NEW YORK — Many Texas public school, charter school and home-schooled students in the class of 2012 will have the opportunity to take a college entrance exam such as the SAT® at no cost to the students or their families during Spring 2011. The opportunity for Texas juniors to take a free college entrance exam such as the SAT is made possible through the Texas College Preparation Program (TCPP), which provides funding for Texas public school districts to administer college readiness assessments to the state's eighth- and 10th-grade students and for 11th-grade students to take one college entrance exam of their choice. As an approved provider for the TCPP, the College Board is working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to offer free SAT exams to eligible* 11th-grade students throughout Texas on Saturday, May 7, 2011, and Saturday, June 4, 2011. The College Board also provides ReadiStep™ to eighth-grade students and the PSAT/NMSQT® to 10th-grade students as part of the TCPP.
To take the SAT for free on May 7 or June 4, students must obtain a TCPP voucher that will be available in public and charter schools beginning on or around Jan. 15, 2011. Home-schooled students who wish to participate can request a voucher by e-mailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once students obtain a voucher, they can register online for the SAT by following these steps:
- Go to sat.collegeboard.com.
- Go to the page "Join the Texas College Preparation Program."
- Enter the unique SAT voucher number printed in the top right corner of the voucher.
- Click "Continue" to complete the registration.
The registration deadline for the May 7 SAT is Friday, April 8, with late registration April 9-22. The regular registration deadline for the June 4 SAT is Friday, May 6, with late registration May 7-20. Students can follow the process outlined above for late registration, but the TEA will not cover additional fees that may apply. Students who already registered for the May 7 or June 4 SAT at their own expense or with an SAT fee waiver may call 866-756-7346 no later than March 15, 2011, to request a refund. A TCPP voucher is required to request a refund.
More Texas students take the SAT than any other college entrance exam. Among the class of 2010, a record 148,102 Texas high school students took the SAT, with public school students accounting for 123,154 (93 percent) of all Texas SAT takers in the most recent graduating class.
Texas SAT takers also have the distinction of being among the most diverse in the nation. Of the state's 2010 college-bound seniors who took the SAT, 54.0 percent were minority students, up from 44.7 percent in 2005 and 38.7 percent in 2000. Minority students accounted for 55.9 percent of SAT takers in the Texas public school class of 2010. Hispanic students made up 31.4 percent of all SAT takers in the Texas class of 2010 and 32.4 percent of SAT takers among the Texas public school class of 2010. Since 2000, the overall number of Hispanic SAT takers in Texas has more than doubled (from 22,123 in 2000 to 46,578 in 2010).
Every SAT registration includes up to four free score reports that can be sent to colleges and scholarship services. Registering for the SAT also enables students to participate in the College Board's Student Search Service®, through which students can let colleges, universities and scholarship programs know they are interested in hearing from them. Students participating in the Student Search Service also have the opportunity to receive educational and financial aid information from colleges, universities and scholarship programs.
Research consistently shows that taking a rigorous curriculum in high school is the best way to prepare for college and for the SAT. However, there is value in practicing for the SAT, and the College Board encourages students to familiarize themselves with the test format and question types in advance of test day by taking advantage of the many free and low-cost SAT practice tools available at sat.collegeboard.com.
Participating in the PSAT/NMSQT Program is another valuable way for students to prepare for college and the SAT. The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is an important step on the path to college readiness, providing valuable tools that can help students understand their academic strengths and weaknesses in time to prepare for the SAT and education opportunities beyond high school. More than 245,000 Texas juniors and more than 206,000 Texas sophomores took the PSAT/NMSQT this past October.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures the same skills as the SAT, and students who take the PSAT/NMSQT often perform better on the SAT. Among the Texas class of 2010, SAT takers who took the PSAT/NMSQT scored, on average, 222 points higher combined on the SAT than those who did not take the PSAT/NMSQT.
About the SAT
Created and designed by educators, the SAT® is a valuable and reliable measure of college readiness for students seeking admission to undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. The SAT tests the academic skills and knowledge that students acquire in high school. It also shows how well students can apply their knowledge, a factor that educators and researchers agree is critical to success in college course work. The SAT is consistently shown to be a fair and valid predictor of first-year college success for all students. A study including data from more than 100 colleges and universities demonstrates that the best predictor of college success is the combination of SAT scores and high school grades. In addition to admission, many colleges use the SAT for course placement. The SAT is administered annually to more than two million students at approximately 6,000 test centers located in more than 170 countries. (sat.collegeboard.com)
About the TEA
The Texas Education Agency is the state agency that oversees the education of 4.7 million students enrolled in early childhood education through high school. The mission of the agency is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students.
About the College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.
For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
Jennifer Topiel, The College Board, 212-713-8052, email@example.com