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College Counseling

Standardized Testing

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  • What is standardized testing

    for College?

    Sophomores are invited to take an optional PSAT in October as a practice test to gain familiarity with the SAT. A practice ACT exam is also offered in the spring. Eleventh grade students may take an optional PSAT in October. We advise against any formal preparation for the PSAT. 

    Juniors will take the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT when they are most ready to do so. For some exceptionally strong testers, this may be sometime in the fall semester. Most juniors will sit for either exam in the period between February and June. Both tests are offered regularly throughout the year including July in the case of the ACT and August for the SAT. Students should consult the test agencies websites (collegeboard.org, act.org) for specific dates and exams offered. SAT-Subject tests, once a part of the testing landscape, are no longer offered by the College Board and are therefore not required by colleges.

    Twelfth grade students may need to take additions tests in the fall. SAT and ACT dates include opportunities in August, September, October, November and December. Please confer with your college counselor.

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  • Test Preparation

    Standardized exams are like any other tests in that they can and should be studied for. The method of preparation will vary student to student—self-readied, group class or individual tutoring. The decision to seek professional test preparation should be a personal one made by each family in consultation with your college counselor. Trinity sponsors a standardized test preparation course taught by Zinc Educational Services, hosted here at school. The course runs from November to March each year and is low cost with financial aid available. Registration information is sent in September. 
    Standardized tests and the preparation for them should be kept in perspective, particularly in light of many colleges becoming test optional. While testing still has its place in the college process, please keep in mind that the most important part of a student’s record is school performance—academic and extracurricular.
  • When should I take the tests?

    The following suggests when students might sit for these
    examinations. These are, however, general recommendations
    and students contemplating a particular test should first
    consult with the College Office.

    Grade 11*
    SAT: March, May, June, August
    ACT: February, April, June, July**

    * All students should have taken the SAT or ACT at least once before the end of the year.

    ** July ACT not offered in New York State. Students may take the July date in New Jersey.

    Grade 12
    Seniors may re-test in any area in consultation with their college counselor.
    For early applications: August (SAT), September (ACT), October (SAT and ACT), November (SAT and ACT)
    For regular applications: October (SAT and ACT), November (SAT and ACT), December (SAT and ACT)

The College Entrance Tests

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  • The PSAT

    The Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT), an optional test offered to sophomores and juniors in October, is a shortened version of the SAT.

    While it has no impact on college admissions (colleges will not see these scores), the PSAT can be a predictor of SAT performance. A practice ACT exam is also offered to sophomores in the spring.
  • The SAT

    The SAT, a three-hour and forty-five minute test of verbal and quantitative abilities administered by the Educational Testing Service. As a Trinity student, you will be encouraged to take it in your junior year and then possibly again in the fall of your senior year. The evidence based reading and writing and quantitative components of the SAT are scored on the scale of 200-800 with 500 being the statistical and national mean with a composite score derived by adding these two scores. Percentiles based upon your comparative performance on a national grade level are also given but college admissions offices do not evaluate these for admission.
  • The ACT

    The ACT Assessment is a test similar in nature to the SAT Reasoning Test that was traditionally administered to high school students in the Midwest. This test has, over the last fifteen years, been gaining in popularity in other parts of the country. Based on a 36-point scale and tested over 2 hours and 55 minutes, it has four sections: English, Reading, Math, and Science. ACT and SAT test scores are treated equally at colleges and universities. 
    The tests are structured differently and different students might find that they perform slightly better on one test or the other. We discourage students from taking both exams as a matter of course. Trinity students considering the ACT should investigate both tests as they begin to prepare for standardized testing. Students should choose to prepare for either the ACT or the SAT Reasoning Test and invest themselves fully in the preparation for their chosen exam.
  • The AP Tests

    Advanced Placement (APs) are not required for US college admission and are no longer offered at Trinity

Reporting Admissions Test Results

Although your Trinity transcript includes your SAT or ACT scores, colleges will often require official reports sent directly to them from the testing agency. It is your responsibility as an applicant to report your scores by 1) indicating a college as a score recipient at the time you register to take a test, 2) indicate the colleges you want to receive your scores at the time you take the exam, or 3) completing a request on the SAT or ACT website or by calling the testing agencies.

Many colleges have become test optional in recent years; the decision of whether a student should submit testing to one or more colleges should be discussed with that student’s college counselor.

Students who elect to submit their test scores may have the option of self-reporting their scores. This could be done via the Common Application or on their transcript, as we include SAT and ACT scores on the Trinity transcript as a matter of convenience for colleges. There are some colleges that, if a student elects to or is asked to submit testing, will require official scores sent directly from a testing agency. It is a student’s responsibility to investigate the policies of the specific colleges that interest them.
Located on the Upper West Side of New York City, Trinity School is a college preparatory, coeducational independent school for grades K-12. Since 1709, Trinity has provided a world-class education to its students with rigorous academics and outstanding programs in athletics, the arts, peer leadership, and global travel.