CollegeBoard.org is a not-for-profit organization founded as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) in 1900 to expand access to higher education. It has a membership association of educational institutions that includes over 6,000 universities, colleges, and other educational organizations. It is probably best known for the standardized tests it administers including the SAT. However, it offers other services that include scholarship applications, research, advocacy, college planning, and college and career search tools. CollegeBoard.org helps over seven million students each year prepare for college though its testing and other programs.
SAT Suite of Assessments
CollegeBoard.org offers a series of tests known as the SAT Suite of Assessments. They measure a student’s abilities for the same skills at different grade levels. The tests measure reading, writing and language, and mathematical abilities.
The PSAT 8/9
Students take the PSAT 8/9 in the autumn or spring of eighth and ninth grade. This test establishes a baseline measurement of college and career readiness as students enter high school. It informs teachers, students and parents of a student’s strong and weak areas so they know better where to focus their efforts to prepare for college.
The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10
The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 are actually the same test, but they are offered at different times during the year. They serve as check-ins on student progress and pinpoint areas for development. Students usually take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year, though they can take it in their sophomore year. Some schools may offer the PSAT 10 in the spring of the student’s sophomore year.
Students can enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program (NMSP), an academic competition for recognition and college scholarships, by taking the PSAT/NMSC and meeting other criteria. About 3.5 million students from about 22,000 high schools take the test each year, and of those, about 1.6 million meet requirements to enter the NMSP. Scholarships awarded to winning NMSP finalists are for $2,500, but there are also corporate and college scholarships. There are about 8,700 scholarships offered in total.
The SAT is a standardized college admissions test administered by Collegeboard.org and accepted by all colleges in the United States. It is one of the two main tests colleges use for admissions, the other one being ACT (American College Testing). The SAT tests abilities in reading, writing and mathematics. Most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.
The SAT Subject Tests
In addition to the SAT, students can take SAT Subject Tests, which are standardized tests on individual topics. Students may want to take some of these to improve their chances of acceptance at some colleges. Some colleges require certain SAT Subject Tests, and some let students choose which they take. There are 20 tests, and students can take three on one date for one price if they like.
Financial Help for College Applications
There is a fee to take the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, but those who can establish low income may take the tests for free. But it gets better. Those who receive a fee waiver for taking the tests may apply to four colleges (out of a list of 2,000) for free also. You can search for colleges that accept application fee waivers here. To learn more a about college application fee waivers, go to the Collegeboard.org FAQs.
Help Finding Financial Aid
All students who take the SAT can opt in to Student Search Service in order to get free information regarding college admission, financial aid and scholarships.
Advanced Placement Program
CollegeBoard.org’s Advanced Placement Program enables high school students to take college-level classes before they graduate from high school. The level of difficulty is similar to first-year college courses. This gives students a boost in preparing for college coursework and trying some courses in different fields. In May, students may take an exam on their AP classes. If you score well on an AP exam, you may be able to get credit or advanced placement in college. You might also be awarded a scholarship. Talk to your high school counselor if you think you might be interested in this program. You can get a list of AP subjects and more information at this page of the CollegeBoard.org website.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE™
CollegeBoard.org’s CSS PROFILE is an online application for financial aid outside of federal aid. It is used by almost 400 colleges, universities, professional schools and scholarship programs. You choose where you would like CollegeBoard.org to send it, and they do it for you. Check with the colleges where you would like to apply to see if they require the CSS PROFILE. Go to https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org at least two weeks before the earliest college or scholarship priority application date you need to meet.
SpringBoard is an educational program for students in the sixth through 12th grades who plan to take AP or college level courses. Classroom activities are interactive, and a digital platform enables students to engage beyond the classroom. Teachers are provided with assessments, training, and teaching tools to track student progress. Springboard offers customized materials to certain states. You can go here to choose your state.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a series of tests that enables students to get college credit for what they know without taking the college course. Approximately 2,900 colleges across the country grant credit to students who get acceptable scores on CLEP tests. CLEP tests are available on a variety of topics. Check out an overview of categories available.
ACCUPLACER is an integrated system of computer-adaptive assessments designed to evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing and mathematics for determining their level of preparedness for introductory college courses. The tests are customized according to the student’s answers, and each answer determines the level of difficulty of the next question. The tests are online, and results are delivered immediately. The tests can be helpful in advising students of their career direction and in determining their placement in college courses. ACCUPLACER provides
- Placement assessments to determine where the student stands in reading, writing, mathematics and computer skills for course requirements
- Diagnostic assessments to identify areas of strength and weakness
- Skill building support to provide tools that improve skills to increase a student’s readiness for college.
CollegeBoard.org Can Help You Succeed
Through testing and assessment, scholarship searches, advanced courses, financial aid applications and so much more, CollegeBoard.org can help you to find the right school for your interests, get into that school and find sources to finance your education. We invite you to spend some time browsing the CollegeBoard.org website to familiarize yourself with the many ways they can help you to succeed. Using it, along with the College Scorecard can really help you get on a path to educational success.