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Guidance Counselor


Contact the GCS Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Michelle Copeland at for more information about testing, post high school education and/or career paths.


The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the United States. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. The PSAT or “practice SAT” is given at GCS on a Wednesday in October during school hours. This year the test will be on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The PSAT will be given to all Juniors. The PSAT is only offered once per year.



The two most widely accepted college admissions exams for 4-year colleges or universities are the SAT & the ACT. What is the SAT? The SAT reasoning test measures general scholastic aptitude in three areas: critical reading, quantitative reasoning, and writing. The critical reading section has two question types: sentence completion and reading comprehension. The Quantitative section covers four main topic areas: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and mathematical logic – topics typically covered in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II courses in High School. The writing section of the SAT consists of two parts: a student-written essay section, and multiple choice questions that will measure your ability to identify grammatical errors and improve sentences or paragraphs.

SAT Subject Tests are designed to measure knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge. Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

What is the ACT? The ACT assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The Writing Test, which is optional (recommended), measures skill in planning and writing a short essay.

 When should I take the SAT or ACT tests?

Generally, students tend to do best on these college entrance exams if they take them in the spring of junior year.  If you plan to apply to a 4-year college, you should definitely plan to test by fall of your senior year.

                                                  SAT Test Registration Deadlines*

Test Date                                    Registration Deadline                                      (Late Fee Deadline)

October 1, 2016                            September 1                                                     September 20

November 5, 2016                         October 7                                                          October 25

December 3, 2016                         November 3                                                      November 22

January 21, 2017                           December 21                                                    January 10

March 11, 2017                              February 10                                                      February 28

May 6, 2017                                   April 7                                                               April 25

June 3, 2017                                 May 9                                                                May 24

Students should register online at  

                                                   ACT Test Registration Deadlines*

Test Date                                      Registration Deadline                                      (Late Fee Deadline)

September 10, 2016                      August 5                                                             August 6-19

October 22, 2016                           September 16                                                    September 17-30

December 10, 2016                       November 4                                                         November 5-18

February 11, 2017                          January 13                                                          January 14-20

April 8, 2017                                  March 3                                                               March 4-17

June 10, 2017                                May 5                                                                  May 6-19

Students should register for the ACT online at

It is typically not necessary to take both the SAT and the ACT.  Colleges generally accept either test. Check the admissions page of the college to which you are applying to find out which test they prefer, and whether they require any SAT Subject Test scores.

*This information is posted for your convenience and should not be construed as comprehensive or complete. Always check with the testing agency for updated information.