Important Testing Information

  • Spring Exam Schedule


    Click here to View the Spring Exam Schedule 



    The PSAT is a College Board examination administered in October of every school year. It is an officially released version of a previously administered SAT exam. The exam is scored from 20-80 for each of the three parts, Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. It is administered to all Wake County sophomores, and to freshmen and juniors who choose to register for the exam. The PSAT itself has NO bearing on college admissions. So, why take it?

    A) The PSAT provides you with good information about what you can do to prepare for the SAT examinations you might take later on. 

    B) The PSAT is used by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to qualify students for various scholarships based on their Junior year PSAT scores.

    C) Colleges and universities use the information from the PSAT as a means to begin communicating with students regarding higher education and financial aid opportunities.

    Click here to view a video about getting ready for the PSAT (2010)

    Click here for a powerpoint about interpreting the PSAT

    The district will administer the PSAT on Wednesday, October 10 and all high schools will serve as testing sites.

    While all high school students and some middle school students can register to take the PSAT, the district will only pay for 11th grade students who are likely to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.  Any other students interested in taking the PSAT can pay $16 to take the assessment.  The district will pay for the administration of current 11th grade students who have a GPA in the top 10% of the district.  The GPA cutoff will be provided in the fall of the 18-19 school year. Eleventh grade students with a GPA below the cutoff will pay the $16 exam fee.  Schools are encouraged to request fee waivers for any student who is unable to pay $16 fee by June 29.  Schools are able to submit requests for additional fee waivers after the June 29 deadline, but a limited number will be available.  These requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Please note, per state requirements, the district will already be administering the PreACT to all 10th grade students during the fall, free of charge.  The test will be between October 15 and November 30. We will provide the test date as soon as it is set.

    Students who wish to test with accommodations must have that information submitted to College Board by August 21. 

    SAT vs. ACT

    The SAT and ACT are two competing examinations for college entrance. The SAT is typically used in the eastern half of the country, and the ACT is typically used in the western half. This is more because of where their headquarters are located than for any other reason. Most schools will accept either an SAT or an ACT score BUT do not take that for granted! Check with the school you are considering to see what they want, either via the school's website, or by calling the school's admissions department.


    The SAT is one mechanism used by colleges to determine your readiness for success at their school. This exam has three parts, Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing, and each has a minimum score of 200, with a maximum score of 800. Tests are typically administered on a Saturday morning, and are NOT administered at every high school. You can take the exam as many times as you wish, and most schools will accept your highest individual score in each area, even if they are on different test dates. Typically, students do not perform significantly better on the SAT after the third attempt unless they have made some dedicated effort to prepare. If you wish to attend a 4-year college or university that uses the SAT for admission, it is a good idea to take it at least twice, once during your junior year and early in senior year. Community colleges and two year schools do not typically use the SAT for admissions, but will use them for placement if you have taken them. Test scores must be sent directly to the requesting college or university from College Board. 


    The district will administer the ACT on Wednesday, February 20 to all high school juniors free of charge. Per district requirements, all juniors participate.  The make-up test date is Tuesday, March 12.

    The ACT (originally American College Testing program) is an exam typically used in the western region of the United States, and contains four subtests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The test scores range from 1 to 36, with a final composite score ranging from 1 to 36.

    Tests are typically administered on a Saturday morning, and are NOT administered at every high school. You can take the exam as many times as you wish, and most schools will accept your highest individual score in each area, even if they are on different test dates.

    Here are the ACT instructions for students who took the ACT junior year at SHS and want those scores sent to colleges: 

    1. Go to
    2. Click on "Sign up/Log in"
    3.  Click "Create Account"
    4. Answer the two questions: "Have you registered for the ACT before?" (NO) and "Have you taken the ACT before?"(YES) Click "Continue." 
    5. Complete the brief form including entering the email address you will keep and check. Click "Continue." 
    6. Enter in the student's social security number OR ACT ID number (NO DASHES)This number is on their ACT report from last year. It's at the top of the form, listed under the birthday, and says "ID-XX-XX-XXXX" **This step is how the student accesses last year's scores as opposed to creating a new account w no score report history.** 
    7. From there, the student will create a username and a password will be emailed to him/her. He/She will go to their email, get the password, go back to the website, and create a new password. 8. Then, the student can view last year's ACT, select colleges to send it to, etc. The current cost the score report is $11 per school/report sent.

    SAT, ACT, AP, and SAT subject tests prep resources
    SAT/ACT/AP/SAT subject test prep resources range from no cost to a fee, from online self-paced to individualized instruction


    Click here to view testing updates from the Department of Public Instruction








    Principals, Assistant Principals & Test Coordinators- All Levels

    18-19 Testing and Accountability Updates

    We received the attached memo from the NCDPI with Testing and Accountability updates for the 18-19 school year.  While there are many more details in the memo, here are some specific things to keep in mind:

    • Math scores will be delayed for the EOG, EOC, and NCExtend1.
    • Math and ELA will be in separate test booklets and will have separate answer sheets.
      • ELA will have embedded field test items this year.
    • Next year (2019-20), ELA scores will be delayed for standard setting.
    • The new/updated 10/20 Day process is outlined.
    • School Test Coordinators are required to be the WorkKeys coordinator (high schools only).
    • The state will continue to increase the amount of testing that is required to be online.

    Naturally, there is a lot more in the memo, but these were the things that stood out to me.  Let me know if you have any questions or if you see anything I missed.

    Author:  Brian Sumner,


    Principals, Assistant Principals & Test Coordinators- All Levels

    Required Online Testing for 18-19

    As outlined on the attached memo, this year the state has declared the following assessments must be administered online:

    • ACCESS for ELLs
    • English II EOC
    • NC Math 1 EOC *
    • NC Math 3 EOC *
    • Biology EOC *
    • Science Grade 5 EOG *
    • Science Grade 8 EOG
    • NC Math 2 NCFE
    • Physics NCFE *
    • Discrete Math NCFE *
    • Social Studies Grade 4 NCFE *
    • Social Studies Grade 5 NCFE *
    • NCEXTEND1 Mathematics Grades 3–8, 10 *
    • ACT WorkKeys

    * indicates the assessment is required to be administered online for the first time in 18-19

    If a school does not have the technology capability to support administering the required online assessments to students, a letter indicating the reason(s) for the hardship and a plan for increasing technology capacity must be submitted to the Testing Office.  We will submit the request to the state for a decision.

    We will still be able to get paper/pencil assessments for individual students who must test paper/pencil due to accommodations on their IEP or 504 Plan without seeking state approval.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

    Author:  Brian Sumner,


    Test Coordinators- HS only

    PSAT Sample Parent Letter

    Earlier in the week we provided the PSAT sample parent letter.  Schools are not required to use the sample parent letter if they already have a process in place. If it will be helpful, schools may alter or edit the sample parent letter as they see fit. 

    Author:  Brian Sumner,


    Principals & Test Coordinators- Year Round ES only

    BOG3 Score Reports

    BOG3 score reports will be available for pickup tomorrow, August 31, for Year Round Schools turning in Track 1 CogAT answer sheets. Score reports for Modified and Track 4 only schools were sent to principals today in courier.  Please contact the Testing office if you have questions.

    Author:  Leon Terrance Holland,