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Entries in Testing (19)


10 Reasons To Take The ACT

Did you know that there's an alternative option to the SAT for college admissions testing? Here's 10 reasons why we suggest giving the ACT a try:

(1) More US high school students took the ACT in 2016. 2,090,342 ACT test-takers; 1,681,134 SAT test-takers.

(2) The SAT & ACT are viewed as equals by admissions officers. UPenn Admissions: "No preference is given to the SAT or the ACT. If an applicant submits both tests, we will pay attention to the higher score from either test."

(3) Potentially eliminate the need to take SAT Subject Tests; many colleges accept the ACT in place of SAT Subject Tests.

(4) Scoring System - The ACT has a "friendlier" scoring system than the SAT that gives you more room for error. Performing poorly in one section doesn't necessarily sink your overall score.

SAT score = the sum of Math and Reading/Writing sections (400-1600)
ACT score = the average of English, Math, Reading, and Science sections (1-36)

(5) The phrasing of ACT questions tends to be more direct and straightforward than the SAT. Sample Questions -

SAT: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value?
ACT: In your view, should high schools become more tolerant of cheating? 

(6) Biotech Students ACE the ACT

(7) The ACT includes a Science section; the SAT does not.

(8) Math section - The ACT has more Algebra II/Trig & less Geometry than the SAT. You can also use a calculator for every math section (the SAT has a non-calculator section)

(9) Multiple choice - While the SAT has student produced response (grid-in) sections, the ACT does not. Meaning that aside from the Writing section, every question on the ACT provides answer choices for you to select from.

(10) And most importantly for current juniors ... taking the ACT is an "insurance policy" to protect yourself against the issues with the new SAT. See: Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.

Learn more about the ACT:



2016 PSAT Scores

On Monday December 12, students who provided their email address on their PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet will receive an email reminder from the College Board explaining where and how to view their scores.

Students can set up a free College Board account at any time. If a student doesn't see their scores when they log in, email your School Counselor for an access code.

You're also encouraged to create a Khan Academy account at satpractice.org and link it to your College Board account to get free, personalized practice for the SAT.

Paper score reports and test booklets will be returned to students in January.

Resources For Understanding PSAT Results:

  • "You've taken the New PSAT - Now What?" - On December 13th at 7pm, Catalyst's Founder & CEO Jared Friedland will be hosting a free webinar for high school students. He will share insights on the PSAT & SAT, help you understand your PSAT results, discuss the National Merit Scholarship Competition, and more. Families can sign up for this free webinar by clicking here!

2016 PSAT Information

College Board Presentation: Prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT



10/19/16,  7:30 am - 10:30 am

PSAT at a Glance:

  • Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) 
  • The test measures reading, writing and language, and math skills developed over many years, both in and out of school. 
  • Scores are not reported to colleges; do not impact admissions 
  • Primary purpose is preparation for SAT 
  • For juniors only - scores determine eligibility for National Merit Scholarships
  • Score reports available in January 
  • Personalized SAT® practice through Khan Academy® 
  • No penalty for guessing or blank responses also known as “rights-only scoring” 
  • Scoring Scale: 160 – 760 for each test section; 320 – 1520 for the total score

Additional Information/Resources:


NJ Bio Testing For Freshmen

New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT)
May 25 & 26, 2016

The NJBCT is a state test given to students to measure whether they have gained the knowledge and skills identified in the Biology section of the Science Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS). The NJBCT will help determine whether students are making satisfactory progress toward mastering Biology skills. All New Jersey public high school students, regardless of grade level, who are enrolled in a first-time Biology course or content equivalent during the 2015–2016 school year must take the test, regardless of prior testing exposure and experience.

Freshmen are to report to the MPR at 7:30 am. Testing will end at approximately 9:45 am and students will go to block 2 classes after testing is completed. 

Testing Notes / Reminders:

  • Students must be on time and ready to begin right away 
  • Review the seating chart before testing day
  • No student should be absent, unless extreme circumstances arise
  • Bring several sharpened #2 pencils with erasers
  • Students may NOT use dictionaries or other reference sources during the testing sessions
  • Students may NOT use highlighters or graph paper on any part of the test
  • Cell phones, MP3 players, calculators and all other unauthorized electronics are NOT permitted in the test room.
  • Students found to have unauthorized electronics will have their scores voided.
  • Students may NOT bring book bags or food/drinks to the testing sessions.

Be sure to get a good night's sleep and eat a full breakfast on testing days so that you are prepared to test at your best!

For additional information on the NJBCT:


AP Testing Information 2016

Test Day is May 19, 2016

For Calculus Test-Takers: Letter & Early Dismissal Permission Form

For Spanish Test-Takers: Letter & Arrival/Dismissal Permission Form


  • Calc BC: 7:30 am to 11:30 am in the Media Center
  • Spanish Language & Culture: 11:30 am to 3:15 pm in the CAD Lab
  • Students must notify their mentorship supervisor that they will be absent on 5/19/16

You should bring the following items to the exam room:

  • Several sharpened No. 2 pencils (with erasers) for completing multiple-choice answer sheets. 
  • Pens with black or dark blue ink for completing areas on the exam booklet covers and for free-response questions in most exams. 
  • Up to two calculators with the necessary capabilities if you are taking the Calculus Exam. Click here to learn more about the calculator policy for Calc BC, including a list of acceptable calculators

You should not bring the following to the exam room:

  • Electronic equipment: (cell phone, smart phone, tablet computer, etc.), portable listening or recording devices (MP3 player, iPod, etc.), cameras or other photographic equipment, devices that can access the Internet, and any other electronic or communication devices. 
  • Unapproved aids: Books, compasses, mechanical pencils, correction fluid, dictionaries, highlighters*, notes or colored pencils.
  • Rulers, straightedges, and protractors (except as noted above).
  • Scratch paper; notes can be made on portions of the exam booklets or, for Chinese Language and Culture and Japanese Language and Culture, on scratch paper provided by the proctor. 
  • Computers or calculators (except as noted above). 
  • Reference guides, keyboard maps, or other typing instructions. 
  • Watches that beep or have an alarm, or smartwatches. 
  • Clothing with subject-related information. 
  • Food or drink.

Additional Information:

  • Students may not be dismissed until an exam has officially ended; do not ask to leave early if you finish before the end of the exam. 
  • Get a good night’s rest before your exam, and eat a nutritious breakfast. 
  • You are allowed to bring a snack and beverage for your 10-minute break. However, food and drink are prohibited in the exam room.  
  • You are required to abide by the policies of both the College Board and Biotechnology High School during the exam period. Any misconduct will be reported and could jeopardize your AP Exam score
  • Be sure to review the 2015-16 Bulletin for AP Students and Parents
  • Get your AP Scores online in July - details

Good luck to all AP Test-Takers!