Standardized Testing

The best preparation for standardized testing occurs every day within the classrooms at Moses Brown as students develop their ability to think, write, analyze and solve problems. While a number of colleges have moved toward test-optional admission policies, many colleges and universities require standardized testing as one component of the college application.

We suggest that every Moses Brown student take both the SAT with Essay and the ACT with Writing in the spring of junior year. The student can then compare his or her scores, determine which test is a better reflection of his or her abilities, and take that test again in the fall of senior year. Please see our recommended testing timeline below with our suggested testing date in bold.

11th Grade Spring: SAT with Essay March, May, or June
ACT with Writing February or April, or June
SAT Subject Tests (Optional. Discuss with college counselor) May or June (cannot be taken in same sitting as SAT)
Fall: Retake the SAT with Writing and/or additional Subject Tests October, November, or December
Take or retake the ACT with Writing
September, October, or December

ACT information, test dates, registration, score access, and score sending can be found at

SAT information, test dates, registration, and score access, and score sending can be found at

Registration deadlines are typically 5-6 weeks prior to the test date.

The SAT and Subject tests cannot be taken together in one sitting. Students can take a maximum of three Subject Tests on one test date.

The PSAT and Practice ACT

As practice for the SAT, the PSAT is administered at Moses Brown to all 10th and 11th graders each October. Moses Brown registers students for this exam and covers the cost. Once scores are available, each student receives a comprehensive score report and a copy of their test booklet in order to help analyze their skills in preparation for the SAT.

Moses Brown also offers an optional practice ACT to 11th graders each fall.

Scores from the PSAT and practice ACT are not sent to colleges.

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are one-hour exams that measure knowledge of specific subjects. Most Moses Brown students who take SAT Subject Tests do so in the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. In certain circumstances, we advise students to consider taking the Biology Subject test in the spring of 9th grade and/or the Chemistry Subject Test in the spring of 10th grade. The strongest candidates for these exams are those who have a natural affinity for the subject, and who have the endorsement of their teacher based on mastery of material. Students enrolled in Honors Biology or Honors Chemistry who are earning an A- or higher and enjoying the work are best suited to consider the test. Students should consult with their science teacher and review a sample Subject Test on in order to understand the format, content and caliber of the exam. Additional preparation for the Subject Test is typically needed beyond what is covered in class.

Standardized Testing Preparation

Most students' scores increase naturally from the junior to senior year, especially if they take the time to review their weaker test areas in a focused way. Some students will choose to study on their own; others work with tutors or take a review course.

The College Board has partnered with Kahn Academy to provide students with online lessons on every element of the SAT.
This valuable resource is free of charge. Additionally, the links below can direct students to sample tests, preparation materials, and other information as students plan for their testing.
SAT Practice Tests
Although many students prepare on their own for standardized testing with the help of practice materials, some prefer more structured guidance.  Experienced tutors can serve as effective guides in helping students grow accustomed to the test. Please contact the college counseling office if you would like names of test prep tutors students have used in the past.

Students with Accommodations
Students who receive extended time and other in-class accommodations are not automatically approved for accommodations on the PSAT, ACT, or SAT. The school must submit documentation to the testing agency to see if accommodations can be granted. We ask that all juniors who utilize accommodations on Upper School exams stop by College Counseling in December or January. We want to confirm that documented testing accommodations have been approved and we will provide instruction for students on how to register for standardized tests with accommodations.