Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

College and Career Center → General Info → Bulletin

Counseling/Testing Bulletin 2017-2018

The College/Career Center provides extensive testing and financial aid information and assistance for researching careers and colleges. This information is available in various forms including books, CDs and computer online and software programs.

Table of Contents

College Testing

There are two college entrance exams, the ACT (American College Test) and the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), which are used for admission, placement, and scholarships. Students should decide which test to take based on the requirements of the institution to which they are applying. Most colleges will accept the ACT or SAT for admission testing purposes. Check directly with each institution being considered for the requirements. Registration materials are available in the College/Career Information Center and online. Students who require testing on a Sunday for religious reasons should check online or pick up a Registration Bulletin for required documentation, locations, and dates of exams offered.

ACT (American College Testing Program)

The ACT is a set of four multiple choice tests covering English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT Plus Writing Test includes the four multiple choice tests plus the Writing Test. 

English 75 questions 45 minutes The test consists of five essays or passages each accompanied by a sequence of multiple-choice test questions.
Mathematics 60 questions 60 minutes The test is designed to assess the mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of 12th grade.
Reading 40 questions 35 minutes The test measures reading comprehension. The test questions ask you to derive meaning from several texts by referring to what is explicitly stated and reasoning to determine implicit meanings.
Science 40 questions 35 minutes The test measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.
Optional Writing 1 prompt 40 minutes The test measures your writing skills, specifically those writing skills taught in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.


The ACT registration fee for the Assessment Plus Writing is $58.50. To find out if the Writing Test is required, visit the website or call the admissions office of each college or university to which you plan to apply. If a student chooses to take the ACT without writing, the fee is $42.50. Most scores are available online within 2 1/2 weeks after the test for an additional fee. The service allows students to view their scores before the official score report arrives by mail. Scores are based on the number of correct answers; there is no penalty for guessing. Students must mail their ACT registration forms and fee in the pre-addressed envelope available in the College/Career Center or register online. For Sunday testing centers, visit the ACT website.

CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board)

The CEEB offers the following tests: SAT Reasoning, SAT: Subject Tests, AP (Advanced Placement Tests), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program). Contact your counselor for fee waiver information if the registration fees present a financial hardship.

SAT Reasoning Test

  • The SAT Reasoning Test, commonly known as the SAT, is a 3 ¾ hour test that measures critical reading, mathematical reasoning and writing skills a student has developed over time to be successful academically. This test is administered seven times a year and is typically taken by high school juniors for the first time in the spring and again as a senior in the fall or winter. Each section is scored on a 200-800 scale as well as two sub-scores for the writing section.
  • Students may register for the SAT Reasoning test by mail or online. It is highly recommended that students register online. Students are responsible for the $49.00 registration fee, which can be paid by credit card or check directly to ETS. An additional $26.00 late fee or $43.00 stand-by fee must be added to the $49.00 regular registration fee when a deadline is missed. Registration forms and information are available in the College/Career Information Center or online.
  • Each edition of the SAT includes a Critical Reading, Math and Writing Section, with a specific number of questions related to content.



Item Types

70 minutes: 55-min. section and 25-min. section Math: Arithmetic, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry Multiple-choice questions and grid-ins
65 minutes Reading: Evidence-Based Passage-based reading comprehension and sentence completion Multiple-choice
60 minutes: 25-min. section, 10-min. section, and 25-min. essay Writing: Grammar usage, word choice, organization and clear expression Multiple-choice, persuasive essay


SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are designed to measure knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as the ability to apply that knowledge. Subject tests are also used by some colleges for admission and placement purposes. Students may take up to three tests in one session, but may not take the Reasoning and the Subject Tests on the same day. It is recommended that a Subject Test be taken following the completion of the highest level of the course. The registration fee includes a basic fee of $22.00 plus an additional $22.00 fee for a Language Test with Listening or an additional $11.00 for all other Subject Tests. Students are penalized for missing the regular deadlines and must pay an additional $26.00 late fee or $43.00 Standby Fee. Please check the SAT Testing Bulletin or your College/Career Center for Test Center locations and schedules. Note: Most colleges do not require the Subject Tests. Check the college website to see if these tests are recommended.


TOEFL (Test of English As a Foreign Language)

The TOEFL® test is the most widely accepted English-language test in the world. It measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in academic settings. It is an internet-based test required by almost all U.S. colleges and universities for students whose principle language is not English. The test has four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing and takes up to four hours to complete. The $199 registration fee includes one examinee core record and four score reports sent to your designated institutions. The TOEFL should be taken in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT. You can take the Internet-based Test or the Paper-based Test, depending on which format is offered at your test center.


AP (Advanced Placement) Tests

The Advanced Placement Program gives students the opportunity to take college-level courses with the possibility of earning college credit or advanced placement. There are thirty-seven AP courses across 22 subject areas available to students. The tests are administered in May.  Visit the Advanced Placement program for test dates. The fee is $87.00 per test. Students should discuss taking AP classes/tests with their parents, teachers and school counselor.

AP program

CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)

The CLEP provides students of any age with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in college-level introductory subjects. All exams are scored on a scale of 20-80 with the recommended credit-granting score of 50, which equals a grade of C and are kept on file for 20 years. There are 2,900 colleges that grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams. Check the College Board website to locate a testing center. The cost of each CLEP Exam is $77.00.


PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)

The PSAT is the only opportunity when high school juniors may be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program, the National Achievement Scholarship Program, and the National Hispanic Scholar Awards Program. The PSAT also serves as an important practice test for the SAT Reasoning Test. It is administered only once during the school year and consists of two 25-minute critical reading sections, one 30-minute math section, and one 30-minute writing skills section. This year, the PSAT/NMSQT will be administered on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at all Montgomery County High Schools. All tenth grade students will take the test at no cost.  


Testing For Special Needs Students

Students with a documented disability may be eligible for accommodations on SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP, PSAT, and ACT. To receive accommodations for testing, students must submit a written “request eligibility form” and be approved before testing. When testing at a center on a national date, students normally receive up to 50 percent extended time and can use a regular or large type test book. Students receiving accommodations more than 50 percent extended time or who CAN NOT test at a national center will be assigned to the appropriate Testing Center; check with your Counseling Office. A student who requires the use of a reader and/or writer must test at his/her home school. ETS Special Needs Hotline is 1-(609) 771-7137. Once a student receives his/her admission ticket with the notation "See your counselor for test date and time," he/she must do that immediately to find out where to report.

SAT Students with Disabilities

ACT Services for Students with Disabilities

Reminder: It is the student's responsibility to meet with his/her counselor in early September to discuss testing arrangements.

SAT Preparation Options

Montgomery College

The Montgomery College Workforce Development and Continuing Education Office offers a SAT Prep course which is conducted in various MCPS schools. This 32 hour course meets either after school, in the evening, or on Saturday mornings. The course is The Montgomery College Workforce Development and Continuing Education Office offers a SAT Prep designed to help students achieve a score that better reflects their knowledge and abilities by practicing with REAL SATs, teaching test format, teaching test taking strategies, reviewing content and raising test taking confidence.

For Maryland residents, the cost of the course is $355 plus the cost of the textbook, and $515 plus the cost of the textbook for non-county residents. Information on dates, locations and registration is available online or a brochure can be obtained from an MCPS College and Career Center.  Registration assistance and information can also be obtained by contacting 240-567-5188. Flyers advertising courses for the fall SATs are mailed to the homes of rising juniors and seniors at the end of July. A second mailing advertising spring SATs will occur in early December.

MC SAT Preparation Classes

MCPS-In school

Many MCPS high schools offer SAT Prep classes for credit during the school day for which a student receives a half credit for the semester.  These courses are free but students must register for them during the normal course registration time.

MCPS Free On line Materials

MCPS is providing free online tools to prepare for the PSAT, SAT or ACT through the TCA Online Study Guides.  These guides can be used anywhere, anytime to review skills, take practice quizzes and track your progress.  A special section, FinalPrep, for the SAT and ACT is specifically designed for preparation the week before the test.  FinalPrep reviews the structure, format, skills, and test-taking tips for testing.

Free Test Prep for College Entrance Exams

Click here to log in