College Entrance Exams
The ACT and SAT are college entrance exams. All colleges will accept either test. We recommend juniors take the test(s) at the end of their junior year.
Totino-Grace is an ACT National Test Center. The ACT exam is given at Totino-Grace on the following dates:
|ACT Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Fee Required|
Students should register online for college entrance exams. Please refer to important and helpful information for the PreACT, PSAT, and ACT exam in the sections below.
Click HERE for general tips for taking the ACT and SAT.
Totino-Grace offers sophomores the opportunity to take a new standardized test called the PreACT. The results of this test give students, parents and educators valuable insights into students' predicted performance on the ACT and provide career interest information so students can plan for a future that aligns with their interests. PreACT test results also show students their areas of strength and where they need to improve.
This test will be given on Monday, February 18, 2019, to any interested sophomores. The test is optional; however, if students wish to take the test, they must register in advance so materials can be ordered. A registration link will be sent to all sophomores and their parents in Fall, 2018. ACT charges a $12 fee for the PreACT exam; students who register will have that fee added to their TG account.
The test will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 11:30 a.m. The test is a multiple-choice paper assessment.
The test includes:
Pre-Test Activities (including college and career interest questions) - about 60 minutes
English - 25-35 minutes
Math - 35-45 minutes
Reading - 25-30 minutes
Science - 25-35 minutes
Benefits of taking the PreACT:
Early practice for the ACT
Predicted ACTtest performance
Students have the option of sharing their information with colleges and scholarship agencies
A personalized view of interests with college and career alignment
Areas of strength and improvement are shown
The PSAT Exam is for high school juniors. Totino-Grace student are not required to take the exam; however, students are highly encouraged to take the exam if:
• They would like to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Competition (The PSAT is the qualifying exam for this prestigious scholarship program.)
• They think they may take the SAT exam later in their Junior year. The PSAT is a preliminary SAT exam (which was redesigned in 2016).
Visit the PSAT Exam page for complete details and registration links.
(link from testing info links)
Click HERE to learn about the newly redesigned PSAT exam.
Click HERE to learn about the newly redesigned SAT exam which was administered for the first time in spring, 2016.
Who takes the PSAT exam?
High school juniors across the U.S. may take the PSAT exam. In addition, Totino-Grace offers the exam optionally to high achieving sophomores.
No TG student is required to take the exam; however, students are highly encouraged to take the exam if:
• They would like to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Competition (The PSAT is the qualifying exam for this prestigious scholarship program.)
• They think they may take the SAT exam later in their Junior year. Please note: Most Totino-Grace students take the ACT--not the SAT. The PSAT exam is a preliminary SAT exam, so taking the PSAT will prepare students for the SAT exam--not for the ACT.
What is the PSAT exam?
The PSAT has two components: 1) Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and 2) Math.
Reading 47 Questions/Tasks 60 Minutes
Writing 44 Questions/Tasks 35 Minutes
Math 47 Questions/Tasks 70 Minutes
Total 138 Questions/Tasks 165 Minutes
The PSAT was completely redesigned in 2016. If students have old PSAT study materials (from older siblings who have taken the exam), do not use them. The old PSAT and the current PSAT are different in many ways.
What is the PSAT scoring policy?
• One point for a correct answer
• No deduction for an incorrect answer
Reading Test Components
• Passage content includes U.S. and World Literature, History/Social Studies, and Science
• Text complexity
• Graphical data representations: tables, graphs, charts
• Questions ask students to explain words in context, show their command of evidence, and analyze passages in history/social studies and science.
Writing and Language Test Components
• Passage content includes Careers, History/Social Studies, Humanities, and Science
• One or more graphics
• The type of texts will include argument, informative/explanatory, and nonfiction narrative
• Questions will focus on expression of ideas, standard English conventions, words in context, command of evidence, text analysis
Math Test Components
• The test includes 40 multiple choice questions and 8 student-produced (grid in) responses
• The test has a calculator permitted section (45 minutes/64% of the test) and a section where a calculator is not permitted (25 minutes/36% of the test)
The Math test includes:
• The Heart of Algebra (33%/16 questions)
- Analyzing and fluently solving equations and systems of equations
- Creating expressions, equations, and inequalities to represent relationships between quantities and to solve problems
- Rearranging and interpreting formula
• Problem Solving and Data Analysis (33%/16 questions)
- Creating and analyzing relationships using ratios, proportions, percentages, and units
- Describing relationships shown graphically
- Summarizing qualitative and quantitative data
• Passport to Advanced Math (29%/14 questions)
- Rewriting expressions using their structure
- Creating, analyzing, and fluently solving quadratic and higher-order equations
- Manipulating polynomials purposefully to solve problems
• Additional Topics in Math (4%/2 questions)
- Making area and volume calculations in context
- Investigating lines, angles, triangles, and circles using theorems
- Working with trigonometric functions
When is the PSAT exam?
The PSAT will be given to registered Totino-Grace students at TG on the morning of Wednesday, October 10, 2018.
How can students prepare for the PSAT?
Students may study sample questions and practice tests on the College Board website, buy a test prep book (it must be for the NEW PSAT), use online test prep resources from Kahn Academy, or take an in person test prep class (e.g., Kaplan, Sylvan, Huntington, etc.).
What is the cost for the PSAT?
The cost for the PSAT exam is $16. Students will have the $16 fee added to their TG student account in the fall.
If you have questions about the administration of the PSAT exam, please contact Jessica Osfar at email@example.com.
When you register for an ACT Exam test, you will be asked to enter your high school code. Totino-Grace's school code is 240-888. By entering this code during the test registration process, you ensure that your test scores will be sent to Totino-Grace.
Totino-Grace is a test center for the ACT. If you would like to take the ACT test at Totino-Grace, our test center code is 199960.
When students register for the ACT, they will establish an account at ACT with a username and password. Students should carefully keep track of this information as it will be used many times by the student to see test scores and to send test scores to colleges during the college application process.
ACT Writing Information - Find out if the college you wish to attend requires the ACT Plus Writing
There are many ACT and SAT test preparation programs and tutors from which to choose. Some programs are offered online, others are in small group settings, and still others include one-on-one tutoring. Students should choose an option that meets their individual test prep needs, their schedule and their budget.
Totino-Grace is host to an ACT Prep course in Winter/Spring 2018. This is the only ACT prep course offered on-site at Totino-Grace--and is open only to Totino-Grace students. The course will prepare students for the April 14 or June 9 ACT test in 2018. This ACT Prep course is offered by BRIEL ACT PREP--which is staffed by current and former Totino-Grace teachers. If you have questions about the program, please contact Mary Ellen Briel at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website: brielcollegeprep.com or contact Mrs. Amy Smith at Totino-Grace at email@example.com.
The ACT Prep course is offered at TG on both Saturdays and Tuesdays. Cost for the course is $250 and will be applied to your credit card as outlined on the form.
Students may choose one of these options; each session is limited to 30 students:
Option 1: Saturday February 17 and 24; March 3, 10 and 24; April 7. Times: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Option 2: Tuesday February 20 and 27; March 6, 20 and 27; April 3. Times: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Capacity has been reached for both courses. Registration is now closed.
Test Prep Companies and Tutors throughout the Twin Cities
The following companies and private tutors are some of the many test prep options available in the Twin Cities; most have been recommended to TG by students, teachers or other high schools in the area. Totino-Grace does not endorse any one program, claim personal knowledge of each company or individual, or guarantee test score improvement by using these services. It is the responsibility of each student/parent to thoroughly research the companies or individuals on this site.
Contact: aplustutoringserviceltd.com 651-738-0149.
Description: ACT and SAT prep. 15-hour Basic Course includes one-on-one tutoring in 10, 1.5 hour sessions. Concentration on skills in math, grammar, reading comprehension, writing and test taking. Tutoring available in A+ Tutoring offices in Woodbury or in the family home (Parents must be present for in-home sessions.). A 20-hour Deluxe Course is also available for students with weak fundamental skills or who have difficulty studying on their own. Free initial student/parent consultation. Academic tutoring in many subject areas is also offered.
ACADEMIC TUTORING AND TESTING
Contact: Elayne Engler or Alex Theoharides. www.acatutor.com 952-591-9437. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: ACT and SAT prep is available. Tutoring is formatted to fit an individual student's needs. Students can meet with tutors as many times as they feel necessary. This tutoring service works well with students of all ability levels, including students who have ADD/ADHD or learning disabilities. Some tutors have completed Virtus training. Cost: $75-85 per hour, depending on the number of scheduled sessions.
ADVANTAGE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Contact: www.AdvantagePrep.net or 612-222-5108
Description: ACT, PSAT or SAT small group classes meet for three hours, one time per week, for 4-6 weeks. Classes are held all over the Twin Cities. Cost: $120 for either ACT or SAT prep, or $210 for both ACT and SAT prep. Students may repeat the course free of charge.
ACT ONLINE PREP
Description: This is an online resource available on the official ACT website. It includes practice test questions taken from previous ACT tests. This individually paced program helps students get used to the format and avoid surprises on test day. Cost is $39.95 or FREE to students who qualify for an ACT test fee waiver.
ACT KAPLAN ONLINE PREP LIVE
Description: ACT and Kaplan have partnered to offer an interactive virtual classroom experience that delivers engaging online live instruction on ACT test subjects. Content is delivered in real time by expert instructors, who are also available for support outside classroom hours. Sessions are recorded and available on demand if a student is unable to attend a live session. Real questions and sample materials from previous ACT tests are used to help students gain confidence and get comfortable with the format before test day. Cost is $179.00 or FREE for students who qualify for an ACT test fee waiver.
Contact: Mary Ann Dorsher and Mary Langfeldt. www.actready.net or 952-322-7722. Email: email@example.com.
Description: More than 3000 students from 95+ high schools in the Twin Cities have benefited from ACT Ready's 6-week program. Located in Bloomington, their small group classes allow for individualized attention, enabling students to quickly build their testing skills and confidence. ACT Ready reports that on average, their students achieve gains of 3 to 4 points in their ACT composite scores or approximately 20% in their national percentile rankings. Cost: The sessions offer 6 weekly two-hour small group classes, a Reading/Science skills building class, and a 6th 'bonus/make-up' class, for $595. The fee covers all testing materials, study guides, progress reports and tutoring costs. There is a $50 non-refundable registration fee.
Contact: Thore Dosdall. aspireinstruction.com or 320.287.0933 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Personalized tutoring for college entrance exams. Thore Dosdall offers flexible scheduling and the ease of in-home tutoring, whether in-person or online. Score increases of 3 to 4 points on the ACT are common with 20-30 hours of instruction. Thore also provides academic tutoring in math, critical reading, effective writing and study skills. Cost: 2-hour session = $120 or 1.5 hour session = $95 or 1-hour session = $70.
BREAKAWAY COLLEGE TEST PREP
Contact: Ron Michalek. breakawaytestprep.com or 612-216-5133 or email@example.com
Description: Based in St. Louis Park, Breakaway specializes in one-on-one ACT and SAT tutoring. Small group classes are also available. Breakaway works with more than 700 students each year from over 30 schools across the Twin Cities. Breakaway is pleased to be a partner with Groves Academy with test prep options specifically designed for students with learning differences and attention disorders. This option includes one-on-one instruction for the ACT with a Groves Academy upper school teacher. Cost for tutoring with a Groves instructor: $115 per hour. Plus a one-time $100 fee for materials and practice tests. For cost on all other tutoring and test prep classes, contact Breakaway.
BRIEL COLLEGE PREP
Contact: Mary Ellen Briel (Retired TG teacher). brielcollegeprep.com or 651-247-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: One-on-one tutoring that will help students develop test-taking strategies that fit their learning style. Guided practice is given to help reduce test day stress. Flexible scheduling to accommodate school and co-curricular schedules. Tutoring also available in reading, writing, grammar, literature and the college essay.
Description: With an office in Maple Grove, College Tutors provides one-on-one tutoring for all subjects, as well as ACT and SAT tests. Schedules and focus are individualized over a recommended 25 hour schedule. Three practice tests included, with up to 9 different tests for the avid student. Free ACT/SAT practice tests are available monthly.
THE ENGLISH TUTOR
Contact: Rosemary Stalter at email@example.com or (612) 825-1896 Website: The English Tutor
Full service test prep for ACT, SAT or SAT II Subject Tests. In addition, a speed-reading course entitled SWIFT is offered. SWIFT is Speed-Reading With Intention, Focus, & Technique. The SWIFT course can not only help students' reading speed on standardized tests, but with reading speed in all academic subjects in school. Tutoring is done at the Edina Library or Southdale Library, as well as in a child's home with an additional travel fee.
HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER
Description: With locations in Blaine, Maple Grove, Roseville and Plymouth, Huntington prepares students for the demands of the ACT, including test-taking strategies, time management, and academic knowledge using one-on-one instruction. Most students attend 4-6 hours per week or more, plus homework time. They offer 3 options: 10 hours of instruction plus 4 hours of practice tests; 28 hours of instruction plus 8 hours of practice tests; a Premier program with the duration tailored to your goals.
KAPLAN TEST PREP
Contact: Kaptest.com or 1-800-KAP-TEST
Description: Kaplan offers many options at locations around the Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Roseville and the University of Minnesota campus: online courses taught at your own pace, traditional in-class programs taught by expert teachers, unlimited prep programs combining online and in-class preparation, and one-on-one in-person or online tutoring. Free ACT/SAT practice tests are available monthly at many locations around the Twin Cities.
Contact: PrincetonReview.com or 1-866-877-7737
Description: PSAT, ACT and SAT prep courses are available. Options include classroom courses, online courses or private tutoring. Free practice tests and strategy sessions are available for students at various locations throughout the Twin Cities.
Contact: revolutionprep.com or 1-877-738-7737
Description: Revolution Prep offers many test prep options including one-on-one tutoring and group classes, both offered either online or in person. Online private tutoring starts at $99 per hour; ACT online group classes are $299; ACT online small group classes are $599; ACT in-person classes are $599.
Contact: sylvanlearning.com or 1-888-338-2283
Description: With locations in Coon Rapids, Roseville and Maple Grove, Sylvan offers both classroom and small group ACT/SAT prep courses. Students are encouraged to attend all classes in person, but can make up a class online. Sylvan offers affordable monthly payment options.
Description: WyzAnt helps families find high quality, affordable tutors for ACT/SAT prep or any academic subjects. Tutors offer both in person and online tutoring. Hourly tutoring rates vary by individual tutor and range from $30-$125 per hour.
Description: Students who complete a ZAPS ACT Seminar--and practice the tips and strategies at home--typically raise their ACT scores by 2 to 4 points, and often more. ZAPS offers an in-person, five-hour strategy class or online ACT strategy seminars (live streaming), video classes and tutoring. The in-person ZAPS ACT prep classes are offered at many locations throughout the Twin Cities, including at many public high schools in the north metro.