will attend until the first of May.

Single Choice Early Action or Early Action, One Option - Some colleges and universities require that you limit yourself to one early application. These plans offer students the opportunity to apply to a school and to hear a decision early, but they also enable a student to signal a strong preference to one particular college or university.

Early Admission is a plan by which colleges admit students, usually exceptionally strong ones, at the end of their junior year.

Wait List is a term used by institutions to describe a process in which they initially delay offering, or denying, admission to you. The institution extends to you the possibility of admission, based upon how the school's freshman class develops in the spring and early summer. Schools are required to end their use of waitlists by August 1.

Deferred Admission allows students to begin a semester, or even a year, later than originally planned. If you want to take a year off after high school, it is usually best to apply to colleges in your senior year and then notify a college of your desire to attend later than the upcoming semester. Colleges will sometimes require a deposit from a student to hold his or her place in a later freshman class.

Standardized Test Abbreviations

CEEB - This acronym refers to school codes used by The College Board, the non-profit corporation that oversees many standardized tests and services connected with the admission process. 

ETS - The Educational Testing Service is an agency employed by The College Board to produce and score SAT I and SAT II tests.

PSAT/NMSQT - Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a practice test for the SAT I.

SAT I - The Scholastic Assessment Test is usually taken in the spring of junior year and again in the fall of senior year. Scores on each of two sections (verbal and mathematics) range from 200-800. The national average is now slightly above 500 on each test. The SAT I (or its ACT alternative) is required for admission by most colleges and universities. Normally, only the highest individual verbal score and math score are considered in admissions decisions.

ACT - The American College Testing Program an alternative to the SAT. The ACT consists of four sections: English, math, reading and science. The test focuses more on subject matter than the SAT, which is really an aptitude test. Students who "do not test well" are encouraged to try the ACT as an alternative to the SAT. The ACT is not an easier test than the SAT; it is merely structured differently. The vast majority of colleges accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT. In fact, some are even allowing it to be substituted for an SAT I and three SAT IIs. Unfortunately, there are still no ACT testing centers in Manhattan, but there are now many places in Brooklyn and the Bronx where students can take the ACT.

SAT II - These are subject tests (formerly known as achievement tests) offered by The College Board, designed to evaluate one's level of knowledge in a variety of academic subjects (e.g. biology, US history, Spanish, math, et cetera.) Some, but not most, colleges require up to three SAT IIs for admission. Increasingly, the ACT is accepted in lieu of an SAT I and three SAT IIs.

AP - Advanced Placement examinations are designed for strong students who have completed a proscribed and demanding AP syllabus of college-level work in high school. National AP tests are given in specific subjects in May; scored on national norms on a 1-5 basis, 5=strongest. The examination scores are used to determine whether or not a student may enter college with advanced standing.

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