SAT & ACT Testing
The College Center recommends that freshman not worry about testing this year. Rather, they should focus on adjusting to high school. The only test freshman might consider taking at the end of the year is an SAT Subject Test in Biology or Math Level 1 (for those who have completed the Geometry, Algebra I, and Algebra II sequence).
October: Stevenson juniors are required to take the PSAT (and are registered by the school). This exam is used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Stevenson usually offers a free practice PSAT on campus in the fall. Students who took US History during the summer should take the SAT Subject Test in US History.
Students should take their first SAT or ACT exam only if they have prepared over the summer. Fall of the junior year is generally too early for students to start worrying about ACT and SAT tests (other than the Subject Tests). Numerous studies show that students do better on these tests when they are older, regardless of how much preparation or practice they have had.
The College Center recommends students take both the ACT and the SAT midway through the junior year to determine which test suits them better. Students should then concentrate all future test-taking on one of the two tests. Virtually every college will accept the ACT and/or SAT.
February: Taking the ACT at this time is fine, but it is also OK to wait until April if the timing is more convenient.
March/April: The College Center recommends students take either test at this time. For many students, this will be their first attempt at the exam; it is a necessary tool to begin appropriate college counseling. We recommend taking both SAT and ACT because they are slightly different. Students should compare results and decide which test suits them better, then concentrate future studying for that test. Colleges will accept either test, so it is not necessary to take both over and over again. (Be sure to register for the SAT + Essay or the ACT + Writing.)
May: Take the appropriate AP exams (for those taking AP classes).
June: SAT Subject Tests (Math Level 1 for those who have completed the Geometry / Algebra I / Algebra II sequence; Math Level 2 for those who have successfully passed Pre-calculus or Calculus). June of the junior year is also when students should take the U.S. History SAT Subject Exam (unless they took US History during the prior summer). An alternative test to take in June would be the ACT + Writing.
The College Center recommends that sophomores do NOT take the SAT or ACT this year. Sophomores should concentrate on their academic obligations rather than on getting an early start on testing.
October: Stevenson students are required to take the PSAT (and are automatically registered by the school).
May: Any appropriate AP exams (for those who have taken AP courses)
June: SAT Subject Tests, if appropriate (Math Level 1 for those who have completed the Geometry / Algebra I / Algebra II sequence)
Summer Between Sophomore and Junior Year: For those students who decide to prepare for their SAT or ACT exams, this is an excellent time for that effort. Since grades are considerably more important than test scores, we advise students to move test preparation out of the school year and into the summer months, thus reducing the pressures of the junior year. It is important to note that the SAT Reasoning Test (known as "The SAT") is not a curriculum-based test. Taking a prep course now may help raise scores on the PSAT, which is offered in October.
August: Students may want to take either the SAT or SAT Subject Tests at this early test date. This allows them to learn their SAT scores earlier than after the next SAT offering, which is not until October.
September: For those students more comfortable with the ACT, we recommend students take the ACT at this time.
October: Students should take either the SAT (or SAT Subject Tests) or the ACT, depending upon one's target colleges and the test results from junior year. (SAT Subject Tests are more important for some highly selective schools and should take precedence, but for virtually all other colleges, the regular SAT or ACT is more important). Students should focus on improving their weakest test results.
November: Students should take the bank of tests they did not take in October (note that this assumes they will be applying to colleges that require both the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests; if this does not apply, then they may not need to take any tests in November).
December: Students should save this test date to clear up any results that are still unsatisfactory. This is the last testing date for the UC and CSU system, as well as for most competitive colleges.
Stevenson's code number is 052435.
Test site first choice is Seaside High School
05798 for SAT
246610 for ACT
Both tests are also offered in Salinas if Seaside is full.
Stevenson's TOEFL Code is 8081. International students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL. This test should be taken at home during the summer.
The College Center provides transportation to and from any ACT or SAT when school is in session. Boarders must register for Seaside High School. [They should choose a Salinas location ONLY if Seaside High School is full or if the test they want to take is not offered in Seaside.]
To reserve a spot on the bus, boarding students must fill out the online form posted on their Edsby College Center group no later than the Wednesday prior to the test.