Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

mirabillis

Can't find PSAT site to take test... ARGHGHHG!!!!

Recommended Posts

I absolutely loathe our public school system. Loathe it. They are apparently completely intolerant of homeschoolers.

 

I am trying to find quite simply a place to take the PSAT for the 1st time, this our freshman year. Good thing I'm trying this now, as it's becoming nearly impossible. And when asked if they offer SAT or AP testing, the same No greets me.

 

Sorry we're full. We have to accommodate our own students first, and as we're nearly always filled up, there won't be room for others.

 

Sorry we are offering ours during the school day, not on a Saturday, so it's only for our enrolled students.

 

Sorry we can't give AP tests to students outside our school, as our tests are ordered months in advance depending upon AP enrollment.

 

Sorry but as a private school, for security issues, we can't let you on our campus unless you have affiliation with us, like a former graduate, etc.

 

And the excuses go on & on. I have been denied by 3 schools, I have 2 more local PS to go... Can't anything be easy for homeschoolers?

 

CollegeBoard has a link all its own for homeschooled students, and yet the school system is so INTOLERANT of homeschoolers. How on earth are we to take these simple, standardized tests???

 

From their site:
 

Home-Schooled Students

 

To sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 just get in touch with a local school.

How to Get Started

Find and contact a local school that’s giving the test you want to take. Go to School Search.

Ask for the Official Student Guide, which includes a free practice test.

 

 

ETA: Sorry I just had to gripe! I know if anyone understands, it's you guys! :-) I have 2 more public schools to call tomorrow, and it looks like maybe a couple other private schools. Then the CollegeBoard itself as well for help. Just wish everything didn't always have to be such a battle.

 

Edited by mirabillis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about PSAT but my local high schools are not test centers for SAT and SAT subject tests. Even their students have to take it elsewhere because it is not compulsory. They do offer their own students AP exams. The college board probably didn't give the schools enough commission to be worth the trouble for them.

 

Last year only one of my district's high school was an ACT test center on one date choice only. Maybe ACT pays the school better because the high school teachers are paid extra to come back on Saturday.

 

AP exams have seating charts requirements. So each room can only have so many exam candidates (see link below). Since my district already have to use portable classrooms due to overcrowding, I can believe they have no space.

http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/ap_coordinators/preparing_exam_day/232011.html

 

Would you be able to drive up to San Jose or is it way too far? There are more than 30 test centers listed just for PSAT. The good thing is PSAT only counts for 11th grade so you have time to make friends with the test coordinators.

 

ETA:

ACT has strict testing requirements too. Page 13 of PDF http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/ACTAdminManualStateDistrictStandardTestingPaper.pdf

 

My kid took the SAT in a room that has less than 15 tables and chairs, when that room could normally sit 35 kids.

Edited by Arcadia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I can drive as far away as I need to. It was just surprising to here how unaccommodating they were. I hadn't heard on these boards any such talk yet of difficulty finding test centers. Everyone just seems to readily be taking their PSATs, SATs, SAT IIs, APs, and ACTs. It didn't occur to me it would be uber-difficult to find an accommodating center. Just another headache to add to an already full plate. Fortunately, we're really early (9th grade), so lots of time to figure things out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm rural & the closest public school won't let anyone except their own students take the PSAT there. (In fact, the person in charge of it wondered aloud at me why a homeschooled kid would take the PSAT - it isn't like they are going to be going to college!) They only have one AP test that I'm aware of & that is Calc AB and the math teacher is in charge of it. I haven't asked about it because I'm not there yet. (But, I know the guy, so maybe he'd let a homeschooler take it.) They don't offer any SAT IIs and it is quite a distance to find a testing center to take the SAT.

 

I was very fortunate to find a next-district-over guidance counselor who has agreed to shoe-horn my DD#2 into her office with the other handful of kids taking the PSAT this year. I just got a call back from her today confirming DD's spot. :hurray:  I'd have to hit up the private school in the next town up if this one didn't pan out. Not sure how accommodating they would be for homeschoolers, either. Glad I don't have to make those calls.

 

Some people on here have had a really tough time finding testing centers for their kids to take APs & SAT IIs.

 

I hope your next two phone calls are better. There are a couple of threads with advice on how to find a school to take your kid for AP tests. I think the key when they say no is to ask "Do you know any place that would let my son/daughter take the PSAT?" Get names & then use the name of the referrer when you call them. "Mrs. So-and-so at Joe Public said you might have room for my student to take the PSAT."

 

Another thing was to let them know your kid would have their own testing # so their test results won't go on the school's record. (Some school officials might not realize how well some homeschoolers do on these tests.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone just seems to readily be taking their PSATs, SATs, SAT IIs, APs, and ACTs. It didn't occur to me it would be uber-difficult to find an accommodating center.

 

PSAT and AP testing require you to find a cooperative school, but you register for the regular SAT, subject tests, and ACT directly with the testing agencies. It's first come first serve, so you won't be turned away if you register reasonably early.

 

(The ease of getting a PSAT spot varies by state. I'm in a state where the state requires our zoned high school to take DD.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I can drive as far away as I need to. It was just surprising to here how unaccommodating they were.

I think it might be because you are too close to this year's deadline, which is this Friday 6pm, to increase booklets even if they have space for your child to take the test.

 

I think every year there were horror threads for finding test centers for PSAT and AP on this board. For SAT, SAT II and ACT, we do drive south to San Jose or north to MV, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto for a test center that is hosting on the date my kids want. The June 2016 date had less test centers opened for SAT and ACT for us. One of my kids wants the Nov date for SAT and choices weren't as many as I wished.

 

"Sept. 23

 

Deadline for U.S. schools to increase PSAT/NMSQT test-book orders (9 p.m. ET).

Deadline to order PSAT/NMSQT nonstandard test formats." https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/k12-educators/psat-nmsqt-dates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always tell people to start contacting schools early to make sure their child can get a seat for the PSAT and AP tests. I always ask in the summer about AP tests and the PSAT for the upcoming school year. I registered and paid for my daughter to take the PSAT in August. Our public high school orders the AP tests in February, so I do know they order them early. I know it can be difficult to find a school (many people report difficulty finding a school that will accommodate students for AP tests). But, like others have said, registration for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II are online, so anyone can take a test at any test center. Testing centers do fill up, so if there is a particular site that is convenient it is best to register early. I hope you have good luck at the other schools!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice. The PSAT wasn't necessary - he's only in 9th grade. But it was a good heads-up to me that there could be difficulty, esp as he'll take his first AP test this spring. I'll keep trying a few more options for the PSAT for October, but know to start in Jan/Feb for AP testing centers next year. 

 

And wonderful to know I won't have these troubles for SAT/SAT II/ACT.

 

It's good to know others have had difficulties (not good for them, but good to know I'm not the only one)- I just hadn't seen those thoughts posted yet. It just seemed everyone was flinging around PSAT/AP/SAT numbers, I figured it was easy to find a place to test. LOL! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I absolutely loathe our public school system. Loathe it. They are apparently completely intolerant of homeschoolers.

 

I am trying to find quite simply a place to take the PSAT for the 1st time, this our freshman year. Good thing I'm trying this now, as it's becoming nearly impossible. And when asked if they offer SAT or AP testing, the same No greets me.

 

Sorry we're full. We have to accommodate our own students first, and as we're nearly always filled up, there won't be room for others.

 

Sorry we are offering ours during the school day, not on a Saturday, so it's only for our enrolled students.

 

Sorry we can't give AP tests to students outside our school, as our tests are ordered months in advance depending upon AP enrollment.

 

Sorry but as a private school, for security issues, we can't let you on our campus unless you have affiliation with us, like a former graduate, etc.

 

And the excuses go on & on. I have been denied by 3 schools, I have 2 more local PS to go... Can't anything be easy for homeschoolers?

 

CollegeBoard has a link all its own for homeschooled students, and yet the school system is so INTOLERANT of homeschoolers. How on earth are we to take these simple, standardized tests???

 

From their site:

 

Home-Schooled Students

 

To sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 just get in touch with a local school.

How to Get Started

Find and contact a local school that’s giving the test you want to take. Go to School Search.

Ask for the Official Student Guide, which includes a free practice test.

 

 

ETA: Sorry I just had to gripe! I know if anyone understands, it's you guys! :-) I have 2 more public schools to call tomorrow, and it looks like maybe a couple other private schools. Then the CollegeBoard itself as well for help. Just wish everything didn't always have to be such a battle.

 

 

It can be quite frustrating.  I know that I have had a real weight on me each year until I know that I have found and reserved AP test spots for my kids.  

 

For what it's worth:

 

Where we live now, we've had great welcoming experiences with the most expensive and high caliber private schools.  They understand the importance of the tests, and don't seem to view my kids as competition for their own.  (Imagine, seeing more hardworking, educated students as a blessing to society, not a negative count in a zero sum game.)

 

I do not try to get the answer from the first person who picks up the phone.  I give my name and say that I'm calling about PSAT or AP registration and could they direct me to the correct person.  THEN I ask to register.  It is too easy for someone who doesn't actually know the registration process to say no.   (When registering for AP tests, I make sure to mention that my kids are in an official AP course, that they do not need any test accommodations, that they will not be testing under the school's code, and that I am able to pay the fee for testing.)

 

If I do get a no answer, I do ask them to recommend another school in the area that might have room.  There were points a couple years ago, where one school was suggesting other locations and I was telling them that the schools they mentioned weren't offering that AP exam or had switched to an IB focus.  I ended up referred to the State AP coordinator.  She ended up going through the same list of schools, then referring me to a specific person at a big private school, and told me to tell him that she had referred me.  Asking for a referral is also how I ended up connected with a private test registration company that handles testing for several districts and private schools in the San Diego area.

 

All of the schools (three in three different states) where my kids took the PSAT, tested on a school day.  Those schools had no difficulty with signing my kid in as a visitor at the office and then taking him to the testing area.  It really isn't that tough.  I think school day testing is probably the norm in the US these days.  This is an excuse I'd push back on.

 

Be aware of the fact that with the recent revision to the SAT and PSAT, College Board also created specific tests designed for younger students to take.  You may find that some schools are testing their own 9-10 graders with the PSAT 10 on a spring date and don't want to make an accommodation for younger testers on the PSAT.  You might want to work on the schools now for a seat in their PSAT 10 testing.  You would have a couple months to set something up.

 

A couple states we've lived in have mandated access for tests to homeschoolers.  If you have been turned down by the person at each school who is in charge of test registration, then you may want to have conversations about access at a higher level, such as with your district.  If there is a school or district contact for homeschooling with whom you register or send a notice of intent, that might be a good place to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our state (Virginia), the homeschool law specifically states that schools must provide a plan for giving homeschooled students the PSAT and AP tests.  We have one high school in our rural county, and they refused to administer the PSAT and APs to our children.  We had to get a lawyer to convince them to follow the law.  It was ridiculous, and every year we wonder if we are going to have trouble.  In our case it's all based on the personalities and opinions of the administration.

 

I always email them in June for the October PSAT because the early ordering deadline is in June.  Late September may be too late, but if you call around you may be able to find someplace.  In my opinion it is worth the hassle of having your child take the PSAT in 9th grade because you can get him/her used to taking the test, and learn about their skill strengths and weaknesses.

 

I email them in August for AP exams.

 

I hope you can find a testing place for your child.  This whole AP/PSAT/school thing is a PAIN.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I registered my daughter at a local Christian school as well with no problems.  The public high schools in our area will only test 11th grade homeschool students.  My daughter is in 10th grade this year so this is only a practice run.  It is frustrating.  I wish the PSAT and AP tests were handled the way the SAT is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody. I did try a Christian school - and they were more than willing. And in fact have a homeschool student taking the PSAT in Nov. It's a matter of whether there is time to order the extra test material, as I really needed to contact them in August (but didn't know that). But I feel good knowing there is an option at least for next year. They also are more than willing to proctor AP tests for him, but only offer very limited offerings (Eng, Calculus, Physics), so we'll still be searching high & low for that. I'll look tomorrow (last day for schools to request test materials) and see if there is anyone able to have him part of this Fall's PSAT.

 

Thanks for the tips, the commiseration, and the shared stories. I feel so much better. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very frustrating.  Our schools here would only allow our son to take it if he were a junior.  I wanted him to have a practice run.  I was able to get him in at my old high school.  The school counselor was the same as when I went to school there, so he let him take it as a sophomore.  I heard he retired last year, so I'm not sure what I'll do with my daughter next year. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We didn't have any problems with the PSAT, but I always contacted them in August. Locally they place their order in September. Sometimes after they order you might get a slot if their registrations are lower than expected, but maybe not. 

 

SAT registration is handled by the College Board via their website. In our area, the private schools don't offer the SAT, but count on the public schools to do that. So when my oldest took his Latin SAT II, he was in a room with kids from the $30,000/year prep schools. No problem there.

 

The AP's were a mixed bag because you register with the school in addition to having your information with the College Board. They have to accommodate any homeschooler who meets their deadlines. Their out is that they don't have to give them to out-of-district students, and they don't have to accommodate a homeschooler who is taking an AP that they don't offer.

 

We had major headaches with Latin. I called the College Board and was told to contact schools in March to register. They gave me a list of schools with AP Latin classes. The problem? Some of those schools had deadlines in December and January.  The local schools were on the list, but had no AP Latin classes that year, so they wouldn't give it. I lost track of how many schools I called, probably more than 20. We ended up at a school some distance away that was willing to give it in the guidance office to my student. I had actually missed their deadline by one day, but the coordinator was willing to put us in because she hadn't mailed it yet. I had to get in the car and take her the check, a 3-hour round trip.

 

Thankfully my younger one did AP's that were all offered locally. I emailed the local coordinator in September and December, and then sent the form and check in January. It went very smoothly.

 

Frankly I'm glad we're past that. My 12th grader is going to take the SAT one more time this fall, and then we're done with those headaches!

 

 

Edited by G5052

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sounds like I should look in earnest now through December for local schools giving the AP Geography exam in spring... so I'm not left behind the eight ball.

 

All homeschool students should be admitted without question to their uni of choice - the amount of hoop-jumping and the rigor of their schooling is second to none to other ps'ers.... we should be some of the 'shoe-ins' for getting in. Perhaps in a perfect world... maybe in the future. LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your child is not in 11th grade and not needing to take the PSAT this year, let them take the SAT. My daughter took it in 7th, 9th and 10th grade.  You can look on the college board website to find sites that are offering it.  One year, my daughter took it at a university and then the next two at a high school an hour away.  It is not typical to call the local public school unless you are needing to take the PSAT, since you cannot sign up for the PSAT online..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local high school has been very accomodating on APs and PSAT.  But, they don't even allow their own freshman to take the PSAT.  They will only allow a handful of high achieving sophomores to take it.  This school does offer the other tests to their students (PSAT8/9 and PSAT10) at no cost - not sure if we could have taken them.  (DD attends our local high school part-time.  My other kids were not.)  I second the recommendation to just take the regular SAT as prep. 

 

I do wish the College Board would update their website about the timeline for homeschooled students taking AP and PSAT tests.  The reality is that I needed to line up the PSAT test the previous spring (contacting again in August) and the AP tests in January.  We haven't had issues since our high school is accommodating for students in district.  However, they do not offer every AP (most but not all.)  I had to search high and low for a place to take the AP Latin exam since our local school did not offer it.  They took forever to decide whether or not they would arrange a proctor (for a fee.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a spot!!!! YAY!!! :hurray: It's at a nearby Christian High School. YIPPEE!!!! :lol:

 

Now onto AP location research.

You might want to see what AP exams that school offer. Usually the PSAT and AP coordinators are the same group of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh & that same awful PS.... well we just got approved to be a part of their Mock Trial team. So DS meets with the high school team this sunday. WOW! double good news for us! so they're not altogether awful... just a little. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your child is not in 11th grade and not needing to take the PSAT this year, let them take the SAT. My daughter took it in 7th, 9th and 10th grade. You can look on the college board website to find sites that are offering it. One year, my daughter took it at a university and then the next two at a high school an hour away. It is not typical to call the local public school unless you are needing to take the PSAT, since you cannot sign up for the PSAT online..

That's a great idea. I think I'll do this with my next children. It was a struggle to find a school for my oldest to take the PSAT. Per the College Board website, I started early. Local high school told me in May that I'd have to wait until August to sign him up, so I worried all summer about whether they would let him. Late August, they finally gave us an answer: No. We found a public school in the next town that said he could sign up after Sept. 14. On the phone, someone said we could. In person, another person said we couldn't. Luckily we got in because we had the first person's name, she was there at the time, and she remembered talking to us in the phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×