College Counseling
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List of 2 items.

  • The College Standardized Testing Landscape

    Over the past decade, and especially accelerating over recent years, many colleges in the U.S. (even some of the “highly rejective” ones) have become test-optional (i.e. applicants decide whether to submit standardized test scores) or even test-free (i.e. all applications are reviewed without test scores). At the moment, many colleges have chosen to remain test-optional or test-free for the short-term future. For more background on this landscape, plus information on what we’ve seen here at LWHS, please refer to our document, The Shifting Standardized Testing Environment in College Admission.
  • SAT and ACT

    While many colleges are moving towards becoming test-optional, colleges will accept the SAT or the ACT and do not prefer one over the other. In general, we recommend that juniors take either the ACT in April or June or (not both) the SAT in May or June. Most students should plan to test; we will help them decide whether they should submit their scores. In other words, we encourage our students to think about it as “submission-optional” rather than “test-optional.” The College Board has discontinued the Essay portion of the SAT, as well as the SAT Subject Tests. Again, for more contextual information to help students’ informed decision-making, read The Shifting Standardized Testing Environment in College Admission.
    LWHS college counselors can help you decide which test may be best suited to you, and whether you should even test. A handful of students take both the ACT and SAT junior year, in order to discover a better fit, though we recommend deciding that before taking official tests, as some colleges will see your entire testing record. LWHS hosts a mock test each year which is an excellent “no stakes” opportunity to try one of the exams.

    Regardless of which SAT or ACT date students choose, be sure to register early to have the best selection of testing locations. LWHS is not a test center, so students take the test elsewhere, except for some students who may need certain accommodations (see the Things To Consider box).

    Note that there will be several opportunities during senior year to (re)take the ACT (July, September, October, December) and the SAT (August, October, November, December).

Early Applications

Most Early Decision and Early Action  applications are due November 1 or November 15. For students applying to college by an early deadline, scores from the December (and occasionally November, or even October) exam will not be available in time. It is the student’s responsibility to find out colleges’ standardized testing deadlines, as they do vary.

Sending Scores

No need to send any standardized test scores to colleges until senior year. Many colleges now allow students to self-report their scores on their application, in which case you don’t have to send official scores until you’ve accepted a college’s offer of admission. Confirm the policy of the schools to which you’re applying. Consult with your college counselor to determine if you should send your scores to any test-optional schools.

Things to consider

List of 2 items.

  • Accommodations

    If students are using accommodations for the SAT or ACT, be aware that there are different steps they must take to register. Please consult with the Learning Strategies Center.
  • Fee waivers

    If students receive substantial Flex Tuition at LWHS, they may qualify for a fee waiver for the SAT and/or the ACT. Please see a college counselor to verify eligibility.

AP Exams

For information about Advanced Placement (AP) exams, please contact Owen Dempsey, the LWHS Testing Coordinator. Note that we do not proctor AP exams for students who are not enrolled at LWHS.

Lick-Wilmerding High School

755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.