College Board is set to release the scores from the October 2017 administration of the PSAT-NMSQT administration (for Juniors) on Wednesday, December 13th.
Students who correctly entered their email address during the pre-registration session should receive an email directly from College Board with information about accessing their scores in their college board accounts.
If you do not receive an email from College Board, your school counselor can assist you in accessing your scores online by providing you with an access code on or after December 13th.
For more information about accessing PSAT scores, please visit https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/scores/getting-scores
Understanding Your Results
Students will receive a packet of information, including the test booklet from the test administration following the release of scores.
For information about how to interpret your PSAT score results and how to develop a personalized study plan based on your results, please watch the youtube video below.
Questions? Please contact your school counselor.
Today the School Counseling Office organized our annual Reality Store Event. Juniors and Seniors enrolled in Economics and Personal Finance participated in a simulation where they were assigned a career, income, and family situation. Students then had to pay taxes and purchase all of life's necessities on a monthly budget including groceries, making a car payment, buying or renting housing, paying for healthcare needs, arranging childcare costs (if needed), and so much more.
We are very grateful to the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension office for organizing this simulation for our students!
You won't be applying until next year, but did you know that you have important college-prep things to do during Junior year? Spoiler alert, YOU DO!
First thing: Taking the PSAT-NMSQT in October. (during the school day on a Wednesday!)
Yep, another test. Sorry! But this is one of the best ways for you to prepare for taking the SAT (or ACT), which we'll talk about later in this post.
This test (when taken during Junior year) can qualify you for some scholarship money as well! So do your best!
#PROTIP, if you don't already have one, set up a College Board account using an email (that you are actually going to remember...) This is important, because once you take the PSAT, you can log into your College Board account to view personalized study materials and questions to help you best prepare for the SAT (or the ACT too) from KHAN ACADEMY. And best of all, it's FREE. Click here for more info.
#ProTip2- you should use your own email address for your College Board account. Please don't use a parent's. It's awkward. Really. Because throughout this school year (and ESPECIALLY during senior year) you're going to need to be accessing your College Board account and sending scores and such and chances are high that you'll forget your log in info, especially if it's not your info. So use an email you check often and a password that you will actually remember.
Next, actually use the KHAN ACADEMY RESOURCES (see above) for study prep. Why? Because it can help you target areas of weakness so that you can do your best when you take the SAT (or ACT) in the future.
So when do you actually take the SAT or ACT?
We recommend that students take the SAT and/or ACT for the first time in their junior year. Most juniors will choose to take this test in the Spring of their Junior year. Taking the test in Junior year is recommended because it gives students ample opportunities to retake the test later in their Junior year or during the beginning of Senior year. Many students choose to take the test(s) multiple times in pursuit of higher scores. Want more info? Click here.
Plan ahead because some colleges will also require SAT Subject Tests. You cannot take both the SAT and a SAT subject test on the same day. This is why we recommend that you start your college research process early so you know what may be required when you go to apply.
SAT and ACT tests are only offered a few times throughout the year. And the deadlines to sign up are typically just over 1 month before the test date. SIGN UP EARLY TO GUARANTEE YOU CAN TEST IN A LOCATION YOU PREFER.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REGISTERING FOR THE SAT OR ACT. Your counselor can help you with registration if you need it, but we cannot register for you! You do not need to contact us to sign up. Instead, you go to www.CollegeBoard.org (SAT) or www.ACTStudent.org (ACT) to sign up.
*if you are eligible for a fee waiver, see your school counselor IN ADVANCE of signing up for a test. We will give you a card that has a code to take the test for free if you qualify.
VERY VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT -> you will be asked if you want to take the test with or without the writing portion. Most colleges are going to want to see a writing score. Therefore, we recommend that you take the test the first time with WRITING. If you decide to re-test, you can choose whether or not you want to retake the writing portion. But since you cannot just take the writing portion alone, we recommend doing it during your first test. That way, if you're happy with the rest of your scores, you don't need to sit through the whole thing all over again just to take the writing test later on.
After you take the SAT or ACT (or both) in the Spring of Junior year, you can retest later in the spring, during the summer (limited availability) or in the fall of senior year.
Want more info about SAT and ACT testing? Click here!
Now onto non-testing responsibilities for Junior Year...
Begin to compile a list of colleges you are interested in and start researching them. You need to do your homework and actually research to make sure it's going to be a good fit for you. Researching during Junior Year is important so that you know exactly what you need to do (Testing wise, application wise, etc.) before getting to your senior year.
Junior year is also a GREAT time to VISIT COLLEGES! Spring break... summer vacation, etc. are all great times to visit schools. Don't wait until senior year! You'll be starting college applications typically by October of Senior year, so you need to get most of your researching (and visiting) done before then to have an idea of where to apply to!
DID YOU KNOW? Colleges visits are an excused absence. They are! IF YOU DO A PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCE FORM. Pick one up from the main office at least ONE WEEK BEFORE YOUR VISIT so you can get signatures from your teachers and pick up the work you will miss BEFORE YOU GO.
The SAT was redesigned (beginning March 2016). The biggest change is that you are no longer penalized for incorrect answers. Therefore, if you don't know, GUESS! The organization of the sections and the scoring has also changed.
Look at the infographic below to compare the SAT and the ACT. Which one sounds like it will be more likely to display your strengths? OR when in doubt, take each and then re-take the test you were most comfortable with (or whichever you scored better on).
This post will be particularly relevant to the class of 2017!
The Common Application (or Common App) has implemented a few important changes for this year.
First, Common App has created a smart-phone app called CommonApp onTrack. Common App onTrack features include college submission status view, reminders, and push notifications that help students keep track of their application progress and ahead of each college deadline. For more information, check out the youtube video below:
CommonApp Account Info Rollover
Applications from the 15-16 school year will roll over into the 16-17 school year. In the past, if a junior started their application in the spring or early summer, the data did not roll over beginning in August. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. Rising seniors can now begin working on their Common App accounts NOW without fear that the data will be deleted in August. However, some info will not roll over. Please see the info below:
What information will carry over from one year to the next?
We will preserve the answers you provided to any questions that appear in the six sections of the “Common App” tab: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, and Writing.
What info will NOT carry over from one year to the next?
Click here for more info.
Despite many changes to the Common App this year, the essay prompts have not changed. We recommend that students using common app begin working on these essays early on in the summer. Save these in a word document or on your google drive account because if you put these in your common app account, they will not roll over in august (see above).
NOTE: Individual colleges may require or encourage supplementary essays that are specific to that particular college. That info will be available in the college's specific section of the application.
The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)
2016-2017 Essay Prompts
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Today, students enrolled in Economics and Personal Finance had an opportunity to participate in the first implementation of The Reality Store Experience at Rockbridge County High School.
The program, hosted by the Virginia Tech Extension Office, is a simulation in which students are assigned a profile (career, income, family size, etc.) and must then navigate the complex world of being an adult - buying a home and car, arranging child care, budgeting for groceries and cell phones and entertainment, insurance, and dealing with life's difficulties as they arise (i.e. unexpected medical bills, the birth of an additional child)... and SO MUCH MORE!
So many students learned valuable lessons about saving money and about the importance of finding a career that will meet their personal and financial needs. We had an absolute blast hosting this event and are very grateful to all of the staff at the VA Tech Extension Office and our many community volunteers that help to organize this event.
The School Counseling Office hopes to make this a yearly event for our students so that they can more proactively think about and plan for their lives after high school.
The time has come to sign up for Advanced Placement Testing. If you would like to take the exam for the course(s) you are taking this year, you must register and pay by Friday, March 11, 2016. This is a firm deadline; there will be no extensions.
The cost of an AP Exam is $92. You must pay this fee for each test you plan to take. Your payment is due with your registration form to Mrs. Miller by March 11. Fee-waivers are available to eligible students; please see Ms. Bateman before submitting your registration form for more information.
If you would like to take an AP exam for a course we do not offer, or if you have any questions about AP Test ordering please see Ms. Bateman.
Below is a calendar of the national test dates for the AP tests. Please note that RCHS does not offer all tests located in the calendar below. If you would like to take an AP exam for a course we do not offer, or if you have any questions about AP Test ordering please see Ms. Bateman.
Your school counselors have been working extensively over the past few weeks as we begin course registration for the upcoming school year!
This year, counselors will be meeting individually with each student to discuss what courses they were recommended for and to discuss their plan toward graduation. Students will then bring a form home to be signed by a parent/guardian that lists the courses they have selected with their counselor. Parents, if you are not content with the courses that your child has selected or if you wish to receive additional information about their choices, there is a box to check to request a meeting with your child's counselor.
We are striving to meet individually with each student over the next few weeks. Each counselor is responsible for over 330 students, so this is quite a lengthy task, but it is certainly important to each of us. Once we have concluded our student meetings, counselors will then begin contacting parents that have requested a meeting with their child's counselor. We anticipate that we will begin parent meetings in late February or early March.
We are hopeful that this new process will improve upon our previous scheduling procedures. We hope that this more comprehensive approach will provide increased attention to the courses being selected and provide increased clarity to both parents and students.
Students will be able to change their course requests until the final day of the 2016 school year. Parents and students should review the courses being requested and think critically about what is being chosen. Because our master schedule is built upon the courses being requested, counselors will NOT be conducting schedule change requests over the summer unless there is an error on a student's schedule (i.e. an incorrect or missing class).
As a reminder, our Program of Studies is now available online! Use the button below to view it!
We recommend that Juniors consider taking the SAT and/or ACT beginning in the spring. This is the ideal time, as it allows juniors to retake the exams later on in Junior year or during the beginning of their senior year to increase their scores. Please do not wait until Senior year to take your first test!!
We wanted to remind you about some study resources available to help you prepare for the SAT and ACT.
Click the button below to view a full-length ACT practice test (using retired questions from previous ACT administrations. The manual also contains tips for preparing for the test and what to expect on test day.
The SAT is changing beginning in March! To help prepare for the next SAT, the button below contains a link to Khan Academy, which is offering a ton of preparation resources for the new SAT.
Do you want more information about how the SAT is changing? Click here to view the presentation we gave to students and their families at the beginning of this school year. You can also click here to view information directly from the College Board website.
Upcoming Test Dates
The remaining 2015-16 test dates and registration deadlines for the ACT are:
The remaining 2015-16 test dates and registration deadlines for the SAT are:
* There will be no SAT Subject Tests on the March 5th test date
Ready to Register for the SAT and/or ACT?
Ready to sign up? There are a few things you need to know about. First, registration is NOT conducted through the School Counseling Office. Students/Families are responsible for completing the registration online through the ACT and SAT websites respectively. School Counselors are happy to assist students with questions about registration, but they do NOT sign up through our office. Click the buttons below to visit the ACT and SAT registration websites.
Additionally, it is important to note that seats for each administration are limited. Students are encouraged to sign up well in advance in order to reserve a spot at their desired testing location. This also helps avoid late-fees when registering past the first deadline! Please note that RCHS does not host the ACT and SAT on all available test dates. You may need to travel to another location.
Some students may be eligible to receive fee waivers to take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, and AP Exams. If a student is eligible for a fee waiver, they should see their school counselor for a copy of a fee waiver BEFORE completing the online registration.
Make sure you read the test day requirements carefully - you must bring an approved photo ID and your test ticket (created when you register). You will not be permitted to enter the testing site without both of these pieces of information. If you have any questions, please see your school counselor well in advance of the test date!
On 1/14, we held our annual Curriculum Information Night. Families of rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students were invited to learn more about our 2016-17 course offerings. Teachers of each subject set up booths so that students and families could explore the numerous course options available for the coming school year. Counselors were also available to answer questions about registration, graduation requirements, and academic planning.
We had a great turnout and it was a wonderful way to kick off the 2016-17 course registration season! Thank you to all that attended!
Course registration will begin next week. Teachers will be meeting with students to discuss their recommendations for the upcoming school year. Students will complete a course registration worksheet that will be taken home to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the counseling office. Once worksheets have been signed and returned, the school counseling team will begin meeting with students individually to discuss their course requests and revise their yearly Academic and Career Plans.
With the course registration season rapidly approaching, we strongly recommend that families review our Program of Studies. As a reminder, our 2016-17 Program of Studies is now available online. Use the button below to explore the 2016-17 Program of Studies, which can also be viewed on a smart-phone!