Palos Verdes High School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD

College Admission Tests

PVHS College & Career Center logoRoom: 318

Mrs. Joanne Lewis
Director, College & Career Center
310-378-8471 Ext. 43618
lewisja@pvpusd.net

Mrs. Teresa Hoffman
Scholarship & Financial Aid Coordinator
310-378-8471 Ext. 43347
hoffmant@pvpusd.net  

 

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CLASS OF 2022 FROM THE PVHSCCC

January 10, 2021

 

Dear Class of 2022 Sea Kings & Families:

 

I would like to share the following information from the National Merit Scholarship Program, the organization that selects the National Merit Semifinalists based on the PSAT/NMSQT usually offered fall of Junior year. Palos Verdes High School normally has several students selected based on their very high PSAT scores, as well as students selected for the College Board National Recognition Programs.

 

We, like thousands of school districts nationwide, were unable to offer the PSAT/NMSQT in October due to Covid-19 restrictions.  The alternate date offered by the College Board of January 26, 2021 is currently on schedule. Due to the resurgence in Covid-19 cases, one might reasonably question whether safely administering the test is under review. As of January 19th, the PSAT/NMSQT is still scheduled at PVHS, and any updates will be communicated directly by our PVHS Administration.  Please take into consideration this information regarding the Alternate Entry to the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program which details the alternate route to possible qualification. It appears that you must apply by April 1st, 2021 and take an SAT by June 2021.

 

The above information should only be an issue for you if qualifying for National Merit is a strong personal goal. SAT scores are no longer the pillar of college admissions that they used to be, and this will be discussed further in our upcoming series: The College Essentials Toolkit: 2021 Covid Edition.

Two-thirds of all U.S. colleges and universities are test-optional or test-blind for fall 2021 applicants as they recognize the very real barriers to testing. They do not recommend traveling long distances to find a site and will use other materials to evaluate candidates.

 

Should the current closures continue, colleges that adopted test-optional policies on a temporary basis will either extend them or make them permanent. Just the other day the California State University System announced they will be test blind at least through the 2022-23 admission cycle. The UC System was mandated to be test blind this year, and while currently test optional for the Class of 2022, they might also be mandated (or choose) to continue as test blind… it’s still too early to know.

 

Keep in mind that most competitive colleges do not offer significant monetary scholarships for National Merit Scholars. The financial benefit has not been a tipping factor in college decisions for the small handful of National Merit Scholars in our PVHS recent history. However, if qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program is a priority for you, then you might want to sign up for an SAT administration in early spring of 2021 through www.collegeboard.org with the understanding that testing sites may or may not be able to actually administer the exam.

 

Looking forward to seeing you very soon. 

                                                                                                     

Mrs. Lewis                                                                                                                                                       

 

Director PVHS College Career Center

PSAT Update for 2020/21

 

Palos Verdes High School will be offering the PSAT/NMSQT Exam for our 11th grade students only on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021.   Though the PSAT/NMSQT is typically offered during the month of October, College Board has allowed schools to offer a January 26th test date in order for 11th grade students to have an opportunity to take the PSAT as well as qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.  This is not an exam that is required for any colleges, but is a way to potentially qualify for scholarships if they score in the top 3-5% of test takers. Please remember this exam can only be taken once per school year, so if your student has already taken the exam, then they cannot take it again this school year. We realize this is a school day, so any students that take the exam will have absences excused. Please check back frequently for any updates from our Administration regarding the January 26th test date.

 

Please contact Gayle Carpenter, Associate Principal, at carpenterg@pvpusd.net if you have additional questions.

 

A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2020 or January 2021 because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance (including school closures), but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program via Alternate Entry.

IMPORTANT: Alternate Entry is only for students who do not take the October 2020 PSAT/NMSQT or January 2021 PSAT/NMSQT.

National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program, conducted by NMSC, is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.  Established in 1955, NMSC is a privately financed not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.  The competition is open to all U.S. high school students who meet published participation requirements.  Approximately 1.5 million high school students enter the program each year.

The 2020 PSAT/NMSQT (offered in October 2020 and January 2021) is the qualifying test for entry to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.  The PSAT™ 10 and PSAT™ 8/9 are NOT used for entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program.

 

Alternate Entry Requirements

Source:  Alternate Entry to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

To enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program based on your SAT scores in lieu of PSAT/NMSQT scores, you must:

  1. take an official administration of the SAT given from August 2020 to June 2021;
  2. request that College Board SAT Program send an official report of your SAT scores to NMSC (code 0085). The SAT Program will not report your scores to NMSC unless you request it. You cannot use a photocopy of the score report sent to you or to your high school as a substitute for the official report; and
  3. visit nationalmerit.org/alternateentryimmediately to complete the Alternate Entry Form. You cannot be considered in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program unless you complete this online form no later than Thursday, April 1, 2021.

General Entry Requirements

To enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, a student must meet all of the following requirements. A student must:

1.

be enrolled as a high school student (traditional or homeschooled), progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school by 2022, and planning to accept admission to college no later than the fall of 2022;

2.

attend high school in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. commonwealths and territories; or meet the citizenship requirements for students attending high school outside the United States; and

3.

take the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT or complete Alternate Entry requirements in the specified year of the high school program and no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade classification or educational pattern.

 

Please refer to the PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide for detailed information about the competition.

PSAT/NMSQT Administrations

The PSAT/NMSQT will be offered on four dates during the 2020-2021 academic year.  NMSC encourages all schools to provide the PSAT/NMSQT to their students and to homeschooled students in their communities.  By doing so, high schools enable students to take advantage of various opportunities made available through the co-sponsorship of the PSAT/NMSQT by NMSC and College Board.

 Test Administration Dates for 2020-2021:

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (recently added)

IMPORTANT: A student may take the PSAT/NMSQT only once per academic year.

 

Students Who Are Unable to Take the PSAT/NMSQT

A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2020 or January 2021 because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance (including school closures), but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by submitting scores from an administration of the SAT.  The student or a school official must visit www.nationalmerit.org/resources after the missed PSAT/NMSQT administration to download information about procedures for Alternate Entry to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.  

To be considered, a student must complete certain requirements before April 1, 2021.

IMPORTANT: Alternate Entry is only for students who do not take the October 2020 PSAT/NMSQT or January 2021 PSAT/NMSQT.  Students who are uncertain about whether they will take the January PSAT/NMSQT are welcome to download and complete Alternate Entry requirements beginning in late October; however, NMSC will not consider a student’s SAT scores for entry to the program if it receives an official PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score from College Board.

NOTE: The procedure described above for requesting Alternate Entry differs from information that is published in the PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide.  For the 2022 competition only, students and school officials will be able to download Alternate Entry instructions from NMSC’s website instead of submitting an individual written request to NMSC for approval.

 

Additional Information                                                                                                                                 

For more details about entry to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, please refer to:

Alternate Entry to the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide

www.nationalmerit.org.

National Merit Alternate Entry - Compass Education 

PSAT General Information 

The PSAT/NMSQT is a preliminary SAT & also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test provided by The College Board. (Only 11th grade scores are considered for National Merit honors). It is a 2 hour 45 minute test consisting of three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing Skills.  The PSAT is also the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship (NMSQT) and the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). 
 

HOW IS THE PSAT SCORED?

  • You will receive a score ranging from 8 to 38 on each of the three tests (Reading, Writing & Language, and Math)
  • You will also receive a score ranging from 160 to 760 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and for Math
  • Your overall PSAT score will range from 320 to 1520 and is calculated by adding your two area scores together
  • You will also receive subscores ranging from 1 to 15 in the following areas: Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions, Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math

psat-score-scale

PSAT SCORE RANGES

PSAT scores between 1210 and 1520 are excellent scores that will put you in the top 10% of all test takers.

  • OVERALL SCORE: 1210-1520
  • MATH: 620+
  • READING AND WRITING: 620+

 

PSAT scores between 1070 and 1200 are competitive scores that will put you in the top 25% of all test takers. 

  • OVERALL SCORE: 1070-1200
  • MATH: 560-610
  • READING AND WRITING: 560-610

 

PSAT scores between 950 and 1060 are above average scores that will put you in the top 50% of test takers. 

  • SCALED SCORE: 950-1060
  • MATH: 500-550
  • READING AND WRITING: 500-550
 
 

PSAT scores below 950 are considered below average scores.

  • SCALED SCORE: 950 or below
  • MATH: below 500
  • READING AND WRITING: below 500
 

 More information:

 

ACT

Register for the ACT at: www.act.org (CEEB or Site Code: 052358)
 
There have been significant changes to the UC exam requirements. 

Fall 2021 and fall 2022 enrollment

UC will be "test-optional" for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Freshman applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT test scores. 

 

(As of September 2, 2020, there is a preliminary injunction barring the UC's from considering any test scores... therefore they would be Test-Blind for current seniors in the Class of 2021) 

 

What does "test-optional" mean? 

  • You choose whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores with your application.
  • If you are unable or choose not to submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration. 

 SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

  • Admissions: Some campuses may choose to consider your test scores as part of their application review process. Remember, no admission decision is based on a single factor.
  • Scholarships. Some scholarships may include test scores as a factor in selection.
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.
 

Additional campus-specific information will be available this fall for the fall 2021 application cycle. 

Fall 2023 and fall 2024 enrollment 

Admission to the UC will be "test-blind" for applicants. 

What will “test-blind” mean? 

  • UC won't use your test scores to make admissions decisions.
 

SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

 
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.
 

Cal State Freshman: Testing Requirements

CSU campuses use scores from either the ACT or the SAT test (along with your grades) to calculate your Eligibility Index for admission. Learn more here about these tests and how to prepare for college-level math and English if you need it.

A note for fall 2021 & 2022 first-time freshman: The California State University (CSU) will continue to temporarily suspend the use of ACT/SAT examinations in determining admission eligibility for all CSU campuses for the 2022-2023 academic year. This temporary change of admission eligibility applies for the following terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 admission cycles. For more information, please visit the First-Time Freshman Guidance and the First-Time Freshman Frequently Asked Questions​​ pages. ​Admission  ​RequirementsTesting
Requirements
​​

Testing Requirements​

​FRESHMAN P​RIOR TO ADMISSION

About ACT AND SAT testing requirements​

CSU campuses use scores from either the ACT or the SAT test to calculate your Eligibility Index​ for admission, with exception for Fall 2021 & 2022 first-time freshmen admission, which should instead follow information on the First-Time Freshmen Guidance​.

SAT/ACT test scores aren’t required to establish the admission eligibility of California residents with a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above (nonresidents must have a GPA of 3.61 or above). But be aware that impacted campuses and impacted first-time freshmen enrollment categories often include test scores among the supplemental criteria required by all applicants to those campuses and enrollment categories.

The CSU does not use the SAT Writing section or the ACT Writing score to calculate the CSU Eligibility Index.

 

For a list of schools that deemphasize the SAT or ACT as part of their admission or are “Test-Optional” or "Test-Blind" go to: www.fairtest.org

ALWAYS VERIFY THE INDIVIDUAL TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY COLLEGE YOU ARE CONSIDERING!
 

SAT

To register for College Board SAT/SAT Subject tests: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register 
 
There have been significant changes to the UC exam requirements. 

Fall 2021 and fall 2022 enrollment

UC will be "test-optional" for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Freshman applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT test scores. 

 

(As of September 2, 2020, there is a preliminary injunction barring the UC's from considering any test scores... therefore they would be Test-Blind for current seniors in the Class of 2021) 

 

What does "test-optional" mean? 

  • You choose whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores with your application.
  • If you are unable or choose not to submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration. 

 SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

  • Admissions: Some campuses may choose to consider your test scores as part of their application review process. Remember, no admission decision is based on a single factor.
  • Scholarships. Some scholarships may include test scores as a factor in selection.
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.
 

Additional campus-specific information will be available this fall for the fall 2021 application cycle, and in spring of 2021 for fall 2022 freshmen.

 

Fall 2023 and fall 2024 enrollment 

Admission to the UC will be "test-blind" for applicants. 

What will “test-blind” mean? 

  • UC won't use your test scores to make admissions decisions.
 

SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

 
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.
 

Cal State Freshman: Testing Requirements

CSU campuses use scores from either the ACT or the SAT test (along with your grades) to calculate your Eligibility Index for admission. Learn more here about these tests and how to prepare for college-level math and English if you need it.

A note for fall 2021  &  fall 2022  first-time freshmen
The California State University (CSU) will continue to temporarily suspend the use of ACT/SAT examinations in determining admission eligibility for all CSU campuses for the 2022-2023 academic year. This temporary change of admission eligibility applies for the following terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 admission cycles.
For more information, please visit the First-Time Freshman Guidance and the First-Time Freshman Frequently Asked Questions​​ pages. ​

Testing Requirements​

​FRESHMAN P​RIOR TO ADMISSION

About ACT AND SAT testing requirements​

CSU campuses use scores from either the ACT or the SAT test to calculate your Eligibility Index​ for admission, with exception for Fall 2021 & Fall 2022 first-time freshmen admission, which should instead follow information on the First-Time Freshmen Guidance​.

SAT/ACT test scores aren’t required to establish the admission eligibility of California residents with a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above (nonresidents must have a GPA of 3.61 or above). But be aware that impacted campuses and impacted first-time freshmen enrollment categories often include test scores among the supplemental criteria required by all applicants to those campuses and enrollment categories.

The CSU does not use the SAT Writing section or the ACT Writing score to calculate the CSU Eligibility Index.

 

 

For a list of schools that deemphasize the SAT or ACT as part of their admission or are “Test-Optional” or "Test-Blind" go to: www.fairtest.org

ALWAYS VERIFY THE INDIVIDUAL TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY COLLEGE YOU ARE CONSIDERING!
 
 

Subject Tests

As of March 20, 2020, there are no American colleges or universities require high school applicants to submit SAT Subject Test scores. That was the date that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced they would no longer consider these tests in students' applications!   There are a handful of international universities that still require SAT Subject Test scores to apply.
 
ALWAYS VERIFY THE INDIVIDUAL TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY COLLEGE YOU ARE CONSIDERING.
 
 
Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas:
 
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Languages
  

Compass: List of schools that recommend require subject tests.

 

Test Preparation

College & Career Center has current reference copies of test preparation guides, also available for purchase at local bookstores and Amazon.com. Older versions of test prep books have been donated to the Library and are available for check-out.

PVHS NOT A TEST SITE FOR ANY SAT/ACT until further notice!
 
We have been informed by the College Board Test Site Coordinator for PVHS that no SAT/SAT Subject Tests will be administered on our campus for the 2020-21 school year.  If there are any updates in the new year, they will be posted on our website.
 
The same holds true for the ACT. There is currently no ACT scheduled at PVHS through the school year.
 
 
Please read my letter dated August 23rd below: Test Optional Means Test Optional!

College Board Will No Longer Offer SAT Subject Tests or SAT with Essay

As students and colleges adapt to new realities and changes to the college admissions process, College Board is making sure our programs adapt with them. We’re making some changes to reduce demands on students.

We are no longer offering SAT Subject Tests in the U.S. Because SAT Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, we’ll provide two more administrations, in May and June of 2021, for international students.  

 

  • Students currently registered for an upcoming Subject Test in the U.S. will automatically have their registration canceled and fees refunded.
  • Students who are currently registered for, or plan to register for, an upcoming Subject Test outside the U.S. can still test through the June 2021 administration. Students who no longer want to take Subject Tests can contact Customer Service to cancel and receive a refund.
  •  

We’ve reached out to our member colleges and they’ll decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores. Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

 

We will also discontinue the optional SAT Essay after the June 2021 administration.

  • Students who are currently registered, or plan to register, for an upcoming SAT with Essay will still be able to test through the June 2021 administration. Students who prefer to cancel the optional Essay portion of their SAT can do so in their online account, with no change fees, until the registration deadline.
  • After June 2021, the Essay will only be available in states where it’s required as part of SAT School Day administrations. Students scheduled to take the SAT on a school day should check with their school about whether the Essay will be included.
 

Writing remains essential to college readiness and the SAT will continue to measure writing and editing skills, but there are other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing, and the SAT will continue to measure writing throughout the test. The tasks on the SAT Reading and Writing and Language sections are among the most effective and predictive parts of the SAT.

 

What is the current 2021 SAT administration schedule?

You can find SAT test dates and deadlines here.

When will registration open for fall 2021 and spring 2022 SAT administrations?

Registration for fall 2021 and spring 2022 will open in June 2021.

Why are you discontinuing SAT Subject Tests?

We’re reducing demands on students. The expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.

What should I do if I’m already registered for or was planning to take SAT Subject Tests?

Students in the U.S. who registered for the May and/or June 2021 Subject Tests will automatically have their registrations canceled and fees refunded. No further action is needed. If you were planning to submit Subject Test scores, check directly with the colleges you plan to apply to for alternative ways to strengthen your applications.

 

Students outside the U.S. can still take SAT Subject Tests in May and/or June 2021. Check with the colleges you plan to apply to for their SAT Subject Test policy so you can decide whether Subject Test scores will be valuable to you. If you no longer want to take Subject Tests, you can contact Customer Service to cancel your registration and get a refund or change your registration to take the SAT. The best way to contact Customer Service is to call +1-212-713-7789 (international). Customer Service hours are 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday. If you can’t call, email customer service at sat@info.collegeboard.org and be sure to include the following information: test month, test year, first name, last name, full address, date of birth, and name of school.

When will registration for international students who want to take Subject Tests in May and June be cut off?

International SAT and SAT Subject Tests Administration dates and deadlines can be found here.

Why do international students still get to take SAT Subject Tests through June, but U.S. students don’t?

Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, such as advanced standing/placement at universities and local credential equivalences for entering colleges and/or as credentials for international students planning to study in some countries.

I’m in the U.S. Should I travel abroad to take the Subject Tests internationally?

International administrations are for students who live outside the United States.

I’ve already taken SAT Subject Tests. Will colleges still accept those scores?

We’ve reached out to our member colleges, and they’ll decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores. Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

How long will score sending for SAT Subject Tests be an option?

Students can continue sending their Subject Test scores.

How can I show my skills in specific subject areas without the opportunity to take SAT Subject Tests?

We’ve continued to enrich and expand access to AP courses, which let students showcase their skills through challenging coursework. Many colleges already use AP course participation and exam score as indicators of a student’s ability and interest in a particular subject area. And colleges also have access to information about student performance in key subject areas through their SAT scores, high school transcript, course selection, and other measures. Check directly with the colleges you plan to apply to for alternative ways to strengthen your applications.

Why are you discontinuing the optional SAT Essay?

We’re adapting to respond to the changing needs of students and colleges. This change simply streamlines the process for students who have other, more relevant opportunities to show they can write an essay as part of the work they’re already doing on their path to college.

What should I do if I’m already registered for or was planning to take the optional SAT Essay?

Students can still take the optional SAT with Essay through the June 2021 administration. Check with the colleges you plan to apply to for their SAT Essay policy so you can decide whether taking the optional SAT Essay will be valuable to you. If you no longer want to take the optional Essay portion of your SAT, you can cancel in your online account, with no change fees, until the registration deadline. For information on how to add the Essay to your SAT registration, visit collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/policies-requirements/changes.

Will colleges still consider Essay scores if I submit them?

Check with the colleges you’re interested in about their policies. If you take the SAT with Essay, colleges may consider your scores as part of their holistic review process. Students registered for the SAT with Essay can cancel the Essay portion if they choose to.

It is worth noting that the number of schools dropping ACT/SAT requirements for at least fall 2021 applicants continues to increase rapidly.  This week's update of FairTest's master list (https://fairtest.org/university/optional) now includes 1,632 accredited, bachelor-degree granting colleges and universities.  That means that more than 70% of all four-year institutions will be test-optional for all or most current high school seniors. The number of test-blind/test-free/score-free schools has also grown to at least 65 campuses (http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Test-Blind-Admissions-List.pdf)

For those concerned with selectivity, prestige, rankings and the like, every national university in the U.S. News "Top 100" is test-optional for fall 2021, except for the two Florida University System holdouts (UF and FSU).  So are more than 95% of all "Top 100" national liberal arts colleges.  The same is true for regional universities.  See the lists at http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Schools-in-U.S.News-Top-Tiers.pdf