College & Career Prep for Juniors

Class of 2023

Things Juniors Should Do After Taking The PSAT/NMSQT

Juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT at school in October. Our College Counselor Ms. Calcagno will be presenting to juniors in their English classes this week to help them understand their PSAT Test results and talk about next steps.

Be ready for Ms. Calcagno's presentation in English class:

Step 1: Log into or create a College Board account online in advance

Students should be ready to log into their College Board account when Ms. Calcagno visits their English class. Click HERE to get everything ready now.

Step 2: Bring a device to English class & make sure you know your College Board login

Juniors will access their scores online during the classroom presentation. The goal is to help students understand their scores and what they can learn from them. It is important to remember that students are more than a test score and colleges recognize this as well.

Check out these resources in your College Board account:

Learn About College Board National Recognition Programs & Scholarship Partners

The College Board National Recognition Programs - These are academic honors that can be included on college applications. They’re not scholarships, but colleges use them to identify academically exceptional students. Learn more.

Scholarship Partners - See how the PSAT/NMSQT can help students pay for college—including access to more than $350 million in scholarships. Learn more.

SAT, ACT or Test Optional?

Over 1,600 four-year colleges and universities do not require students to submit ACT/SAT scores to be considered for enrollment for the Class of 2022. Many colleges are committed to staying Test Optional permanently and the Class of 2023 will find there are lots of options. We also know that public universities in Oregon, Washington, and the University of California campuses do not require a test score for admission or scholarships. Click HERE to view a list of popular colleges and their testing policy. Be sure to type 2023 in the Search box to view colleges that have made a policy decision for the Class of 2023.

When thinking about testing, consider the following:

If the SAT/ACT is optional for your colleges, should you take it?

You need to think about your application packet as a whole. Basically, colleges are assessing two things:

  • Your academic achievements: GPA, college prep courses and possibly an ACT or SAT score.
  • Some colleges will also want to know what you do beyond the classroom. You will have the opportunity to tell colleges who you are through your personal essay and your list of extracurricular activities including hobbies, service, family responsibilities, work, etc.

How do you know if your GPA is strong enough for admission?

  • Use the Naviance Student scattergram tool to compare your GPA data with Central Catholic students who have applied and been admitted to each college.

  • You can also Google search for [name of college] class profile, then click on the result from the college website. On this page, search for info about the incoming GPA range for admitted students. If your GPA falls within or above the range, test scores might not be as significant.

What about test scores for merit-based scholarships? If a college offers merit scholarships and is test optional, they are likely not requiring a test score for scholarships; however, they might require something else. Check out the requirements for each college on your list, so there are no surprises.

Still not sure? Check out the blog To Test or Not To Test by Bruce Reed.

ACT & SAT Test Dates and Registration

During the spring of the junior year is an ideal time to take the ACT or SAT. Here are links to the registration sites and upcoming test dates to help students plan ahead:

What's Next?

Beginning in January, juniors and their families will be receiving a college and career planning newsletter geared specifically to their needs. The College, Career & Life Team will be speaking to juniors in US History classes at the beginning of second semester and we'll explain the process for requesting appointments for individual student meetings at that time. Stay tuned...