Testing Info

Questions about standardized tests, or testing accomodations for learning differences or disabilities? Contact Director of Testing Cynthia Poarch at 302-285-4229, or cpoarch@standrews-de.org.

Standardized Testing FAQ

Why do I take the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and what will it tell me?

In October of your V Form year, you will take the Practice SAT (PSAT) and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Students in the IV Form may also take this test. You can use the PSAT to get a sense of what sections of the SAT Reasoning test need your closer attention within any test prep you plan to do. If you do unusually well on this test in comparison with other testers from your home state, you may become a candidate for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. You do not need to sign up for this test; we take care of all the paperwork.

What is the SAT Reasoning test?

The SAT Reasoning test is a general standardized test with two parts: critical reading and mathematics. You get a score out of 800 on each section. Typically, a student will take the SAT three times throughout your junior and senior years. Colleges will use your best critical reading score and math score, even if you earned them on different test days.

When should I take the SAT Reasoning test?

The best schedule is the one that works best for you! Many students, however, choose the following arrangement, taking tests in:

  • December of your V Form year (to give yourself an initial sense of what the test is like);
  • Either January or March of your V Form year; and
  • October of your VI Form year.

This plan allows the student time to use May and June of the V Form year and November of the VI Form year to take SAT Subject Tests. To make a plan for tackling the SATs, consult with your parents and you college counselor. We can help you come up with the best testing schedule for you.

How do I register for the SAT Reasoning test?

What you will need to register online:

  • Credit card
  • Social Security number (if you have one)
  • SSD Eligibility Code (if you are eligible for extended time)
  • School Code #: 080095
  • First choice Test Center code: 08-122 (St. Andrew's School) (Note that St. Andrew's is not a test center for every date.)
  • Second choice Test Center code: 08-120 (Middletown High School)
  • Third choice Test Center code: 08-135 (Newark High School)
  • Your mailing address, which should be your permanent home address

Registration tips:

  • Set aside about half an hour to complete registration for the first time. Be sure to have the above necessary items handy.
  • Visit www.collegeboard.com. Click on the test you'd like to register for, and create an account with the College Board website using your permanent home zipcode. There is no need to enter anything under step two of this section. On the next page, please use your permanent home address and your St. Andrew's email.
  • On Part 1 of the Profile section, fill out those fields that say "required." We would recommend saying "no" to student search service, unless you want junk mail; choosing "I do not wish to respond" to the GPA qiuestion, and leaving class rank blank. The rest you may fill out as you wish.
  • Steps two through five of Part 1, you can leave completely blank; just drag down to the bottom and press save and continue each time.
  • In Part 2, select "Reasoning Test," "U.S.," and your grade. When asked for your high school, unless you are from Middletown, you will need to search for St. Andrew's to answer this question. Just search for city and state; the formatting for the name "St. Andrew's" means the search feature often won't find it if you search for it specifically. Unless you have one, answer no to "testing accommodations" and "fee waiver" (if you don't have one or the other, but think you should, talk with you college counselor).
  • In Part 4, sign up for your preferred test centers. See above for codes for local test centers.
  • In Part 5, don't send your scores anywhere—just save and continue.
  • In Step 6, don't purchase anything, just save and continue.

When you have registered, check your email for confirmation from College Board. Please forward your confirmation email to Mrs. Poarch, the School Registrar, at cpoarch@standrews-de.org. It really helps us to know that you have registered!

What are SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests (called Achievement Tests in your parents' day) are one-hour standardized tests administered in 22 subject areas. Most colleges require applicants to have taken two SAT Subject Tests (a handful ask for three) in addition to the SAT Reasoning test. Some colleges require applicants to take specific SAT Subject Tests (often Math 2).

When should I take the SAT Subject Tests?

If you are able to take an SAT Subject Test in your III or IV Form year, and you think you will do well, go for it – this can give you some flexibility in your testing schedule as a V or VI Form student. Many students take two or three SAT Subject Tests in May and June of their V Form year, and then retake one to three tests in November of their VI Form year. If you are not sure about what to take, check out our recommendations, and discuss with your college counselor.

What SAT Subject Tests should I take?

Here is an area where our personalized advice can really help, so come down to the College Counseling office and chat with us! We will generally utilize use the following guidelines in making our recommendations (“performed strongly” usually means high 80s). To learn more about the SAT Subject Tests, visit the College Board Web site, which provides explanations each subject test and mini-practice tests.

Biology M (molecular)

  • Performed strongly in a one-year course in biology with laboratory experience (e.g. Introduction to Biology.)
  • Performed strongly in a course in algebra and gained familiarity with simple algebraic concepts, such as ratios and direct and inverse proportions, at least through Algebra II.
  • Strongly recommend the Biology M test for any students who have successfully completed Advanced Study in Biology.


  • Performed strongly in a one-year introductory physics course on the college preparatory level with laboratory experience (e.g. Honors Physics).
  • Performed strongly in a course in simple algebraic, trigonometric, and graphical relationships, and the concepts of ratio and proportion (e.g. Precalculus).
  • Strongly recommend the Physics tests for any students who have successfully completed Advanced Study in Physics.


  • Performed strongly in a one-year introductory chemistry course at the college preparatory level with laboratory experience (e.g. Chemistry).
  • Sucessfully completed a course in algebraic relationships, ratio and direct and inverse proportions, and exponents (e.g. Algebra II).
  • Strongly recommend the Chemistry tests for any students who have successfully completed Honors Chemistry or Advanced Study in Chemistry.

Math Level 1

  • Performed strongly in three years of college-preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry.

Math Level 2

  • Performed strongly in more than three years of college-preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and trigonometry and elementary functions (e.g. Precalculus).
  • If a student has excelled in Precalculus (grade of a 90 or higher) or performed strongly in Honors Precalculus, Math Level 2 is recommended. Otherwise, take Math Level 1.
  • Strongly recommend Math Level 2 for any students who have completed Advanced Study in Calculus AB or higher.

U.S. History

  • Performed strongly in U.S. history, and have supplemented their coursework with direct preparation for the SAT Subject test, including having taken a practice test.
  • Knowledge gained from social studies and outside reading is helpful.


  • Performed strongly in a class that focuses on close, critical reading in English and American literature from a variety of historical periods and genres
  • Possesses a working knowledge of basic literary terms and techniques, such as speaker, tone, image, irony, alliteration, stanza, etc.


  • Performed strongly in three to four years of language study at St. Andrew's.
  • Gradual development of competence in the language over a period of time.
  • Strongly recommend the language test for any students who have completed an Advanced Study language course.

How do I know if I'm eligible for an SAT fee waiver?

SAT fee waivers are available to low-income 11th and 12th grade students. SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in grades 9 through 12.

You’re eligible for fee waivers if you say “yes” to any of these items:

  • You’re enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • You’re enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan.

For more info on what SAT fee waivers cover and how you can apply for a waiver, visit the College Board website.

What is the ACT test?

The ACT might be described as being a mix of the SAT Reasoning and Subject tests. Some students find that the ACT feels more 'real' than the SAT. The biggest differences between the SAT and the ACT are: the ACT has a science section, and youu cannot always “mix and match” your highest score on various portions of the ACT, the way you can with the SAT; typically, you send all the scores from your best single sitting. However, some colleges now combine ACT sub-scores from multiple administrations to create a highest possible composite or super-score for the ACT. Talk to your college counselor if you are interested in taking the ACT.

How do I register for the ACT?

To register for the ACT, you will need:

  • Desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection; mobile and tablet not recommended
  • Credit card
  • High school course details
  • Headshot photo

To register for the ACT, visit the ACT website.

What are current SAT and ACT testing dates?

Upcoming testing dates are always available for review on our College Process Calendar.

What is the TOEFL?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is, well, just that. If English is your second language, you should take the TOEFL in preparation for your college appplications—even if you already took the TOEFL when you applied to St. Andrew's. Your college counselor can help you make a plan for taking the TOEFL.

What is non-standard testing?

Non-standard testing allows students additional time to take the SAT or ACT. If you or your folks think you might need non-standard testing because of a learning difference, please talk with speak with the Director of College Counseling as soon as possible. Requesting non-standard testing from the College Board can take the better part of a year. Read more about testing accommodations on the College Board website.

Should I think about SAT-optional colleges and universities? Which colleges are score-optional?

Sure! You might want to think about focusing on score-optional colleges, even if you have strong scores. Most score optional colleges are small, and have chosen to emphasize getting to know students personally during the admissions process. If this college size and admission philosophy appeal to you, such schools might as well.

Here is a short list of completely score optional colleges and universities in which St. Andrew's students are usually interested. (There are some other colleges, such as Middlebury, Hamilton, and Connecticut College, that ask for some test scores, but allow flexibility in the tests you can ask them to consider.) To find a list of the more than 400 colleges that have flexible testing requirements, check out FairTest, an organization that works to reduce the role of standardized testing in college admissions.

Albright CollegeDickinson UniversityLawrence UniversitySt. John's College
Agnes Scott CollegeFairfield UniversityLewis and Clark CollegeTexas A&M (some campuses)
American UniversityFranklin and MarshallLoyola University (MD)U of Texas (some campuses)
Bard CollegeFurman UniversityMarist CollegeUnion College
Bates CollegeGeorge Mason UniversityMcDaniel CollegeUrsinus College
Berklee College of MusicGettysburg CollegeMt. Holyoke CollegeWake Forest University
Bowdoin CollegeGoucher CollegeMuhlenberg CollegeWashington College
Bryn Mawr CollegeGuilford CollegeNew York UniversityWashington and Jefferson College
Colby CollegeHamilton CollegePitzer CollegeWheaton College
College of the AtlanticHampshire CollegeProvidence CollegeWittenberg University
College of the Holy CrossHartwick CollegeRollins CollegeWorcester Polytechnic Institute
Colorado CollegeHobart William SmithSarah Lawrence College
DePaul UniversityJuniata CollegeSewanee (University of the South
Drew UniversityKnox CollegeSmith College
Denison UniversityLake Forest CollegeSt. Lawrence University

How do SAT scores correspond to ACT scores?

The College Board and the ACT provide the following concordance tables.





Combined Score

V & M
V & M

Data source: the College Board, 1999.

How should I prepare for a testing day? What should I bring?

First, you should go to sleep early the Thursday night before the test. You should put together an "test bag" of #2 pencils, a copy of your ticket, a watch, your calculator, water, fruit and Power Bars or other sustaining snacks. Be careful of overly sugary snacks—if you eat them early, you might crash before the end of the test. Watch for e-mails from your testing agency telling you exactly where you need to be on test day, and when.

Does the College Counseling office register me for tests, or fix any problems I may encounter with the College Board?

We are here to help! The College Board is a large organization and is capable of error like any other large organization. If it appears that the College Board has made an error in any part of your testing process or scores, call them right away, and let us know as well. The College Board will usually only deal directly with you, but we can help you ask the right questions and guide you through the conversation. Questions about testing at St. Andrew's or about test day? Contact Mrs. Poarch via email to cpoarch@standrews-de.org; she is our Director of Testing and is a great resource.

How do I decide if I need test prep, and if so, what kind of test prep should I do?

Here is another area where our personalized advice can help. We offer an online test preparation course free to St. Andrew's students, accessible from Naviance. This hassle-free and effective method of preparation may be your route to great success! But you may also find that one-on-one tutoring, a traditional summertime test prep class, or working on your own with a book could be a better fit for you. Some pointers:

  • Be wary of test prep guarantees.
  • Practice makes perfect or if not perfect, then better! If your program gives you homework... (you can figure out the rest of this sentence).
  • Full practice tests, even though they are inconvenient, are often the most effective form of practice.
  • If you can find a way to approach standardized tests as interesting, valuable challenges in and of themselves, this mental state can help!

If your question about testing at St. Andrew's is not answered here, contact Mrs. Poarch via email to cpoarch@standrews-de.org; she is our Director of Testing and is a great resource.

SAT Accommodations

Students with learning differences or physical or mental disabilities often require accommodations on College Board tests, including the:

  • SAT Reasoning Test
  • SAT Subject Test
  • Advanced Placement Program

The College Board's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides a broad range of accommodations, such as:

  • Braille tests
  • large print
  • extended time
  • extra/extended breaks
  • computer testing
  • accommodations for students with hearing impairments

to students who provide documentation of a disability. The College Board is committed to ensuring that students with physical or mental disabilities receive appropriate accommodations on its tests.

When requesting accommodations, be sure that the documentation show not only that the student has a disability, but that there is a need for the specific accommodation that is requested.

Documentation of Disabilities or Differences

As a general guide, tests used to diagnose learning disabilities should have the following characteristics:

  • Comprehensive cognitive and academic assessment
  • Individually-administered
  • Nationally normed
  • Be administered under standardized conditions

The College Board does not accept "brief" measures, such as the KBIT-2 or WASI. Some commonly used tests/measures to determine if a student has a learning disability (please note that the following list is not exhaustive):

  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III) or Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV)
  • Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-III NU (WJ-III NU): Tests of Cognitive Abilities
  • Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales-5th Edition (SBS) (When individually-administered)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test or Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II)
  • Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition (DAS-II)
  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales

Commonly used tests that measure a student's academic achievement in reading:

  • Woodcock-Johnson-III NU: Tests of Achievement (General and Extended batteries that include fluency measures)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Stanford Diagnostic Reading Tests, Fourth Edition (SDRT) (When individually- administered)
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT II) with reading rate measure
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II)
  • Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT) Fourth Edition (when individually administered)

Commonly used tests that measure a student's academic achievement in mathematics:

  • Woodcock-Johnson-III NU: Tests of Achievement (General and Extended batteries including fluency measures)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test II (WIAT II)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II)
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test, Fourth Edition (when individually administered)

Commonly used tests that measure a student's academic achievement in written language:

  • Woodcock-Johnson-III: Tests of Academic Achievement (General and Extended batteries including fluency measures)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT II)
  • Test of Written Language III (TOWL III)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II)

When a student requests extended time, the student should also provide documentation of a test that measures the student's academic skills in a timed setting. Commonly used tests that measure a student's information processing:

  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-4 (DTLA-4) or DTLA-A (Adult)
  • W-J-III-Tests of Cognitive Ability

A low processing speed score alone, however, usually does not indicate the need for testing accommodations. In this instance, what would be important is to include in the documentation an indication of how the low processing speed affects a student's overall academic skills.

Tests not accepted by the College Board

The following tests are screening tools and, without other measures, do not meet the psychometric criteria to diagnose a disability or establish the need for testing accommodations:

  • Cognitive
  • WASI
  • Reynolds Intellectual Screening Test (RIST)
  • Slosson Intelligence Test-Revised
  • KBIT-2
  • Woodcock-Johnson III - Brief Intellectual Ability (WJ-III-BTI)
  • Academic
  • Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT 4)
  • KTEA-II Brief Form

Computer Accomodations

Generally, there are three major disability categories which may require computer accommodations for College Board tests:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Dysgraphia (fine motor)
  • Learning disability (severe)

Note that not all students with learning disabilities require the use of a computer. Also, some students may fall into more than one of the above categories.

Physical disabilities that require a computer may be caused by congenital factors, paralysis, autoimmune deficiency, accidents, or illness. Examples include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or traumatic brain injury.

To be eligible for accommodations on College Board tests, a student with a physical disability must have documentation that meets the College Board's Guidelines for Documentation, including evidence of functional limitation. The following documentation should be submitted:

  • A clear statement explaining why the student has difficulty writing. The documentation should demonstrate not only that the student has a disability, but why the student needs a computer.
  • A statement of the physical disability including:
  • Historical information of the onset and etiology of the disability, with a medical examination
  • The evaluator's name(s), title(s), professional credentials, license number, address, date of the assessment and phone number(s)
  • Current documentation, preferably within the last five years, that summarizes current symptoms and medical results that meet the criteria for the specific physical diagnosis
  • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities that could help the College Board in understanding the student's profile, including: the use of medication, and any type of surgical and/or physical therapeutic intervention (if appropriate) and the student's response to intervention

For the purposes of College Board tests, dysgraphia is defined as a type of disability in which a student has fine motor problems that affect his or her writing skills. Please note that poor handwriting is not a disability. Without further evidence to show that it is due to a disabling condition, poor handwriting does not warrant a computer accommodation on College Board tests.

When a student requires a computer for dysgraphia, the following documentation should be submitted:

Documentation of a fine motor problem. Professionals such as occupational therapists, psychologists, learning specialists, or doctors can document such conditions. Some of the common tests that are acceptable by the professional community to document fine motor skills problems are:

  • Coding subtest of the Wechsler Cognitive Test
  • Beery Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) o Rey Complex Figure Test

An academic test of writing. This demonstrates that the student's fine motor problems present severity in organization, presentation of ideas, richness of language, complex language structure. These tests are usually administered by school or clinical psychologists or educational diagnosticians. They include:

  • Woodcock-Johnson-III: Tests of Academic Achievement (General and Extended batteries including fluency measures)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT II) o Test of Written Language III (TOWL III)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II)

There are some severe learning disabilities that affect a student's overall language-based skills, both in reading and writing. To be eligible for computer accommodation on College Board tests, the student should submit comprehensive cognitive and academic testing that meets College Board guidelines. The documentation should demonstrate severe deficiencies in organization, presentation of ideas, richness of language, complex sentence structure.


Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
College Board SSD Program
P.O. Box 8060
Mt. Vernon, Illinois 62864-0060
Phone: (609) 771-7137 (Available between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.)
FAX: (866) 360-0114
TTY: (609) 882-4118
Email: ssd@info.collegeboard.org

ACT Accommodations

When applying for learning difference or disability accommodations for the ACT, be aware that the following tests of academic achievement are comprehensive for documentation of a diagnosis:

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT or WIAT II)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III
  • Kaufman Test of
  • Educational Achievement (KTEA) or Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT)
  • Gray Oral Reading Test
  • Gray Silent Reading Test

The following tests of cognitive ability (i.e. intelligence tests) are considered technically adequate assessments:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd Edition (WAIS-III) or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd Edition or 4th Edition (WISC-III or -IV)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability (-Revised or –III)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: 4th Edition or 5th Edition (SB: FE or SB-V)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test, or Differential Ability Scales (DAS)

Test not consider to be comprehensive or appropriate for diagnostic purposes include:

  • The Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-R or WRAT-3) is not a comprehensive battery and is not appropriate for diagnostic purposes.
  • A reading disorder cannot be diagnosed solely on the results of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test.
  • The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) is considered a screening test and is not comprehensive enough for determining questions of accommodation.
  • The Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude -3 (DTLA-3) is a test of information processing rather than a measure of intelligence.
  • The Slosson Intelligence Test
  • Shipley Institute of Learning Scale
  • Revised Beta Examination, Second Edition