Standardized Testing

Note: The NMH CEEB/ACT Code is 220730.

The range of college admission and advanced placement (AP) test options can feel overwhelming.

Not understanding which test to take and when to take it sometimes causes confusion. Below, you will find summary information about each of the tests, our recommendations regarding which test to take and when, who registers for the test and how, the test calendar, and preparation information. During the academic year, NMH is a test center offering all the college tests an NMH student needs to take right here on campus. Diane King, the NMH testing coordinator for the NMH College Counseling Office, can help you if you have questions.

Test Overview

Most colleges require applicants to submit a combination of the SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests. All colleges look at both the ACT and SAT without a prejudice for one or the other. Advanced Placement (AP) tests are not required for admission; however, some colleges will use the results of the AP tests to determine course placement. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is typically required for students whose native language is not English.

Some colleges are "test optional," meaning applicants do not need to submit test scores as part of their application. Some colleges are "test flexible," meaning applicants can submit a nontraditional blend of test scores taken from a range of test possibilities specified by the college. Please see the National Center for Fair and Open Testing for a listing of test optional and test flexible colleges.

As a general rule, we encourage students to take both the SAT and ACT in the winter of junior year. The tests differ, although not as much as they once did, and sometimes a student does significantly better on one of the tests. Students whose native language is not English are also encouraged to take the TOEFL in their junior year. TOEFL scores are only valid for two years.

Some colleges require SAT subject tests (usually two; sometimes three). We recommend literature, math I or II, and a subject of the student’s choice (science, history, or language). Please refer to the Test Sequence section for a listing of the best time to take subject tests. College counselors can work with students to help create a testing plan targeted for individual needs.

Most colleges “super score” test results. That is, they take the best scores from different testing dates in the distinct sections of the test to make a single set of scores for evaluation purposes.

Students are responsible for submitting their test scores to colleges through the College Board and ACT websites. NMH cannot submit official test scores for students. The self-reported scores on the application are not usually considered official. We recommend that students do not elect to have test scores sent automatically to colleges when signing up for the test until fall of their senior year.

Here is general information about each of the tests.


Test Name

What it is

How To Register

When Taken

PSAT/NMSQT Preliminary SAT, National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and PSAT 8/9

A standardized test administered
by the College Board and cosponsored by the National
Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSQC). It provides early
feedback on test taking for 9th & 10th graders and is the basis for the National Merit Scholarship
for juniors. This test is not used
for college admission purposes.

NMH automatically

signs students up.

Taken in 9th & 10th grade as practice for the SAT.

Taken in 11th grade as the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition.

SAT
Sometimes referred to as SAT I or SAT Reasoning Test

A standardized college admission test administered by the College Board.

The SAT is offered at NMH, but students must register for the test themselves through the College Board.

www.collegeboard.org

Typically late fall/winter of junior year then again fall of senior year. Often students retake the SAT in spring of junior year.

SAT Subject Tests
Sometimes referred to as SAT II

Some colleges require subject tests (usually two; sometimes three). We recommend the literature, math I or II, and a subject of the student's choice (science, history, or a language).

SAT subject tests are offered at NMH, but students must register for the test themselves through the College Board.

www.collegeboard.org

When a student takes them depends on their individual course load. Please refer to the Test Sequence section.

ACT

Some colleges require subject tests (usually two; sometimes three). We recommend the literature, math I or II, and a subject of the student's choice (science, history, or a language).

The ACT is offered at NMH, but students must register for the test themselves directly with ACT.

www.actstudent.org

Typically late fall/winter of junior year then again fall of senior year. Often students also retake the ACT in spring of junior year.

TOEFL
Test of English as a Foreign Language

Measures one's ability to use and understand English at the university level. Students whose first language is not English must take the TOEFL.
It is administered by ETS, the Educational Testing Service.

NMH offers the iBT

several times a year, and students must register in the College Counseling Office.

www.ets.org/toefl

Students whose first language is not English typically take the TOEFL in junior year and fall of senior year.



Test Calendar 2017-2018

Download the latest registration and test dates for SAT and subject tests, ACT, TOEFL, PSAT.

NMH School Code Number: 220730

Test Sequence

NINTH GRADE:

  • Ninth graders take PSAT 8/9 and participate in a standardized testing workshop designed to give students test-taking strategies.
  • Students who qualify for accommodations should complete the required form with the college counseling office well in advance of testing. Parents must also sign the form for students under the age of 18.

tenth Grade:

  • NMH sophomores are required to take the PSAT in October. NMH signs students up for the PSAT; parents/students do not register themselves.
  • Students who qualify for accommodations should complete the required form with the college counseling office well in advance of testing. Parents must also sign the form for students under the age of 18.
  • Begin test preparation the summer between 10th and 11th grade.
  • There are a handful of sophomores enrolled in advanced courses who should consider taking SAT subject tests if they are taking any of the courses listed on the chart below.
  • When signing up for tests, we recommend that you do not elect to have your results sent automatically to colleges. Students will then be able to control submitting official score reports to colleges at their discretion.
NMH CourseSAT Subject Test
Algebra II Math Level 1 (take only if not going to take Math Level 2)
Precalculus or higher Math Level 2
4th level or higher of language Spanish, French, Latin
Honors Chemistry Chemistry

Physics 211 and Physics II or AP Physics Physics


eleventh Grade:

  • NMH juniors are required to take the PSAT in October. NMH signs students up for the PSAT; parents/students do not register themselves.
  • Most students take the SAT and ACT in the winter of their junior year and then again in spring. Students can take the tests at NMH, but must register themselves for the SAT and the ACT.
  • Students who qualify for accommodations should complete the required form with the college counseling office well in advance of testing. Parents must also sign the form for students under the age of 18.
  • Some colleges require SAT subject tests; usually two, sometimes three. We recommend Literature, Math Level 1 or 2, and a subject of the student’s own choice (science, history, or language). Students should take the subject tests near the end of the semester when they are taking the following courses:

NMH CourseSAT Subject Test
AP U.S. HistoryU.S. History
AP English, but juniors should consult with their teachersLiterature
AP BiologyBiology
Honors Chemistry or AP ChemistryChemistry
Physics 211 and Physics II or AP PhysicsPhysics
4th level or higher of languageSpanish, French or Latin
Algebra IIMath Level 1 (take only if not taking Math Level 2
Precalculus or higherMath Level 2


SAT and SAT subject tests are offered on the same days; students can take either the SAT or the subject tests on all of the test dates except the March/April dates. Students can take up to three SAT subject tests on one day.

  • Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL. NMH offers the iBT several times a year and students need to preregister in the college counseling office.
  • NMH offers AP exams in May. Students must sign up for AP exams through the college counseling office.
  • Continue test preparation during junior year and over the summer between 11th and 12th grade.
  • When signing up for tests, we recommend that you do not elect to have your results sent automatically to colleges. Students will then be able to control submitting official score reports to colleges at their discretion.

twelfTH GRADE:

  • Most seniors retake the SAT and ACT in the fall of their senior year. Students can take the tests at NMH, but must register themselves for the SAT and the ACT.
  • Students who qualify for accommodations should complete the required form with the college counseling office well in advance of testing. Parents must also sign the form for students under the age of 18.
  • Some colleges require SAT Subject Tests; usually two, sometimes three. We recommend the Literature, Math Level 1 or 2, and a subject of the student’s own choice (science, history, or language). Students should take the subject tests near the end of the semester when they are taking the following courses:

    NMH CourseSAT Subject Test
    AP U.S. HistoryU.S. History
    AP EnglishLiterature
    AP BiologyBiology
    Honors Chemistry or AP ChemistryChemistry
    Physics 211 and Physics II or AP PhysicsPhysics
    4th level or higher of languageSpanish, French or Latin
    Algebra IIMath Level 1 (take only if not taking Math Level 2)
    Precalculus or higherMath Level 2

SAT and SAT subject tests are offered on the same days; students can take either the SAT or the subject tests on all of the test dates except the March/April dates. Students can take up to three SAT subject tests on one day.

  • Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL. NMH offers the iBT several times a year and students need to preregister in the college counseling office.

  • NMH offers AP exams. Students must sign up for AP exams through the college counseling office.
  • When signing up for tests, we recommend that you do not elect to have your results automatically sent to colleges. Students will then be able to control submitting official score reports to colleges at their discretion.

Test Preparation

It is helpful to utilize 10th grade test results from the PSAT, or winter term junior year SAT and ACT results to help students analyze which test best suits them. Once a student decides which test they will concentrate on, there are multiple ways to prepare:

Test preparation options include self-study, tutoring, online prep, and prep courses. NMH partners with Summit Test Prep to offer optional SAT and ACT preparation courses on campus in the fall and spring. Our college counselors are available to offer advice to students on standardized test preparation plans.

We encourage students to begin preparing for the SAT and ACT as early as the summer between sophomore and junior years. Listed below are some free, online SAT preparation options:

Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

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Student Profiles