September 28, 2016
Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 626 2919 x511
Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 626 2919 x512
Maya Zegler
College Counseling Associate
415 626 2919 x519

Dear Junior Parents/Guardians:

We hope your family is off to a good start thus far in 11th grade. Throughout this fall, Urban College Counseling will be providing more general college information in presentations and correspondence. Today, we wanted to give you some information about what is to come in the college admissions process, specifically college-related testing: 

1) The PSAT (Practice SAT), which aligns with the newly redesigned SAT, will be administered at Urban to all 10th and 11th graders on Saturday, October 15. This will be the second time your students will have seen the type of questions offered on the new SAT. Results for the PSAT will arrive in the early winter. Please remember that only you, Juniors and our office will see your student’s results.

Students need to arrive at Urban on October 15 no later than 8:10 am, and the test will end around 1 pm. Students taking the test on an extended time basis will finish later, depending on their accommodations. There will be no eating or drinking during the exam and breaks are short, so it is important that students rest well the night before the test and eat a good breakfast beforehand. Since it is a long test and there will be no food service on campus that day, test-takers might want to bring a snack to eat during one of the breaks. Test registration takes place at Urban on the test day and no fees are required. We'll send a list of what to bring soon.

2) Urban will be offering an on-site mock ACT free of charge later this fall. This will provide an opportunity for students to compare the PSAT format to the ACT. We are in the process of setting up the practice test with an outside testing agency and will send more details soon.  

3) We will be hosting an ACT prep course on site at Urban. This will be a group course and financial assistance will be available. The course will begin in late January in preparation for the April 2017 ACT exam. Again, we will provide additional details as we get closer.

A note about testing: Many parents and students ask our office which is the “right” or “best” test to take. We assure you, there is no right answer regarding which test to take. All colleges and universities accept any and all tests. Whether a student takes the SAT or ACT is really a personal preference. This is why we are providing an opportunity for Juniors to practice both tests this fall. Since students usually have similar scores on both tests, we do NOT recommend preparing for and taking both. 

In the early winter we will meet with each family individually to discuss the college process, including the most appropriate individual testing plan. If, however, you have questions in advance of that meeting please email one of us.

Please also mark your calendars for an event refreshingly free of testing info:

Thyra Briggs, Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid at Harvey Mudd College will be speaking to parents AND students at Urban on Tuesday, November 1, at 7 pm, in St. Agnes Gym. We strongly encourage all families to attend. Ms. Briggs has worked in a variety of colleges and universities and will kick off the college admissions process with wit, wisdom and honesty. 

We also invite you to join us if you can for casual conversations at our College Counseling Coffees/Teas this fall in the Page Campus Conference Room (check the website calendar or This Week at Urban for room updates): 

  • October 11 at 7:30 am
  • November 3 at 4:30 pm 

  • December 7 at 7:30 am

We will be in touch again soon, and please contact us if you have questions.  

Best regards,

Susan,  Lauren and Maya

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