Test Information

  • Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test  (PSAT)

    The PSAT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT and is also the qualifying exam for high school juniors to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation program.  In addition to giving students the chance to enter NMSC programs, they are also given the opportunity to gain access to college and career planning tools.

    The PSAT measures skills in three main areas:
    • Critical Reading
    • Math problem solving skills
    • Writing skills

    The PSAT is a great way to compare test scores with those of other college bound students from around the country and to help prepare for the actual SAT.  The test is only given once per year, normally in mid October.  Even though students must be juniors to qualify for NMSC programs, there is a national movement to encourage sophomores to take this test.  The cost is minimal—usually about $20.00.  Registration to take the PSAT begins in early September of each school year.  The 2021 test day is October 13th and attendance is capped at 120 students. If you want to take the test that day and are a sophomore or junior, bring $18 in an envelope with your full name on it to Karen Sweeney in the office. Money will not be deposited until we know the test is happening. In the event it is cancelled due to COVID, your envelope will be returned to you. The test will occur in the morning and we will provide lunch. Details to come in the announcements.

    More information about PSAT/NMSQT programs can be found on the College Board website.

    ACT and SAT - College Entrance Exams:

    The ACT and SAT are the two admission tests used by most colleges and universities in the United States.  Most post secondary institutions require prospective students to take one of these exams.  The majority of colleges will accept the results from either of these tests, but it is always a good idea to check with specific colleges or universities about test preferences or requirements.  

    The SAT measures the skills students have learned in and out of the classroom and determines how well that knowledge can be applied.  It tests how students think, solve problems and communicate.  The test is composed of three sections:

    • Critical Reading  (sentence completion & passage based reading questions)
    • Mathematics  (based on the math that college bound students usually learned during their first three years of high school
    • Writing  (multiple choice questions & a written essay)

    Total test time, with breaks, is approximately four hours—the current cost for the 2021-2022 school year is $49.50-64.50.  Registration is available online at the SAT College Board website.  The closest test centers are The University of Montana and Sentinel High School. 

    SAT and the Kahn Academy have teamed up to offer free SAT prep: Visit the Khan Academy website to learn more..

    2021-2022 Test Dates:

    • Juniors who are signed up to take the ACT in April, the test guide booklets are in the Counseling Center for pickup. If you have questions, contact Ms. Wilson.

    The ACT measures the knowledge, understanding and skills that students have acquired during their cumulative school experience.  This test is composed of five sections:

    • English  (measures the understanding of the conventions of standard written English—   Includes punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure, strategy,  organization and style)
    • Mathematics  (assesses math skills students typically acquire in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12.  The test presents multiple choice questions that requires students to use reasoning skills to solve practical problems)
    • Reading  (asks students to use referring and reasoning skills to determine main ideas and to locate and interpret significant details, etc.)
    • Science  (measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving skills required in the natural sciences)
    • Writing (Optional)    (measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry level college composition courses)

    Total test time (with writing) is approximately four hours—the cost for the 2021-2022 school year is $52.00 without the writing test and $68.00 with the writing test.   Registration is available online on the ACT website.  The closest test centers are The University of Montana and Sentinel High School.  The ACT will be given free of charge to all BSHS juniors in April, 2022 at BSHS.  Students will receive free ACT prep access in December to prepare for this March test date.