Section 4: College and Career

Standardized Tests

SAT II (Subject Area or “Achievement” Tests) are one-hour exams that  evaluate a student’s knowledge in a particular subject. Some colleges require  or recommend SAT Subject Tests. Students can enhance their application,  demonstrate their knowledge gained outside the classroom, and potentially  advance out of introductory college courses. Students should take SAT II in  subject areas in which they are academically strong. The SAT II test schedule  should be planned out well in advance so that the tests are taken when the  subject material is fresh in a student’s mind. It is the student’s responsibility  to find out when specific subject tests will be administered; this can be done  through the guidance office or online at www.collegeboard.com. Some  colleges are specific about which SAT II scores they want to see. For  example, some pre -med programs want to see the Chemistry SAT II. 

ACT (American College Testing) exam is similar to the SAT I but includes an  interest inventory that could prove useful in career planning. The ACT exam  is also widely accepted by colleges and universities. In general, students are  encouraged to take the ACT and the SAT I. Students should consult their  guidance counselor to determine if it is appropriate for them to take the ACT  (visit act.org).  

Advanced Placement Exams are geared to the advanced workload of  advanced placement courses. Students who take advanced placement  courses are encouraged to take the corresponding AP exam administered  each school year in May. Students who excel in a particular subject, but have  not taken the subject at Madison, may also take the corresponding AP exam.  

Helpful Online Resources for College and Career

Madison's website offers several tools to help students learn coursework, get  extra help and prepare for state and college admissions exams (see www.sandi.net/madison) under Student tab and Counseling tab.  

Khan Academy - A free worldwide, not-for-profit, learning environment that  is designed to help students master coursework. Students can make use of  an extensive video library, interactive challenges, and assessments. This  self-paced learning tool provides a dynamic system for getting help and  allows students to track their progress. There are more than 3500 videos in  English, math, biology, chemistry, physics, history and finance. Students can  practice critical skills and pick-up missed knowledge (see Student Life/Khan  Academy).

March 2 Success (sponsored by the US Army)—A free tool for parents/  guardians and students to prepare for state and college entrance exams. The  program was developed with industry leaders in college preparation and  required state testing programs to help students succeed in English, math  and science, as well as improve their scores on the SAT, ACT, and ASVAB.  The website provides customized lesson plans to help students focus on the  areas in which they need help, allowing them to succeed in English, math and  science, as well as improve their scores on the SAT, ACT, and ASVAB. The  website provides customized lesson plans to help students focus on the areas  in which they need help, allowing them to skip through what they already know. There is no obligation and the site can be used by anyone with access to a computer and Internet.  Armed services recruiters will not contact students. 


Timetable for College and Career Planning

Freshman Year

  • Enroll in college preparatory classes (UC/SCU a-g approved).
  • Visit MHS website and Counseling Office Google Classroom for important dates and information.
  • Use "college search" within collegeboard.org website to find requirements for specific colleges you may pursue.
  • Commit to several extracurricular activities and begin to log activities, clubs, sports, tutoring and community service hours.
  • Enroll in summer school if you need credit recovery.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue in college preparatory classes (UC/CSU a-g approved). Consider AP and/or Mesa College classes.
  • Visit MHS website and Counseling Office Google Classroom regularly for important dates and information
  • Enroll in Fall for the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test).
  • Visit MHS website regularly for important dates and information.
  • Use PSAT results to navigate collegeboard.org website, get a skills report and develop a personalized study plan.
  • Sign up for free SAT prep through the Khan Academy linked on the collegboard.org website.
  • Continue to log extra curricular activities. Consider leadership roles.
  • Attend summer school for credit recovery (if needed) and/or plan a summer enrichment opportunity such as a job, internship or volunteerism.

Junior Year

  • Continue in college preparatory classes (UC/CSU a-g approved). Consider AP and/or Mesa college classes.
  • Visit MHS website and Counseling Office Google Classroom regularly for important dates and information
  • Prepare for SAT by taking free, full length practice test at collegeboard.org.
  • Enroll in Spring SAT and/or ACT.
  • Enroll in specific SAT subject tests depending on your college major.
  • Continue your research of colleges that interest you.
  • Continue to log extra curricular activities. Consider leadership roles.
  • Attend summer school for credit recovery (if needed) and/or plan a summer enrichment opportunity such as a job, internship or volunteerism.

Senior Year

  • End your year with a strong schedule! Continue in college preparatory classes (UC/CSU a-g approved). Consider AP and/or Mesa College classes.
  • Enroll in Fall for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests (if required by college) and/or ACT.
  • Visit MHS website, Counseling Office Google Classroom, and Counseling Office for scholarship bulletin.
  • Apply to scholarships.
  • Visit and apply to colleges.
  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors - see counselor for timeline.
  • Complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • November: UC and CSU applications are due.
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