College Entrance Exams

Latino boy writing something in a notebook in a classroomWhen our students take College Board tests, such as A.P. exams and SATs, we know how much their answers matter. Although these tests are just one indicator of an individual student’s overall college readiness, they stand as critical gatekeepers to college acceptance and are an important reflection of overall preparation. That is why Achievement First approaches the SAT as the single most important test students take. With the stakes so high, our high schools employ a three-pronged, comprehensive approach designed to close a critical gap between the preparation available to our students and that provided to their more affluent peers.

Integrated Curriculum
By embedding SAT and A.P. skills and content into every course, AF teachers ensure that students develop strong vocabularies, learn to read and analyze rigorous texts, and feel comfortable attacking complex word problems long before testing dates approach. This whole-school integration is embodied by colorful SAT vocabulary magnets adorning rows of lockers and school-wide events designed to pump up students before their exams.

Teacher and students engaged in lively discussion

Practice Exams & Prep Achievement First students take a practice PSAT in 9th grade, actual PSATs in 10th and 11th grades, SAT and SAT IIs beginning in 11th grade, and A.P. exams in 10th to 12th grades. To prepare for high-stakes, 11th-grade testing, all juniors receive two days per week of differentiated SAT prep taught by talented, committed English and math teachers.