Be a Test
Remember those middle-of- the-night d i a p e r c h a n g e s when you looked do wn at your squirming, screaming infant and thought, When can I send this kid
to college Well, as the cliché goes, you blink and
the time goes by. before you know it, that howl-
ing baby has morphed into a snarky teenager
and your mailbox is overflowing with college
pamphlets and you’re thinking, now what ?
relax. the task of getting a kid into (and off
to) academe can seem daunting, but it’s really
just a step-by-step process. if you break it down,
both parent and child can get through it without
either of you tearing your hair out.
here’s our year-by-year guide to making
private college counselor. At this meeting, you’ll
review course selections for junior and senior
year and discuss how extracurricular activi-
ties, including summer plans, can enhance an
even before the meeting, your child should
take the Pl An test, which is the pre-ACt (for-
mer acronym for American College testing),
in the fall of sophomore year. this will give an
early indication of whether he needs test-prep-
if you think you’re going to need financial
aid, meet with a financial aid counselor now.
Why? not only is it a good idea to understand
how financial aid works, says oakland-based
counselor frances fee, but there are certain
asset and tax implications to consider well in
advance. bring Kleenex to the meeting and
consider taking a cold shower afterward. Yes,
it’s that sobering.
One thing your child will need to
do while prepping for college is
take tests, tests and more tests.
This simple guide will help you
keep them straight and ensure
your kid doesn’t miss one. (Please
note that dates change yearly.)
This is the pre-AC T, which all sophomores
should take for an early indication of what
kind of scores to expect on the real AC T, and
to determine if tutoring is necessary. It does
not count toward college admission. Date:
Offered in the fall, but exact dates vary.
believe it or not, you need to start thinking
about college by spring of sophomore year,
when you should meet with a high school or
private college counselor. “it’s important for
students — and if it’s the first time around, for
their parents — to understand what colleges
are looking for and how decisions the student is
already making will impact the admissions process,” says laurie favaro, a san rafael–based
Junior year is the show in terms of college
planning. grades are important. tests are
important. And starting to narrow the list of
colleges is important. schedule an appointment with a college counselor just before the
beginning of junior year to start determining
This is the pre-SAT, which all college-bound juniors take. Like the PLAN test, it is
a good indicator of future performance but
does not count toward admission. Date:
October 19, 2013.
Students take the Scholastic Aptitude Test
junior and, if necessary, senior year, and it
counts toward college admission. 2013–2014
dates: October 5 or 6, November 2 or 3,
December 7 or 8, January 25 or 26, March 8
or 9, May 3 or 4, June 7 or 8.
Students take the AC T (used to stand for
American College Testing, but now referred
to by acronym only) junior and, if necessary,
senior year (although many students take
either just the SAT or ACT), and it counts
toward college admission. 2013–2014 dates:
September 21, October 26, December 14,
February 8, April 12, June 14.
• SAT II
These are specialized tests, in subjects such
as languages or math, that are required by
only the most elite colleges. They are taken
in junior year and count toward admission.
2013–2014 dates: Same as SAT.