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COLUMN: Academic advisor Tello encourages college prep test-taking

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Prepping them for their senior year, academic advisor Evangelina Tello meets with all campus juniors one on one over the last two weeks. They reviewed graduation requirements, A-G clarification, and application details.

As seniors slowly start closing the chapter of college planning, the juniors are in full swing! This is the season of college visits, scholarship searches, and prepping for the SAT and ACT.

While students begin researching colleges and universities, it is important they take into consideration the admission requirements with UCs, CSUs, and private schools. For any junior who is interested in attending a four year university, the most consistent requirement is sending their SAT or ACT scores.

Schools across the country often encourage their 9th through 11th grade students take the PSAT every fall. Here at FCS, we have every junior sign up for this test. This gives our students one last practice before they take the SAT during the spring semester. The PSAT is the practice test for the SAT, which many students will sign up for since they are familiar with the testing format.

One of the key differences between the tests is that the ACT will have science based questions and the SAT will not. It is recommended for students to at least take each test once to have an idea which one they feel more comfortable with, and perhaps, they may do better on one compared to the other. Once they become seniors, they are more than welcome to register for the SAT and ACT again since this will give them one last opportunity to improve their test scores as they apply to colleges.

The Master’s University senior admission’s counselor, Mogan Valaika, provided advice to juniors who are prepping for the SAT.

“As you prep, try to stay positive!” Valaika advised. “The better that you do, the more aid you will be able to receive from your dream school! Once you are accepted, you will never need to take the SAT again. On exam day, stay calm and trust that you prepared the best that you could.”

Valaika provided her personal experience prepping for the SAT.

“In high school, I took an SAT prep class offered at my school,” Valaika said. “This really helped me learn how to take the exam, which gave me confidence while taking the test.”

Both the SAT and ACT give students the option to take the tests as many times as they want. Juniors have the choice of either taking it once or multiple times. Either way the best way to receive high scores is to prep by utilizing resources found online, school, or local bookstores.

Below you will find the SAT and ACT test dates, deadlines, and the websites to register for the test of your choice. Look for more information on the CollegeBoard website or via the

SAT Dates and Deadlines:

Test Date: May 4

Registration Deadline: April 5

Test Date: June 1

Registration Deadline: May 3

ACT Dates and Deadlines:

Test Date: June 8

Registration Deadline: May 3

Test Date: July 13

Registration Deadline: June 14

Students should also consider taking SAT & ACT Practice Tests. These give the user a good idea on what to expect on test day.

If FCS juniors need any assistance registering for the SAT and ACT or have any questions, they are highly recommended to contact their academic counselor, Evangelina Tello via email. For her last column, read Tello’s College Corner: Spring semester breakdown.

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