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College Prep Frequently Asked Questions

How should I spend my summers?

Summer/Enrichment programs….By 10th and 11th grade, it is appropriate to begin thinking about how summers might be utilized to define an academic major, come to more completely understand a career choice, personal growth, or examine a passion. Enrolling in a summer academic or elective course not available through your high school is also one way to display your intellectual curiosity and scholarship. Some summer programs are selective in nature, meaning you are asked to submit transcripts, test results, and letters of recommendation, others are not. These one to six-week long programs can range in cost from $1,200 to over $6,000.

The bottom line: Simply participating in a college or university program does not, in and of itself, enhance your chances for admission to that school.

How do I register for standardized tests?

On-line is the preferred method of registering for the SAT-Reasoning, SAT-Subject, or ACT tests. The Adelson School automatically registers all sophomores and juniors for the PLAN, PSAT, Advanced Placement and the Nevada Proficiency exams.

What should I know before registering?

The Adelson School is a Sunday Test Center (June & December) for the ACT, SAT-Reasoning, and SAT-Subject tests. However, students may elect to test at other test centers on National dates of testing. Students should always enter the TAS school code (290229) when registering to ensure their results are reported to the College Counselor. Students should also take care to put their full legal name on every test registration. Students requesting to test on Sunday do so because religious beliefs prohibit them from testing on Saturday.

Should I do est prep for the PSAT?

While it is always a good idea to review the practice materials before any exam, students should not invest in formal, expensive test prep classes for the PSAT. The PSAT is meant only as a practice SAT, so, in a sense, taking the PSAT constitutes test preparation for the SAT. Sophomores take the PSAT to be better prepared when they retake it as juniors.

How important is my PSAT score and how is it used?

PSAT results are meant to give students some guidance in preparing for the SAT, and for strong junior test takers, this score will be used to determine students' status in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Should I do test prep for the SAT or ACT?

It is always a good idea to prepare for standardized tests. Before deciding what type of preparation is best, students should do some self-examination. Self-directed students do very well buying a book of practice tests and working on their own. Other students need the enforced discipline of attending a class. While it has been proven that familiarity with standardized tests do improve students' scores, one method of preparation is not necessarily better than another. We recommend that students try to prepare themselves with a less expensive method for the first testing; when the scores come back, students can decide for themselves if they want a more intensive, formal preparation.

Other than a Princeton Review or Kaplan class, what test prep options are available?

The makers of the SAT Reasoning, the SAT-Subject, and the ACT have free test prep booklets that contain actual test questions for students' review. These booklets are available from your College Counselor. Most major bookstores sell books of practice tests with real test questions. These books will give students the opportunity to take several full-length tests at home and will give them advice on taking the tests more effectively. There are also software packages available to help students prepare which may be found in bookstores or through the SAT and ACT Web sites. Students may also subscribe to an interactive online course prepared by SAT and ACT the test creators through testing agencies websites.

What tests should I take, and when?

SAT-Subject tests are single subject tests that are best taken at the completion of a particular class. Juniors will usually take the physics and math Subject tests at the end of the junior year. Only a handful of colleges actually require them.

Some students will take history, physics, literature, or foreign language exams then as well. Both sophomores and juniors take the PSAT in October. The College Office recommends that students take either the SAT or the ACT twice, and that testing should not begin before early spring of the junior year. Please refer to the testing calendar, paying particular attention to the preferred dates indicated by the “*.” AP exams are taken in May, at the completion of each AP course. The College Counseling Office will advise students about the testing schedule through individual counseling meetings.

How many times should I take each test?

The SAT-Reasoning and/or the ACT should be taken no more than three times. Most SAT-Subject tests are taken only once, but students may retake them if advised by their counselor to do so.

How do my test scores get reported to colleges?

Some colleges require official notification of students' standardized test scores, and that means that the student must have the scores sent from the testing agency. When students register for the SAT-Reasoning, Subject, or ACT and enter TAS school code (290229), the College Counseling Office receives test score labels for each student. Those labels then become a part of each student's cumulative Testing Record. Students my request their AP scores be sent to their college choices at the time of the AP Administration each May.

Do I get to choose which of my test scores are sent to colleges?

Students must be aware that from the time the student enters high school the SAT score reports are cumulative. If a student has taken the SAT more than once, all scores from all testing dates will be reported to college. Most colleges will select the best scores (Critical Reading, Math and Writing scores) from multiple testings. This practice is known as “Super Scoring”. ACT will allow students to select only one test date to report, if they so choose. Some schools “Super Score” ACT’s too

Other schools are “Score Choice” schools, meaning, they wish to see your best SAT cumulative score from a chosen single date.

Should I send supplemental materials or extra recommendation letters?

In rare instances, an additional letter of recommendation from an employer, coach, or volunteer coordinator can add one more dimension to a student’s overall application. If the additional letter does not add any compelling information beyond that already found in the application, it’s too much. Some colleges encourage students to CD’s of their artwork or musical performances to be shared with the faculty in those departments, while other colleges actively discourage the submission of those materials. When considering sending additional materials, students should first call the college admission office to determine what is appropriate for that school.

Should I apply online?

The use of technology is encouraged It is rare these days that a college/university would prefer applications to be mailed.

What is the Common Application?

Over 500 colleges subscribe The Common Application and the list grows every year. Use this address for a complete list of institution that use it. www.commonapp.org.

How many colleges should I apply to?

Use common sense, 8 to12 is usually sufficient. Always keep in mind why you are applying. A good rule of thumb: two or three anchor schools…where you and your counselor are confident of acceptance; two or three that are 50/50, where you seems to meet profile data, and, two or three reaches or dream schools. Don’t be led astray by prestige or a school’s popularity with other members of your class. What is appropriate for you? We’re interested in the match.

What financial aid forms do colleges require?

Nearly every college will require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is free to complete and submit; parents should never pay a fee to complete this form. Many private colleges (about 400 in all) will require, in addition to the FAFSA, the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. This form asks more detailed questions about a family's finances. There is a fee to submit the Profile. Some colleges may have their own institutional form. Do not submit the Profile unless required to do so. The FAFSA determines your need for Federal funds, (grants and loans).

How do I get copies of the financial aid forms?

Both the FAFSA and the Profile should be completed online; links to those sites may be found under the Financial Aid and Scholarships links.

How do I find out about available scholarships?
There are several Web sites databases that search for scholarships based on criteria the students sets (see the Financial Aid and Scholarships link).
The college or university website is generally the best source for identifying awards and criteria specific to these schools.
Will independent scholarships help me?

Before investing too much energy in seeking scholarship monies that are not college sponsored, the student should investigate how colleges will respond when learning you have received an ‘outside’ award. Some colleges will add independent scholarship money to the student's total financial aid package; some colleges will reduce a student's grant, work-study or loan by the amount of the scholarship reported.

I don't think my family will qualify for financial aid -- how do I find out?
Financial need calculators are readily available online. The College Board's Web site has a good link under the "Paying for College". Look for Big Future, under the Collegeboard.org
Every college has its own methodology for distributing institutional funds; so even families with high incomes may qualify for some form of financial aid.
Who should register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility clearinghouse?

Students who are considered talented enough to play at Division I or Division II schools must register with the NCAA. This registration process helps ensure that all athletes on college sports teams are academically eligible to participate.

When should I register with the NCAA?

Students should register with the NCAA at the end of the junior year or during the summer before the senior year. Students may register later than this, but they will benefit in the recruiting process if they register earlier.

How do I register with the NCAA?

The NCAA Clearinghouse recommends that students register online by visiting www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.

 
How should I spend my summers?
Summer/Enrichment programs….By 10th and 11th grade, it is appropriate to begin thinking about how summers might be utilized to define an academic major, come to more completely understand a career choice, personal growth, or examine a passion. Enrolling in a summer academic or elective course not available through your high school is also one way to display your intellectual curiosity and scholarship. Some summer programs are selective in nature, meaning you are asked to submit transcripts, test results, and letters of recommendation, others are not. These one to six-week long programs can range in cost from $1,200 to over $6,000.

The bottom line: Simply participating in a college or university program does not, in and of itself, enhance your chances for admission to that school.

How do I register for standardized tests?

On-line is the preferred method of registering for the SAT-Reasoning, SAT-Subject, or ACT tests. The Adelson School automatically registers all sophomores and juniors for the PLAN, PSAT, Advanced Placement and the Nevada Proficiency exams.
 
What should I know before registering?
The Adelson School is a Sunday Test Center (June & December) for the ACT, SAT-Reasoning, and SAT-Subject tests. However, students may elect to test at other test centers on National dates of testing. Students should always enter the TAS school code (290229) when registering to ensure their results are reported to the College Counselor. Students should also take care to put their full legal name on every test registration. Students requesting to test on Sunday do so because religious beliefs prohibit them from testing on Saturday.
 
Should I do est prep for the PSAT?
While it is always a good idea to review the practice materials before any exam, students should not invest in formal, expensive test prep classes for the PSAT. The PSAT is meant only as a practice SAT, so, in a sense, taking the PSAT constitutes test preparation for the SAT. Sophomores take the PSAT to be better prepared when they retake it as juniors.
 
How important is my PSAT score and how is it used?
PSAT results are meant to give students some guidance in preparing for the SAT, and for strong junior test takers, this score will be used to determine students' status in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
 
Should I do test prep for the SAT or ACT?
It is always a good idea to prepare for standardized tests. Before deciding what type of preparation is best, students should do some self-examination. Self-directed students do very well buying a book of practice tests and working on their own. Other students need the enforced discipline of attending a class. While it has been proven that familiarity with standardized tests do improve students' scores, one method of preparation is not necessarily better than another. We recommend that students try to prepare themselves with a less expensive method for the first testing; when the scores come back, students can decide for themselves if they want a more intensive, formal preparation.
 
Other than a Princeton Review or Khan Academy, what test prep options are available?
The makers of the SAT Reasoning, the SAT-Subject, and the ACT have free test prep booklets that contain actual test questions for students' review. These booklets are available from your College Counselor. Most major bookstores sell books of practice tests with real test questions. These books will give students the opportunity to take several full-length tests at home and will give them advice on taking the tests more effectively. There are also software packages available to help students prepare which may be found in bookstores or through the SAT and ACT Web sites. Students may also subscribe to an interactive online course prepared by SAT and ACT the test creators through testing agencies websites.
 
What tests should I take, and when?
SAT-Subject tests are single subject tests that are best taken at the completion of a particular class. Juniors will usually take the physics and math Subject tests at the end of the junior year. Only a handful of colleges actually require them.
Some students will take history, physics, literature, or foreign language exams then as well. Both sophomores and juniors take the PSAT in October. The College Office recommends that students take either the SAT or the ACT twice, and that testing should not begin before early spring of the junior year. Please refer to the testing calendar, paying particular attention to the preferred dates indicated by the “*.” AP exams are taken in May, at the completion of each AP course. The College Counseling Office will advise students about the testing schedule through individual counseling meetings.
 
How many times should I take each test?
The SAT-Reasoning and/or the ACT should be taken no more than three times. Most SAT-Subject tests are taken only once, but students may retake them if advised by their counselor to do so.
 
How do my test scores get reported to colleges?
Some colleges require official notification of students' standardized test scores, and that means that the student must have the scores sent from the testing agency. When students register for the SAT-Reasoning, Subject, or ACT and enter TAS school code (290229), the College Counseling Office receives test score labels for each student. Those labels then become a part of each student's cumulative Testing Record. Students my request their AP scores be sent to their college choices at the time of the AP Administration each May.
 
Do I get to choose which of my test scores are sent to colleges?
Students must be aware that from the time the student enters high school the SAT score reports are cumulative. If a student has taken the SAT more than once, all scores from all testing dates will be reported to college. Most colleges will select the best scores (Critical Reading, Math and Writing scores) from multiple testings. This practice is known as “Super Scoring”. ACT will allow students to select only one test date to report, if they so choose. Some schools “Super Score” ACT’s too
Other schools are “Score Choice” schools, meaning, they wish to see your best SAT cumulative score from a chosen single date.
 
Should I send supplemental materials or extra recommendation letters?
In rare instances, an additional letter of recommendation from an employer, coach, or volunteer coordinator can add one more dimension to a student’s overall application. If the additional letter does not add any compelling information beyond that already found in the application, it’s too much. Some colleges encourage students to CD’s of their artwork or musical performances to be shared with the faculty in those departments, while other colleges actively discourage the submission of those materials. When considering sending additional materials, students should first call the college admission office to determine what is appropriate for that school.
 
Should I apply online?
The use of technology is encouraged It is rare these days that a college/university would prefer applications to be mailed.
 
What is the Common Application?
Over 500 colleges subscribe The Common Application and the list grows every year. Use this address for a complete list of institution that use it. www.commonapp.org.
 
How many colleges should I apply to?
Use common sense, 8 to12 is usually sufficient. Always keep in mind why you are applying. A good rule of thumb: two or three anchor schools…where you and your counselor are confident of acceptance; two or three that are 50/50, where you seems to meet profile data, and, two or three reaches or dream schools. Don’t be led astray by prestige or a school’s popularity with other members of your class. What is appropriate for you? We’re interested in the match.
 
What financial aid forms do colleges require?
Nearly every college will require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is free to complete and submit; parents should never pay a fee to complete this form. Many private colleges (about 400 in all) will require, in addition to the FAFSA, the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. This form asks more detailed questions about a family's finances. There is a fee to submit the Profile. Some colleges may have their own institutional form. Do not submit the Profile unless required to do so. The FAFSA determines your need for Federal funds, (grants and loans).
 
How do I get copies of the financial aid forms?
Both the FAFSA and the Profile should be completed online; links to those sites may be found under the Financial Aid and Scholarships links.
 
How do I find out about available scholarships?
There are several Web sites databases that search for scholarships based on criteria the students sets (see the Financial Aid and Scholarships link).
The college or university website is generally the best source for identifying awards and criteria specific to these schools.
 
Will independent scholarships help me?
Before investing too much energy in seeking scholarship monies that are not college sponsored, the student should investigate how colleges will respond when learning you have received an ‘outside’ award. Some colleges will add independent scholarship money to the student's total financial aid package; some colleges will reduce a student's grant, work-study or loan by the amount of the scholarship reported.
 
I don't think my family will qualify for financial aid -- how do I find out?
Financial need calculators are readily available online. The College Board's Web site has a good link under the "Paying for College". Look for Big Future, under the Collegeboard.org
Every college has its own methodology for distributing institutional funds; so even families with high incomes may qualify for some form of financial aid.tration
 
Who should register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility clearinghouse?
Students who are considered talented enough to play at Division I or Division II schools must register with the NCAA. This registration process helps ensure that all athletes on college sports teams are academically eligible to participate.
 
When should I register with the NCAA?
Students should register with the NCAA at the end of the junior year or during the summer before the senior year. Students may register later than this, but they will benefit in the recruiting process if they register earlier.
 
How do I register with the NCAA?
The NCAA Clearinghouse recommends that students register online by visiting www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.