Greetings Students and Families

Understanding Testing & College Admissions Planning

Whether you’re a senior ’22  set for one more run of your SAT/ACT in December or a Sophomore/Junior beginning test preparation and creating your schedule- this note is for you. Make sure you are aware- that late registration has passed- and there’s no waitlist-/walk-in registrations for the ACT and SAT at this time. So juniors- please make sure you’re registered- and wishing the best of luck to our Seniors who may be taking their last SAT for the seaon. A few weeks ago, my blog Everything to Know About College Admissions. was posted- and I’m thrilled to hear how much you appreciate my detailed and informative (and yes lengthy!) resources relevant to families in 8th to 12 grades. Please reach out to schedule your College Admissions Planning Assessment.

I invite families to schedule a conversation about working together to set and realize your educational and college admissions goals. Despite the ongoing pandemic – and the necessity of social distancing- our Holiday Season has arrived — YAY! I wish your family a joyous and healthy holiday season! …. ….I’d like to again call attention to an amazing initiative: Giving Tuesday !!I hope your family will pledge to connect with your community in a way that reflects your values.  Click to Learn More:  GIVING TUESDAY – this initiative runs thru the holidays and beyond.

“Do I need to wait to submit my Common Application until after I take or submit my fall SAT/ACT exam scores?”

*** Seniors can and should submit completed college applications even if you anticipate taking late fall exams. Your college application is submitted separately from required external documents including your test scores, high school transcripts and teacher recommendations. Your application isn’t evaluated until all required components are received. That said, please submit your application as soon as your portions are complete regardless of whether you have taken all your exams and sent scores. As I’ve noted in many newsletters and blogs, there’s an actual bias against “later” applications. No prizes for submitting in August with the exception of “rolling admissions’ -in which case you will hear rather quickly if you are one of the first applicants to submit.FOR MORE ON THESE POINTS: Please Read my informative note:  COLLEGE APPLICATIONS – TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS, HS TRANSCRIPTS & TEST SCORES

Should I list my scores on the Common App?

Each situation is unique– please speak with your GC or give me a call to discuss whether doing so will be a useful college application strategy or not. Our current seniors are facing an interesting opportunity as several hundred colleges are test optional this year (more about this policy follows below including whether that will continue for our juniors and sophomores). Your Common Application has a section where you will list all test dates completed or to be taken. It is totally acceptable to leave that section blank -and should you sit for December – and test scores exceed your expectations- the official score report can be sent to colleges. Also, many but not all high schools automatically include your scores on your official transcript.*** Seniors – please don’t forget to send required mid-year transcripts in January to all colleges.

Should I send an official score? How Do I report my score unofficially? Moreover- by all means if you have a great score- submit it officially, list it on your Common App and retain that score on your high school transcript. Please note, even if reported on the Common App, you’ll observe that some test optional colleges- such as UPenn and others – supress the score and will not see that section of your self-report on the common app. If your score is BELOW the reported 25th percentile of typically accepted applicants- don’t report- you’re better served without that score on your application and high school transcript. Scores are submitted in three potential ways:

1) Unofficially as a self-report on the Common App

2) In some high schools these are on your official transcript (and you can request these are removed

)3) Official scores are ordered through the College Board or ACT – do NOT DO NOT DO NOT send the three free scores available to you when you register- what if the score is “awful” -? Wait to see the score before you send the score–PERIOD!

My score isn’t great- in fact it’s truly inconsistent with my GPA and other accomplishments- how can I eliminate this score from consideration?   First and foremost- don’t send it. Please don’t list it on your Common Application and request that your score be removed from your official high school transcript.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TESTING??All families have many questions about testing

  • What’s the difference between the SAT and ACT?
  • What’s required for college applications?
  • What does “Test Optional” mean exactly?
  • When should a student prepare and test? How many times can you take the SAT/ACT?
  • When and how to send scores? What’s Score Choice and Super Score testing all about?
  • What Scholarships are related to my test scores? Is there a minimum score for state plans such as the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship?
  • Under what circumstances should we focus on subject tests and AP/IB/AICE exams over SAT/ACT scores in our college application?
  • How does early college planning increase chances of college acceptance by integrating the high school curriculum with the timing and required admissions exams such as SAT subject tests?

I am sure you read my fall series – :




Early academic planning can be invaluable to positioning each student to realize educational goals that are affordable.

Click to schedule an informative College Admissions Planning Session with Online College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD

Warm regards,

Bonnie Rabin, PhD

CLICK TO CONNECT With Bonnie Rabin, PhD

Best wishes for an absolutely meaningful and enriching balance of our school year and a Happy & HEALTHY Holiday Season.


Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. Educational & College Admissions Consultant brabin@collegecareerconsulting.com

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College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD