Many high school students will tell you that 11th grade is the most difficult year. There is some truth to this (although for the most competitive college applications senior year should be just as rigorous, if not more so). What makes junior year feel overwhelming for so many students is all the “extras”. The classes are more difficult by junior year, yes. And there may be an AP course (or two… or three) sprinkled in the mix. But it’s the college planning, the standardized (ACT and SAT) test preparation, the pressure to pull out their best GPA to date, and that nagging feeling that they need to have their futures figured out right this second. Guiding the students through this mine field of societal pressures is a team effort here at Everest Collegiate.

One stage of that process is taking the time to do some prep work for college entrance exams. Our students take an SAT preparatory test (PSAT) through the Guidance Department each fall from 9th grade through 11th grade. Then in 10th and 11th grades our counselor, Christina Krogh, proctors a practice ACT. By the time our students are in November of their junior year they have five practice tests completed, and are able to compare scores and experiences to help them determine whether they want to use the ACT or the SAT as their college entrance exam.

Having just completed their second practice ACT in October, the juniors are now done with their in-school standardized testing preparation! The online version of the practice test was accessed through the students’ Method Test Prep accounts, and scored immediately. Mrs. Krogh encouraged the students to pursue outside tutoring or classes, if they want to continue to learn some of the strategies necessary to increase their scores. She also reminded them that they should plan on taking their first official standardized test by spring of junior year. This gives them the opportunity to take it a few times before they start college applications during the summer before senior year.

One of the benefits of any practice test is simply in familiarizing the students with the structure, timing, and types of questions. Since students can ultimately use either the SAT or the ACT as their entrance exam for any college or university across the country, it’s helpful for them to be exposed to both options. The scores from all of these tests can help students decide which of the two may be the better option for them, and Mrs. Krogh is available and happy to help with making that decision and strategizing students’ test prep plans. Many of our students are eager to pursue test prep over the summer months. In addition to the resources available for free in their Naviance accounts, as well as on the ACT and SAT (College Board) web sites, there is always the option of a paid class or tutor.  The summer after sophomore year tends to be a good time to pursue these opportunities, because it doesn’t interfere with school.  For recommendations on some of the organizations that are out there, contact Mrs. Krogh.